Dream Elf

Natalie Dormer

Occasionally my dreaming Self sends a dream that seems to answer a question I didn’t know I wanted answered, or needed to ask. For instance, the other morning, I woke carrying into waking a crystal-clear scene. I felt grateful, in part just because I haven’t been remembering dreams lately. But my gratitude was for much more than that.

Recently, a character walked into the fantasy sci fi novel I’m writing. Tlalit is the Elven lover of the mysterious Elf who led the interstellar fugitives with their varied and impressive mind-talents, out of captivity. I won’t give too much away but Tlalit is a tall elf with tangerine hair in a cockatiel crest. She’s bold, lively, a restless musician.

In the dream, she offers to pose for photos. She has a perfect, strong face, skin more like suede than silk, more dense than luminous. Her hair is white-blond, close cut on the sides. I see the Elf, Tlalit, in her. She playfully loops green leafy vines on her head for the photographer. Since the elves in my novel live in trees, I see this as one more affirmation that this is my elf.

I can still feel her personality—bold, relishing life and her choices. In the dream, she’s stolen a vial, a political act. A team is after it, searching for the vial that’s positioned a certain way—I see what their doing, in their hazmat suits, like a birds-eye, x-ray view. It’s this vial—but they don’t detect it. I say “You have to cover it, muffle it,” unsure how detection might be prevented.

Having this dream felt like an affirmation of my story, of the beings in it and their relevance. Also, I found it exciting to have a cross-over between my writing and my dreams, both of which I’ve written about here.

I collage dreams; sometimes an image gives the feeling even if it doesn’t replicate the dream image precisely, in every detail. The most important element is evoking the felt sense. The image I include here reminds me of the dream elf. The tattooed vines echo the elven trees of my novel. Her expression of empowered selfhood are helping me develop Tlalit’s character.

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