My Right Brain Cant' Read

This Morning I Caught My Brain Doing Something WEIRD!

I woke up this morning from one of those dreams that seem to go on forever, where there were international spies and murders and I was a writer working on getting a lesson done on deadline, and for some reason, my lesson was interfering with the international spies, who’d sent someone to make me stop writing it.

The lessons I’m currently writing are about creating series fiction, and I’m guessing maybe international spies are tired of being the subject of so many thrillers.

Anyway, in my dream I was looking at the lesson I was writing while I was creating it…

And my Left Brain spotted something funny on the lesson, but kept its mouth shut. Apparently because if it had said something, it would have woken me up, and it wanted to know how the dream turned out.

(I beat the international spies. With some pretty cool martial arts moves. I don’t know martial arts, but, you know… My Dream, My Right Brain’s Rules.)


Here’s some of what my Left Brain spotted, written out as best I can remember it.

My Right Brain Cant' Read

And the dreaming brain insisted those were real words in a real lesson…

I did think it was funny that I recognized both the Greek omega and the explanation point, though, even while I was asleep.

(My right brain is really, really, really, really fond of exclamation points!!!!!)

And when I woke up, my Left Brain said to my Right Brain, “YOU CAN’T READ! You don’t even recognize real letters!”

Which is probably not completely true.

My right brain might be able to recognize letters it learned as pictures (like when I was a kid and drew cats in the shape of the letter C).

But I think when I’m writing, my right brain is mostly dictating, and my left brain is mostly typing. I know some folks have anomalous wiring, so I can’t say for sure that it’s true that EVERYONE’s right brain can’t read.

This is the first time I can think of that I’ve seen how my right brain sees letters, though, and had my left brain recognize that what it was looking at was not what my right brain said it was.

And my Left Brain has been an insufferably pompous snot all morning about this.

So — ever catch YOUR brain doing something weird?


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39 responses to “This Morning I Caught My Brain Doing Something WEIRD!”

  1. David Stone Avatar
    David Stone

    I thought the lower line of that spelled AWESOME !

    I have often noticed in dreams that I can’t read at all, and the harder I try to, the more likely I am to wake up

  2. Roger Lawrence Avatar
    Roger Lawrence

    I used to wake up several times a night with ideas for stories/books, but my wife suggested that if I did it again and turned on the **** light once more she’d ensure that my next dream lasted forever. So no more of that, then.

    1. Holly Avatar

      YOW. Notebook, penlight, pillow shield.
      Stealth writing can be accomplished without Waking Sleeping Dragons. (Ask me how I know. :D)

  3. Sallie Avatar

    I presume I dream because I don’t seem to be psychotic. I think my grief counselor might have said something if I was. I don’t remember dreams normally. Every once in a while, I vaguely recall things … like the morning i woke up with an obsidian city under ebony skies. I’ve been trying to make that city work for several years now, no luck so far. I know you’re not supposed to be able to read in dreams, but the occasional newspaper I see is generally readable … for a couple of seconds. Mostly it’s the matrix glitches when I’m awake that make me think my brain is a little whacko …that and the several years I went where everything I saw in clouds was a dragon. I learned long ago to just let the two halves of my brain argue things out and let me know what they settled on. (Although I did also once write a philosophy paper with my late spousal unit on the mind/body dichotomy which was kind of interesting … I think I wandered off topic here …. LOL) I’m just glad other people of a creative bent have noticed such things as well.

    1. Sallie Avatar

      Okay, it’s a little creepy to see another Sallie with an “ie” posting here. For a moment, I thought maybe I have an alter-ego living a different life about whom I know nothing. LOL!

      1. Sallie Avatar

        No. But it is incredibly unusual to see it spelled the same way. That’s amazing. I’m named after my Paternal grandmother, southern lady. This is actually kinda cool.

        1. Sallie Avatar

          I was named after the girl who cleaned bedpans in the hospital. My parents were so sure they were having a boy that they didn’t even have a girl name picked out “just in case.” She came in the room humming and my Mom thought she was cute and asked her name. She said “Sallie Rene’!” with a big toothy grin and…that became my name. LOL!

  4. Thea van Diepen Avatar

    Sometimes, before I’m asleep, I catch a string of words going through my head. When I focus on them, they’re always utter nonsense, and usually not even grammatical, but it’s fun to idle and listen to my brain come up with random word configurations.

