Tuesday, March 18, 2014

THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO Karma or Coincidence? Countdown (Stephen Schwartz)

For Pete's sake, if you've already read this intro ten times, just scroll down to Stephen's post!

As many of you 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 (sorry, 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 more magical at work?” 

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

- gae

This is the face of a man who
loves bunnies. 

Today, I have writer friend Stephen Swartz here, author of "epic fiction" including a YA-appropriate sci-fi trilogy that starts with book one: DREAM LAND

Stephen shares a sweet and stormy story of a karmic  (?) tornado that stirred up more than just debris. Enjoy!

I remember when the F5 tornado struck just south of my home last May. 

Following the radar images and calculating my odds as I packed my precious things, I happened to see a new reporter on TV, driving a big storm-chaser vehicle but fleeing the tornado instead of chasing it. 
I was hooked: the little girl driving the big truck, talking to the camera out of the side of her mouth as she faced forward to watch where she was racing, telling us about the tornado she had encountered.

She wasn’t a little girl, but a petite woman full of spunk and daring-do. I was so impressed I had to find her online and when I got to Facebook, I sent her a friend request and a short message declaring how impressed I was by her live report. And suddenly, voila! A reply! She was online right then. The same woman I saw on TV a few hours earlier! We exchanged messages for a couple hours longer. It seemed I was at my peak of cleverness that evening—even as we slipped into seriousness while discussing the damage from the tornado and the nine people who died.

In that electronic grasp of humanity, we agreed to meet the next day, just to chat over lattés at the Barnes & Noble bookstore half-way between her TV station and where I lived. Our conversation continued as though we had just logged off Facebook a few minutes earlier. Turned out she was almost as new to the city, as I was.
But we found each other—at the moment we each needed to find someone. 
We parted with a cordial hug and an exchange of cell numbers. Later, we started texting. And, the rest is history: We met at the tornado!
- Stephen

Please check out all of Stephen's books and, if you haven't yet, order your copy of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, hardcover OR Audiobook, out next week!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing how two people can find each other in the face of disaster.