Do Dreams Wear Dresses?
by Calista Lynne
Fashion has always been a bit baffling to me and people tend to label my style as “eccentric”. I don’t intend for it to be this way, it’s just that I have a few rules for my appearance: there must always be pink, glitter is vital, and my middle finger is never painted the same color as the rest. Also I have a tendency to wear birds in my hair. This does not come into play in my writing.
We Awaken is about two asexuals in a F/F relationship. It is YA Magical Realism, the magic coming from the fact that one member of the main couple is a creator of dreams. She inhabits sleeping minds and creates the locations where dreamers spend their time.
Trying to decide what someone like that would wear wasn’t the simplest. Here is the description I give of her entrance:
“I was walking along barefoot, making sure to dig in my toes with each careful step, when a figure appeared in the distance, a small shadow that enlarged as we neared each other. I was soon able to make out the outline of a cloak, flowing around its wearer and fluttering like butterfly wings.
No woman in reality could ever possess such grace. That’s how I realized it had to be a dream. Her skin was barely lighter than the dark of night and a hood was pulled so far over her head it was impossible to make out whether she had any hair. The whites of her eyes stood out greatly in contrast to her skin, matching the intense purity of the lace parasol hanging over her right arm. Her clothing was iridescent and looked almost like oil as it reflected cloudy rainbows with her movements.Whatever mystical material it was composed of was also utilized in the creation of the long dress she wore, which dragged along behind her but failed to leave a trail in the sand. We were close, barely two feet apart,when she began to speak.”
I’m not going to lie, the iridescent cloak and dress were mostly picked because it seemed mystical and cool. If I were composed of imagination and could create my own clothes, I’d want something neat like that as well. The parasol does have an explanation, though. While researching for this novel, I read up on the fairytale of the sandman. He’s one of the only other fictional characters I knew of who created dreams. In certain variations of the tale, he carries a colorful umbrella that he would hold over the heads of sleeping children and twirl to give them dreams. Giving my creator of dreams a parasol was a sort of salute to that.
Recently someone drew a very beautiful and shockingly accurate fanart of this character, so if you want a better visualization, check this out: Ashlinn by LayaArt
I try to make the clothing of my characters reflections of them. There is one who wears pleather and a cardigan with the words Cherry Bomb embroidered on it in red thread. Just by saying that, readers begin making assumptions about her personality and it does help with characterization. The other half of my main couple prefers to wear closed toed shoes because she’s a ballet dancer and they can have rather banged up looking feet. You can drop all sorts of hints about someone just by leaving clues in their clothing.
Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.
Calista Lynne grew up on the American East Coast and is currently studying in London.
She is having difficulty adjusting to the lack of Oxford commas across the pond and writes because it always seemed to make more sense than mathematics. Look for her near the caffeinated beverages.