About the Story

format: novel
length: 32,264 words
when: april 2012
best part of the process: really easy story to write, and cathartic
worst part of the process: it's got a lot of potential but it's very bare-boned
The misty unface people in the dreams of Ashlyn Taylor never frightened her. But when she falls into the dreaming world, Ashlyn must attempt to unravel the path that brought her there before she disappears from existence. This surreal novella is a struggle between Ashlyn's power over her dreams and the deadly grip of her mysterious dream master.

Set on the streets of downtown Minneapolis and in the shifting scenery of Ashlyn's dream world, this story is full of tension, speed, and introspection. It is a departure from works like Sun-Walking in that Ashlyn is not on a journey of autonomy but of reconciliation.

Commentary

This story is heavily inspired by works such as Miyazaki's Spirited Away, but much is also drawn from my own dreams and life experiences. I wrote this novel in one go and did not struggle with it at all. I think this was because I was using a real location into which I could pour real details, and many of the characters were inspired by real people, whose quirks and memories I could use. I got to utilize my art background and actually looked at it from a new perspective because of this project. I used real themes from my own dreams. I kind of got to idealize my own life by putting Ashlyn into my life minus my own annoyances.