I remember the first time I dreamed lucidly. This is one of my earliest memories. I was really young, probably five years old or so. There was an alligator, you see, and it wanted to eat my feet. I woke up screaming, leaped out of bed (jumping far enough that the alligator couldn’t get me in case it had followed me out of my dreams and was under my bed), and ran to my parents, crying.
Then, they told me the trick. I had to decide how I wanted the story to go, go back to bed, lay down, and imagine the story changing as I fell asleep.
I haven’t had a nightmare since.
Oh, I’ve had dreams that started as nightmares, but I can change the story.
This was also one of my earliest experiences with the power of being an author. Being an author is even better than lucid dreaming, because you can change not only your own dreams, but the dreams of others. You can give them nightmares. You can show them the way out of their nightmare. You can do both at the same time.
Dreams are powerful. When we have hope for our future, we say we have a dream. When we build something amazing, the first step is to dream it up. When we write, we can inspire those dreams. We can change the story of the future. The first step is to decide how we want it to go.
Abra Staffin-Wiebe loves optimistic science fiction, cheerful horror, and dark fantasy. Dozens of her short stories have appeared at publications including Tor.com, F&SF, Escape Pod, and Odyssey Magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, where she wrangles her children, pets, and the mad scientist she keeps in the attic. When not writing or wrangling, she collects folk tales and photographs whatever stands still long enough to allow it. Her most recent book, The Unkindness of Ravens, is an epic fantasy coming-of-age story about trickster gods and favors owed. Enjoy an excerpt here: http://www.aswiebe.com/moreunkindness.html