What lurks in your subconscious mind? Ask Kelly L. Stone

I first met Kelly Stone via Dianna Love. 

Then I got to know her when we met at conferences, and found out that  Kelly wears a lot of hats.  Among her “jobs” she’s a licensed therapist and a fiction writer, but she also has a series of books about how to break through blocks, use the subconscious mind to find answers to life questions, and tune into the inner self. 

I was hooked.

Whether you’re a writer in a knock-down-drag-out fight with a character or plot, or a teacher trying to figure out whether this is the right  time for that big job move–the one that will take you from Boston to AKelly Stone photolbuquerque–Kelly’s techniques work, and they’re fascinating.

Sven is behind the bar, and the regular lair staff is on hand to serve goodies.  Bandits and Buddies, Find out about the creative struggles and  inner workings of your favorite authors as we welcome Kelly L Stone to the lair.

Cassondra:  Kelly, our Buddies love to get to know our guests.  Will you tell us where you grew up, and  how you came to your love of books and writing?  Was creativity encouraged in your family?

Kelly: I grew up in a one-traffic-light town in the panhandle of Florida. Creativity wasn’t necessarily traffic light 2encouraged in my family, but I’m fortunate that many of my relatives are talented and practiced their various crafts on a regular basis- in my immediate family there’s an accomplished oil/water color painter, two musicians (piano and flute), and a published author-all this creativity rubbed off on me. I saw discipline and artistic struggle first-hand.  Probably the greatest influence on me  was my late father, who was the most prolific reader I’ve ever known. He regularly encouraged and praised me for reading books.

 Cassondra:  *takes a glass of Cabernet from one of the Hockey Hunks*  What’s your first memory of books?

Kelly:  *accepts her glass of club soda*  Going to the public library with my father when I was four and being literally in awe of the place; the world seemed vast and full of infinite possibility.

 Cassondra:  I can relate to that.  If it weren’t for the library, I’d probably be a different person…or a different kind of person.  Do you remember the moment you first wanted to write?  What was that like? 

booksKelly:  I don’t recall it being a conscious decision necessarily–as a kid, penmanship and literature were always my favorite classes at school. Going to the library was my favorite activity and that’s where I usually spent my summers.

Making the shift from reading to writing seemed natural to me, and I gravitated to it without much conscious thought. In my interviews with other authors, that’s seemed to be the pattern- most writers are drawn to books and reading at an early age, and then naturally move to writing out of a love for all things books.

 Cassondra:  In your About Kelly section of your website, you mention that as you grew older and  went to college, then moved to work, life began to intrude on the creative process for you.  I think this happens to an awful lot of creative people, whether they want to paint, sculpt, play music, design and build furniture, or write novels. 

Will you talk about that time in your life, and what was happening?

 Kelly: It was what I call my *Burning Desire to Write* stirring to life; I was in my early thirties and devoted very little time to my creative process. I did some journaling here and there but didn’t see my way clear to how a person could write for a living. I had no sense of how to publish a book or even get started with writing; I just knew I was frustrated and needed a creative outlet.  Looking back, I think I recognized on some level that I needed a plan for getting started and the discipline to make the plan happen.

 Cassondra: How did you get yourself going again?Stone Time To Write

Kelly: I started researching how to get published (this was before the days of the Internet, so this research was the old-fashioned kind- in the library with the card catalogue).

I decided to try my hand at magazine articles first because articles didn’t take as long to write as a book.

It just so happened that I was also at this time volunteering with an animal welfare group that was working to strengthen animal protection laws. I had this idea that the work this group was doing would make a great women’s magazine article. As I mention in TIME TO WRITE, all you need in one good idea. So I took that idea and ran with it.  I wrote a query letter to Family Circle magazine; it was accepted and resulted in my first published piece in January 2005. 

Shortly after that an essay I wrote got published in Chicken Soup for the Sister’s Soul. These two events gave me a lot of encouragement.

 Cassondra:  I just don’t see people with “accounting block.”  And I have no doubt that accountants use just as much of their creative brains to solve problems as do writers, painters or landscape designers.  Why do you think writers and artists—those in “creative pursuits” are more commonly affected? 

Kelly:  It’s because you’re creating from scratch-you’re making something out of nothing, and that’s hard to do. It stirs up all your fears and self-doubts.

