Thursday, June 9, 2016

Do You Remember Your Last Dream?

Giveaway Alert!

Dreaming is a subject that I find as fascinating as the likelihood of ghosts. Also how Hugh Jackman got so sexy, but that’s another blog.

According to experts, we all dream when we sleep. There is a scientific explanation for dreaming but I like to think a dream is a visit to another reality. An alternate universe, if you will. Kill-joy scientists say it’s your hindbrain not shutting off while you sleep, feeding memories and ideas to your unconscious state, like a pesky toddler who won’t lie down at nap time. Discounting that theory, I delved into dreaming for my first Romantic Suspense Series to explore the what-if’s of this subject. I diligently researched dreams and parapsychology theories and read Freud’s accounts of what he believed dreams to be. “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious,” he said.

My interest in dreaming has always been fierce because I dream all night long and when I wake I can tell you where I’ve been and what strangeness has invaded my brain. As an example, this morning I woke from a dream that my son and I were buying huge emerald-colored hummingbirds from a train window. I believe that the hummingbird subject came from a discussion my hubby and I had while watching them feed in our backyard last night. As for the train, I glanced at the cover of The Girl on the Train before skipping to my current read on the Kindle before sleep. Maybe I stored a momentary thought on trains. And, just now, I remembered a dream about a tiny dog that fit in the palm of my hand that I was trying to keep safe. It looked like my next door neighbors’ dog and now I’m remembering that they asked me to let her outside this morning while they are at work. See how that works with the brain?

I often dream that I’m in a haunted house with wind swirling around, keeping me from climbing the stairs. Another recurring dream I have is that I’m on vacation, trying to pack a suitcase for my journey home but I’ve accumulated too much junk and can’t fit it all in. Sometimes I’m buried in what I’ve collected on vacation. If you like to interpret dreams, you might say that at the age of 59, I’m worried that I’ve accumulated too much during my life (physically and emotionally.) I worry that I must thin out to return home, or to wind down at this point of my life.

In The Dream Jumper Series, the male protagonist has the unexplained ability to enter other people’s dreams. He must be touching the dreamer when he falls into a meditative state to enter their dream. Once in, he can participate in the dream or simply watch. Having lived with this ability all his life, Jamey Dunn has learned to not fight it. In fact, he uses his gift, first as a Seattle cop, and then in Afghanistan as part of a special forces unit with paranormal abilities. When the story opens, Jamey has lost his ability after a life-threatening jump with an al Qaeda member and is on Maui to chill out and try to re-charge. He runs into an old girlfriend from ten years earlier and when he finds out she’s having strange dreams about a missing husband presumed dead, he offers to help. With a clue that he might be able to enter her dreams, or at the least tap into his sixth sense to help her solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance, he convinces her to let him watch her sleep.

Can someone actually share a dream? Scientists say no. Freud said it was possible but there is no solid scientific evidence to support his theory. But, when two people are given the same subject matter before sleep, they often share that. Especially if the dreamer is told to not dream about a particular thing. When dreamers were woken in REM to capture the dream’s memory, they were most often both dreaming about the forbidden subject.

Since writing The Dream Jumper Series, I’ve heard from people who share dreams so I’m not discounting the idea. I’ve also heard from expert lucid dreamers (knowing you’re in a dream), dreamers who can fall into a lucid dream state from wake (wake-induced-lucid dreaming) and often people tell me about recurring dreams. When I speak at book clubs, the most common subject of conversation is dreaming. Although there is no scientific data to support the theory of shared dreams, I don’t dismiss the idea that we may one day be able to tap into someone’s subconscious. And if that day ever arrives, dealing with it will be as morally ambiguous a topic as cloning.

In the movie Inception (which came out two years after I thought I invented dream jumping!) a team of expert dream jumpers plant ideas in the brains of masterminds to change their actions. I found this movie absolutely fascinating and have watched it many times to see how those screenwriters built the ability and handled the logistics of getting in a dream and getting out. I borrowed their talisman idea for my third book, The Dream Jumper’s Pursuit.
My jumper, Jamey, enters dreams through deep meditation and touch. When he wants to get out of a dream, he returns to the portal where he arrived and jumps out, then wakes. Readers of the series have told me that I’ve handled the ability in such a way to make it believable. I love hearing that. One of my goals in writing the series was to not lose readers over this subject. I’m not a believer in shape shifting, vampires or werewolves so being in a category with them has been interesting. I wonder if readers of true paranormal aren’t always completely satisfied with dream jumping because my paranormal is more supernatural, and in my estimation a possibility.

Even if you don’t usually remember your dreams when you wake most people have at least some dreams, even if it’s just one brief moment in the dream.  I still remember a childhood dream of a witch chasing me around my childhood house.

 If you wake in the middle of a dream, you can train yourself to quickly compose several words as a reminder of the dream. I compose a tweet and within the hour, I tweet my dream with the hashtag #strangedreams.

Frightening dreams are my subject matter in the Dream Jumper series; those nightmares where you wake in a cold sweat, crying, breathing hard, thanking your lucky stars that it was just a dream, telling yourself that being trapped, or dying, or running for your life was just your hindbrain amusing itself while your forebrain shut off for the night. The dream was not a premonition, not predicting the future, not telling you to avoid scuba diving because a sixteen-foot Tiger Shark will bump and bite you in a cave or a grisly ghost with a decomposing body will always appear…

How about you? What is the scariest dream you can remember?

Comment for a free ebook of the first book in the series, The Dream Jumper’s Promise. Just email me at  Subject: JRSuspense

Kim Hornsby is the Seattle author of The Dream Jumper’s Promise, an award-winning Paranormal Mystery Thriller that is an Amazon Bestseller, having reached #1 in both Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance. 

