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    1. The Struggling Artist

      by , 10-28-2014 at 03:28 PM
      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #252: The Struggling Artist

      I’m power-walking up a hill with Mom, describing a dream from earlier in the night where she’d had me take her to a spooky house to ghost-hunt. “That’s just over the hill!” she says, and as she walks up ahead, I become lucid.

      She speeds away over the hill, which now looks oddly vertical and impassable. When I follow the line of the hill all the way up, I see a ceiling, and realize that I’m now indoors. It looks very much like my childhood home. I remember my intent to try bonus Task of the Month (play an instrument that doesn’t exist in waking life) with Dreamer, so I attempt a summon, saying something about how now we’re going to do the concert that we talked about. I also dimly recall that Dreamer is actually playing music right now in waking life. (True!)

      I try a few different varieties of summon, first assuming she’s there, then reaching my hand behind my back, and finally the old “spin around, there you are!” Each time, I get a flicker of presence but I’m just not able to properly finish the summon. I wander into a version of my parents’ bedroom and I see Dad snoozing on his right side. Through the window I see that it’s morning outside.

      I still want to try playing a dream instrument, so I hook my right pinky and left thumb together to form a pantomime trumpet. I blast a few notes into this “trumpet” and it sounds like very realistic but very, very poor trumpet-playing. I’m pleased that I made some dream music this way, but I still don’t consider this to be the success that I was going for.

      I walk past my blissfully snoring dad to the window and start phasing through. I briefly get hung up on the mini-blinds but after a moment of calming down, I’m all the way through. I drift down to the ground (for some reason I’m on the second floor, unlike waking life where this room would be on the ground floor.) I again attempt to summon Dreamer, by imagining that she’s behind me. It doesn’t work, and I spin around for a few more of these attempts before deciding to focus on the instrument for a bit.

      I hover on my back for a while, looking up at the reddish early morning sky, imagining that the dream instrument will take shape in my hands. I feel a sensation like bubbles pressing gently against my fingers, but I can’t seem to turn this into anything musical. I descend back to the ground, coming back to my feet again. There’s a pine tree here like when I was a kid, and I grab a hunk of bark off of the tree in frustration and stuff it in my mouth to gnaw on it. It tastes about like you’d expect, and I blow the chunks of bark out of my mouth in a big, satisfying spray. I’m not sure what to do now and I move half-heartedly toward the deck as
      the dream ends.

      Updated 10-28-2014 at 03:34 PM by 57387

      Categories
      lucid
    2. The Challenge

      by , 06-17-2014 at 03:23 PM
      Finally got one for the challenge! Now we've got a competition...

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #214: The Challenge

      I have a false awakening in the early morning, worried that I’ve run out of time to have another lucid. I get up, pee, and return to bed. To my dismay Wife has already removed the sheets from the bed. The clock says “5:50” and I complain to her that this is way too early to be up. “This is so unlike you!” I whine. She’s too busy to pay much attention.

      I walk over to the gym and lay down on the floor, tossing and turning for a while. I have another false awakening in a field near a tent where a movie is being filmed. I walk around and explore for a while, feeling oddly comfortable and in charge, like this is my place even if it’s not familiar to me. I enter a nearby building where I’m required to remove my shoes, then move further on to find my friends PM and RP standing under an open rooftop. I try in vain to point out how much the clouds look like the ones we’ve worked on in our game project, but they’re too busy to pay attention.

      I move further through the building, moving through a confusing maze riddled with dead ends until I emerge in a retro arcade. I stop at a machine that’s a multicade which features Street Fighter II and a library of 8-bit Nintendo games. I’m considering firing up Double Dragon when I
      realize that this has to be a dream.

      I move outward from the arcade back to the main entrance. I’m still shoeless, so I produce some running shoes and walk off into the night. I’m on a concrete driveway and hordes of DCs on bicycles go whizzing by, not a trace of lights or reflectors on their bikes and bodies. They’re super hard to see, getting too close, and making me nervous, so I step off into the grass and move over to a sidewalk.

