If you’re a writer, you may know that November is the time of NaNoWriMo. For those who have no idea what that means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a time when writers all over the world commit to writing at least 50,000 words of a new novel during the month of November. Make no mistake, it’s a tough call, especially when a lucid dream is demanding that you write a thousand word article for LDE. Sadly, by the time you read this, November will be over but that doesn’t stop you planning for November 2020.

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo since 2017 and am pleased to report that I have received a certificate of completion every year — hopefully this year will be no exception. The first novel, Vital Organs, was instigated by the experiences of someone I know. The idea for the second novel, Reaper of Souls, came from a ghost-hunting night in a haunted canal tunnel. And this third novel, Daisy’s Grave, came from a lucid dream.

At the time of the dream I was staying in what used to be the summer residence of Mussolini in Gargnano at Lake Garda. I understand the building is now a very expensive hotel. At the time it was owned by the University of Milan and I was there for a conference, representing the University of Nottingham, England.

It was 1:45am on the 19th June 2000 when I woke from the most startlingly lucid dream I had ever had. I know the exact time because I was keeping a detailed Dream Journal — and indeed have done for thirty years.

Here’s the transcript:

I’m standing on a flat roofed garage with a white stone chip roof. I’m bouncing and shoot up into the sky. Realising I’m dreaming I consciously decide to use the spinning technique to enter another lucid dream. I come down in open countryside, lots of green fields. There’s an enclosed garden area surrounded by a low stone wall. It’s a graveyard. I glide through, looking briefly at the headstones. One has a daisy motif engraved on it, which seems to be important to me. Nothing is happening. I’m getting bored so I bounce back up into the sky and repeat the spinning technique.

I come back down to a scene of decimation. I’m on a deserted street, it has a feeling of the holocaust about it. There’s rubbish blowing about and it’s very dismal and grey. It’s not a nice place and I don’t want to stay here. I bounce back up into the sky again and repeat the spin. 

When I come back down, a young man rushes over to me; he’s trying to grab me. There’s something wrong with his arms; they have the motion of pincers. I jump onto a low bunker to escape him but he is trying to grab my legs. I’m bouncing to escape but it’s getting harder, my energy is fading. Suddenly I take off just as he nearly grabs my feet. I felt he/it wanted to possess me. I go back up into the air and I repeat the spinning technique. 

When I come down again, I find myself back on the garage with the flat roof. I have the impression it’s part of a council estate, although not in the UK. Everything seems to be built in concrete. I meet a young, very attractive, dark-haired European man. He is wearing a short sleeved black T-shirt. I don’t know what country he is from but he is definitely not of British descent, he has brown eyes. He looks in his mid to late 20’s.  He looks very sad, very unhappy.  He’s pleading with me to stay with him. I want to help him but I know I can’t. I try to get away but he follows me. I feel there’s something bad about this place – perhaps it’s just that it’s a poor area.  I know he can’t leave and he wants me to stay here with him. I become fearful. I’m losing control of the situation. I bounce to escape back up into the sky but it is very difficult, my strength is almost gone. I’m so frightened I make myself wake up.

I recorded in my Dream Journal that the following day, whilst doing some sight-seeing before flying home, I saw the same daisy engraving I had seen in the dream, carved into all four corners of a stone sarcophagus at the Church of San Francesco, which also had a low-walled enclosure in the grounds just like the enclosure in my dream. I believed that, somehow, some way, my lucid dream had been spliced with an OBE.

This lucid dream, even after almost twenty years, has remained one of the most vivid of my lucid encounters and I’m excited to be in the process of transforming it into a new novel. Obviously, there will be a great deal of literary licence but that won’t detract from the dream that planted the seed.

Daisy’s Grave describes a young woman’s journey to discover the truth behind a gravestone carved with a daisy motif on un-consecrated land where she grew up. After working in the bier halles of Munich, Antje goes to live with her cousin in Gargnano and accidentally discovers that the grave that has fascinated her for so long, is the grave of her half sister, Daisy, condemned by the church as an abomination. Her investigations uncover a shocking history of incest and murder.

So much has been written about writers’ block. So much advice is available. Not one of them mention that if you’re a dreamer, all you have to do is dream.


Jo has been a member of IASD since 2002 and has presented at conferences in Europe and America. She retired from academia in 2011to become a full-time author and has fourteen books published to date, including Working With Dreams, a handbook of techniques for individuals, therapists and groups. For more information, go to www.docdreamuk.com

This article was released in issue from

December 2019

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