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Tales of Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure Under the Influence of Christian Homeschooling

S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. An integral part of the homeschooling community, she has developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to homeschoolers and her fascination with the written word.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream... Perhaps to Write

1/9/2019 11:16:00 AM BY Susan Lyttek

If you were to look at the data from my fitness tracker, it would say I barely dream the minimum amount. However, it also only detects a third of my trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night (Gary says I move too smoothly and silently for it to notice) so you can interpret its records how you wish after reading this post. I only know that from my perspective, I dream a lot.

I often have intense dreams. Nightmares where my life is in jeopardy, or worse, my soul. I have prayed in my dreams on more than one occasion. Such events wake me up and can leave me shaken for an hour or more. But the majority of my shut-eye life can (and often does) become fodder for my writing. Plot twists often resolve while I sleep. Or a character might lecture me on appropriate behavior.

A few nights ago, I worked in my dreams. In the first event of the night, I ran a rehabilitation school for people with disabilities. One of them did something seriously wrong, but the police wouldn’t tell me who committed the crime or what it was. Instead, they asked me to prepare my testimony for the court. I assembled what I felt gave a good portrait of the school as a whole, but felt anything other than prepared. I was walking in blind. I felt as accused as my nameless student.

In the second dream, I was a speaker-consultant. I had a crazy schedule and was running from one engagement to another giving my talk. I got to this one, though, and not only was the audience huge, the venue was having issues with the sound system. I stepped down from the huge platform and encouraged everyone to come in as close as they could. Even so, I had to shout and I knew my voice wouldn’t last the speech—especially not with the waterfall just outside the window that was stuck open.

Having those kinds of dreams result in me being as tired (if not more so) when I wake up as when I go to sleep!

But many of my dreams eventually become stories. And often, it is the high-tension dreams that have enough conflict to make good fiction. In that way, my dreams are definitely a blessing to me and to my creativity.

So if I seem groggy today, don’t worry. I just dreamed the beginning of a great book last night.