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
To say Max had a lot to chew on during the ride back home would be a vast understatement. He sat in the passenger seat of the Mondays’ Winnebago, with Tuesday behind and Maizy at the wheel, staring up through citrus trees lining the sidewalks at an immaculate early evening sky, miles away in his mind from South Florida.
He had just had a condensed education—and it didn’t take place at school. While many longstanding questions had been answered by Maizy, in one way or another, his thoughts were spinning like river eddies with even more questions.
The biggest question, of course, transcending physics and the realm of how he was able to do the extraordinary things he did, remained firmly rooted in the realm of metaphysics and begged an answer to why he could do these things.
He could still remember the last words, echoing in memory’s chambers, Maizy had read aloud.
The Hanged Man often asks for a sacrifice in exchange for his wisdom. Feelings of being stuck or trapped persist only as long as you cling to your usual perspective. If you are willing to give up some belief or attitude that no longer serves you, your reward will be well worth it. You will gain a deeper understanding of your life and, with this new perspective, old dilemmas and chronic problems can be resolved.
What kind of “sacrifice” was required of Max to gain wisdom? And how could he shift his perspective enough so he no longer felt a victim of his seemingly haphazard gifts—and might harness them by becoming their master?
“I bet your mind’s racing,” commented Tuesday, as if she had been listening to his thoughts, placing her hand on his shoulder in a supportive gesture.
“You can say that again.”
“But I won’t,” she joked.
“Don’t forget Joseph Campbell’s words of wisdom,” said Maizy.
“You mean to follow your bliss?” asked Tuesday.
“That, too,” said Maizy. “But I was actually talking about another quote.”
“Who’s Joseph Campbell?” asked Max.
“A famous writer on comparative mythology. He said, ‘Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.’”
“That sounds about right.”
“He called periods of ‘trial by fire’ like yours the ‘Hero’s Journey.’”
“I’ll buy trial by fire. But you can keep the hero part.”
“Well, you’re certainly not the villain,” interjected Tuesday in an impromptu literary analysis of Max’s character. “So you must be the hero.”
Max directed Maizy through the ritzy residential neighborhood of Oceanside to his sprawling, one-story, ranch-style house, which seemed as wide as the Mondays’ three-story Victorian was tall. The two dwellings struck Max as like water and fire: elementally incompatible.
“We do live in different worlds,” he told Tuesday, observing with new eyes the manicured, cookie-cutter, unreal quality of the toy houses and lawns along Tupelo Street.
“It doesn’t matter. If you get bored with yours, you can come over to my world anytime you like.”
When they pulled in the driveway, Captain Diver’s Jeep was nowhere to be found. Max figured his father was out looking for him—and was going to be royally displeased with his son even more than he already was when he returned. It was almost six o’clock—and Max was supposed to have been home soon after three.
“I’d invite you both in,” said Max, “but I don’t think my dad will be in a very entertaining mood when he gets home. He doesn’t even know about my fight yet.”
“God. I forgot all about that!” said Tuesday.
“Me, too. Almost.”
“You won, at least.”
“At least. I do have some things for the two of you, though, if you don’t mind waiting here just a second.”
“We can do that,” said Maizy.
Max grabbed his backpack, exited the van, hurried inside his house (which, compared to the Monday’s funhouse, felt empty in more ways than one), tossed his bag on his bed, retrieved the Lego box from his closet, and found what he was seeking.
“These are for you,” he told Maizy, dropping a handful of sacha inchi seeds in her palm through the open van window. “They’re from Peru.”
“Incan peanuts!” she exclaimed. “I’ve never eaten dream food before.”
“Me neither,” Max laughed.
“You know, they may not look like much,” said Maizy. “But they’re the food highest in Omega-3 fatty acids on the planet. Which means they’re really, really good for you. Thanks, Max.”
“You’re welcome, Maizy. Thank you.”
“And this is for you, Tuesday. Happy late birthday. I thought it would go well with your hair.” He held out the Celtic bracelet from his dream. “I brought it back from Ireland, I think.”
“Mom and I are both Irish!” said Tuesday. “Well, our ancestors were.”
The bracelet, which looked to be a mixture of interwoven white and yellow gold, was thin but extremely intricate—like a braided rope or multi-stranded helix of DNA twisting in two tones around itself endlessly—and fit like a charm when she slipped it on her wrist.
