Posted by: normanlgreen | July 30, 2011

Why, for heaven’s sake, publish your dreams?

In the late 1970’s, my family drove to New Orleans for a rainy weekend with Nana, our  paternal grandmother.  After the jazz and the food and the junk shops, we wandered through some galleries near Jackson Square and wound up the visit at a green shuttered bookshop.  Nana had given me ten dollars discretionary money, which had so far gone unspent.  Toward the back of the shop a partitioned shelf of trade paperbacks displayed a mix of titles.  At my five-foot-nothing eye level a copy of Kerouac’s Book of Dreams waited for me with its high contrast photo a of a strange dark man in his strange dark sleep.

(first editions had blue covers, though mine was black)

I didn’t know Kerouac from Kerosene, but I had the cost of the book, with a little change left over.  I carried the brown bag with the black covered book through the green shutters and settled into the back seat of the blue Ford LTD and disappeared for the entire drive back to Houston.  Any vague hope of my having a conventional life can be marked from this purchase.  Kerouac’s bravery at making public his dream life jolted and wrecked me on the rocks.

Since 1980, I have, with great inconstancy, recorded my dreams on steno pads, manual typewriters — Royals and Underwoods — and more recently on a laptop, for no purpose other than the process itself.  For the past two and one half years, the consistency has improved and there is a record for almost all of those days.  Some records are brief, some complain that I cannot recall something so close in time.  Some go on for pages to outline four or five discrete dreams.  All are poorly punctuated or capitalized and show little in the way of craft.  But they do aim toward honesty.

The patient and generous writers of the Independent Writers’ Studio of Bellingham, Washington have sat through many readings from my dream journals — whenever I have been unprepared or unwilling to read from my more grandiose project (the book that will not be named).  This past week, it was put to me that I ought to have one of these bl*g things and that the dream records might make a foundation for such an effort.  This notion would have to come from the outside of my head, and so it did.

I promise no regularity of postings, but what you will find here will be as direct as possible a path from my dream life to your reading eyes.



  1. Congratulations on starting up a bl*g. I hope you make it a regular outlet for your writing. I’ll be reading.

  2. Yea Norman! I’ll be checking in.

  3. i had a dream in which you started a blog.

  4. Norman, this is cool! Make sure you post on your FB page when you’ve posted a new entry. I’ll be reading!

    • thanks to all for taking the time. I will let you know as pieces are posted.


  5. Wonderful, Norman! I’m excited to read your musings, rants, delights, poems, stories, brainstorms. You are a beautiful soul with such a whimsical and unique view on the world. I’m happy to read you.
    As Martha told Agnes:
    “There is a vitality, a life-force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not have to believe in yourself or your work.You have to keep open and aware to the urges that motivate you. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive.”
    *Make sure you send word to us “regular email” folks, as I’m not on Facebook much.

    • you are kind, ms. drue.
      i like martha’s insight: “you do not have to believe in youreslf or your work.”

  6. Hi Norman,
    Do you use any methods or means to dream more?
    By more I mean in either quantity or quality. I’ve heard of different drugs, or herbs like Valerian. I’ve also seen ads for different technological helpers like dream goggles etc. I think dreams are important. I’ve thought about trying methods for enhanced dreaming—exploring the possibilities.
    Any insights?
    B. Cool

    • Well sir, my dreams respond to being witnessed and recorded. If I pass through a spell where I fail to record them, they become more elusive. Then I must ask them to return before going to sleep.


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