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She loves it when readers review fairly without mean intentions or snarky illusions of grandeur.


  1. Many of you are emailing me but if you want to tell us about a dream, feel free to comment here. Your dreams are so fascinating. I've heard from a woman with a tiger dream, another about a forest search, a recurring dream about a candy shop and puppies that lick your face!
    The book I was going to send free is actually free today and tomorrow on Amazon so just head over to The Dream Jumper's Promise to pick up the eBook!

  2. Interesting topic, Kim! I rarely recall my dreams, and when a do, I remember narrative (words), not images. Last night I dreamed something about walking for exercise with a former coworker snd her exciting. :-)

  3. Great post! I find dreams fascinating. I often have very vivid dreams. The most disturbing one recently is when I went to sleep with a migraine and had a dream that it was storming terribly and as I ran through the storm a large piece of hail took off part of my head. This definitely woke me up- even though I could easily make the connection of the dream's origin, lol.

  4. I definitely believe in dreams and what they can indicate. So much about that state of mind is so unknown and definitely open for interpretation. I've also heard that if you have a restless night it's because you're awake in someone else's dream.

    Who knows but God, right?

    Anyway Great post!
    Good luck and God's blessings.

  5. Great post. I find dreams fascinating. However, I often encounter people in my dreams whom I've never met in real life. Sometimes it's a bit scary when you can't make a connection and the dream seems so real. Good luck with promotion and sales.

  6. Ahhh "This is the stuff that dreams are made on..." Shakespeare. So true. My recurrent dreams do seem to lead to personal discoveries. As a full-time working mom, I often dreamed I had lost my potted plants which were wilting. Watering can in hand, I'd search frantically for them. Reality check? I felt guilty about neglecting my kids due to my work. Love your dream-jumper theme. Go for it!

  7. Great Dreams Everyone! Thanks for commenting.

  8. My recurring dreams are always about houses with lots of rooms and I'm checking them all out. Sometimes I have work nightmares. Like, when I was a waitress I had dreams that my station went on forever and they kept seating people at my tables. The scariest dream I had was over 30 years ago. I dreamt that my husband, then boyfriend, was walking on this roof and he didn't see a hole covered in Visqueen. (He is legally blind, so that wasn't a stretch.) I was yelling at him to watch out and he fell through. I ran over to the hole and watched him fall, breaking through layer after layer. It took me a while to be able to go to sleep without hearing his scream from that dream. Awful! I think I dreamt it because, at the time, my husband was a computer science major and he was struggling and frustrated with a program writing assignment. As an English education major, I felt helpless to aid him with that, just like in my dream. The weirdest dream I had was when I was a banana on a skateboard chasing a meatball down the street. I must have been hungry!

    Fun topic! Thanks for sharing! I have DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE on my Kindle. Can't wait to read it.

  9. Jayne Ann Krentz wrote about lucid dreaming in Falling Awake. Interesting concept where a person controls their dreams. I loved Inception, but it took watching it 3x before I understood all of it. LOL Except the ending; still not sure about that. Best wishes on your series.

  10. I think dreams can truly answer thing. I have a funny story. Years ago just before I went back to college, I was working as a temp at this company. It was a 2-person office. The other girl and I hit it off famously. She was open and funny. She was telling me she LOVED pot! (I wasn't exposed to it, surprisingly, having grown up in the 70s) but she was telling me about how her and her husband just loved it. I didn't work there but about a week. I went to school / graduated / my husband and I bought our first house together about 4 years later. I joined an exercise gym and was a member about a year when they had a family day. And all of the instructors and their husbands and kids each lead a couple of routines.

    About a week later I had this dream. And the woman's voice was that of the girl that I'd met years before working temp and it blended in to that of one of the instructors. I couldn't wait to ask her if she was the same person --- and she was. I don't know if it was seeing her husband with all his tattoos and long thin braid or what! But, it was crazy finding out that she was all over the fitness thing and the stuff she told me when we were working together.

  11. Hi! Interesting post and the series sounds neat. Good luck to you!

  12. Falling Awake. I never want to do that. Ever. Just saying. Okay, back now, that's just how we with ADHD operate. Oops..shiny object. Interesting post. As a writer and reader of urban fantasy and paranormal I have to say I never wondered before if I or any other reader enjoyed the genre more or less because we didn't believe in the possibility of our worlds being based in reality. Shrug. I guess that means no. If a book is written well enough, the reader lives in the reality the writer has created...and doesn't really want to return any time soon.

  13. I believe Dreamtime is what we experience when we are "awake" and we live our real lives at night while "asleep." Rarely remembering what I dream but for random images, I do know when I've done a good night's work, however. I enjoyed your post and wish you all best success with your books!

  14. I dream buy not usuakky as

    I dream butno as exciting as others seem to dream book plots!

    aujof's sendknf]]m]]

  15. Shoot! So sorry I'm late to the post. Fascinating article! Dreams have always intrigued me. I love your Dream Jumper series. You've done an excellent job with every aspect. I took a psychology class years ago and learned various theories about dreams. One theory is that, the only dreams you remember are the ones you wake up during. Even if you just barely gain consciousness and aren't even aware of it, you somehow awoke just enough to remember at least a part of a dream. I find it strange that sometimes, I wake in the night from a very vivid dream and go back to sleep. When I wake for the day, I can't recall the dream, but I recall that I DID have one that was freaky or interesting. :) I've had several recurring dreams over the years. Again, great wishes with your awesome books!


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