Nicola Cornick dreams of the northern lights

It’s a pleasure and privilege to welcome Nicola Cornick to the Dream a Little Dream blogathon. Nicola’s fab historical romances sell worldwide.

Here’s her post:

First of all, many congratulations to Sue on the publication of the wonderful Dream A Little Dream. It’s a great pleasure to be here to join in the celebrations!

I’m fascinated by dreams, both my own and other people’s, and what they are trying to tell us. When my other half was studying for his psychology degree he had to keep a dream record so that he could analyse his dreams in class. Since he sleeps very soundly and seldom remembers dreams at all this involved me waking him at random points during the night so that he could write down any dreams I had interrupted. My interventions were frequently unwelcome – who really wants to be woken at two in the morning when they are in a deep, satisfying sleep? But the results were startling – vivid, complex dreams that would never normally have been remembered in the light of day.

In contrast, I’ve been a poor sleeper for years but the reward is that I often remember my dreams.  One recurring dream from my childhood is that I am lying in deep snow staring up at the black of the sky. It’s studded with stars as bright and white as diamonds and wreathed about them are the Northern Lights in strands of luminous green. All about me are mountain peaks etched against the sky and the night air is cold on my face but I feel warm.

I don’t know if it was my childhood reading that fuelled this dream but from as early as I can remember I wanted to travel to the far North and see those Northern Lights. I wanted to see seas made of ice, and white bears and icebergs taller than houses. I didn’t realise at the time that I couldn’t necessarily see all these things in one place and in the end I made three trips: To Iceland to see icebergs, to Spitsbergen to see seas of ice and polar bears, and to Norway to lie in the snow and watch the Northern Lights flowing across the sky. In the process I also saw sea mirages of great towering blocks of ice that vanished when the ship drew close. They were called the fata morgana and take their name from the Morgana of Arthurian legend because they are fairy castles in the air.

These travels to my dream destinations in turn provided the inspiration for one of my books, Whisper of Scandal, set in Regency London and the Arctic, in which my heroine is the widow of an Arctic explorer who travels to the far North to reclaim her husband’s lost child. So in following the dreams of my childhood I not only found places more beautiful than I had imagined them but I also found the idea for a book that became very close to my heart.

 To be in with the chance of winning a Nicola Cornick book just comment and tell us whether you’ve ever acted on one of your dreams – and what happened. Nicola will choose the comment she likes best.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Nicola Cornick dreams of the northern lights

  1. Wow, Nicola! Not only did you share what must have been a most amazing dream with us, you also described it in a sumptuous and evocative manner. Now,.that’s the kind of dream worth remembering, not like the ones I have where I’ve usually forgotten to do something really important!

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    • I get those a lot too, Henri! The fun dreams are few and far between the ones where I’m panicking about forgetting something or looking for the loo! Maybe that’s why this one was so memorable in comparison to all the run of the mill stuff.

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  2. Absolutely. Gorgeous description. I’m not very good at remembering dreams, either, and they’re either worrying stuff that’s happening, or so completely off the wall I can’t make sense of them. One that did stay with me, though, was over 30 years ago, a few months after I left home. This was before we had mobile phones and I didn;t have a phone in the flat.
    I dreamt that a younger version of my dog, who I’d had since I was eight but who’d stayed with my parents because I couldn’t have him where I was, was standing up on his hind legs, his front paws on my lap. I was stroking him and feeling sad at the same time. I got up in the morning and thought nothing really more of it till the next day, when a letter arrived from my mother, first class, to say they’d had to take him to the vet’s , who’d put him to sleep (he was fourteen and his heart was failing) – literally hours before hours before my dream.
    At the time I was too upset for the timing to “click”. It was only years later that I found out such occurrences, with a pet “visiting” to say goodbye, are surprisingly common.
    It wasn’t something I acted on as such, but it’s always stayed with me – especially as I’m probably one of the least psychic people you can imagine!

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  3. Barb

    I dreamed like so many of making love to this man I was attracted to. I kept having the same dream too, but the kicker was I was engaged to someone else! Well 14 days ago me and my dream man celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with our two daughters, so yes I would say I definitely acted out one of my dreams! 😉

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  4. Heidi Hamburg

    I too dreamed of he Arctic.
    And followed the dream.
    I first went to Pond Inlet, on the northern tip of Baffin Island in the Canadian High Arctic. In late summer huge iceburgs drifted past every day, and we would watch and wonder which one would get caught in the freeze-up to be our source of the best tea water for the rest of the year.
    In Hall Beach and Cape Dorset polar bears sometimes wandered into the settlement. When that happened the hunters would hop on their Ski-doos and chase them away like cowboys herding cattle.
    There were many times I flopped in the snow to watch the green curtains of the northern lights ripple across the sky.
    Some years were spectacular. We lived in Iqaluit the year the comet Hale-Bopp came close. It was easily visible with the naked eye, and with ordinary binoculars it was gorgeous. That was a great year for the northern lights, too, and I spent many an evening getting very chilly fingers and toes, lying back against a snowbank to watch.
    Thanks for reviving some fond old memories.

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  5. Gail Mallin

    Thanks for a very interesting post, Nicola. It sounds as if you had a great time and had inspiration for a book, a win-win situation all round I’d say. I don’t usually remember my dreams. If I do, they are pretty boring, like dreaming of desperately trying to find a toilet and then waking up needing the loo. But I did have a more exciting one once years ago when the TV series “Sharpe” was first shown. Sean Bean featured in this dream and we were sitting outside a tent and talking about Wellington and I can remember waking up and being cross with my subconscious. Well, I mean, I’m a fan of Wellington’s, but what a waste of an opportunity to get, ahem, cosy with a gorgeous chap!

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  6. Your dream was so vivid and you describe it all so poetically. Beautiful! My dream was more prosaic, less lyrical, though deeply meaningful in a way I would have preferred to ignore. I was on a boat destined for Rotterdam and while standing up on deck as the boat pulled into the harbour I had the shocking realization that I was still me! I hadn’t changed. Instead of leaving myself behind as hoped for, I had carried myself along for the trip. It was devastating! However I went on the trip, stopping in Amsterdam instead of Rotterdam, and though the inner person was still the same, there were a few incidents where I didn’t quite recognise myself! But that’s another story! 🙂

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