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Creative Problem Solving Techniques Library: Keeping a Dream Diary and Working with Dreams

A dream in which people set value in ‘winning’ the right to be assessed only once they have undertaken a challenge or initiation in which they have to run into an ‘arena’ where a coach & horses (think Wild West) is speeding around the circuit and like a game of tag must stamp their fist/hand on the roof of the carriage.

For reasons unknown seemingly because it is the end of the ‘season’ (period, term) or there are no (or very few) people about (audience) as the driver of one of these carriages I can, and do slow right down.

To disavow you of the apparent risk or danger the pony and carriage might be something brought into the ‘ring’ (it was open air, dusty and improvised) by a clown or dwarf (though it wasn’t) as, looking at it, you can reach its roof at shoulder height, in other words, this ‘carriage’ could only carry one person (such as a child) I may sit atop to ‘drive’, or lead it/run it around the circuit, even though it is carriage-like in look and behaviour I don’t recall any horses or ponies, but it is powered (electric car or internal combustion engine).

Having ‘enrolled’ or help or enable a number of people to achieve/ do this task and so ‘join’ or have this chance to be part of the ‘scene/group/exercise or ‘assessment’ the suggestion is, to give a particular well-known ‘somebody’ a chance to ‘register’ for the first time. I should slow right – might even come to a stop and go off for a while. The character who then raps/taps his hand/fist on the top of the ‘carriage’ is a ‘Bill Wyman’ type.

Elsewhere in this blog I have a set of 27 or so probing questions that are designed for me, the dream ‘owner’ to extract meaning and value – as I perceive it. I will do this exercise and PERHAPS offer it as a separate document. However, as this will of necessity touch on facets of who I think I am, the personal not just the public me, and potentially my work set-up (people-and institution) I must of course be wary of such ‘exposure’ and ‘disclosure’.

Importantly, for B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ this has or will prove to be an exercise that I can offer for my next TMA; what I don’t expect are colleagues to start sharing their dreams with me because to do so is highly personal. The context, people forget when considering a dream and its interpretation is the inner workings of a person and their feelings which are often contorted and exaggerated and reflect the interplay between their conscious and subconscious, their genetic make-up, and their upbringing and personal history.


Classical Brainstorming

· Postpone all judgemental thinking

· Ideas, well-articulated, stimulate other ideas. Keep it going.

Some guiding rules:

· No criticism (of any kind, look, behaviour, action, words)

· Freewheel (anything goes: funny, taboo, boring … )

· Quantity (keep at it)

· Hitch-hike (or rather copy, climb on the shoulders of others, enjoy the ride …)


Osborn, A.F. (1963) Applied Imagination, 3rd. ed. New York, Scribner

Rawlinson, J.G. (1986) Creative Thinking and Brainstorming, Aldershot, Wildwood House

Based on; VanGundy, A.B. (1988) Techniques of Structured Problem Solving, 2nd ed., Van Norstrand Reinhold. Technique 4.35, pp. 135-43

Super-Cannes J G Ballard

J. G. Ballard, painted portrait DDC_2018

J. G. Ballard, painted portrait DDC_2018 (Photo credit: Abode of Chaos)


With a six and four year old sick at home I do little else but supervise their activities, ensure that they are warm, safe, fed and entertained. I snatch at J G Ballard’s novel, ‘Super Cannes’ from which I exhumed the following quotes. I’ll chew over them another time, when I feel better and I don’t have a four year old having a tantrum.

‘Relaxing on the coast highway, I changed down to third gear. For the next thirty minutes I drove like Frenchman, overtaking on the inside lanes, straddling the central market lines on the most dangerous bends, tailgating any woman driver doing less than seventy, my headlamps flashing, slipping the clutch at traffic lights as the exhaust roared through the muffler and the engines wound itself to a screaming 7000 rev, swerving across the double yellows and forcing any oncoming drivers to skid their wheels in the refuse-filled verges.’ J G Ballard.

It sounds like my brother driving on the A1 up to Beadnell from Gosforth.

Familiar territory.

‘Senior policemen are either philosophers or madmen …’

So I have heard; it gives me a way ahead in my novel.

‘A perverse sexual act can liberate the visionary self in even the dullest soul’‘ writes Ballard.

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