Anyone who knows anything about aardvarks, knows that they are humble plain gray creatures who want nothing more than to sunbathe, burrow and walk about on all fours. All aardvarks, that is, except for ODDVARK.
Festooned in black-and-white spots and tending to walk up right, on two feet, Oddvark stands out from his community not only in appearance but also in behavior; on a clear night, you'll find him on the outskirts of town, reciting a ballad to the moon and stars.
The other aardvarks, unsure of how to handle their anomalous peer, reject Oddvark - often resorting to taunting and bullying. So Oddvark's quest for love and acceptance begins. Along the way, he'll encounter strange and mystical creatures, including the Ogrediles, the Three Feathered Flynot and the Shamana-man. He will also receive a yellow kazoo whose magical powers at first seem hidden, but whose real strength ultimately lies within the creature playing it.
While "Oddvark Finds his Humm" does not attempt a direct corrective, its message of self-acceptance and fulfillment through non-material means, as well as a generosity of spirit (Find your Humm - Join the Chorus) will surely resonate with adults and children alike - as will the whimsical, oftentimes silly drawings and the offbeat poetic language in which its creatures speak.
About the Author
Her ability to draw and write, in concert with a quirky sense of humor, have been a constant thread in her life, regardless of the circumstances she found herself in. Reflecting the artist's nature, The Seriously/Silly Series was birthed in 2010 with Lindy's first book - "Porkelia a Pig's Tale". In midlife, Lindy ripped up her application to graduate school and embarked upon living her life as a creative artist - at first part-time, and now as a full-time artist/illustrator. After spending several years self-teaching Adobe Illustrator in order to modernize her work, Lindy is back and ready to introduce the series. Lindy long ago believed, and subsequently learned, that not paying attention to your own talents, what you love, what makes your heart Hummm - is not a "practical" thing to do. Early on in her life, the artist gave birth to two sons who have been enthusiastic supporters of their mother's work. She lives in Florida with her two cats, Shanti and Cozmo.
Table of Contents
Oddvark finds his Humm - The Oddvarkian Version of the classical hero's journey.
1 Oddvark, the obvious outcast in a family of aardvarks, is teased and bullied. In despair, he retreats to a rock outside of the village to write poems and sing to the stars and moon.
2. The Call to Adventure
A. He is visited by an other-wordly bird who leaves him a yellow feather; a feather that turns into a yellow kazoo.
B. Oddvark hums into the kazoo - and discovers, for one moment, a deep connection to himself and the experience of being alive. "The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature." Joseph Campbell
C. He quickly forgets, however, and misinterprets the meaning of the kazoo; seeing it as an instrument to gain the love and acceptance he longs for. This, of course, backfires and Oddvark returns to the rock where he reluctantly follows the call to enter the deepest, darkest part of the jungle - in his search for validation and love.
B. Trials and tribulations - Oddvark encounters fanciful, often frightening creatures - who guide him deeper into the jungle.
C. The Ordeal - Oddvark enters "The Valley of FOREVERMOREDOUBT" - where everything is dark and despairing. It is here where he gives up, asking for help from the stars and the moon.
D. The Ressurection - the discovery that the gift lies not within the kazoo itself, but within the creature humming into it. Himself.
E. The Return with the Elixir or Boon - Oddvark returns to the village with knowledge about how to live a fulfilled life. While in the classical story, it is important to pass that knowledge onto others, to "return the Boon" - Oddvark (being an aardvark) shares the knowledge, the Boon, by his actions and his energy; an energy that invites others to join in and find their own hummm and of equal importance, to join the chorus. It also speaks to Joseph Campbell's quote "We're not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes."
Oddvark recognizes that all the characters and ordeals he encountered on his journey - the villains and obvious helpers - were all instruments of his becoming. He now rejoices in the experience of being alive - inviting others to do the same - to "Find your Hummm and Join the Chorus."