Cassondra:  Interesting.   There must be an awful lot of us trying to write and getting stuck, because you have  three titles centered on helping writers move forward with their projects.  Tell us about those?

Kelly:  Yes.  TIME TO WRITE: No Excuses, No Distractions, No More Blank Pages was written after I published my novel, GRAVE SECRET, and I got tons of questions about how I found the time to write a novel while working full-time with a family, etc.

Stone Living WriteTHINKING WRITE: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind is about how to access the power of your subconscious mind for creativity purposes. 

And  LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Inviting Your Craft Into Your Daily Life is also about the power of the subconscious mind and how to use it for success and writing.

 Cassondra:  How did you make the decision to write books to help other creative people break through the blocks that keep them from working?  Did your own struggles with creative work play a role in that decision?

Kelly:  Sure. As I said, I wrote TIME TO WRITE because after I started getting published, so many people asked me how I found time to write. THINKING WRITE and LIVING WRITE are based on my work as a licensed counselor and helping others to recognize and use their own innate strengths and abilities.

Cassondra: You live in one of my favorite places on the planet–the Gulf Coast in the Florida Panhandle.  It’s gorgeous there.  Do the beach and ocean play roles in your creative process? 

Kelly: I grew up on the Gulf Coast and love it here, but like most writers, I can write anywhere-that’s a matter of discipline instead of location. But having a great view doesn’t hurt!Kelly stone pensacola-beach

Cassondra:  I know our Bandit Buddies love to get glimpses into the writing life and how their favorite authors work.     What common issues have you seen that keep fiction writers like us from getting their work on the page to make it available to our beloved readers?

 Kelly: I think it’s two-fold:  the main problem is that, for whatever reason, we don’t treat writing like it’s important. Just the other day I had some unexpected time to write, but instead of getting into my WIP I started making a list of everything that needed to be done- laundry, house cleaning, getting the oil changed in my car. Finally I said to myself, “You’ll do anything to avoid writing, won’t you?” and made myself go sit down at my desk and write.

The other problem goes back to the fact that good writing is hard, and writers tend to be their own worst critics.  It takes courage to write-and to keep writing.

 Cassondra:  One of the most interesting and unusual aspects of your book,  THINKING WRITE, is that it’s chock full of exercises and techniques for tapping into the subconscious. Are those exercises derived from your work as a counselor?

Kelly: Yes. The techniques are a variation of things I’ve taught people over the years in terms of learning to work with the power of the subconscious mind.

Cassondra:  *sips her wine as she formulates a question* In all the shelves of writing books I own and have read, I’ve never seen these ideas taught as a method to help creative people.  Why do you think writers and other creative people need these techniques?

Kelly: People generally don’t make use of the tremendous power of the subconscious mind. The techniques in THINKING WRITE and LIVING WRITE are geared toward helping people tap into their own innate resources. The techniques are easy to learn and easy to use.

kelly stone stuck in a rutCassondra:   I know I’ve been “stuck” before, not only in my writing, but also in life. 

A few years back I was stuck in a job that I liked on some levels–I loved the people I served– but I knew it was sucking the life out of me.  Try as I might, it felt like I couldn’t make the shift I needed to move myself out of that rut. I just Could. Not. Move.  It took a major life event for me to be willing to leap when I couldn’t see the net.  It would’ve been nice if I’d been able to make that shift without the drama—or the trauma.

Are the techniques you teach useful for everyone—let’s say someone who either feels stuck the way I did, or is having trouble making an important decision and just feels stumped?

Kelly:  Absolutely. The techniques help you access your subconscious mind’s guidance, and once you do that you can use them for any problem, any issue, not just creativity.

 Cassondra:  Can you give us an example of a short exercise anybody could do to help make that shift? 

Stone Thinking WriteKelly:  Sure. Dreaming is the most common way the subconscious mind tries to get information to the conscious mind. Everyone dreams, whether you remember your dreams or not.

I have a technique I call “Dream Solution.”  You can use it for any problem, but here I’ll focus on when you’re having a plot problem. For a few minutes before bedtime, focus on your problem and formulate a question.

For instance, “Subconscious, what is the next scene in my novel?” Ask your subconscious mind to give you a dream with the scene, then be prepared over the next few days to receive the answer.

Depending on how your subconscious communicates with you, it might be a dream or it might be a hunch or a flash of insight when you’re driving your kid to school the next day.