  5. Sue Avatar

    I had to do some thinking on this one. I, too, like to let my dreams “play out” as they seem to be going to interesting places. (In one dream I got a bit part in a new Star Wars movie as ‘fighter pilot chick’ because I was dating one of the writers – oh to be true!) At any rate, my left brain sometimes leaves tantalizing bits of ‘hidden clues’ on notes and in reports hanging around the corners of the dream. I try to read them as I think they might be important … and the words just fade away. Then I got to thinking about something you wrote – how your Muse does not communicate in words, but in images and colors and so on. Perhaps this ‘message’ from your dream needs to be understand in that context and not as words.

  6. Melinda Avatar

    I’m not an expert, but I think the symbol on the first line is theta, not omega, at least if you’re looking at it right-side-up. The first symbol could be a sideways xi, and if it’s indeed sideways (thinking sideways?), then the theta would actually be a phi. The last symbol on the top line, again thinking sideways, looks like sigma. So . . . xi phi sigma. The second line looks like it could be sigma rho xi sigma.
    Just don’t ask me what any of it means. It’s all Greek to me.

    I keep a pad next to the bed and often wake up just enough to write down key words that will help me remember my dreams the next morning. Unfortunately, whatever I write during the night, which seems completely correct and fluent when I write it, always turns out to be utter gibberish when I wake up. Real letters, usually, but no real words. Frustrating.

    1. JAPartridge Avatar

      as it often shifts when Greek is imported into English

      Definitely a spy code probably some sort of cipher key. 🙂

      This reminds me of Xu Bing’s… (art project?) involving pseudo kanji

      Then there’s the Voynich manuscript. Nobody knows what that is. Looks kind of right brain to me. 🙂

  7. Amy Laurens Avatar

    I’ve had a couple of dreams where I realised mid-dream that it would make the fantastic basis for a story, so I literally whipped out a notebook mid-action sequence and started taking notes. It seemed to work, because I remembered significant portions of the dream on waking.

    With text in dreams, I get the shifting-text effect. I’ll read something and it will look like normal letters and words, but the second I glance back at it the text will have changed either partially or entirely. It’s frustrating; I’ve lost at least one good poem that way.

  8. Michelle Mulford Avatar
    Michelle Mulford

    Dreams are interesting things. I often dream that I’m a completely different person, like a man about to be married, or a composer getting ready for a concert.

    I also have reccuring dreams that my dead grandparents left me their house – and it’s a different house every time! I go through and explore their beloved items, their library, etc.

    Writing life gets frustrating because I have the milder form of bipolar disorder, and I get “flash-times” when I’m super creative and come up with great story ideas, but my brain treats prep work for the book as a chore instead of a chance to play.

    1. JAPartridge Avatar

      My daughter and I both suffer from something similar. (Though she struggles with impulse control a little more than I do.)

      I’m neither a psychiatrist nor a mathematician, but I’d like to introduce the idea of a “Bimodal” Disorder, something similar to but not as severe as bipolar though on the same continuum, rather like how Autism and Asperger are now Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  9. Dale Tucker Avatar
    Dale Tucker

    When I look at the dream symbols I see language – a language I can’t read immediately, but a language nonetheless. The symbols are emphatic and repetitive which indicate meaning. There is also a hint of transformation at the beginning of the second line. The number 3 is embedded four to five times (depending on how you look at the first symbol of the second line) in this “message.” No, I think your right brain does read, but it’s a much more complex language. My guess as to the rune’s meaning?

    “Three (large) at the end, waves (small)! Waves change, turn three (large), waves (smaller)”

    I’m interpreting using the word “waves” which is not exactly the precise meaning, but it’s something related, I think.

  10. kate Avatar

    I have. thought normally its in my fantasy or playing ideas out. I get odd words that might be a language or I draw a symbol that appears in a book later. its how my brain makes me play an idea to workable. one current book idea the elvin teacher sees an unnatural bight and says Drav, which I later realized is an oath in his language. thing is I’ve written it before. Just did not know until now my brain was creating a language.

  11. Kathryn Kistner Avatar
    Kathryn Kistner

    Ok, if I mouth out the letters as shorthand, I get:

    Create (or grow) three … signified by the wavy “structures”.
    If it had been “build” (instead of “create”), the marks would have been straight, like the sides of a building.

    O m! /o’ em! /of them

    Create three of them!

    An alternative interpretation… if that’s an omega… would be to create three, and FINISH them! …or end the series after three.
    (Then… or, followed by… since it’s on the second line.)

    We sell ’em.

    Create three, and finish them!
    Then we sell them.

    Sell them as a bundle? Finish three before selling any?

    I’ve “received” spoken messages in my brain, that random people have interpreted for me, since they were in some kind of unknown language that apparently was never written.

