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Your Paracast Newsletter — August 26, 2018

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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
August 26, 2018

Explore the Creative Process and Vampire Legends on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene and cohost J. Randall Murphy introduce vampire expert Douglas Robinson. Douglas is a critically acclaimed author who penned the “Silently Series” which currently consists of three books about real vampire lifestyles in a dramatic-fiction style. Robinson is also an educator who helps inspiring authors pursue their writing aspirations to a finished product. He’s the founder and CEO of Silently Publishing. During this interview, Robinson will explain why he believes that the vampires he writes about represent a genuine subculture or secret society that truly exists.

J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: Ufology Society International (USI) - Explore the UFO Phenomenon

Silently Publishing: Silently Publishing

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on August 26: Gene and cohost J. Randall Murphy cover a range of topics that include the changes in online forums, and whether frequent visitors are moving on to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks. The talk moves to Paracast guest Douglas Robinson and how dreams may impact the creative process before moving to his claim of being possessed by a demonic force. Gene and Randall also focus briefly on the possible biblical connection to UFOs.

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Dreams and Creativity
By Gene Steinberg

More than 15 years ago, I had a dream, about a potential plot sequence for the sci-fi novel I was writing with my son, Grayson. Unlike most dreams, I actually recalled it that morning, and thus I shared it with him, and we quickly wrote it down.

Was it the best part of the novel? Well, it gave us clarity about a pivotal plot point, and thus it was pretty significant for us at the time. Which point? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

In any case, I realize that I am not the only person to employ dreams in the creative process. Far better people than I have done it.

Take The Beatles, which remains my favorite rock band of all time, and no debates please. Paul McCartney has been quoted as saying that he based some of his songs on dreams. One notable example is the song originally titled, “Scrambled Eggs.” At first he thought he’d dreamed of a song he heard somewhere, and it took him a while to realize that “Yesterday” was his own creation.

Yet another example is “Let It Be,” which, despite the religious overtones of its melody and arrangement, was about his late mother, Mary, who came to him in a dream.

But this seem small potatoes compared to the experiences of our guest on the August 26, 2018 episode of The Paracast, author Douglas Robinson.

Now you might imagine that my expectations of this show were very different from what actually happened. I’ll keep it personal, and leave Randall’s observations to the accompanying episode of After The Paracast.

According to the press release that came to me from his PR representative, “People who claim to be vampires are in the thousands, with demographics transcending class, race and gender. But there’s a reason they stay in the shadows.

“Drinking blood isn’t what Hollywood makes it out to be, according to real-life vampires.

“First of all, there’s no biting – that’s neither safe nor sanitary – and with too many vital arteries, the neck isn’t the favored spot. Transactions aren’t carnages leaving the victim lifeless behind in a dark alley, and nor do vampires sleep in coffins or burn in daylight. They’re generally cool with garlic. Most of them don’t even have fangs.”

It’s certainly a clever variation on the vampire trope, and that’s refreshing. However, I had a problem with the claim that “Douglas Robinson is an expert on vampires. He has made it his mission to educate people about the vampire lifestyle.”

The reality was rather different, and you may be surprised when he explains why he believes that vampires exist. Much of it was based on Christian-themed dreams that he has experienced over the years.

This doesn’t mean that he just made it all up, except as it applies to a series of novels. He doesn’t appear to be prepared to write non-fiction books about a genuine vampire subculture, because he has, in fact, no evidence that such people exist in the real world.

Now I am no expert in dream interpretation, but I do accept them as a valid and vital part of one’s creative process. They have been useful for me, and for many far more creative people.

Professionals have various explanations for the dream state. They might be part of a healing healing process, allowing you to relax and deal with the stress of your waking life. To others, though, some dreams can be extremely frightening.

As a child, I recall a few months during which I had nightmares almost every night. I was living with my family in a two-bedroom tenement in Brooklyn, NY and I was maybe nine or ten years of age.

Each night I dreamed about a frightening image of a huge dark amorphous object coming to me, faster and faster until I woke up in a cold sweat. When I tried to sort it out, I imagined it to be the moving version of the awning that topped a store around the corner.

Don’t ask me to make sense of that.

During that period, as I walked around the neighborhood, I recall smelling the odor of burnt sulphur. The dreams and the odor soon vanished, with no aftereffects that I recall.

Well, except for this.

I remember buying boxes of clay at a nearby toy store and creating the figure of a monster that I attached to a wall in the living room. To be sure, I did not regard it as anything with artistic merit, but I recall it had a head and a long tail, almost serpent like.

This is not something I’ve mentioned on the show, and I only recall it dimly.

Again, I do not pretend to be able to interpret dreams, and I’ve only thought about the nightmares, the odor and the clay figure casually over the years. Since none of it had bothered me since, I have not sought out a professional to help me understand what was going on.

Maybe I should just let the sleeping dogs stay asleep.

Nonetheless, this experience makes me quite sympathetic towards Douglas Robinson’s descriptions of his years of dreams about a hidden race of humans who have found, perhaps by accident, a highly irregular or exotic method to greatly prolong their lives.

Yes, there are people who do drink blood and imagine it conveys or unlocks hidden powers. Some people even sharpen their teeth in the belief that they can somehow behave in the fashion of the so-called undead creatures that have populated the movie and TV screens across the years.

Because vampires have often been portrayed as young and sexy and capable of engaging in forms of behavior that living beings seldom attempt, stories about them remain highly popular. Indeed, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” has been featured in over 200 movies across the world.

But just as the James Bond depicted in the original novels looked nothing like Sean Connery, the actor who is credited with delivering the best portrayal of the character, Stoker’s vision of the sexy vampire he created looked nothing like Bela Lugosi, the Hungarian actor whose portrayal became a cultural icon.

According to Stoker, Dracula was “a tall old man, clean shaven, save for a long white mustache and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of color about him anywhere.”

So do supernatural vampires truly exist? Maybe someone you see every day has a secret life you would not want to know about, and let's leave it at that.

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