 Cassondra: And for non-writers, how does that translate into the everyday?

Kelly:  This technique can be used for any life problem; anything you need help from your subconscious on, ask it directly. For instance, “Subconscious mind, tell me if I should accept this new job or stay at my old one.”  Sometimes it helps to write the question down in advance, and then be prepared to receive your answer in the next few days.”

Cassondra:  Speaking of that subconscious influence, will you tell us about yoStone--Gave Secretur first full-length novel, GRAVE SECRET?  How did that story happen?

Kelly:  GRAVE SECRET came about when I had characters show up in my head and start talking to me. They told me their stories and the only way to make them shut-up was to write it down.

This happened around that time I was writing for magazines and I was constantly seeking new ideas for articles, so my creative mode was full-on. It was only after I wrote TIME TO WRITE and interviewed 130 authors that I realized that having characters show up like that and start talking wasn’t all that unusual (thank heavens!)

 Cassondra:  This is a women’s fiction novel, not a romance, but the blurb is so compelling!

Twenty-one-year-old Claire Bannister has just been released from a Florida mental hospital, where she spent over three years on the forensics unit for arson and murder-crimes to which she pled “not guilty by reason of insanity.” The trouble is, Claire’s innocent.

She knows who really set the house fire that killed her siblings on that balmy night in Pensacola, but she can’t tell. And she knows that her stepmother and lifelong nemesis, Sisley, will be watching her every move. Sisley never believed that Claire set the fire that killed her children, and now Sisley will stop at nothing to get to the truth. Claire flees to Tampa, unaware that Sisley is having her followed.

Claire is on a mission to find her boyfriend, Billy Powers, who disappeared the night of the fire with a briefcase full of cash extorted from Claire’s powerful father, Judge Oren Bannister. Will Billy still have in his possession the one item that Claire must get back from him?

Confronted by one dead end after another, Claire finally marries Richard Quenell, a handsome and wealthy attorney with a few secrets of his own. Claire conceals her past from her new husband, a decision that has disastrous results. When Claire, Sisley, Billy and Richard finally square off, the consequences will be devastating, and Claire will be faced with a decision that could change her life-again.

 Cassondra:  What’s next for Kelly?  Are you working on a book at the moment? 

Kelly:  Yes! You know that situation I mentioned with GRAVE SECRET where the characters showed up and talked to me? That happened again and I’m in the process of writing another novel, this one set in the time of Atlantis. I also have a proposal in the works for another non-fiction book.

Cassondra:  *lifts glass in a toast* Excellent!  I love the whole Atlantis mythology. 

Okay time for fun!  Kelly has questions for all of you, and she’s offering a giveaway. She’ll be online throughout the day, so post your answers for Kelly’s feedback on you and your subconscious mind.   

Kelly:  Here’s a quiz I call “Meet Your Subconscious” that you can take to learn how your subconscious mind communicates with you.

1) Do you ever get hunches? Think of a time you had a hunch that was correct and what happened.

2) Have you ever had a dream that resolved a problem for you?

3) Do you ever hear or see things, like flashes of light or hear your name called, right before you fall asleep at night?

Cassondra:  OOOO…I love it!  I get hunches all the time!

Bandits and Buddies, post your answers to be in the drawing.  Are you thinking about making a change in your life?  Or do you feel stuck in a rut?   Kelly is offering your choice of a 5 page critique or a 20 minute phone coaching session.   Do you know an aspiring writer who could use the coaching or critique?

Read Kelly’s official bio, and find out more about her on her website www.KellyLStone.com

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  • flchen1 says:

    Wow, how neat, Kelly! I’m not an aspiring writer, but I’m sure lots of Bandita buddies are going to be thrilled with the chance to get some writing/life coaching! I think the start of a new year is always a good time to be considering changes or goals. The ongoing one for me is still decluttering–it’s such a change in mindset and it’s a slow one! Fortunately DH is a pretty patient man 🙂

    • Cassondra says:

      flchen1, now you’re going to have even more to get rid of, since the rooster tends to drop feathers EVERYWHERE.

      Just sayin. ;0)

    • flchen1- thanks for stopping in!


