In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at Ali Habashi and her story “When the Dreamshard Knocks.”
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
I keep a dream journal under my bed, and the older I get, the more ridiculous my entries become. At some point, I realized it was time I gave my dreams their own story.
Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?
I had to research the Conscious, Subconscious, and Unconscious minds and the differences between them in order to construct the setting. I learned where we keep each aspect of our thoughts, and exactly how biased we are when it comes to recounting stories and memories. When the Dreamshard recounts his journey through the three worlds, it is the Unconscious that is not only the most interesting, but the most stable.
Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?
Lisa is dealing with this almost unbelievable amount fear and anxiety, as embodied by the Dreamshard that visits her every night. Her struggle is confrontation, and although she finds the fight is in her, she also discovers that what at first seemed so simple is, in reality, extremely complicated. Lisa is made to confront much more than she bargained for, and learns that sometimes what at first seems the scariest is actually the best part of a bad dream.
Tell me about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.
The Unconscious is a setting I came up with after I began having more vivid and interesting dreams. I liked the idea that all of my dreams still existed, even after I woke up, in a patchwork that I would add to my entire life. This of course would include the dreams that I didn’t remember as well, so if I were ever to go there myself, not even I would know the full extent of what I had created.
Which phrase are you most proud of in this story?
“His next words pulled the pink from my complexion.”
If your story was front-page news, what would the headline be?
Welcome to the Unconscious: 10 Ways to Tell If You Have Become A Fragment of Your Own Mind
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I wish there was something artistic I could say here, something like My First Notebook or The Book That Inspired Me to Be a Writer, but in reality the best money I ever spent was on my computer, where I write, research, edit, and save everything.
If you had to put your name on someone else’s book/story, which would it be and why?
My name is already on someone else’s book/story. My name is listed next to “Marketing Assistant” on the first page of Math Lit, A Pathway to College Mathematics (Second Edition) by Kathleen Almy and Heather Foes. Hopefully, someday, I will be listed in a dedication or as the writer of a forward in something other than a Math textbook, but for now, this will do.
When did you decide to take writing seriously?
Fourth grade. When I decided to take the publishing of my writing seriously—that was a bit more recent.
If you could choose a single superpower, what would it be and why?
Teleportation, I think my weekends would be better spent abroad.
Ali Habashi graduated from the University of St. Andrews with a Joint Honors MA degree in English and Management, and currently works in Boston at an academic publisher. She has been published in several academic literary journals, most recently in the Inklight Creative Writing Society’s annual publication. She has recently begun writing horror, and has been featured on The Other Stories Podcast.
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