      Now I remember my challenge goal of trying to summon Dreamer. I reach my hand behind my back, expect her to grab it, and immediately feel someone grab on. I turn around and she’s right there, purple hair and all! When I see her I exclaim, “Well that worked!” She seems to find this hilarious, squeezing her eyes shut and doubling over with laughter. I try to say something else but the dream destabilizes into
      a false awakening at my parents’ house.

      My mom asks me if I need to go to work and I tell her no, just let me sleep as long as possible. She asks me to help clean their now-green pool (false memory, they have no pool) but I tell her that I’ll do it after I get some sleep. I crash back down on the bed, transitioning into…

      ...a false awakening on a bare mattress in a dark, candle-lit room. I get up and see that there are 4 or 5 similar mattresses here, too. There’s an Asian woman in her early 50s laying on one bed, tossing and turning restlessly. Some unseen male narrator tells me that, “She wants to dream but in here, she can’t. In this place, nobody can.” I’m disturbed by this, and I move toward the wall, hopeful that I’m dreaming right now.
      I phase right through, and the wall crumbles in cubes around me -- lucid again!

      I float about twenty feet down to a poolside area with ankle deep water next to wall covered by a large mirror. The dream threatens to fade but I rub my hands together and splash around in the water. I again remember my summoning goal and reach my hand behind my back, summoning Dreamer for a second time. For some reason, I point to the mirror to help “prove” to her that she’s been summoned and say, “Look! It worked again!”

      Dreamer seems fascinated by this, reaching out to the mirror and then waving her hands back and forth. “Look at this,” she says, bending forward at the waist a couple of times as her reflection copies her actions. I wonder whether this counts as two points in the challenge or just one.

      We walk back inside and it’s another creepy room with those anti-dreaming mattresses. Dreamer stiffens her fingers like a spear and drives them into one of the mattresses and digs around like she’s looking for something but doesn’t seem to find it. I ask her what she’s looking for but she doesn’t say. I sweep my eyes around the room but when I look back to where I expect to find Dreamer, instead there’s a brown-haired girl of about 8. I kneel down and ask, “Are you Dreamer?” She gives me a you can’t be serious look and then walks out of the room.

      There’s a mirror on the wall here and I get the idea to try summoning NewArtemis into the dream now. I keep watching myself in the mirror as I try to perform this summon, but it keeps failing. I realize I'm making this harder for myself but I can’t seem to help it. I want to see what she looks like when she actually materializes. I give three separate efforts to summon NewArtemis, but they all fail. I feel like something is wrong with me or with this room. Now I try to summon Dreamer. Another failure.

      I feel like my mojo is fading out in the room, so I run for the wall and throw myself through it. There’s a glass shattering effect and now I’m falling through the darkness, air rushing past me. I fall like this for a few seconds until
      I wake up.

      Updated 06-18-2014 at 02:39 AM by 57387

      Categories
      lucid , false awakening
    3. The Great Wall of China

      by , 08-23-2013 at 09:41 PM
      Asia Task of the Year! (Vandalize the Great Wall of China and battle the authorities with kung-fu.) This was the second of two lucids from last night and the level of vividness in this one was incredible. It was literally more vivid than waking life, which is such a difficult experience to describe or recapture. Pretty amazing stuff.

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #137: The Great Wall of China

      I have a false awakening in my childhood home, wandering into the dining room to find that my parents are hosting a breakfast. Wife is walking beside me, my folks and brother-in-law "Muppet" are seated at the table, along with Mom and Dad and a few other strangers standing around nearby. As I approach the table, I realize that I am not wearing a shirt and feel embarrassed. Then I see myself in the mirror and I look really in-shape. Now I feel better. Still seems a little inappropriate but I sit down, hoping nobody will make a big deal out of anything.

      I'm waiting for the food to arrive when something tips me off that this might all be a dream. I nose pinch and
      breathe in and out 2-3 times. I announce to everyone that I'm having a lucid dream, get up from the table, and phase through the window to the street outside. I hear Mom and Dad telling me to wait, that I'll miss the breakfast, asking me whether I'm sure that I'm dreaming. But yeah, after phasing through the window, pretty sure.

