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In the story

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

“His thoughts seemed more distant, less audible within his own mind. It was as though a mental fog had settled upon his consciousness…” and thus, “Lost on a Page” by David E. Sharp draws the reader in. There is a reading lounge within The Library, an ultimate place which houses every book ever written, and the characters gather there. It is not a regular library at all of course. And this is not a regular story.

I am sure there are times when you have placed yourself inside of a story you are reading, as the main character or one of the characters standing on the sidelines. But has the main character of a book you are reading ever become the main character of a second book looking into the first book? Convoluted? Yes, definitely! But here is how it goes…

Ben is an author. He is writing an old-fashioned private investigator crime book where the flavor of the story reflects the 30s and 40s Americana. The PI is rough and gruff, speaking in a parody of cliches that surprisingly resemble an odd musical cadence. Women are molls or dames, very mysterious creatures, with hats that curve over one eye, velvet gloves on their hands and long shapely legs that dangle lusciously one over the other when crossed, the seam in the back of the silk stockings unrealistically straight.

The PI’s name is Joseph Slade. He is comfortably inside a story that is full of its own action packed host of shady characters with a murder to solve, when he is approached by a mysterious woman, an elf and a dwarf, who spoil his current story by telling him the ending that he hasn’t experienced yet, so that he will be free to help them with their story.

On the side, the author of the PI’s story sends emails to his publisher saying something is wrong with his computer. That it keeps changing the story he is writing. A computer virus? After the second chapter is sent and changed again, he accuses his computer repairman of changing his story. He is desperate and late for his deadline. He keeps writing. The story he writes keeps changing.

If you are wanting something different to read and several mysteries to solve, let “Lost on the Page” take you there. But be careful! Don’t step too deep into the story yourself or… well… I just can’t make any promises of where you may wind up!

Life in a swamp has a unique vibe and heartbeat. In “The Way to Storey” by L. B. Anne, Luella Charles, an 11-year-old, is totally fine being ordinary. Living with her grandpa in a southern swamp full of low crawling creatures and millions of insects, she is content. But when her grandpa is suddenly taken away by government officials, the ever curious Luella sets out for a mysterious land, and in search of a way to free her grandfather and get him safely back to her.

Though the story of Storey is written with the middle grade reader in mind, it is one of those stories written for any age if the reader welcomes adventure with an open imagination. Characters like Luella, smart, fun and wise, have a way of unfolding the inner motivations and feelings of the reader. The adventure of Luella becomes a road map for all of us who are searching for something important in life and wanting to protect those that we love. Spend a day exploring a new world while reading “The Way to Storey” and perhaps you will find yourself in a new place in real life as well.

In the picture book “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires, a young child lives out the exciting and sometimes exasperating process of fulfilling one’s imagination into reality. It is not always easy to create that magnificent thing that we can see in our mind’s eye into actual form. A painting, music, a project? What would fulfill your magnificent thing? It takes courage and determination, as well as talent and clarity to create. And sometimes, many failures before success. In reality, the end result is not really about perfection but about the process of getting there, creating something out of nothing while using our mind and emotions to shape the final product. I think there are many days at any age that we could use a pep talk in completing a new task and being satisfied with the outcome.

In a world where others try to draw out and place for us the perimeters around our lives, we can break free from the concepts of what we are told should be and find release and freedom doing things exactly our own way with no judgement and no perfection needed. The key is to do so with love, joyfully, for ourselves and others. Self permission is a precious gift, indeed.

Good books. Good reading.

*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.