It was the first day of Kindergarten yesterday for my Littlest Pledge and I leave tomorrow to take the Biggest Pledge off to his first year of college. It only took eighteen years to get all my kiddos into school at the very same time, so you might say that this week is epic...historic...an unparalleled pivot point.
Add to that, I signed a contract with my new publisher, Boroughs Publishing Group, while Hurricane Lane was bearing down on our vacation spot in Maui. Dear Readers, it is more accurate to call this week a Pivot Sharknado.
Which feels appropriate for an author. I'm always looking for the moment when everything changes for my character.
While in Maui, I found myself at the top of a twenty foot high black rock, jelly in my legs, appalled that I would be in such a place, contemplating flinging myself off. All the emotions that I hope to tease out in my characters had shown up to the party. Fear, incredulity, shock, wondering if there was a dignified way out (there was NOT) and, finally, a rough decision to turn off my brain and just do it.
That's the fun in books and the serious business in them too, even when they are light, easy reads. I'm reading to see what these characters do when their own Pivot Sharknado arrives. I'm looking for Pro Tips or Cautionary Tales. I'm looking for Teen Heartthrob Ian Ziering to navigate a path through inexplicably airborne aquatic animals, saving his precious daughter but not feeling terribly eaten up that her loser boyfriend will die in the first scene.
I'm thinking of the books that have navigated me through some shark-infested skies. Pride and Prejudice, my best friend during my freshman year of college, taught me about hasty judgements. Little Women taught me about unfairness (Amy and Laurie. I still cannot with that.) and the bittersweetness of leaving childhood behind. Mrs. Mike taught me perseverence in the face of tragedy.
In each of these, women acted with agency and courage to cross into new territory, leaving markers for me to follow.
Have you ever had a book help you manage your own Pivot Sharknado?