Tuesday, February 3, 2009

OBE Research

I haven't gotten any writing done in the last few days out of pure dearth of inspiration, but I have gotten quite a bit of research done. The more I research, the easier my David chapters are to write. I realize with the last one that I hadn't done near enough research and that's why I struggled so much with it. After I finish this tandem, I'm going to be taking a brief hiatus to avoid burnout and also to focus intensely on research. I'm going to try to make my long-overdue trip to B-town. And as I feel like six chapters is enough progress as to qualify as respectable, I feel less like an imposter or a poser and more confident in introducing myself as a writer. Hopefully this will aid me when I start introducing myself to some local cog sci fixtures. I'm trying to make some inroads, maybe score an interview.

The plan for tonight is to research some persons of interest to interview for insight into the science and psi aspects of the story. There's a guy running a cog lab out of UofL's psych department, and I've been meaning to touch base with him. I'm hoping that he'll consent to chatting with me as I could really use some face time with a scientist just to observe. There's no substitute for being able to see the manic gleam in the eye of a researcher when he/she converses on his/her topic of interest.

Speaking of psi, I had been struggling to place its introduction in my outline, but I seem to have stumbled across a resolution in Chapter 6. I think it's a fairly seamless introduction, and a plausible one, which is key. I only worry that I'm giving the reader too much of a lead on Claire's crisis. Might it not be better to just spring it on them? But then if I do that, I risk forcing a suspension of incredulity, which I'm not entirely sure I want to do. It's very delicate and will require more thought, I'm sure.

Last night I sat up reading first-hand accounts of out of body experiences as part of my research. Scared the hell out of me because a lot of practitioners of OBE are also lucid dreamers. I happen to be able to lucid dream regularly, though I rarely ever actually try for it. The only time I intentionally introduce myself into a lucid dream is when I'm outlining a story. I lie down and allow myself to fall into a shallow sleep, only enough to dip my little toe into the dream state. Then I conjure up my characters, set them in an environment of my own imagining and turn them loose to do what they will. I get some of my best conversations this way, since I'm naturally averse to writing dialog.

Otherwise, I can lucid dream almost every morning, if I choose. I have an early alarm set that wakes me to Christian talk radio. I generally sleep through this early alarm, but am capable of waking myself enough to be aware that when my dream cycle picks back up, it is indeed a dream cycle. I don't often bother to do anything constructive in these lucid dreams. I guess I'm too apathetic to take much advantage of the ability. I don't go flying around the neighborhood of anything like that. On occasion I will conjure up whatever biblical story the sermon is based on, but not often. I did have a lot of fun with Gideon's army one morning, however.

But OBE's? They're a whole different animal. I find the whole concept frightening, and reading about them right before going to bed nearly kept me up all night scared that if I drifted off to sleep, my being or astral self or soul or essence or whatever would drift right up out of my body. The only thing that calmed me down was having one arm around my purring cat. She was like a big, soft, fuzzy anchor.

1 comment:

Rolenthegreat said...

My father 'taught' me to lucid dream when I was really little because I used to get these really vivid reoccurring nightmares. (His instructions were something like 'Recognize that you are in a dream, but don't wake up')
I still do it all the time, nearly anytime I remember a dream it is a lucid dream. It's one of those skills that I didn't realize was really anything special until I found out that not only was there a name for it but that a lot of people don't do it.
But I've never really tried to do it on purpose, I'll look into that next time I want to take a nap.