Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Welcome Elizabeth Naranjo and a Guest Post on Lucid Dreaming


Have you ever woken up inside your dream? You know you're still in bed, yet your dream keeps playing. I can say this phenomena known as lucid dreaming has happened to me on a few occasions ... and it's really cool when it does! Unfortunately for me, just when I try to do something crazy in my dream like fly over mountains or breathe underwater, I wake up. But, what if I didn't wake up right away? This is the premise for today's featured author's new book, The Fourth Wall.

Lucid Dreaming
by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo

In The Fourth Wall the protagonist, Marin, is a skilled lucid dreamer, and this plays a big role in her story. But what exactly is lucid dreaming? How do people do it? And why?


Lucid dreaming is simply knowing when you’re dreaming. It’s that sense of being in a dream and suddenly realizing that it IS a dream. This happens accidentally sometimes, and it usually causes the startled dreamer to wake up. But some people train themselves to achieve this heightened awareness in sleep, and there are several reasons why they do it.


Entertainment: Once you realize you’re dreaming, you can learn to control parts of the dream. This includes your actions, and those actions are not subject to the laws of physics. Thus, you can learn to fly, walk through walls, or teleport yourself to other locations like Marin does in The Fourth Wall. Some lucid dreamers can create their own imagery or manipulate and change the setting of their dreams. With practice, it’s pretty extraordinary what you can accomplish. And it sounds like fun, right?

Conquering Fears: Because you can pretty much do anything in a dream, some lucid dreamers use their skills to conquer fears. Maybe you’re afraid of confronting a bully, giving a presentation, or flying in an airplane. You can use your dream world to create these scenarios and play them out, building your confidence.

What about nightmares? Achieving lucidity in dreams means knowing when a nightmare is really just a nightmare. The knowledge that what you’re facing came from within your own mind and is subject to your rules can be empowering. You can change what’s scary into something mundane, or even funny. You can defeat it, or simply make it disappear. If our nightmares are representations of what causes us fear and anxiety, imagine facing those fears and anxieties in sleep and stripping them of their power.

Creative Pursuits: We’ve all heard artists claim they were inspired by dreams. Painters, musicians, writers, filmmakers—dreams are a breeding ground for inspiration. Becoming more aware of your dreams won’t diminish their wonderful strangeness; they’ll still have that floaty, hallucinatory quality and will remain largely unpredictable. But increased awareness means you can better tap into your dreams’ creative potential.


So, how do you become a lucid dreamer?

The first step is dream recall. The more you remember your dreams, the greater chance you have of recognizing a dream when you’re in it. Like Marin, you can keep a dream journal—a notebook where you write and/or illustrate everything you remember from your dreams as soon as you wake up. In the beginning you may need to set your alarm early to interrupt the dream.

Another key to recognizing dreams is giving yourself reality checks during the day. For example, every time you pass by a mirror, consciously think about how clear your image is. If a mirror appears in your dream, you’ll recognize the fact that your image is not there, or that it’s blurry, or that you’re looking at an image of your child instead. You may realize then that you’re in a dream, and decide to step through the mirror onto a nice, sunny beach.

Once you’ve achieved dream awareness, you can start playing with dream control. Again, there’s only so much you can control. But instead of passively watching the dream play out in your mind, you can learn to take an active role and play along. You can turn that monstrous spider into a mewling kitten. You can breathe underwater. Maybe you can even learn to fly.

The Fourth Wall is a fabulously written first novel. When Marin was little and monsters chased her through nightmares, she learned to weave her own dreams. Her mother called the lucid dreaming a gift, and when an accident takes her mother and leaves her baby brother an empty shell, Marin uses this gift to spin a new reality for herself. One without time or sorrow. A world without memory.

But just when Marin thinks she’s safe in her make-believe fantasy world, the monsters come back and her dream turns to a nightmare. Something in the dream doesn’t want Marin to wake up. In order to heal herself and her family, Marin must face the truth she’s forgotten and conquer what lies behind the fourth wall.

Paperback: 237Pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (June 10, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1-937178-51-2

Twitter hashtag: #FourthWall

The Fourth Wall is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon.

Book Giveaway Contest:
Comment here on on my Facebook page to win a copy of The Fourth Wall !
About the Author: Elizabeth grew up writing short stories and bad poetry before escaping the cold winters of Wyoming and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and two children, Abigail (12) and Gabriel (7). She still loves to write, but fortunately gave up on poetry. The Fourth Wall is her first novel.
Elizabeth’s creative nonfiction has appeared in Brain, ChildPhoenix New TimesLiterary Mama and, and is forthcoming in Brevity. Elizabeth is also an award-winning fiction writer; her short stories have been published in The Portland ReviewHospital DriveSLAB Literary Magazine, and Bartleby Snopes. 
Links to her work and information on classes/critiques can be found at

 Thank you to Crystal Otto at Wow! Women on Writing for providing this stop on Elizabeth's blog tour. Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following on Twitter @WOWBlogTour. 


  1. Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Audry! :)

  2. Elizabeth, thank you so much for your guest post! I'm so fascinated by the subject of lucid dreaming.


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