Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Summer is coming; It's time to let go.

For me, summer is such an incredible time of letting go, and of bliss.

It wasn't always that way for me. If you asked kid/teen me my least favorite season, it was probably summer, or at least summer played a close second to winter in that regard.

I'm not sure why, but the summer held angst for me, rather than allure.

It wasn't until I became a real swimmer in my early 40's -- and an open water swimmer -- that summer turned into something else entirely. A time of power, a time of regeneration and healing, a time of bravery, and, yes, a time of relaxation and bliss.

Now, each dark, weary winter, I remind myself I just need make it to summer and the restoration will begin.

Don't get me wrong. I love spring too, with its endless buds and promise. And for me, that is when the open water season now readily begins. I was out with my Pod this past weekend, and it was glorious -- cold (about 45- 48) but "doable" and therefore, EVERYTHING.

me, last weekend, with my Podmates, before. . .

and after our amazing 45-minute open water swim...

As a Podmate watched me stand at the water's edge and breathe deeply in, he said to me, you really need to write a book about the water.

Oh, Tony, I have! I said. I promise you I have.

And while it's surely a theme I return to again and again, my book about water is THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO -- a book about the fury and power of water to take away, as well as its power to heal and help us forgive.

One of my favorite early reader reviews contained this sentence, "It's as if the water itself is a character in the story." I wept when I read that review as it is exactly what I set out to do.

I know that the book has been characterized as "YA" and of that I am proud. But I also want my readers to know that I try to write books that will be loved by any age, 12 - 102. Yes, my published works are stories set at a particular time of youth, but, I hope, they are inhabited by characters and themes that will appeal to the most sophisticated and savvy reader among us. Think To Kill a Mockingbird or Huck Finn, or A Separate Peace or the many, many wonderful novels for all ages populated by teenaged kids.

The truth is, most YA writers today will tell you that. We write for everyone.

We write for you.

At any rate, as SUMMER turns 2 (!!) next month, and I hope you'll add it to your reading list if you haven't read it yet. If you've read and loved it, I hope you'll share your review on line, and word of mouth with a friend.

And, last but not least, for those who don't know, I wrote an essay HERE for my publisher about why I wrote THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, and I hope it might move you, if you haven't read it yet.

Here's to spring, and the bliss soon to come.

xox gae

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