Two nights ago, I experienced my first Covid-related dream. Often, if a dream is memorable enough to stay in your mind for hours after waking, you realise its fragmented storyline was a weaving together of snippets out of your previous day, things you’ve read or experienced in the past, and whatever is your present chief preoccupation.
My pandemic dream was interesting, to say the least. Someone had drilled through rock layers and accidentally released the Covid-19 virus from the age of dinosaurs into our time. Thus scientists concluded that this virus caused dinosaurs’ extinction — the event known as Cretaceous-Tertiary — and would be the cause of humanity’s extinction, too. I thought to myself (still in my dream), Okay, this thing is too big to fight, so best to enjoy myself while I can, out in the sunshine hopefully prolonging my life with Vitamin D. Then I went on to dream about a rather fine Jaguar convertible sports car.
Isn’t the mind great? I realised the drilling part of my dream originated from the fact that several oil drillers had started following me on Instagram, despite my profile making it clear that I am into conservation and nature. Of course, if you’re into eco stuff, you’re bound to think about extinction quite a lot, so the dinosaur theme is a logical extension of this. As for the car, I have long held the mistaken belief that oil comes from dead dinosaurs: however, since my dream, I have discovered it comes from decayed marine organisms. Never too late to learn!
Has anyone else had any Covid-related dreams they would like to share?
I can’t believe that four years have passed since I published this novel, and I admit to not having done much to promote it for the latter three years. Despite its wonderful reviews and popularity in the beginning, I admit to being terrible at promotion!
But now I have a good reason to mention its existence, as I would like to give people in the UK and the US a freebie to download onto their Kindles (or Kindle apps) during Lockdown. My apologies to anyone living outside of these countries, but Amazon doesn’t allow me to extend this offer to other locations.
Noah Padgett and the Dog-People is a fun, multi-layered read for anyone aged 9-100+. The story is a quirky fantasy adventure starring a 12-year-old boy and his chocolate Labrador puppy, who, by a series of mishaps, end up in another dimension where the predominate species is Canis sapiens.
The novel is also available as an audiobook on Audible (narrated by the fabulous actress Mil Nicholson). If you want to sync the two versions to switch between reading and listening, I have some free promo tokens. To request one, just ask via a “comment” on this post, and I will reply with your code.
There is also a paperback version, but I’m afraid that isn’t availabe for free.
William D. Holland’s memoir And the Blind Shall See is a story that scans six decades. Throughout his first nine months, William was blind. He had passed through nine different foster homes, during which time he had experienced little by way of stimulation or love, causing him to suffer Failure to Thrive Syndrome. Finally, a couple adopted him and offered him all the love, security, and stimulation he needed, which resulted in him gaining his sight.
As can be the case with adopted children, there is often an underlying insecurity and propensity towards self-destructive behaviour, even when they are in receipt of much love and reassurance. William’s adoptive parents raised him to know right from wrong, have good manners, to care for his neighbour, help the underdog etc. Consequently, he grew up wanting to help other people, whether in his work or in a voluntary basis out in the community. But he was never able to shake off an underlying melancholy, which erupted into uncontrollable grief over the sudden death of his father. It was then that he turned to the bottle and started his courtship with that self-destructive demon, alcohol. What followed, was a battle that lasted several decades, destroying relationships, losing him jobs, until finally he managed to swear off drink permanently, with the support of his wonderful current wife.
What I loved the most about this book is that the author has made no attempt to paper over the cracks as he lays bare the devastation his addiction to the bottle reaped upon himself and those who cared about him. We read of a man who had regained his physical sight but was still in effect blind. He had been rejected at birth, which meant he could be rejected again, and again, and again. This fear drove him to the bottle. The bottle gave him false confidence and hoodwinked him into believing himself clever, witty, popular, desirable, when in fact it was having the reverse effect and destroying his relationships, his career as a teacher, and his mental health.
On a personal level, this book gave me an insight into something that had puzzled me for many years and enabled me to lay to rest one almighty ghost in my own life, which in turn has led to forgiveness. Although I understood why people might hit the bottle when they had nothing to live for, I could not understand why they would do so when they had everything to live for. Furthermore, the whole notion of high-functioning alcoholics baffled me further. Thanks to William’s testimony, I now know the answer to these questions. Alcoholism is an illness and needs treating as such, just as heart disease, or cancer are illnesses. Alcoholism reaps havoc not only on the sufferer but upon their families and loved ones.
If you want to get a real good look inside the head of an alcoholic, whether you are an alcoholic in denial or a victim of that alcoholic, or a therapist working with alcoholics, this is the book for you. Even if you are none of these things, this is a mightily moving and inspirational memoir, written by a wonderful human being. William D. Holland, you are officially a hero.
A former teacher, former business owner, former fill-in-the-blanks with dozens of other jobs, William D Holland (Bill) can now be found in Olympia, Washington, writing, gardening, walking his dogs, and living a very simple life with his wife, Bev.
And the Blind Shall See (amazon.com & amazon.co.uk) is a radical departure from his normal fiction, which includes eight novels, mostly dealing with the eternal struggle of good vs evil.