This is an important and timely question explored in the highly acclaimed spiritual novel, SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING, winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for New Age Fiction.
Written with young adult and young-at-heart readers in mind, SNOOZE further proved its literary merit by being selected as a 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist in the Young Adult-Coming of Age category and receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Beach Book Festival Prize competition in the General Fiction category.
You’re invited to join—either with eyes or ears—Max Diver, a.k.a. “Snooze,” along the razor’s edge of a quest to rescue his astronaut father from a fate stranger than death in the exotic, perilous Otherworld of sleep.
This inspiring tale interweaves a plethora of paranormal and metaphysical subjects, from Bigfoot and enlightenment to the Loch Ness Monster and time travel via the Bermuda Triangle.
In her review of SNOOZE published in INDIE SHAMAN Magazine, June Kent had this to say about what she described as “superlative fiction”: “Engrossing, entertaining and occasionally humorous, SNOOZE also takes a look at a wide range of subjects including levitation, telepathy, lucid dreaming, spirit animals, parallel universes and shamanic-like journeying, giving a wide range of information effortlessly absorbed as you enjoy the story as well as much food for thought.”
Naturally, your generous review would be greatly appreciated even if you simply enjoy the full text now being presented on this blog and numerous podcast platforms. Keep in mind that paperback and ebook versions are for sale. A complimentary online version is also available for your reading pleasure.
SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING
By Sol Luckman
Max, whose sense of humor was every bit as dry as his father’s—so dry that his classmates, misconstruing his jokes, chided him for being too serious—liked to describe himself as “an only child of an only parent.”
He never knew his mother, though oddly enough, he felt he understood her … perhaps too well. Besides looking alike, with the same wavy hair and bony, almost Asian facial structure, they formed an oddball dynamic duo: the poster child and poster adult for “weirdoes” everywhere.
His mother had been a maverick anthropologist specializing in cryptozoology—a fancy word for the study of mysterious, officially unacknowledged creatures such as the Yeti, Chupa Cabra, and Loch Ness Monster.
As a scientist studying animals other scientists held to be, at best figments of the collective imagination, at worst hoaxes, Dr. Cynthia Holden Diver—despite winning a number of prestigious academic awards, including two Fulbrights—had known firsthand what it was to be an outcast, ridiculed and marginalized by her peers.
Never mind that, as a tireless explorer and field researcher, she had produced an impressive body of evidence for the existence of hominid cryptids—aka, Bigfoot—including dozens of eyewitness accounts, enormous footprint casts the size of snowshoes, and fur samples with unknown DNA.
The evidence never seemed to matter to those in power, who had already made up their minds and did what people typically do when their worldview is threatened by new data: they attacked the messenger.
When he was ten years old, Max gave into curiosity about his mother by sneaking a peek at her personal effects, which his father kept in a scuffed Seward travel trunk beneath his bed.
Inside, he found her throwback, horn-rimmed reading glasses; a chestnut-colored suede satchel; binoculars; a gold and onyx hairpin patterned after an Egyptian scarab; a red alpaca wool scarf; a broken compass; knee-high safari boots worn to almost nothing at the heels; and a torn blue rain poncho that smelled of grease and mud.
It was strange—and unsettling—to think that a whole life (his own mother’s, at that) could boil down to half-forgotten oddments molding away in the darkness of a hidden chest.
The most intriguing item Max discovered was a leather-bound book, which turned out to be his mother’s field journal containing a veritable bestiary of pencil illustrations of strange creatures, in addition to many pages of notes of a complex scientific nature in her feverish handwriting.
At first glance, the handwriting sent shivers down Max’s spine. It looked virtually identical to his own hurried, barely legible script, which usually earned him a C for Neatness (or lack thereof) on his report cards, his lowest grade by far.
Max never intended to be messy with his writing, which he could read just fine, years later if necessary, even if his teachers couldn’t. He merely found that his active mind tended to move too fast for his hand to keep up with. Obviously, his mother faced a similar dilemma.
Inside the journal’s front cover, as a kind of private epigraph and guiding philosophy, she had penned a quote from the renowned psychologist Carl Jung: “I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.”
Though Max loved and respected his father more than anyone else alive, in most ways he more closely identified with his mother.
His father was the proverbial insider, a folk hero, a golden boy who could do no wrong—whereas mother and son were quintessential outsiders, quirky individuals with eccentric notions and substandard handwriting. Max wondered if she, too, as a child, had trouble coloring inside the lines?
He always visualized her as a slightly irreverent young woman, fresh out of Yale graduate school, as she appeared in the framed photograph that graced the mantelpiece of the Diver family (such as it was now) home on Tupelo Street.
In the photo, over which Max sometimes caught his father in the melancholy act of reminiscing, his parents were captured arm in arm, smiling and in love, next to Captain Diver’s red and blue Cessna Skyhawk parked on the sun-drenched tarmac of nearby Cape Carnival Jetport.
His mother looked like a cover girl with her olive tan, white teeth, hazelnut eyes, and lustrous, auburn hair. Only her slightly raised nose gave away something a little left of center in her character, some inherent rebelliousness, a sassy gene that made her go her own way—even if it meant flying against the flock.
Twelve years her senior, his father was tall, robust, and in the prime of his life and career—with the barest hint of gray in the tips of his cropped brown hair. He looked like a statue of a Roman emperor with his square chin and noble bearing. Fittingly, the Skyhawk was called the Tempus Fugit, Latin for “time flies.”
According to Max’s Aunt Nadine, whom he sometimes questioned whenever she babysat in matters regarding his mother, rather than burden his father with memories that could only depress him, the photo had been taken around the time of their engagement.
The two had met barely six months earlier—while flying, no less. When not hunting for Bigfoot, his mother was an avid amateur pilot who owned and flew her own rebuilt (as in, by her) Cessna 150J, christened, appropriately enough, the Rara Avis, Latin for “strange bird.”
She had contacted his father via radio on sighting the Tempus Fugit off the southern coast of Florida one Sunday afternoon. They had exchanged words about a storm coming in from down around the Keys and somehow, before their aerial chat ended, managed to make a date for dinner the next weekend.
The rest was history. To say the two were made for each other would be an understatement. They seemed destined to meet—and fated to live together happily ever after.
Had they known what the future held in store, Max couldn’t help but ask himself, would they still have chosen to marry and have a child?
Copyright © Sol Luckman. All Rights Reserved.
Introducing Sol Luckman’s new visionary novel, CALI THE DESTROYER. Learn about the single most censored story in the history of the human race—and why it matters today.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sol Luckman is a pioneering ink and acrylic painter whose work has been featured on mainstream book covers, the fast-paced trading game BAZAAR, and at least one tattoo on a female leg last sighted in Australia.
Sol is also an acclaimed author of fiction, nonfiction, and humor. His books include the international bestselling CONSCIOUS HEALING, which you can read free online, and its popular sequel, POTENTIATE YOUR DNA, available in English and Spanish.
Sol’s popular book of humor and satire, THE ANGEL’S DICTIONARY: A SPIRITED GLOSSARY FOR THE LITTLE DEVIL IN YOU, received the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for Humor and was selected as a Finalist in the Humor category of both the 2018 International Book Awards and the 2018 Best Book Awards.