“That’s some bracelet!” said Maizy in an astonished voice.
“Is it real? I mean—is it an antique?” asked Tuesday.
“I’m not sure,” said Max. “Maybe. Probably. I retrieved it from some kind of archeological dig.”
“It’s cool. I mean, it’s … beautiful. Breathtaking even.” Uncharacteristically, Tuesday seemed nearly at a loss for words. “Are you sure you want to give this to me? It must be worth a lot.”
“Money, I have, or at least my dad does. But friends, not so much. I want you to have it.”
“That’s incredibly generous of you. Thanks for this, Max. I’ll never forget it!” She reached out the window and hugged him. Awkwardly and self-consciously, Max returned the hug.
“Is that your dad?” asked Maizy. “I believe that’s him.”
Max’s heart sank as he immediately let go of Tuesday and tried to compose himself. The new white Jeep pulled up alongside the old black Winnebago. It occurred to him that even the two families’ vehicles were polar opposites.
Captain Diver cast a quick eye on his son as he got out of the Jeep, assessing with military efficiency whether Max was okay, despite the watermelon hue around his eye, and what might be going on with two strange females parked in his driveway. But keeping his thoughts and emotions, whatever they were, in check, all he said was, “I see you’re home.”
“Yeah. Sorry for being so late. Dad, this is Tuesday from school and her mother, Maizy. This is my dad.”
Never one to be shy, Tuesday said, “Pleased to meet you, Captain Diver. I read your biography.”
“You read my biography? Don’t you have better things to do?” he joked. It was a classic Diverian icebreaker, delivered with ease and authenticity, and everyone laughed, relieved. “Pleased to meet you, too. Lovely bracelet.”
“Thanks,” said Tuesday, seemingly unsure whether to divulge that Max had just given it to her.
“I’m Thomas,” said Max’s father, shaking Tuesday’s mother’s hand.
“I know. I’ve seen you occasionally at PTA meetings.”
“Oh, I hate those tacky things. I only attend when my guilt at not having attended reaches a certain level.”
It was Thomas’s turn to be made to laugh. “Same here,” he admitted.
“Look. I’m sure you and Max will discuss today’s events. But I want you to know, from my perspective, he’s a great kid.”
“I realize that.”
“And he’s my best friend,” added Tuesday. “Please go easy on him, Captain Diver. Nothing that happened today was his fault.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
When the Mondays left them standing alone in the twilit driveway at last, Max’s father turned to him and asked, “So, is that your girlfriend?”
“No. Just my best friend.”
“She’s got potential. Wait a few years. I bet she’ll look like her mother.”
He never once asked about the bracelet, though he surely registered that Max had given it to Tuesday. Probably, being fair-minded and not in the least covetous, he figured it was Max’s to give to whomever he liked. “How’s the eye?”
“Could be worse.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Yes. But not right this instant—if that’s okay with you. I think I just want to be alone this evening.”
“Would you like something to eat?”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Fair enough.” His father draped a muscular arm around his shoulders and Max smelled the familiar, comforting scent of Old Spice. “But I’m here if you need me.”
“I know. Thanks, Dad.”
“Don’t mention it.”
In his exhausted dream that night, in which he could feel his eye socket and ribs throbbing, Max found himself walking through a dense forest at dusk.
Glancing at his hands, he was surprised to discover they were perfectly blue. When he looked behind him, his silver cord shimmered its way back through the dark trees until it was lost from sight.
He came to a clearing, where a natural whirlpool, seemingly lit from below, cast glowing reflections of ripples all around.
Kneeling beside it, his long hair, perhaps wet from rain in the forest, in whose branches he could hear the wind, nearly touching the water’s steaming surface, he was greeted by a blue face that he mistook for his reflection—until he realized the face was making independent movements that didn’t correspond to his own.
“Thank you for coming,” said the blue face, which otherwise, except for the bindi in the middle of the forehead, was identical to his own face. “I cannot express how glad I am you received my message. He desperately needs your help!”
“Who?” asked Max, not knowing what else to say.
“You must come to him. I cannot do this alone.”
“Do what alone? Who are you?”
“My name is Max,” said the blue face, just as a howling wind bent the forest and extinguished all the lights—and Max sat bolt upright in bed with the early morning sun glowing behind the curtains.
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.