  12. Kirsten Avatar

    “And the dreaming brain insisted those were real words in a real lesson…”

    My interpretation of what you drew is ‘I am ! awesome’ with the ‘I’ written three times to get your attention, the omega actually an ‘A’ because it’s at the opposite end of the alphabet (I’ve found right brains can be really good at mirror images) and ‘awesome’ spelled the way it sounds with the ‘u’ missing the bottom stroke.
    Why would your right brain insist that it is awesome?

    Because you are, of course!

  13. Michael Polk Avatar
    Michael Polk

    I’ve come to learn that I’m basically a walking shitpost. The greatest shitposts tend to come about when Right Brain tries to come up with logical solutions to problems. She hates logic, I don’t know why she tries. But when she speaks, I listen. Here is a small, easy to digest sampling of some of the things Right Brain says.

    The other day my mom was complaining that, since our dog passed, there’s been a lot of food on the floor, for days at a time. Our dog used to eat every scrap of food she found on the floor. Suddenly, Right Brain chimes, “Maybe we should get an anteater!”

    An anteater would not solve the problem of cashews on the kitchen floor.

    Another separate instance happened when I was cutting trees down in the backyard, something I try to do every few weeks in the warmer months, as our neighbors have a tree that insists on having children only in our yard. Months earlier, there had been a massive pile of leaves in the corner of the yard. Now they are gone, with no interference from us in the house. “The leaves are gone,” I say in my head, “Why did they go?”

    Right Brain comes back, “Because you mistreated them, Sharon.”
    My name isn’t Sharon.

  14. Katie Avatar

    This is great – when I’m in the flow the same thing happens – right brain ‘dictates’ and left brain executes – typing, drawing, writing. It’s why I often take ‘art’ breaks – the manual activity of the left brain leaves the right brain free to problem solve and create.

  15. Colleen Avatar

    (Sorry for incomplete comment)
    …I wonder if my brain has a dyslexic streak it likes to play with, since miss-reading words in signs and notices happens a fair bit to me.

  16. Becky Avatar

    One night about a year ago I was having a really interesting dream about dragons and my left brain decided it would make a really good story so it split off from the dream and started taking notes while allowing my right brain to continue dreaming so it could take down as much information as possible. It was such an odd experience that when I woke I had to write down everything that had happened in the dream and all the notes that my left brain had taken. I still have it filed away in my story file for possible use some day.

  17. Colleen Avatar

    I was walking past a sign that read ‘Drop-off and Entry’, I first saw ‘Entropy’. I’m not dyslexic but my sister is, so I wonder if it’s

  18. Alex G Zarate Avatar

    A few years back I kept having recurring dreams of myself in a different house living a different life. The dreams were never the same, but each one had my other self going about his day. I have worn a hat for most of my adult life, but where I wear a black one, his was brown. The last dream I had, he turned to me and said he knew I was there and he was going to close the door when I left but before doing so, he wanted me to remember something. I watched him go to the garage where he started laying out small items on the floor in even lines. After a while, the entire floor was covered with rows of trinkets and miscellaneous objects. The other me crouched down on the last row, pointed to a black card with bold yellow lettering and motioned me over. I looked carefully at the card and he simply said to remember. I woke up and never dreamt about the “other me” again. Soon after I started writing stories about time travel, alternate worlds and dimensions. I consider it a good source of inspiration as I look for the fantastic in daily life. The dream is still fairly vivid, although I don’t recall any spies trying to interfere.

    1. Laura W-A Avatar
      Laura W-A

      I’ve had a lot of dreams somewhat similar to that, only I’m not watching a person, I’m talking to them and sometimes (okay, a lot of times) arguing with them. I never remembered the details, though, because I wake up irritated and that chases away most of the dream. I’m writing about time travel and alternate universes too, mainly because of that – I used to wake up completely exhausted from debating this person or people in my dreams, to the point I felt like I was living two lives. Might as well let my characters do it instead, lol.

  19. Deborah Turner Avatar

    A piece of my writer brain, called Bookworm, spends all night writing scenes and chapters for my WIP. I then wake up and have to transcribe onto the page what he’s written in my brain. He sits and sighs and complains because I’m taking to long (and he’s already written it, so why do I insist on retyping it?!). But really, I have to transcribe something that looks like a combination of Sanskrit and Doctorese. I’m just wondering why he writes when I’m asleep instead of when I’m awake? Guess that’s because then Editor is asleep, too and he gets all the room he wants without a big eraser following him along.

  20. Jean Avatar

    It says “Home! Wellsum” I have no idea who Wellsum is, but I’m going out on a limb to say it’s someone from the International Spy community charged with freeing them from insufferable series authors. How scary to have come up on their radar, though. Glad you prevailed. I would have expected nothing less.

