GOLDILOCKS UNPLUGGED

BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY NEW SECOND CHILDHOOD

When it came to porridge, chairs and beds, Goldilocks was one picky little kid. But somewhere in the middle of too small, too big, too soft, too hard, too cold, and too hot, was just right. Similarly, somewhere in the genre of books for ‘middle-grade’ readers (aged 9 to 12) are stories ‘just right’ for adults in need of a simpler world.

Children’s books are not just for children anymore. But were they ever? For one thing, they’re written by adults for children and therefore must surely encompass the author’s experiences of being a child. What captivated them? Possibly an older generation of children’s books: ie Peter Pan, Alice in wonderland, Narnia, Little house on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, and Mary Poppins.

I write for the ‘muddle-grade’ – an expanding readership of adults in search of a simpler time – namely their carefree childhood days, real or imagined. My middle-grade Bede series is ‘just right’ for any reader over nine. In many ways, it was written more specifically for the middle-aged reader in search of better times: world weary, downtrodden, jaded, underpaid, overworked, down to earth, dedicated parents and grandparents, spinsters and earthmothers, escapists all from haunting mid-life crises who need a break and a push to let go and be a kid.  

Being nine years old for a stolen hour is an affordable luxury. A bubble bath for the mind. And more importantly, an essential time out from the rat race and apron strings. Second childhoods beckon for a reason. You need to play. A time travel adventure is a ticket to your past. And what better time to appreciate the joys of make-believe than from the perspective of middle-age.

Goldilocks took the ‘middle road’ (definition: ‘a course’ of actions midway between extremes’).

I recommend a bolder mortgage-free path of time travel, revisiting your past while living in the moment. An extremely vital trip dabbling in the forgotten arts of happy go lucky. 

And so, I invite you to meet me in the middle by stepping over a liminal threshold marked by the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s great Wall in England, into the timeless landscape of fictional Bede, built atop the ruins of prehistoric Britain. Bede Hall is an abandoned stately home – a combination of Hogwarts Castle and Downton Abbey, a magical building with a mind of its own where its long-standing aristocratic family navigate a world of ghosts and time portals ruled by Royal Abyssinian cats from ancient Egypt alongside a host of reincarnated geniuses recalled from the past to fight an ancient war over a prime piece of real estate from the continent of Pangea.

Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Edward Lear’s ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, A.A. Milne’s ‘Winnie the Pooh’, C.S. Lewis’s ‘Narnia’, Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’, Phillipa Pearce’s ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’, and every Christmas movie adapted from print is nostalgia on tap for grownups feasting on memories of Christmases past every December without fail. Some things never get old. The best stories entertain the world. Harry Potter anyone?

PARANORMAL DISCLAIMER  

It occurs to me that our worst and best moments embed themselves in our minds like snapshots in a photo album. Every now and then they flash from muscle memory. Images that have a particular impact, like it or not, continue to haunt or inspire us for ill or for gain. And like all true pictures, they’re worth a thousand words. So, a picture can, in effect, be a ghost who walks through a room and leaves an impression when you least expect it.

The ghosts in my stories are generally metaphors for human mistakes. What if a ghost was a confused person who never died? Say, someone traumatized who has retreated into psychological hiding a.k.a. ‘flight’ mode to feel safe. In other words, the paradox of a ‘living’ ghost with survival instincts.

In ‘SNOW BEHIND THE DOOR’, book four, the ‘stand-alone-prequel-sequel-summary’ of my Bede Series, Snow, a nine-year old girl, is the lingering trace of a traumatized life-force with an unfinished tale she must remember. In physical terms, Snow is blocking guilt and shame with self-induced amnesia. She copes by believing she is invisible. Wow! Sound familiar anyone?

IN SNOW’S WORDS:

[A million years after I broke the world, I said I was sorry. But until I truly mean it, my truth is frozen in time. My companions are a rabbit doll, a keyhole named Jack, and a disgruntled stately home. And so, I remain, age nine, adrift in the ‘House of Reincarnations’ where the scent of lavender once started an endlessly cold war. – Snow]

BACK BLURB from ‘SNOW BEHIND THE DOOR’

After being reunited with her family, Snow, the ‘child ghost of Bede Hall’, retreats into her subconscious to escape the terrifying possibility of haunting Bede Hall forever. In order to save herself, Snow must battle her way through memory loss, dream her way through time to reclaim her lost memories, make peace with a past life, and discover if reincarnation is a viable alternative to a fate worse than death.

I have to say, where I live, on Vancouver Island, the temperature of porridge is the last thing on your mind if you meet a mama bear with baby bear in the woods. Papa bears may be mildly alarming but it’s mama one has to watch out for

And so, until we meet next on the playground of cozy art history mysteries or in Bede, I wish you happy time traveling to a simpler world you so rightly deserve.

‘SNOW BEHIND THE DOOR’  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B095V6D5VF

About Veronica Knox

Veronica Knox has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alberta, where she studied Art History, Classical Studies, and Painting. In her career as a graphic designer, illustrator, private art teacher, and ‘fine artist,’ she has also worked with the brain-injured and autistic, developing new theories of hand-to-eye-to-mind connection. Veronica lives on the west coast of Canada, supporting local animal rescue shelters, painting, writing, editing other author’s novels, and championing the conservation of tigers and elephants, and their habitats. Her artwork and visuals to support ‘Second Lisa’ may be viewed on her website - www.veronicaknox.com
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