      I take a moment to make the scene as vivid as possible, looking over all of the detail that I see around me, the sound of my voice, the way that the morning air feels (chill and humid.) Thick, spiral-shaped clouds hang in the street, totally immobile and so thick that you can't see through them. When I touch them they literally feel like cotton balls pushed together and just floating in mid-air.

      I walk down the street for a while, checking out my hands for inconsistencies. They look completely lifelike, with the one exception being that I can't extend my left ring finger. Every time I try, it resists me and just winds up bending again. The street is still foggy but it's a more natural-looking fog now. The other strange thing is that every tree on the street is decorated with dozens of dreamcatchers that sway in a gentle breeze. The vividness is stunning.

      At the end of the street is a house with a huge wall safe mounted above its front door. The safe keeps blowing apart in an explosion, reforming, and then blowing apart again, over and over. I pass by my college friend "Bear" as I turn the corner and then come to a roughly ten-foot stone wall that blocks me from going any further. I try to fly over it but end up just doing a weak jump and having to scramble over like this was waking life. From there I enter a mall area where I announce to the passerby that "I'm having a lucid dream." Some of them look at me with some interest, but nobody verbally responds. I find an exit and imagine that the Great Wall of China is right outisde.

      I exit the mall and find myself in front of a six-foot tall replica of the Great Wall of China. Now we're getting somewhere! I walk a little further down a covered walkway and see a sign that reads "Joy's Toys" and under that "Great Wall". DCs are walking into a brick building near the sign that looks like a gift shop. I decide that this is a souvenir shop that's located right by the Great Wall, meaning that the real thing is... right behind me.



      I turn around and there it is! It's much taller, easily 50 feet, imposing, and really ancient-looking. I vault over a random pile of building materials to get closer. There's a small crowd of DCs gathered near the base watching as three terra cotta warriors perform some kind of odd, stilted dance performance. The terra cotta warriors take no notice of me but I figure they'll be the ones coming after me when I vandalize the Great Wall for Task of the Year.

      Advancing right to the wall, I haul back and punch it once, hoping that this will break a piece off. Nothing much happens. I grab at the wall with my fingers and manage to break a tiny piece off, but this doesn't feel like the serious vandalism I was going for. I decide to go with my premeditated plan of tagging up the Great Wall with spray paint. I summon an aerosol can into my hand and start spraying out some letters:

      "DV 4 LIFE"


      The paint runs and blurs a lot and generally looks like a mess, but I'm still incredibly pleased. Okay, the final piece of this dream is to defend myself against the authorities with kung-fu. I turn around, expecting an enemy... and find myself face to face with a pale, doughy guy in his 40s. He's wearing glasses and is dressed in brown slacks and a rather tight white cardigan that emphasizes his belly and spindly arms.

      "So you're 'the authorities'?" I ask, trying to lead him to say yes.

      "Certainly," he says curtly in a British accent. He stares proudly back at me.

      Immediately I try to do some "kung-fu" on him. I do this atrocious little low kick that clips the side of his left knee. Then I throw another little kick that misses entirely. This time I scream something like, "A-GOCK!!" to make it seem more like I'm doing kung-fu. It comes out really shrieky but the effect is kung-fuey. My opponent does an awkward little hopping kick that misses by a mile. We both kick at the same time and kind of clash feet. We keep throwing these terrible little kicks at each other and I keep shrieking "A-GOCK!!" Finally my awful little kicks get the better of his awful little kicks and he seems to lose interest, and after a moment wanders away entirely.

      I take another self-congratulatory look back at the Great Wall and then let myself
      wake up before I forget anything.
    4. The Raccoon

      by , 08-17-2013 at 10:34 PM
      The power was out at our house for the afternoon and overnight, so I had no excuse not to go to bed on time. Discipline at last! This is the first of a pair of lucids from last night.