  21. Frances M Doyle Avatar
    Frances M Doyle

    I had a science fiction dream. I don’t remember the beginning. Weird things. Something that happened several times was the ability to lift one’s self in the air by moving your legs like your peddling.

    Sometimes sorry that in the middle of the dream when I was going to get an answer, I wake up. 🙁

    Born in my right mind.

    Left Neglect is a true situation. The brain refuses to acknowledge anything on the left side.

    1. Frances M Doyle Avatar
      Frances M Doyle

      Bad…… you’re ….. I did notice that life was substiuted for lift.

  22. Dianne Avatar

    I dream a lot. There are days when I wake up more tired than when I went to bed. One particular dream had this dragon in it. The dragon and I shared a “soul”. Anya, the dragon, asked me to turn my logical mind off so she could talk to me. I, of course, said yes. To this day she still talks to me even when I’m awake. I keep wondering if I should go see a doctor about it, but she is harmless. Kinda like a crazy teenager. Perhaps she is just me holding onto my miss spent youth.

    1. Katie Avatar

      It’s just channeling your higher self. Accept and appreciate it. Most people don’t have anything like this because they’ve blocked it off.

  23. Emily Casey Avatar

    I can dream-read complete words, but the words don’t mean anything when you string them together. My dream self “knows” what it says, but my left brain reads over it (sometimes several times) and can’t make sense of it. It’s just random words. Once left brain gets involved, the plot of the dream fractures and the story ends.

  24. Simon Avatar

    The weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced my brain doing was while I was working on a story about racing gryphon riders. I was frustrated with my brain’s lack of focus, and I thought firmly to myself, “Let’s focus on this story, okay? Gryphons.”
    I went back to what I was doing, confident my right brain would get back to me about gryphons as soon as it had something to share.

    A few minutes later I realized my right brain had started singing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” and gotten it stuck in my head.

    As soon as I realized this, I had the strangest sensation. Simultaneously, I could feel my right brain CRACKING UP at how hilarious this joke was (Gryphons! Wings! Get it?!) and my left brain was FURIOUS that my right brain was TAUNTING ME.
    I could FEEL myself laughing and also angry at the part of me that was laughing. It was a really weird experience.

    1. Deborah Turner Avatar

      All writers tend to have a bit of split personality. We feel different things at the same time. It’s all good.

  25. Carradee / Misti Avatar

    I love studying languages, but it’s been a panic attack trigger for half my life or more. I’ve recently been able to start studying again, and I made good progress on resurrecting Spanish and starting Greek, but then I got triggered. (Mix of factors, but I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was that I watched a K-drama and picked up some Korean grammar and words.)

    My memory’s bounced back to about 10 years ago, with me comprehending Spanish and ASL that I have no conscious comprehension of (but knew then). I’m also staring at Greek that I was able to do easily just a week ago, but I cannot comprehend now.


  26. Elaine Allen Avatar
    Elaine Allen

    I think mine just did because when I saw your script, what I actually read was ‘mom! William’. You’re not alone. ?

  27. Liz Zelandais Avatar

    Yes! Lately my brain has been de-/re-constructing words to make meanings completely different from what’s really there–yet something that’s either funnier or even more fitting than what the author intended. Example: In reading a pscyhology textbook about childhood development and wounding, the author’s dedication was “To my wonderful daughters K__ and R__”. What my right brain read–not just once or twice, but THREE TIMES–was “To my WOUNDED daughters K__ and R__”. (The fourth time, the left brain finally took over & got the intended meaning.) This particular example might be of the “you had to be there” type, but this has been happening repeatedly. At first it was a little unsettling, but now it’s become fun.

    1. Laura W-A Avatar
      Laura W-A

      Oh! My brain has been doing that the last couple of years. I keep a notebook with me so I can write on my breaks at work, and I also write those things down. I wish I had one of the notebooks with me right now. It’s about 50/50 written and spoken – things on the radio, mostly – and WOW they can be funny.

  28. William Stilianessis Avatar
    William Stilianessis

    To grasp that my brain is doing something weird would indicate that there was an identifiable point in time and space where it was normal, at least by the commonly accepted standard.
    With that tidbit of knowledge, I’ve been awakened to try and decipher words I have spoken or heard in a dream, even a micro-sleep dream, which are not even remotely familiar in my waking world.
    Often those are chalked up to mixing anchovy pizza, Corona and Cherry Garcia ice cream the night before.
    It is a most unnerving feeling to have a mouth full of words that you understand to mean something in English, yet no sane person on earth would recognize them as such.
    This is the mind of a writer and he frightens me at times.

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