20 Things I’ve Dreamed About

Not so long ago, I lost my dreams.

Meaning; I stopped having them.


I think I know the reason why. But reasons aren’t always important. Instead I think I’ll catalog some of the ones I remember. For my sake. And hopefully for your entertainment.

* * *

A lot of people describe having falling dreams. I can’t remember ever having one of those. But I used to have falling ‘up’ dreams. As in I keep falling toward outer space. I don’t die out there in the stars. I just keep going. Trippy.

Remember the cool spherical submarine James Cameron took down into the ocean deeps? I dreamed that. Except the sub went way, way down. Not just the seven miles into the Marianas Trench, but a hundred miles deeper. I can’t really recall what I saw down there, but it was fascinating…and terrifying.

I once dreamed I met two men in Israel. They each offered me a different power, but the catch was I’d have to use it to help them do nefarious things. One power was to slow time for everyone else besides myself. The second was to become as heavy (in terms of weight) as I desired, while maintaining the same size. Both would make me unstoppable. I did bad things. I chose the weight power, then used it to steal the time power from the other guy. Oddly enough, this weird little dream inspired my new book, A Door Never Dreamed Of.

Ever seen the movie, The Fountain? Pretty good flick. I dreamed I was the dude in a space bubble, and I dreamed it fifty times, maybe more. I was utterly alone, forever floating. I was immortal. It was kinda cool, and supremely lonely.

I had a baaaaad nightmare when I was eight. My recently departed grandfather visited me, only he was rotting, eyeless, and nasty. His guts were hanging out. He looked like the dude from the old Metallica video, The Unforgiven. Yikes.

Less a dream and more an observation. I’ve never heard music of any kind during any dream I’ve ever had. Is that unusual? Do you guys hear tunes while you sleep?

I used to have a specific night terror as a boy, then later as a teenager (after several years of not having it.) In the nightmare, a skeletal shadow hovered over me as I slept. It woke me, whispered horrible things to me, and promised one day it would destroy me. Not just my body, but my soul. I decided later in life to make this critter the bad guy in my way-too-F’n-long fantasy series, and haven’t had the nightmare since. Hmmmm…

I had a recurring dream about a genie in a bottle. No…not the Christina Aguilera song. The genie asked me what my one wish was. (It was BS I didn’t get three.) My answer was always the same: The Power of Persuasion. Meaning anything I suggested to any person, they listened to. It was the ultimate Jedi mind trick. Sometimes I used the power for good. Sometimes just to get laid. Other times I took over the entire planet, upon which I established a seriously dark, tyrannical empire. Fun!

First dream I remember having: I’m in a car driving down a long road I’ve been down before, but can’t remember where it is in real life. Graveyards sleep on either side of the car. It’s not scary at all. There’s someone singing to me in the front seat. It’s soothing, but kinda dark.

The worst nightmare I’ve ever had (worse than rotting grandpa and shadow demon) was definitely this: I’m relaxing in my childhood bedroom. I have earphones on, but no music is playing. I’m at peace, but suddenly every single light in the world starts going out. I can sense the lights dying one by one. And then the outage comes to my house. It’s slow. It’s agonizing. And when the last light dies (a lamp beside my bed) I expire.

I dreamed this one almost exactly as I ended up writing it. I’m a boy at a zoo for aliens. I’m with my family. Everything seems fine, until it doesn’t. If you care, the story is here.

Ever played the game Metroid? Basically it’s a story about a woman alone on a planet full of things that want to kill her. For almost a year, I had a similar dream. Earth needs me to go to this weird planet and blow it up. No one can go with me. After training, I land on this eerie place and wander into some caves. Sadly I never get to finish. I like to think I completed my mission. Guess I’ll never know.

In a completely non-sexual way, I had a recurring dream about a red-haired woman. She was like my sister or something, and I was completely obligated to follow her around, protect her, and to not under any circumstances fall in love with her. All of this I did in a medieval setting. No modern conveniences at all. The girl later became part of the inspiration for the heroine (Andelusia) in my dark fiction series.

