21 Jul 2014

Writing in (day)dreams, a guest post by by Jennifer Farwell

Cassidy Jordan knows she'll die a few weeks after her eighteenth birthday, and she can't wait. This is her second time here, and she knows what's waiting for her in The Life-After — the place most mistakenly call "the afterlife." Getting back there is supposed to be easy: she just has to find nineteen-year-old Riley Davis and help him get his life on track. But doing that isn't easy at all.
By the time Cassidy finds Riley, she has only seven weeks to help him before her time is up. Riley will die too young if she fails, and she'll never see The Life-After or have another chance at life again. But no one told her helping Riley would mean dating him; she hasn't dated anyone since the love of her first life caused her death the last time she turned eighteen. And no one warned her she'd cross paths with Selena Jensen, her ex-best-friend who hasn't forgotten why their friendship ended and is protective of Riley. Then there's Cassidy's family, who thinks she's a normal girl headed to Harvard in the fall. When her aunt discovers that's not the plan, she shows up to try and drag Cassidy from L.A. to Boston.
Helping Riley is already hard with her aunt and Selena in the way. It's almost impossible when Cassidy realizes she's falling for him and is faced with a choice: give Riley the life he's meant for and leave when it's time, or give up eternity for the true love she's never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.

Guest Post
Creativity, inspiration, ideas, and dreams. I'd never really taken the time to think about whether or not my dreams inspired my writing until Suzy proposed this great guest post topic. Thank you, Suzy, for a fun topic and for having me on your blog!
I'll be honest: the dreams I have while I'm asleep usually involve people in my real life, even if what's happening in the dream isn't based on anything happening in real life at all. Most of my book ideas come from daydreams, or in bursts of ideas that surface while I'm doing something else.
When I really stopped to think about it, I decided that daydreams definitely count as dreams. They just happen while my eyes are open. Like the dreams I have at night, daydreams still mean slipping away from the here and now and visualizing something that isn't happening anywhere but in my mind. This led me to think about creativity, inspiration, and ideas in a different way, too. They're defined as separate things, but they're really all about the same thing: bringing something to life that didn't exist before, that came from somewhere in my imagination.
The idea for my book, SEVEN WEEKS TO FOREVER, happened in a daydream. I was in front of a computer, focusing on something else, when my mind drifted and the story idea took form. It happened in a rush of thoughts and images in my imagination, and the characters began to take shape right away. I let myself get caught up in the daydream for a while, and then I began typing everything I'd just daydreamed so I wouldn't forget it. As I typed, the ideas kept flowing. That daydream and all of those ideas eventually became a finished book. I'll never say that daydreaming isn't productive!
I think that book ideas and other creative ideas happen in different ways for everyone. It could happen in a dream while you're asleep and your mind is at rest enough to surface the idea, or it could happen right after you wake up. It could happen while you're meditating or listening to music, or it could happen while you're daydreaming. It could happen while you're doing something else, and whatever it is you're doing subconsciously gets your creative juices flowing. Or it could happen while you're reading about something or seeing something happen right in front of you in real life. I know that the most important thing for me is letting all ideas surface without filtering them first, and making sure I write the ideas down or record them on my voice memos app so they're always there to come back to in the form they first came to me.
I'd love to hear if dreams or daydreams inspire your writing, or if your ideas come to you in other ways!

Jennifer Farwell has been writing since the day she picked up a navy blue Crayola as a toddler and began scribbling on her parents' freshly painted white walls. She's the author of SEVEN WEEKS TO FOREVER (her most recent novel), as well as ROCK STAR'S GIRL and its forthcoming sequel, HIDING OUT IN HOLLYWOOD (2015). When not writing novels, she can often be found at a Kundalini yoga class, cheering on the L.A. Kings during hockey season, or curled up with a good book. She grew up in Thunder Bay, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Pico.

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