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #132: The Raccoon

      I'm sitting at our breakfast table with Wife, my two kids "E" and "R", my mom, and my dad. R's in his booster seat and positioned close to the back door (which is made of glass.) A huge raccoon walks up to the back door, gets onto his hind legs and starts pawing at the glass. "I think he likes [R]!" remarks Dad.

      I wonder whether I should be concerned that we have 3-foot raccoons wandering through our back yard. After pondering this for a moment, I decide that this is a little strange and use the nose pinch reality check,
      breathing clearly and immediately becoming lucid.

      Immediately I want to head outside, so I phase through the glass into the yard. Everything looks more or less like waking life. My goal is to get to the Great Barrier Reef for Task of the Year and I think about using the pool as a transition point. The plan: fall backward into the water, imagine that I'm actually in the ocean, then turn around. Hopefully then I actually am in the ocean.

      I walk up to the edge of the pool, turn around so that my back is to the pool, and fall backward into the water. I go under briefly but quickly surface. I imagine that I'm on the edge of a huge ocean, but when I turn around, I still just see the other side of the pool. I swim around for a while, wondering what to try next. I'm getting ready to try to imagine an ocean behind me again but before I can, I wind up in the void.

      From the void, I probe at my dream body but after only a couple of seconds I experience a shuddering sensation and hear a crackle like electricity. It reminds me of a violent WILD transition. Almost immediately a new scene forms -- a tan, smoothly curved, dumbbell-shaped object spinning by itself in the void. I want to reach out to it but I don't seem to have a dream body. I can shift my perspective, though, and I "move" closer to the tan dumbbell. It seems to be lit by some unseen light source behind me. I spend a few more seconds here before
      the dream ends.
    5. He Had It Coming

      by , 07-25-2013 at 05:43 PM
      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #125: He Had It Coming

      I'm working with Wife, Mom, and Dad on a project where we're trying to restore a 30-foot replica of the Great Pyramid. The pyramid's sitting right on the edge of a neighborhood street where a house would normally be. We work on the interior for a while but it feels stuffy in there, so Wife and I go outside to do some work on the exterior.

      It's nice outside, so Wife and I stand there for a bit enjoying the sun and the cool breeze. We're standing on something that looks like a driveway and about fifteen feet to our left is an elegant wooden side table with Wife's purse sitting on it. As we're standing there, a pair of tall, brutish-looking teenage boys approaches us. One starts rifling through Wife's purse and the other surrounds us from the other side. I'm angry and fearful, running through our "fight or flight" options when
      I realize that it's all a dream.

      The guy who had been looking through Wife's purse is gone now. But when I turn back, the other kid has Wife by the forearm and she's cowering in pain. I'm overcome with a killing rage, the kind of anger you (hopefully) only feel in dreams. I'm aware that the thug is just a DC, but I want to stop him and I want to hurt him.

      I hurry toward him, shouting a bunch of angry threats (including lots of profanity), and kick him squarely in the balls. The strike is perfect -- bone of the lower shin right into the "target".

      As I deliver the kick, I'm amazed to see that I'm wearing white high-top sneakers like I did back in middle school. The combination of noticing this weird detail and the satisfaction of hitting the hated DC softens my anger a little.

      Rather than double over, the DC stands rigidly straight, his feet lifting a few inches off of the ground and coming back down. His body is completely stiff and his face is frozen statue-like in agony. I get a hold of my temper enough to realize that if I keep fighting with him I might turn him into a real opponent. I really just want him gone from my dream scene. I force-push him high into the air and his paralyzed body flies toward a distant set of hills, quickly fading from sight.

      When I look back at Wife, she's standing nearby, unhurt but nervously looking around. The place feels unsafe and I want to leave. There's no way that I can leave her behind after what happened, though, so I scoop her up in my arms. "We're going to the Colosseum," I tell her, and try to start flying. I can get about 3 feet off of the ground but after that I feel like I can't move both of us. Even though she's pretty tiny IWL, her weight feels "real" while my dream body feels almost totally weightless. It seems to be getting in the way of flying.

