Dredging Up Memories: Humphrey

Posted: July 23, 2012 by ajbrown in Writing
Tags: , ,

I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine.

Humphrey2

This is Humphrey, the Good Dreams Bear.

Some of you may be asking yourself, ‘now why is he posting a picture of a stuffed animal and talking about it on his blog?’

Good question.

Humphrey is not just some ordinary stuffed animal. No, this little bear is a central character in my series, Dredging Up Memories. But this is not just some prop bought with the hopes of getting you to hop over to the website and read the series, though if you want to, I would not try to stop you. As a matter of fact, I’ll wait for you to go read.

Go ahead.

You know you want to.

(Three hours later).

Ahhh… you’re back.

I hope you enjoyed the series so far, but really, this is about Humphrey and where he came from and how he came to be an important figure in ‘Dredging Up Memories.’

When my daughter was around three-years-old she had nightmares—bad, bad nightmares. She would wake up screaming and thrashing in the bed. We could never get her back to sleep. Sometimes the dreams were night terrors and she would sit up in bed screaming and wouldn’t wake up as we tried to calm her.

“What are you doing in my room?” she would ask when she finally did wake.

On the nights she had night terrors she had no clue what had happened, even after we explained it to her. The night terrors were worse for my wife and I, but the nightmares were horrible for my little girl. After several months of dealing with this, my wife and I decided to try something different. We went to a store with the sole purpose of finding her a ‘Good Dreams Bear’

We searched through the stuffed animals until we found a light brown teddy bear. We named him Humphrey, the Good Dreams Bear, and gave him to our daughter. I thought my daughter had said the bear was naked, so therefore we went and purchased him the pajamas he wears. My lovely wife corrected me on that and said we bought the outfit at the same time we bought the bear.

We gave the bear to my daughter and explained to her that it would keep the bad dreams away and only allow the good dreams in. She is 11 now and still sleeps with Humphrey. That little bear is like Linus’s security blanket.

When I started writing ‘Dredging Up Memories’ I knew Hank was going to be alone for the most part throughout the first third of the story. I also knew that the few people he did come in contact with were folks he would not be able to trust, no matter how bad he wanted non-dead human contact.

Humphrey was born out of necessity. I needed Hank to have something to hold onto, to have a reason to live, so him finding the teddy bear gave him that thing.

In the story, Humphrey is a girl, at least in Hank Walker’s mind. I always thought Humphrey should have been a girl anyway.

Humphrey’s role in ‘Dredging Up Memories’ is critical. She keeps Walker alive by having him think of her before he gives up living. In future installments, she plays a huge part in him not losing his mind completely.

I think in times like a zombie apocalypse where the world has gone to the dead, a person would need something from the old world to keep him/her grounded, to keep them sane. Humphrey is that grounding wire. Without that little bear, Hank Walker would have died long before installment number nine, and after what happens in ten, well… I guess you’ll have to wait until it comes out.

Before I go, I want to say this:

I started writing a few secondary storylines a while back, tying in certain zombies at crucial points in the story—I wanted a few significant victims’ stories to be told. Then ‘The Walking Dead’ goes and does the story about Bicycle Girl. After seeing it, I stopped writing the secondary storylines. I didn’t want to appear like I was copying TWD. I was aggravated. The stories had the potential to be really good.

Then Pete Bevan reminded me of a simple truth, and I quote:

As for the side stories, personally I wouldn’t worry about copying TWD. That way of interlacing stories has a long history within literature, particularly early Sci Fi. Personally I would love to know Humphrey’s story up to the point Hank finds him.

After thinking about this for a few days, I’ve decided to go ahead and write the secondary storylines for several main character appearances, including:

Humphrey
Jail Cell Zombie
Hungry Louisa and her Husband

There are a few more I might delve into, such as:

The Paul Marcum look-alike
Pharmacy Girl
Dead Family in the Garage
And another character not introduced yet.

I’ll let you all figure out who that is when part X comes out.

So, if you like zombies and haven’t read ‘Dredging Up Memories’, what are you waiting for?

Check it out here: Dredging Up Memories

Thanks for dropping by, leave a comment if you will. Until we meet again, my friends…

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