|Before I share some fun content from my project in progress, I’d like to announce. and I cannot even believe it….that my YOUNG ADULT novel called BLACK LICORICE has been handed in and given the stamp of approval. This project has been rewritten a bunch of times, on delay from Covid, and revised more times than I can count. It was a difficult endeavor for me. |
It’s the one that almost put me six feet under. But it’s finished, and I am so proud of it and the work my editors Justine Manzano and Dakota Rayne have undergone with me. They showed me the flaws, the beauty, and the potential every step of the way.
It required buckets of tears and sweat, but it’s done. The release day is looking like January 2023.
If you are interested in receiving an ADVANCE COPY to read and review, kindly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s a 76-thousand-word novel about:
Teenage friendships and all of the mistakes
Classical Musicians and their love for the art
Oceans, Boardwalks, Skee-Ball, Pizza
Smashing Things for fun
And now for some sensory content:
The scrapes of the blade on ice and the tight grip of concentration were the hooks for me. The part of the human spirit that’s fiercest runs rampant in Olympic athletes, and I noticed it. Figure skating was love at first sight for me. Katerina Witt caught my eye when I was seven years old and watched a grainy 1984 Winter Olympics on our television set on Mulberry. Her red costume—her dark eye shadow, and most of all, the champion in her eyes. I loved her. I wanted to be her. Athletic, feminine, and so skilled because of hours of hard work. Also, she looked like a very nice person.
Here’s how the figure skating three-dimensional fantasy of mine looked, starting that year when Katerina Witt found her way to my family room to the tune of “Carmen” during the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. I’d make sure I had socks on, and one of my dancing tights and leotard on. The music began, and without taking my eyes off the chunky screen, I’d glide around my own “ice” of a carpet, twist, turn, pull out every dance move I knew. Every extension of my leg and torso until it felt like I was the one competing. Every now and then, I’d pause just to watch her skate—the love and intensity in her eyes. I was on the way to the gold medal with her. I ended up watching every single skater that year, anxious to see the men’s competition too. It’s now 2022 in Beijing and I can safely say that I have never missed the Winter Olympics Figure Skating Singles. Nothing against pairs. There’s something more magical for me about a solo skate. There have been so many favorites along the way. How did I choose a favorite? Just a gut feeling. Every time Carolina Kostner from Italy graced the ice, I couldn’t help but smile and cheer for her success. Something in her eyes that is passionate, and kind makes her a champion, in my opinion.
Watching figure skating was so much more than medals and being a champion for a kid like me. Even now as an adult, despite knowing more of the technical aspect and just how grueling of a sport it is. I saw through the glamour even as a kid, but here’s what I truly saw—ice, fresh air, freedom, movement, grace, precision, and the sound of that thin metal blade moving a human body through time and space. I used to wonder how each skater knew this was the event they’d like to devote every waking hour to. Like do young figure skaters always favor winter over summer? Are they also lovers of cold and refreshing over humidity and sunshine? The clarity of the routines—the moves that become so engrained in a brain each time the song begins—-these were all things I could relate to at a young age because of dancing school and my tendency to love a regimen and predictability of actions. To know that when the drums kick in, I was over here on this part of the stage, but then when the cello solo arrives, I am lined up with Lisa or Jill. Oh, and then my favorite part right before that last count of eight—oh how I love that part when my right leg got to look like a perfect line. More than the sensations in my body during the specific moves and chunks of the routine, was the overall routine itself. The sensory regulation that accompanies getting a routine down is indescribable for me. Mastering a set of steps over multiple sets of counts—even in orchestra or band—it’s the stuff that let me sleep at night.
Thank you for reading.