Thursday, June 14, 2012

What summer brings...

Summer time brings back a flood of memories; most of them involve a great story, either the actual experience or the exaggerated version that continues to get better each time I tell it. There were days when my cousins and I would swim from 7am until 10pm, only getting out to eat or use the facilities. The hot sun superheated the sidewalk where we used to dry out and deepen our summer tan, obviously unaware of anything involving sun screen or the words ‘skin cancer’. The cherry tree doubled as a tree house and a mid-afternoon snack, causing our tummies to swell and our chins to remain stained with sweet cherry juice. Then there were the times we slaved for hours making a Star Wars space station from abandoned refrigerator boxes and pretending to be Han Solo and Chewbacca. We rode around in the neighborhood on our beat-up bikes immortalizing Dukes of Hazzard and Smokey and the Bandit. As in most neighborhoods, we had the quintessential cat lady living next door who inspired many tall tales of why we never saw her in person and if the cats had eaten her. Counting cats became a tradition and a game we would play while stationed in the cherry tree, which also doubled as summer school, at least in our opinion, since the number of cats were so high! Lunch consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or bologna and cheese. This began another tradition in our summer months as we sat on the front porch and randomly chose which cars would become ours when we got older. The jest of the game, shout out the following: “The next three cars from the left are mine, four cars on the right are yours” and wait to see if you got an awesome car or a jalopy. Ridiculous you might say, but to us, it was thoroughly entertaining to see your cousin get stuck with a hoopty!  Brutal games of wiffle ball often took place in the latter portion of the afternoon where the object of the game was not to get on base, but who could take a wiffle ball to the back without crying. The one who had the best welt, won! I know, a warped sense of fun, but we survived….
How can summer fun be improved you might ask? Well, let’s throw in a game of truth and dare…without the truth. We would dare one another to play pranks on the neighbors, eat disgusting objects (such as a bologna and worm sandwich), and push the limits with our parents to see who could be the last kid to get in trouble.

When the light of day would fade to the black of night, we would bring the fun inside and make a huge fort from our blankets and sheets while we ate junk food and plotted our gun-disc attack or water balloon brigade with the kids down the street. Eventually, during the late hours of morning, we nodded off to dreamland, weary of what the other might do to the first to fall asleep.  
In the morning, it was always a treat to see who ended up with gum in their hair or a Hotwheel imprint on their face from falling asleep across the myriad of toys, but the sweet smell of pancakes and bacon brought us running into the kitchen to begin another fun filled day of summer bliss.

These are the memories I hold dear to my heart and share with my own children, hoping they too will have nostalgia when they are older from their summer fun. As a writer, I often pull from my experiences I had as a kid, the fun we used to have, the games we passionately played and the stories we now can tell to all who will sit to listen. The characters in my young adult series have as much orneriness, and spunk as I can conjure up that mirrors my behaviors, my children’s behaviors and my sensational cousins with their quirkiness and 100% boy mentality. I will forever be indebted to my cousins for the wonderful summers we had together, the glorious camping trips, and our remarkable time spent with one another. Thank you guys for treating me like one of the boys and proving to me it’s okay to be a tomboy sometimes and ALL girl at other times!

To find out more about my young adult series and the adventures my characters endure, please visit the  webpage at to experience the world of fantasy through ELEMENTS, where evil has challenged, and destiny answers through a pair of unlikely heroes.

Book three, Kingdom of Aqueous, soon to be released, summer 2012!

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