    • Cassondra says:

      flchen, I try to do this constantly–the decluttering–but I think I don’t take it in small enough bites…I start a project and there’s never enough time to get it finished, so the clutter never gets COMPLETELY gone..it just floats near the back door. This year I’m trying to keep it constantly moving–get it to the car, move it actually out of the house–so I can create more space. It seems to be working. I feel so much better without all the clutter. I did a major round of it in November, clearing for the first of the year. Need to do more though!

  • Mozette says:

    1) Do you ever get hunches? Think of a time you had a hunch that was correct and what happened.

    yeah, I get hunches a lot and I tend to work off them too. It’s jsut how I am. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be the big risk-taker my family has loved and come to know… and they’d think something was drastically wrong with me. 😀

    2) Have you ever had a dream that resolved a problem for you?

    Oh yes! I can’t tell you which dreams, but I often write down my most vivid ones. I once had a re-curring dream of a blue house which occurred over around 2 years. It would show up when I didn’t want it to, I’d find myself in the back yard of it, inside it and even looking at a painting of it at times… so what did I do? I wrote a story about it of course. 😀

    3) Do you ever hear or see things, like flashes of light or hear your name called, right before you fall asleep at night?

    sometimes I hear a loud clanging noise and it’s scares me awake… but before the Mayan Calendar finished I had a lot of strange things happening to me while I slept. From being woken from my sleep at 5:30am by being kissed by a woman off a Tarot Card I have never seen before (and never again) as she ran out of my bedroom door and vanished, to dreaming of a tree sap ceremony being performed on me during a lunar eclipse… in the middle of a dense forest… then, I had my spiritual guides give me a shield, sword & scabbard and torque around my left thigh… all jeweled and very pretty (so pretty that when I woke at 6am, I went looking for them all…. darn, I couldn’t find them). But yeah, I’ve had those dreams. Once 2013 started, I no longer had those dreams… I really do miss them… and I miss talking to the dead too, but I that’s another story for another time. 🙂

    • Mozette- wow! Lots of neat experiences you’ve had. I say take all that and run with it- try some of the techniques in Thinking Write or Living Write to open that channel up further. The hypnagognic state (#3 above) is my favorite. 🙂


    • Cassondra says:

      Mozette how awesome!

      I love the tree sap ceremony. A lot of my stories have come to me in dreams, and I also try hard to follow my hunches and instincts. In fact, I’m practicing trying to follow the “lighter” ones–you know the ones that are so subtle you can override them with thinking if you’re not careful? Those end up being the best ones for me, and the easiest to miss.

  • Helen says:


    What an interesting post I am not a writer but I do love reading and I do have hunches here and there as for dreams I never remember my dreams 🙂 and yes I have often heard my name called but no one is around.

    Have Fun

    • Hi Helen, thanks for stopping by! When you hear your name called like that, it’s the hypnagognic state; it’s a natural sleep state.


    • Cassondra says:

      Helen I have heard my name spoken a few times in that half-asleep, half-awake state. It’s so clear that I walways come wide awake. I think my husband has spoken to me. Sometimes it’s his voice, but he’s often already gone to work (he leaves before daylight in the mornings). I understand it, but even so, it kind of freaks me out a little when it happens.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Kelly, it’s so great to have you with us! Like Cassondra, I am fascinated by tapping into the subconscious mind. Back when I had a regular time for meditation, I used to have dreams that were almost other-worldly. I could see how everything in the world, from the most miniscule detail to the largest events, impacted everything else. I saw all the “connections” that escape us in everyday life. They were amazing dreams, but most of my insight evaporated as soon as I started waking up.

    These days, I have fewer vivid dreams. I fully intend to try to make time for meditation, though, because it does seem to open the door to the subconscious mind and make that inner knowledge more accessible. I also am determined to make writing a priority again! *Note to self: Must train husband that writing is more important than me watching TV with him*

    Thank you so much for visiting with us. The FL panhandle is one of my favorite places in the world and one where my family vacationed often when I was little. Camping in Panama City! 😀

    • Caren, thanks so much for your comment! You can revive the dreaming again by writing down your dreams every morning, even if you just recall a snippet or symbol- doing that will rebuild that bridge to the subconscious. You can also try my technique for inducing hypnagognia- details in Thinking Write. 🙂

      Best, Kelly

    • Cassondra says:

      Caren, I love that–the images of how all the pieces of the world fit together in the puzzle. I’d think it would be almost overwhelming to the conscious mind, but I seem to be able to take in more–understand more complex concepts and visualize bigger pictures-when I’m dreaming.

