Electric Dreams

Making Book

Jean Campbell

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Campbell, Jean (2004  September). A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE:
Making Book. Electric Dreams 11(9).

It would be hard to find a group more creative than the dreamers of the World Dreams Peace Bridge, which counts among its members several published authors and poets, graphic artists and musicians. This may say something about the value of dream work, and it may say something about the relationship between dreaming and creativity, but one thing it definitely speaks about is the constant creative impulse among members of the Peace Bridge. This month, it was a book--among other things.

You may remember that during the first year of the Peace Bridge (and we're nearing the end of our third year now), Valley Reed from Dallas, Texas created a dance from a book she had written with her little girl, a dream book. Valley, who has recently come back to the Bridge, and her little girl often create books from their dreams. The story of "The Crow and the Phoenix" came from a dream, and was danced at the 2002 Regional ASD conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photos of this dance can be seen at


Since those days, the idea of writing books has come up regularly on the Bridge, either through the individual works of members or through the impulse to write a book together, to fund some of the growing number of Peace Bridge projects.

This month, George Gillespie, who is still working on his book describing various visual phenomena associated with dreams, forwarded one of his early short stories (based on a dream) "The Gold Bottle" to be put up on the World Dreams web site at http://worlddreamspeacebridge.org/georgestory.htm.

May Tung, who recently finished her memoir about life in China and other parts of the world, has offered encouragement to other writers on the Bridge, including Donna Stein, whose editorial work has brought to life the journal Tiferet (http://www.tiferetjournal.com/); Jeremy Seligson, who read from his most recent book of poetry (accompanied in dance and reading by daughter Eloisa); and Jean Campbell, who finished the first Dream Scouts Adventure book, Under the Crystal Tree this year (www.imageproject.org/scouts).

All in all, a pretty verbal bunch.

During August though, Ralf began a conversation about dreaming monsters. And I (having had considerable experience with monsters) quoted the man who taught me Energetic Metatherapy, a form of bioenergetic therapy, Hector Kuri-Cano, Ph.D., from Guadalajara, Mexico. "Our monsters hold our energy," Hector would say. "We need to get acquainted with our monsters, learn to love our monsters."

I recounted the story of how, after having encountered a particularly frightening monster during a period of awake sleep paralysis, I got acquainted with this aspect of myself by taking my monster for a walk in the park.

This is not quite so absurd as it sounds, when you consider that I actually walk each morning in a park near my house. Since it is daybreak when I walk, and there are very few people around, I felt comfortable to act out my monster while walking, kicking plastic trash cans and making claws of my hands.

This story brought a response from Victoria Quinton in Australia, who sent a link to a photo of a dream drawing her daughter Emily had done at age six. In the drawing, a little girl walks a dragon on a chain. The dragon is floating higher than the house.

In turn, Emily's drawing sparked the fire of creativity in Kathy Turner, who promptly wrote a story for a children's picture book, The Little Dragon Walker.

"Wouldn't it' be great," Kathy said, "if the book could find a publisher and be sold with benefits going to the Aid for Traumatized Children Project? (See the story of this project and current World dreams work in Baghdad at http://worlddreamspeacebridge.org/aidforchildren.htm).

And that question set off a flurry of activity. People began sending links to their favorite publishers, talked about the best way to approach a publishing house, and wondered about how to illustrate such a manuscript.

Then another delightful thing happened. Joy Fatooh, who works as a wildlife biologist but is also a wonderfully talented illustrator, volunteered to provide the illustrations. (See samples of Joy's work at http://fatooh.org/art/).

It appears that, in matters of creativity as well as in matters of dreams, the synergy of group process can lead everyone involved to greater levels of productivity--not to mention exuberant enjoyment.

Should anyone who reads this, know of a publisher who might be interested in The Little Dragon Walker or other dream-related stories, we hope you will let us know. You can write to me directly, at jccampb@aol.com, or you can send an email from the "contact us" section of the web site at www.worlddreamspeacebridge.org