Friday, March 21, 2014

The Summer of Letting Go: Karma or Coincidence? Countdown (Robert Leland Taylor)

If you've read this intro before, skip down to Robert's post. 

As some of you may know, THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, my second novel for young adults 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 be coincidences, “but 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, “Random or something magical at work?” 

- gae

Today I have friend (and talented writer and artist!), Robert Leland Taylor (one of the kookiest, funniest guys I have the pleasure to know.

If you'd like to follow him on twitter or like him on facebook, there you go!)

He's the author of Holy Toledo and the Virgin Shirley.

Here he is with the story of a telltale sewer. Of course he is.

I felt guilty about receiving letters from an ex-girlfriend during my first marriage, but did so anyway. She'd written them all on pink stationery and mailed them to the store I managed, to insure privacy. But, like an idiot, I took them home, hid them in the bottom drawer of my desk.

Then one day they came up missing—all of them—probably seven or eight.

The next few days were torture. I knew who took them, my wife knew I knew who took them, yet neither of us said a word to each other.

The following Sunday I climbed into the car to go to work. It was a beautiful day, bright and clear after days of incessant thunderstorms. The car wouldn't start. So I headed off on-foot toward the store, five bocks away.  About halfway there I stopped in my tracks—a nearby sewer was heaving noisily, bringing up a soggy mix that included pink stationery with hand-written lines.

Yes, they were the very same lines missing from my desk drawer.

Looks like a plain old sewer. . . or is it?

That evening I found the courage to face my wife. “I'm sorry,” I said.

She nodded, smiled pensively. We held each other, feeling a tremendous weight lifting, our lives on track once again.

She told me she'd flushed the letters down the toilet one page at a time the same day she found them. My eyes were the first to see them when they re-emerged. Coincidence? Maybe. But when you consider the odds...

- Robert

Please check out Robert's book and order or buy your copy of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO today, popping up on bookshelves everywhere.

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