Fantasy and Mystery in a Sea of Self- Discovery

Fantasy and Mystery in a Sea of Self- Discovery

The Anastasia Project
by Loren John Presley is a science fiction fantasy that is both heartwarming and heart wrenching. The author takes us on a fantastic journey told through the eyes of a dolphin named Anastasia. The reader is introduced to Anastasia as a lost, lonely, and confused dolphin who awakens from a strange sleep. She can’t retrieve her memories or recall her name and doesn’t recognize her surroundings.

On the surface the story is presented as a dolphin’s mysterious adventure but there is a deeper meaning to be found in this dolphin’s tale. The author is also giving the reader a glimpse into his struggles with Clinical Depression. The dolphin travels deep into the ocean in search of her home, which is a metaphor for the author’s experience dealing with depression that sent him descending into the depths of despair “…all the way down to the dimly lit ocean floor.” Anastasia and Presley draw upon their strengths and courage to persevere and navigate through their strange new worlds. Both the dolphin and the author are on personal quests. As Anastasia searches for her lost memories and the safety of home, Presley is on his own mission of self-discovery and on his way to self-acceptance.

Presley portrays Anastasia feelings of hopelessness with her futile exploration of the ocean, “She almost would have liked to give up, not thinking of what she would do with herself if she did, but she felt inside she had to keep going. She must see herself through. Her innate determination would not let her give in so easily.”

Presley’s rare insights can be attributed to his unique personal perspective living on the autism spectrum with the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. The author describes a common autistic trait through the dolphin’s experience with auditory sensitivities, “The shrill ring pierced her sound-sensitive brain and throbbed sorely in her head.”

The author expresses Anastasia’s loneliness and her desire for a sense of belonging, “Although a sense of serenity and beauty suffused the water and the reef, a disquieting sense of fear began to rise in her core; she found that she was alone.”

The Anastasia Project is written for young readers but I would recommend it to any adult who feels young at heart. The book is well written and eloquently descriptive. A delightful attention to detail can be seen with the bonus of wonderful illustrations sketched by the talented artists, Loren John Presley and Robyn Olague.

If you have an appreciation for science fiction or you have a particular affinity for dolphins then this read will keep you riveted. If you are interested to learn from the author’s mixture of creative interpretation and personal experience dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome and Clinical Depression then this book is a definite must read. Loren John Presley is a unique author and artist with a brilliant mind, a creative spirit, an artistic flair, and so many insights to share! Fans of Presley’s writing will be looking forward to more stories from him in the near future.

Vist Loren John Presley's web page here:

Did Jett Travolta Have Autism?

After hearing the news about Jett Travolta's death, seeing the photos and file footage of the Travolta family both my husband and I looked at each other and said "Jett had autism." As parents to an autistic child we can spot the signs. We later found out that Jett suffered from seizures which is common for some people on the autism spectrum. We were expecting over the next few days to hear some sort of public statement from a family member or representative stating that Jett had been diagnosed with autism and had died as a result of a seizure. Instead of this revelation there has just been gossip surrounding the 16 year old's untimely death and rumours about his nannies and Scientology's stance on treatments. I recently read an article reporting that John Travolta's brother Joey Travolta believed that Jett had autism and as a former teacher to special needs students he would know.
"John and Kelly have long denied suggestions that Jett had autism, saying instead that he suffered from seizures brought on by Kawasaki Syndrome."
I'm not sure if Jett was on the spectrum or if he had some other learning disability but it would surely help the autism community if this matter could be cleared up. It would be so disappointing if we learned that John and Kelly ignored their son's disability because their religion didn't recognize it or worse, decided to adopt a shame and secrecy stance in an attempt to hide their son's learning disability. So many celebrities come forward and help raise money and awareness for autism and other learning disabilities. It would be a real travesty if the Travoltas' fears of labelling their son outweighed the good they could have done to help the autism community. Maybe it's really none of our business and they do have their right to privacy even if they put themselves out there in the public eye for us all to gawk. Maybe my take on this is totally wrong and far be it for me to judge any family's decision when dealing with a disability. Stay tuned for more updates if the family decides to address their son's disability any further. I chose to post the photo above as it shows the tip-toe walking that tends to be a common autistic trait.

See the link below for the Joey Travolta story.