      "Am I too heavy?" she asks. I show remarkably good dream judgment by ignoring this question. I try flying a few more times, each time with the same result. I know that I should come up with some creative solution to this but it's not coming to me. I think about throwing her over my shoulder or imagining her floating like a balloon but before I can do any of this,
      the dream ends.
    6. The Night of the Weredog

      by , 05-02-2013 at 03:01 PM
      This WILD was amazing. Very vivid and realistic, rich content, successful summoning, and a Task of the Month success (plus a failure.) Forgive the length of this entry, but the dream was 25-30 minutes, and a lot happened! (Edit: After further review... best LD ever.)

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #90: The Night of the Weredog

      I experience a sharp transition that feels like a short fall face-first onto a paved surface. My arms are splayed out over my head and I can't move. I can see just a bit and it looks like I'm on a basketball court at night, but I'm afraid to open my eyes more to look around.

      I'm totally paralyzed. I'm conscious and aware but for some reason can't move, and I think I'm experiencing something similar to REM atonia. I know it's all in my head, though, so I start peeling my dream-arms out of this fake physical body by rotating them forward into the ground using thought rather than my muscles. It takes a little effort, but eventually I feel this set of "dream-arms" separate out and move independently. Soon the rest of my dream-body follows and I'm able to exit completely and get to my feet.

      It is a basketball court -- four of them in fact, all arranged together in one giant rectangle. I'm alone on this court but teenagers are playing small, informal games on the other courts. The courts are surrounded by concrete stands and a metal railing. For fun, I stunt-jump off of the metal railing and land back on the court, then see Wife approaching out of the darkness. She's dressed for bed and looks groggy. "You're still up?" she says. "Shouldn't you get to bed?"

      "Shhh, it's okay," I say. "Go back to sleep. I'm having one of my dreams." She nods, yawns, and wanders off into the darkness. False awakening averted.

      I roam around the basketball court for a while before regaining focus on my goals for the dream -- summon NewArtemis and have her do the werewolf tranformation for Advanced Task of the Month. I put my right hand out for the handshake summon and look away, pointing my gaze over my left shoulder. I don't feel anything at first, but I'm relaxed about it. I know it'll work if I just give it time. I imagine the sensation of a hand pressing into my palm, and then slowly, vaguely it takes shape. After a few moments, I give the "hand" a squeeze and it squeezes back.

      Without looking, I check for a forearm, probing all the way up to the elbow. "[NewArtemis], is that you?"

      "Hey! Yeah I'm here!" Cool, I think, but I want to be sure the summon's really solid before I look. I check the DC's arm -- quite thin, but it's there. I reach her shoulder and I'm a little worried when it just feels like bare skin.

      "So before I look... uh, what's the story with your clothing situation?"

      "It's fine, I'm dressed!" she says. "Come on, quit worrying so much!"

      Slowly, I turn to look. I'm shocked to see that I'm shaking hands with a short, middle-aged woman in a blue business suit. There's about a half second of sudden blackness and then a hard scene transition -- now I'm shaking hands with NewArtemis (no longer the businesswoman and back to her usual DC appearance) on some beachside boardwalk at night. Success! "Told you!" she crows. "Let's go!" She sprints past a burly, mustachioed man eating an ice cream cone, heading toward the sand. I follow, flying to keep up.

      As she reaches the beach sand, she notices that I'm flying. She looks annoyed. "You know, I can't seem to get my flying to work right now." I notice that I'm unable to fly more than a few feet off of the ground. I try a Hulk jump and can only manage a measly 20 feet or so. Seeing this, she tries a Hulk jump of her own and manages about 50 feet. "Ha!"

      There are some dunes along the shore and we practice competitively Hulk jumping up and down the dunes as we continue along the water. After doing this for a bit, we come to a long line of black-robed cultists standing at the top of a dune in a long series of rows, torches in hand. They're droning and chanting, obviously in the middle of performing some dark ritual. There are probably 50 of them in total and I think that this looks like a perfect place to go for the "mythical creature" Task of the Month. "[NewArtemis]! Do your werewolf transformation! These guys are just begging to get eaten by a werewolf."