      I’m with you–more time for meditation and writing is on my list of “must do” Oh and exercise..yeah, that. My mind is far more clear when I get regular exercise.

  • Alaina Grimm says:

    1) Do you ever get hunches? Think of a time you had a hunch that was correct and what happened.

    Yes, I’ve had hunches! The most poignant was when I knew, without a doubt, something was wrong with a grandparent. I was in college at this time. I called my mother asking if and she said everything was fine. The next days she was diagnosed with cancer.

    2) Have you ever had a dream that resolved a problem for you?

    Yes! I go to sleep telling myself stories, especially when I’m writing one. Sometimes the dream will solve writers block 🙂

    3) Do you ever hear or see things, like flashes of light or hear your name called, right before you fall asleep at night?

    Nope, I see my stories running like a movie through my head. I think I’ve heard the names of my characters though.

    • Cassondra says:

      Alaina, how interesting! But what a difficult thing, to know so surely that something is wrong with a loved one. I once intuitively knew that some people were outside our house (very remote area) and when our dog started barking and my husband got up to go check (this was normal–not like it hadn’t ever happened before) I sat up in bed and said, “you need to take your firearm.” He turned around and went back for it, and having that defense saved his life.

  • Alaina, great to see you here . Sounds like you’ve got that whole dream thing down pat. 🙂 Good for you.


  • Shannon says:

    I would think a therapist would come up with all kinds of interesting motivations for her characters. The book on finding time for writing (or anything else) sounds like a useful read. I’m always telling myself I need to manage my time better, and then there’s another book on my TBR list.

    1) Do you ever get hunches? Think of a time you had a hunch that was correct and what happened.

    My job involves looking for patterns and trends, so I think I apply that skill to life.

    For some reason this fall, I just knew that my Mom wasn’t doing well. I called a couple of times and got no answer. I then brought my cell phone to work (something I don’t do a lot because it goes into a locker). My brother texted me she was in the hospital. For some reason, when I was writing my out of office response, I put that I should be back by a certain date but I might be longer. My planned 2 week stay stretched into 5 weeks.

    2) Have you ever had a dream that resolved a problem for you?

    For a while, I didn’t dream (probably as a side effect of a medication). Now that I am dreaming, I see opportunities where I have envisioned closed doors. While I say nothing has happened yet, I also know I’m investigating making changes.

    3) Do you ever hear or see things, like flashes of light or hear your name called, right before you fall asleep at night?

    No, I just fall alseep, which is the way I like it.

    • Thanks for stopping by Shannon!

    • Cassondra says:

      Ooooo, Shannon, I’ve taken medications that went both ways…affected me so that my nights were a complete blank, or made me dream scary-crazy stuff. I hated going both ways.

      You’ll love Kelly’s books if you try them. They’re full of useful tools, not just theory, which is one of the things that drew me to her work.

  • Quantum says:

    Hi Kelly and Cassondra

    Hunches: I have had hunches concerning explanations for scientific phenomena. Sometimes correct, sometimes not.

    Dreams: I do sometimes get recurrent dreams, for example forgetting my hotel address in a strange city. I can’t recall a dream resolving any issues.

    Flashes of light/name called: No I don’t think so.

    I guess I’m just not very receptive to this kind of subconscious influence!

    I am however very interested in the subconscious and especially the way that it can induce healing eg by medical intuitives. Also dowsing for information. It seems that some gifted people are particularly sensitive to the subtle energies involved.

    I would like to ask whether you see a useful role for meditation. Also whether you have any thoughts on the efficacy of brainwave entrainment programs which exploit resonance to enhance the lower frequency brainwave states (eg Theta).

    • Hi Quantum! Thanks for stopping by. I do think meditation is useful for connecting to the subconscious mind. There are so many methods to choose from people can try them out and select one that works for them.


      • Cassondra says:

        Kelly, are you familiar with the brain wave entertainment programs that Quantum mentioned? I’ve only begun to see what I thinkmight be these on the market–that you can get on your smart phone–a program to induce different brain waves by using sound. I’ve wondered about these programs and wanted to give them a try. What do you think?

