Tintabula, a bedtime novel – coming soon

 

Silence is a sounding thing, to one who listens hungrily. ~Gwendolyn Bennett

Tintabula is a story of sensory delight and overstimulation, exploring the moment when rapture turns to derangement. A modern Alice in Wonderland for the neurodivergent set, the novel follows a young woman with Sensory Processing Disorder on her odyssey through the dream world, navigating the twists and turns of consciousness, interoception and the psychic landscape.

Very St. Clair falls asleep like she falls in the waking world: clumsily. For Very, sleep is unattainable, sounds are searing, and she has trouble processing the tintinnabulation of the world, world, world*.

Desperate, Very takes an experimental sleep class led by a fringe-science neurologist. That night, Very falls asleep easily–too easily, perhaps–and is dragged through the undertow of a series of phantasmagorical dreamscapes.

Very discovers that she was lured to this dream world, called Tintabula, for a reason; It involves a young girl, a black stallion named Bathory, and Very’s sleep classmates. They, too, have their own sensitivities: the neurodivergent, the anxious, the empaths, the obsessive personalities, the attention deficit disordered. Those who feel too much, too fast, too late, too much. Or, “feelies,” as Very likes to call people like herself.

In this collective lucid dream, where fireworks blossom into nebulae and wildflower fields swell with breath, creativity kills the competition and the introverted, for once, are verted in the right direction.

Very finds the quirks that plague her in real life are super-powers here. She’s what you’d call filthy rich with innerworld expertise. Very’s heartbreaking childhood haunts her through different dream vignettes as she comes to terms with her own brand of “weird girl power” and defeats a madman, all while trying not to get trapped in Tintabula forever. Though she’s not entirely sure that would be a bad thing.

Infused with absurdity, the prose of Tintabula is much like the psychedelic landscape of the realm itself: Embodying an exquisite appreciation for the ridiculous, a fluency in the nonsensical, and above all else, a belief that whimsy is an underrated therapy for the soul.

Hilarious, strange and yet somehow nostalgic at the same time, this is a psychedelic meditation on the languages we speak that no one ever talks about. Woven throughout are shiny tricks to calm a busy mind courtesy of synesthesia, ASMR, Sensory Integration through Occupational Therapy, and psychological therapies for anxiety.

Tintabula is a love story for outcasts who yearn to feel comfortable in their bodies, in their minds, on this planet.

Follow Erin K. Barnes:

Email Newsletter
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
Patreon

 * * *

Get Notified When It’s Out

Information won’t be shared or used for anything other than to notify you.

 

 * * *

*The Bells
Edgar Allan Poe, 1809 – 1849

I.

Hear the sledges with the bells—
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

II.

Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

III.

Hear the loud alarum bells—
Brazen bells!
What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now—now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling.
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells—
Of the bells—
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

IV.

Hear the tolling of the bells—
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people—ah, the people—
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone—
They are neither man nor woman—
They are neither brute nor human—
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A pæan from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the pæan of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the pæan of the bells—
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells—
Of the bells, bells, bells—
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells—
Of the bells, bells, bells—
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells—
Bells, bells, bells—
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.