Clouds 2

In one of my favorite dreams, I soar through clouds that look much like these. I’m utterly free, no cares in the world. I like to think we’d all love this dream.

I dreamed once, maybe twice, of a great, dark city. The city was newly-made, shiny and black. It wasn’t really modern, but nor was it from the old world. The city lay on a black shore upon which oil instead of water washed up in waves. I wandered the city for years. And found no one. So I painted it here.

Had a dream that the Russian government asked me to end a war. All I had to do was assassinate the president of their rival nation. I did terrible things in this dream, but perhaps the saving grace is that I never got to the end. The Russians didn’t win, and I always had the sense that they were the bad guys to begin with. (Disclaimer: I don’t believe this in real-life.)

I used to have persistent (and weird) dreams of being Lucifer from Paradise Lost. I fight God, lose, and fall. Except Hell in my dreams isn’t scary or hot. It’s peaceful, albeit cold.

Ok. Yes. I’ve had the typical I’m the best NFL quarterback in the world dream. I mean…it’s been a while. Forgive me, ok?

This one sounds like a nightmare, but it never really was. As a ghost, I wandered the world for hundreds of years after my death. I couldn’t touch or really affect anything. I figure I should’ve been lonely, but somehow I wasn’t. It was kinda interesting observing how humanity evolved. I only wish I could’ve remembered all the cool tech I dreamed up. 🙂

The last dream I remember having before my dreams stopped: walking through the rain on a forested mountainside. So very peaceful. If that was the last one I ever have, I’ll take it.

* * *

Here’s a book that wasn’t inspired by any dreams.

And here’s one almost entirely dream-made.

See ya.

J Edward Neill


Split Bill (My mental vacation)

 Hey. How are you? This’ll be a rare rambling post from me. Apologies in advance.

So. What’s up in the world?  Anything interesting going on? Yeah, I know: ISIS, Ukraine, Ebola, Ray Rice, Jack the Ripper. But let’s get to what’s really important: Hollow Empire – Season 1 – Night of Knives. It’s finished. It’s out. In total, it’ll be six episodes (six chapters each) for $0.99 a pop. There’ll also be a complete e-version and a paperback edition. I co-authored it with this guy here. If you like post-apocalypic medieval fantasy westerns, you’ll like it. If you like deep characters wading through deeper shit, you’ll love it. This lady here did the art. And that’s all I’ll say about it for now.


What I’m doing most days. On a side note: ever notice how ripped the Thinking Man is?


Aside from Hollow Empire, I’m struggling a bit.

I’ve stopped dreaming at night, and it’s a problem.

I don’t have writer’s block. Not exactly. What I’ve got is a wandering muse. As in wandering off. I usually pull all of my deliciously dark ideas from the corridors of sleep, but now that my dreams have stopped…well…you see? Thing is; I used to dream all night, every night. Epic space operas, terrifying horror stories, tragic romances, end-of-everything dark fantasies…I had it all bouncing in my head after the lights went out.

But now, there’s nothing. I sleep a solid six every eve, yet my head-movies are gone. The world hasn’t ended just yet; I’m still chin-deep in editing a massive novel, which means I don’t need too much muse for the moment. But it’s fair to say I’m concerned. Worried. Troubled…


See that big dark spot on the moon. Yeah, that one. That’s where my mind needs to be at night.

And that’s why, after Hollow Empire and Nether Kingdom hit the market, I’ll take a little vacation. Not a real vacation on the beach, of course. That’s too much to hope for. I mean a mental vacation. Maybe I’ll play some Halo and some Dragon Age. Maybe I’ll double down on my chin-ups. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll even pick up my ancient Dungeons & Dragons books and stage a few goblin slaughters with some friends. That’s AD&D First Edition, bitches. We keep it old school ’round these parts.

But seriously, I need to start dreaming again, and soon. I have the ideas, but all the flavor and darkness come out at night…while I’m asleep.

