View of a Curtiss C-46 Commando transport plane in flight over the ‘Himalyan Hump,’ 1944. The ‘Hump’ was a US military air route from India to China that was in operation from April 1942 until November 1945. (Photo by William Vandivert/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

I had a strange dream a few nights ago. A really strange dream—unlike any I’d ever had before. Up until that particular night, the dreams I had always involved people I knew or had known. And they usually took place in locations with which I was familiar.

But on the night of my bizarre fantasy, I was transported to a time and place I’d never personally experienced. I found myself in—and there was no mistaking it—a scene in the WWII novel I’m currently working on. It’s a scene I haven’t even written yet, but one I’ve been crafting in my mind for quite some time now.

I found myself, perhaps as a representation of my protagonist, plopped down in 1944 in a remote location called Urumchi (now Ürümqi) in far northwest China. It’s a place sandwiched between Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Good grief. The closest I’ve ever been to China is the take-out joint down the street.

But I knew why I was in Urumchi—to attempt to establish a weather observation station for the U. S. Army Air Forces planes flying over “the Hump.” I worked out of a primitive building, kind of a stucco structure as I recall, with no fans to combat the stifling heat. (Urumchi is surrounded by deserts.)

In the dream, I remember my boss, Colonel Richard Ellsworth—who really was the commander of the 10th Weather Squadron (headquartered in India) during WWII—showing up to see how things were progressing.

At about the same time, a trio of fierce looking Kazakhs showed up, too. They apparently were not happy to see how things were progressing, in other words not happy to see Americans trying to set up shop so close to their territory. Maybe they thought we looked too much like Russians, who were in the process of colonizing their land.

I noticed one of the Kazakhs, a guy with a thick black mustache and dark eyes, carried a huge, broad-bladed sword about the size of Rhode Island. I decided it was time to wake up. So I did.

Of course, I won’t have that option when I actually write the scene. But I’ll figure something out. I can’t have my hero, who’s on assignment from India, bumped off by a Kazakh in China.


  1. Edd Lawhon on October 18, 2023 at 5:56 pm

    I can hardly wait Buzz

  2. Tom Burkett on October 18, 2023 at 8:44 pm

    Wow Buzz, seems to me you are hot on the trail of another great book. I will be looking forward to it’s release.

  3. Lee Clevenger on October 19, 2023 at 9:32 am

    Possible Kindle 99-cent single?

    • Buzz Bernard on October 19, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      Naw, rather stuff everything into a full-length novel.

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