        • Hi Cassondra and Quantum,

          I don’t have any direct experience with those so I can’t really say if they’d be effective or not- I know there is some research that suggests that sound can influence mind states and that makes complete sense to me. I definitely think it’d be worth a try!


    • Cassondra says:

      Quantum, it sounds like your username fits your job! I work with body energy therapy for healing and it’s an endlessly fascinating field. And you’re right. I think some people are more naturally sensitive to the subtle energies, however as I have participated in so many classes, I recognize that anyone can be trained to sense them at some level.
      I have begun to think it’s like a muscle…the more you practice it, the more sensitive you get to it. If a person spends his/her time working with hard science and narrowly defined rules for “proof” that doesn’t leave much room for those sensitivities to develop. I think artists, writers and other creatives, who work in less structured fields, remain more open to a broader range of energies because they almost need them to do their work.

      I’d love to hear Kelly’s thoughts on brainwave entertainment programs too, if she’s familiar with those.

      • Cassondra, I agree. The mind, especially the subconscious, is the true untapped universe. 🙂


      • Quantum says:

        Cassondra, you are right in guessing that I earn my living with hard science (Quantum theory of solid state)!

        I have been working my way through the Quantum Touch approach to energy healing and wondered whether inducing a meditative brainwave state through audio input would help. Particularly as practitioners of ‘Theta Healing’ try to put themselves into these meditative states while healing.

        I downloaded a free sample program called ‘Quantum Confidence Lite’

        You need to avoid all the hard sell on the web site. The program was developed by Morry. My wife tells me that I do seem more relaxed after listening. She also tells me that I’m not very aware of my own emotional state at times …. too wrapped up in fancy scientific ideas!

        So far I haven’t noticed any significant improvement to my Quantum Touch ability, though its early days yet! LOL

  • 1) Do you ever get hunches? Think of a time you had a hunch that was correct and what happened.

    I got a hunch in 1988 that I needed more rehearsal for one of my doctoral recitals at the University of Mississippi. I was scheduled to fly back from Germany via Frankfurt on December 21st, but I worked things out so I could fly out of Munich on December 3rd instead which gave me some extra time to rehearse with my pianist. The later flight on which I was scheduled to fly was Pan Am Flight103.

    2) Have you ever had a dream that resolved a problem for you?

    I do that all the time. The dreams usually involve my Dad who has been gone for 17 years. I really miss being able to talk things over with him so I guess my subconscious knows that.

    3) Do you ever hear or see things, like flashes of light or hear your name called, right before you fall asleep at night?

    Flashes of light? No. Shadows out of the corner of my eye – yes. And every now and then I hear a really soft “woof” and a sigh. That’s what my Great Dane Glory used to do before we went to bed. It usually happens when I’m stressed and I think it is my mind’s way of telling me to stop stressing the small stuff and it is ALL small stuff. Glory was born deaf and yet nothing ever got her down. She was one of the happiest creatures it has been my honor to know.

    • Louisa,

      Oh my gosh! I got goosebumps reading your comment!

      That’s neat about your dad dreams- have you ever read a book called Reunions by Dr. Raymond Moody? Some of my work is based on his terrific research. You might find it interesting and useful.

      Thanks for chiming in!

      • Kelly, I still have moments when a chill runs through me at what might have been. I have tried very hard to live a good life in honor the chance I was given all those years ago.

        I’ll definitely check into the book by Dr. Moody. I’ve always wondered about the connection between my Dad and myself. I am the oldest child and the only girl and I am still very much a Daddy’s girl.

    • Cassondra says:

      OH, Louisa! Thank God you listened to that hunch! What would we do without you as our buddy?

      And hey….we’d be roosterless!

      • Aww, thanks, Cassondra! I’d miss you all too! And the GR has no concept of not being around. He is definitely a chicken before the egg kind of guy!

        The funny thing is I was right about needing more time with my pianist as she wasn’t certain about some of the pieces we were doing and had I arrived home as scheduled we would only have had one rehearsal together before the performance. As it was, it took rehearsals every day right up to the performance for us to nail the pieces.

  • Hello Kelly and welcome to the Lair! Thanks for such an interesting interview, Cassondra!

    I’m one of those people who never, ever, ever, I mean EVER remembers dreams. While my critique partner Sandy Blair will do exactly as you suggest, think of the next part of her book right before lying down to nap. And POOF, when she wakes up it’s like her mind played it all out in movie form in her head. (I do hate that about her and wish my brain worked that way!)