      She looks doubtful. "I'm not so sure," she says. "Isn't this just a bunch of college kids doing a fraternity initiation?"

      Just as she says this, one of the "evil acolytes" flips his hood back. He's a friendly-looking blonde guy with a goofy smile. "Hey guys! Sorry if we freaked you out! We're just a bunch of college kids doing a fraternity initiation!" (He uses her precise wording.)

      I sigh. We continue for a little while longer, coming to a well-lit swimming pool. "Maybe we should go ahead now and do your werewolf transformation while we're thinking about it," I suggest, and the moment I say this, she changes fast into a big, black dog, bounds ahead of me, and leaps joyfully into the pool! She splashes playfully in the pool for a while, panting and grinning.



      But as she kicks up more water, the playful splashing turns into thrashing and now the black dog has turned into my 3-year-old son and he's sinking fast. I'm still aware that it's a dream so even though I badly want to pull him out of the water, I don't feel as freaked out as I would in waking life. I dive into the pool and even underwater I can hear my son calling to me. I can see and breathe without any trouble and I swim to the bottom of the pool, scoop him up, then fly back out of the water, landing poolside to tend to him. He seems unharmed and the moment I set him down, he runs off into a nearby grotto.

      I follow my son into the grotto, a low-ceilinged cave with a shallow pool of water, partially bricked walls, and some form of dim light that reflects off the water and plays across the cave ceiling. I find that my son E has changed back into NewArtemis in human form. "Sorry about the pool thing, man," Art says, rolling her eyes. "Hey, do Task of the Month on these DCs!" She gestures at a family of tourists that are exploring the grotto. (The task is to tell a DC they're not real and see their reaction.)

      I'm impressed that she reminded me of this. "Good idea! Hey kid," I say, addressing a boy of about 11, "you're not real."

      "Nuh-uhh..." the kid counters, looking cross and uncomfortable. Okay, that should be good for a Basic completion, but I'm looking for more.

      Now I address a bearded man in his mid-60s, who I assume is the boy's grandfather. "You're not real. This is all happening inside my dream."

      "Nonsense," the grandfather says, "you're not real. I'll prove it." He flicks me on the left arm, looking proud of himself. I counterargue by levitating him a couple of feet off of the ground and setting him back down. He blubbers for a moment, then looks off at one of the cave walls, mentally processing this existential crisis. I feel a little bad for him.

      "[NewArtemis], you should do this too, get those Basic wings," I say, only partly joking. She doesn't respond, and when I look over, she's changed into a man in his late 20s, short-haired, prematurely balding, and slumped against the wall in fatigue. He mumbles something about how long the dream has been and how tired it's made him. I throw the guy over my shoulder and carry him out of the grotto. When I set him down outside, he's turned back into a tired-looking NewArtemis. "Are you okay?" I ask. She says that she is, but everything has started to feel wobbly and unstable.

      Suddenly, the whole scene rocks and something pitches us forward. We both yelp and I fall flat on my face, my hands flailing out in front of me. I'm semi-paralyzed and the scene has gone dark, but I've managed to grab onto NewArtemis' left ankle where it feels like she's wearing some kind of thick winter sock. There's a loud rumbling in the background that sounds like an earthquake. "I can still move!" yells NewArtemis over the noise and she drags me slowly forward across some kind of rough gravel. My face is smashed down into the gravel so I can't respond. She keeps hauling us forward for about 15 more seconds before the scene collapses into...


      ...a false awakening in some unknown house. Mom is here and I excitedly start telling her about the incredible LD that I just had, going over as many details as I can recall. She tells me to keep my voice down -- my son R is sleeping in the next room over. I apologize, continuing the recollection in a softer tone of voice. After a while, this scene fades, too, and I'm awake.

      Updated 05-03-2013 at 07:30 PM by 57387

      Categories
      lucid , false awakening , memorable , task of the month