Monday, March 10, 2014

THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO: Karma or Coincidence? Countdown (Stacy Overman Morrison)

If you've read this intro before, feel free to skip down to Stacy's post!

As many of you may know, THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, my second novel for young adults officially comes out March 25th from Algonquin Young Readers.

THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO tells the story of almost-16-yr-old Francesca “Beans” “Frankie” Schnell who, four years ago witnessed her baby brother, Simon, drown. Guilty and broken, Francesca has hunkered down in the shadows of her life, resolved to play second fiddle to her dead brother’s memory and to her best friend Lisette, a blonde bubbly beauty Francesca lives vicariously through. That is, until she meets a young boy named Frankie Sky who bears an uncanny resemblance to her brother. Frankie brings humor and hope to Francesca’s life, but are all the similarities between Frankie and Simon merely wishful coincidences, or could he be Simon’s reincarnation?

Curious coincidences abound in THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO not only the overlaps between Simon and Frankie Skybut also Bradley’s gift to Francesca, Bradley’s bird sighting, and the ties to the statue of  Saint Florian (you'll have to read to know what these are ;)). Midway through the story Francesca starts to think these events can’t really all just be coincidences, but maybe are “something bigger and magical at work.”

Have you ever experienced strange events that seemed like more than coincidence and made you wonder if fate was at work or that soul and/or reincarnation exist?

Throughout the month, I've decided to pose that question to friends, some writers, others bearing other artistic talents, for a brief account of their own experience with karma, kismet or a mystical connection. I leave you to answer the question, “Karma or Coincidence? Random or something magical at work?” 

I hope you find these stories as intriguing and lovely as I do.

- gae

Today I have Stacy Overman Morrison, author of Comfort of Fences. Her story is so compelling and poignant.

I was raised in a speaking-in-tongues, hellfire-and-brimstone home. God wasn’t to be loved as much as feared, so when I left home, I left any relationship with the Divine, too. For years I professed Atheism but there was still a yearning for something more, the belief of something bigger than myself that unites us all. Like any good autodidact, I turned to books for my salvation and encountered the idea of talking aloud to the Divine, of asking for signs. So I asked for Skeeter to tell me that there is something more after this life.

Skeeter was my older, brilliant, kind cousin. He lived with us one summer and he gave me the stars above and the rocks below. Carrying me on his back, he pointed out constellations and sitting at the table he read me geology books while feeding me popcorn popped on the stove in the little tented aluminum pans. He gave me his time. Then he left to go back to finish his degree, get married, get a job, become a man. He never accomplished that last part. He was killed on an oil rig. The contraption that carries the pipe came loose, hit him in the neck and killed him instantly. He was 21.

Skeeter on his wedding day. 

When I decided to start talking to Spirit, I talked to Skeeter most. It took a while before I was brave enough to ask for that sign, the one that confirmed for me that we still go on. I was on the way to our grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary and I thought, Skeeter, I’m ready. If there is something more, I’m ready for you to show me. My three year old daughter sitting next to me spoke up: “Momma, you know that show Doug? My favorite in that show is Skeeter.” 

I have never doubted an afterlife since. I still search for meaning, for my path, for answers, and that searching is its own religion of sorts. And I still speak aloud to those who have passed. I do not have to be certain how it all works; I just trust it does. 

- Stacy 

Please remember to check out THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO and COMFORT OF FENCES, and please share your own Karma or Coincidence story in the comments if you'd like! 

- gae

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Hard to think of this as just coincidence. Great (comforting) story.