    Now stand me in a hot shower…and yep my head fills with ideas! Also ironing…yep, give me a mundane chore and I’ll fix my plot.

    Now, as for hunches, I call those the woo-woo factors and they more than once happened out of the blue at work. In every instance the hunch paid off and doctors were called to handle very sick, very emergent patients.

    • Hi Suzanne!

      Thanks for posting! You are one of those people who taps into your subconscious while doing mundane work, like ironing, showering, driving, etc. Makes sense as that puts the brain in alpha state.

      You might experiment with writing your dreams down when you wake up, even snippets, etc. It might take a while, but you will start remembering them again. Dreams are a useful way to work with the subconscious. 🙂


    • Cassondra says:

      Suz, I’ve gone through times when I remember nothing about my dreams. Then it’ll turn and I’ll wake remembering more. I’ve kept pen and notebook by my bed for years, because I used to get snippets of songs in my sleep. My characters and fiction stories are not nearly so forthcoming. I think I just haven’t developed the muscle.

  • Kelly is a fascinating guest. Thank you, Cassondra, for inviting her.

    Hunches? Sometimes, Most of my hunches are more the out-growing of a fact pattern with an educated guess – but sometimes there is no fact pattern. I knew the moment my mother died – even though I was driving in the car, sixty miles away at the time.

    Dreams? I don’t usually remember my dreams but I remember when I used to have dreams that involved multiple car crashes or other disasters. I figured my subconscious was telling me I had too many balls in the air, life was getting out of control. It helped me to take stock and reassess.

    Flashes of Light? Well, I see those at night all the time – I have two detached retinas and flashes and floaters are a way of life. Plus my husband likes the TV on at night. Even with my eyes closed, I can see the flashes of light as the screens change. I wear an eye mask if the flashes are too intense. As for my name being called. That would be my kitty saying goodnight when she settles in her bed in my bedroom. 🙂

    • Hi Donna,

      Kisses to your kitty cat! I’m a cat person too. 🙂

      Thanks for chiming in. I like your interpretation of the car crash dream- I’ve had that one myself a few times but thankfully no wreck in real life. 🙂

      Best, Kelly

    • Cassondra says:

      Donna, I think your interpretation of your car crash dreams is very intuitive.

      Once you made a change to feel in better balance, did the crash dream subside?

  • Judith Laik says:

    Hi Kelly — Interesting questions!
    1) Do you ever get hunches? Think of a time you had a hunch that was correct and what happened.
    I get hunches from time to time, but they are on the weak side and I think I mostly ignore them. I had one dramatic one, however. Many years ago, was traveling with some friends, my husband and our two youngest children. We were at the ocean, and they went to a fish hatchery. I didn’t want to go, so I stayed in the car. I suddenly got a feeling that I had to go home “right now.” I wondered whether something was wrong with our older son at home, but ended up dismissing the hunch as being tired. I hadn’t been sleeping well. Later that day, our middle son almost drowned on the beach.

    2) Have you ever had a dream that resolved a problem for you?
    I rarely remember my dreams. I do have recurring dreams that I believe are trying to illuminate a problem for me, but it’s so obscure that I almost never figure out the message.

    3) Do you ever hear or see things, like flashes of light or hear your name called, right before you fall asleep at night?
    I’ve heard someone call my name as I fall asleep many times. One time I even asked my husband if he’d called, and he hadn’t.

    • Hi Judith,

      Thanks for stopping by over here. I’m so glad things were okay with your son. I think sometimes, when things go awry when we ignore our hunches, that it’s our subconscious telling us to pay attention.

      Since you hear your name called at night, you’re a prime candidate to try the hypnagognic state- details are in Thinking Write, or email me for instructions.


    • Cassondra says:

      Hi Judith,

      I will echo Kelly in being so glad your son was okay.

      Isn’t it freaky when you hear your name called like that? Sometimes it’s my husband’s voice, but he will swear it’s not him.

      • Cassondra, that’s the hypnagognic state and now that you’ve let the cat out of the bag (or rooster) that you hear things too, I will insist you try my technique- it’s in Thinking Write, or email me for instructions.


  • Judith Laik says:

    Actually, our son didn’t almost drown “on the beach” but in the ocean! We were at a beach that is known for its rip tides and he was jumping waves, not swimming.