Next up, a trio of lists. Read and enjoy:

The Top 4 upcoming video games I’d play if I didn’t have a three-year old

1. Dragon Age: Inquisition (Because it has to be better than the second installment)

2. Destiny

3. Halo 5: Guardians (Because, you know, I still haven’t beaten Halo 4)

4. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

My Top 5 fantasy movies of all time
1. Fellowship of the Ring (Sorry, Academy. The first film blew Return of the King out of the water)

2. Willow

3. Legend (Despite Tom Cruise)

4. Animated version of Sleeping Beauty

5. Dragonslayer (The original. Best. Dragon. Ever.)

My Top 3 favorite book covers ever




This week was a jumble of bones. Skulls and ribs and tibias all mixed up. Next week will be more focused…maybe.
Until then,

J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead dark fantasy trilogy

Author of The Sleepers and Old Man of Tessera

Down the Dark Path

Lemonade on the porch

Lemonade on the porch


1. A state of contentment.

2. A time in one’s life during which a person reflects upon all they done in life and finds satisfaction.

3. The whole point of it all.


This guy has the right idea. I’ll see ya in a few years, buddy.


Used to be, I thought happiness meant something entirely different. Perhaps I was entranced with the American ideals: money, a big house, a beautiful wife, long vacations on the beach, etc. I wouldn’t say I was obsessed with materialism, but certainly I was clueless about the truth of what happiness really is. Lemonade on the porch isn’t a thing, a place, or a person. It isn’t something you hope for, dream of, or want for tomorrow.  It’s something you have to make for yourself. It’s something you have to try to earn today, because tomorrow will be different. Or it might never come at all.

And so, once again, I’ll turn to books. Books will be my lemonade, and the porch my castle in the sky. Hell, I don’t even own a porch right now, but no matter. I’ll pretend I do. I’ll sit somewhere and pretend the stars are wheeling over my head. I’ll wander vagabond-like to every park bench and gazebo in Georgia. I’ll invade your porch when you’re not looking. Because, you know, there’s something special about the written word. A good book can provide instant serenity, while two hours spent writing can satisfy the mind in rare fashion. When life gives you lemons, grab a book and find a porch. You’re welcome.

Here’s the part where I’d normally get all long-winded about life, death, love, and darkness. Nah. I’m done. Instead I think I’ll jot down the top ten books I want to sit and read in a comfy chair with an icy beverage at my side. Think of it as a bucket list, but for books. Because no matter what horrors real life might bring, one can always escape. Simply crack a cover, wet your thumb, (or turn on your Kindle) and start reading. Peace will find you.

Book Bucket List:

Sideways – Rex Pickett – Because it’s about two dudes looking for lemonade on the porch. I mean…c’mon. And because it’s sitting on my bookshelf…on its side.

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – The Tom Hardy movie turned me on to this one. Enough tragedy to make anyone feel better about their life.

The Chronicles of Narnia series – C.S. Lewis – I read these as a kid. Time for a re-read. Odds are an adult read will make them feel completely different.

Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger – I can’t believe I haven’t done this one yet. Time to see what all the fuss is about.

The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins – I’ll pass on Twilight, Harry Potter, and Divergent, but something tells me I’ll find value here. And yes, I know. I’m sorry.

War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – I fancy myself an epic novel writer, but I’ve got nothing on Leo.

Les Miserables – Victor Hugo – Another one the movie sold me on. If the book is even half as good…

Dracula – Bram Stoker – If only because everyone tells me it’s about as grim a novel as is possible to write.

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand – I know the premise. I know the controversy. I’ll consume this for the same reason I read the Bible.

The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien – Already read it several times. Doesn’t matter. Gonna do it again.

So anyway, what’s on your bucket list? Wanna make a million dollars? Climb a mountain? Live to be a thousand? I recommend none of these. Go for lemonade on the porch, whatever it means to you. And go for it today.

Next week, the What if? series returns.  I’ll adapt the original animated Sleeping Beauty and Angelina Jolie’s recent Maleficent into a dark fantasy novel. It’ll be fun. I promise.

 J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead dark fantasy trilogy

Author of The Sleepers and Old Man of Tessera

Down the Dark Path