    • Cassondra says:

      Judith, completely off subject, but I have this love-fear relationship with the ocean. I want to be near the ocean all the time (I live in a completely landlocked area) but I can’t go out past my knees…even then I get nervous when I feel that pull.

      I want so much to understand the ocean and learn to not be afraid of it. I’m always impressed with people who know how to handle playing in that moving water!

      • The rip tides are scary- I was caught in one at age 4 and only spared from drowning when my sister- who was a mere 9 at the time- yanked me out of it. (Actually I wrote about that experience in my essay in Cup of Comfort for Sisters).

        Cassondra, try the sound or bay instead of the Gulf.


        • Cassondra says:

          Kelly, are you saying try those because the water is gentler there?

          If so, that might be a great place to start for me. One of my life goals is to be able to swim in the ocean without fear.

  • Judith Laik says:

    Thanks, Kelly and Cassondra. I have the same love-hate relationship with water. It’s my dream to live on a beach (or overlooking a beach anyway). I find water so inspirational, but I never got over my fear when actually in the water. I was glad, too, that my son survived — it was only the first of many near-death experiences he had. Obviously, that was his path for some reason. Kelly, I have Time to Write sitting in my Amazon cart — I just need to figure out another book to order to bring my total up to not having to pay shipping! I’m looking forward to reading it and trying out the exercises.

    • Thanks Judith. If you’re looking specifically for these techniques get Thinking Write also.

    • Cassondra says:

      Judith I can recommend SO MANY! If you like historicals, Christina Brooke’s brand new one is JUST out The Greatest Lover Ever. If you like romantic suspense, try Dianna Love’s Slye Temp series–any one of the four. For Paranormal, check out Nancy Northcott’s Renegade and if you like cozy mysteries, Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile mystery series will suck you right in.
      Hahaha! How’s that for pitching my sister Bandits?

      Seriously those are all amazing, and I could go on and on….then I’d get to my favorite NON Bandit authors. Want a book recommendation? Just ask a Bandit. ;0)

  • Cassondra, thanks for bringing Kelly to visit us today. Kelly, the books sound great and I love your interview. Always love hearing about a writer’s journey.

  • Becke Turner says:

    Intriguing post!

    It’s very comforting to know I’m not alone with this kind of thing. Although I didn’t use the specific descriptions you listed, I’ve always resolved questions through sleep. If the answer hasn’t occurred to me the minute I awaken, it occurs in the shower.

    My cousins are from a one-horse town near Pensacola. I’ve spent a lot of time on those sugar-sand beaches.

    Best of luck to your continued success.

    • Hey Becke! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the beaches in Pcola are beautiful!


    • Cassondra says:

      Becke, Pensacola is my favorite beach destination. Partly because I have friends there but partly because that sand is so incredibly perfect! I will say that I haven’t been to the Keys, or further south than Lake Okeechobee, so I am uneducated I guess. But the Gulf Coast is gorgeous, and seems a little more…well…gentle I guess, than the Atlantic coast.

  • EW Gibson says:

    Great interview with wonderful insight.

    Hunches I do get and some pan out and some don’t.

    It’s the same with dreams some of them answer a question or problem, but they also bring up other questions to consider.

    I see flashes before going to bed, I always consider it’s my eyes. But, I do hear on occasions my father, who past away a while back, call out my nickname. It’s his voice and there’s always a sense of urgency.

    • Cassondra says:

      Welcome EW! I really related to the “father” thing. I feel my dad here with me sometimes, and it always alerts me that maybe he’s worried about me for some reason. He’s been gone since 1998, but I still feel so connected to him.

  • EW, thanks for posting! Since you see flashes of light and hear your name called, you might want to experiment with my technique for the hypnagognic state. It’s in Thinking Write. I also mentioned a book on the subject to another poster- it’s called Reunions by Dr. Raymond Moody. Some of my work is based on his research. You might find it interesting.


  • I’m going to call it a day folks. Thanks for having me on Cassondra and Romance Bandits! I’ll check in in the morning for more comments and also announce the winner of the 5 page critique or phone coaching session with me.


  • Hi Everyone! Judith is the winner of the 5 page critique or 20 minute phone coaching session! Judith, email me at Kelly@AuthorKellyLStone.com