This month, the Girlfriends are blogging about “Spring Fling.” A perfectly appropriate topic, given that rumor has it spring is indeed flinging somewhere. In my little corner of New England, spring has flung more than six cold, heavy inches of snow onto us. Last week, before our most recent snow storm, enough snow had melted to allow me a glimpse of the pointy green tips of my daffodils breaking through the soil. Now, alas, they are once again buried beneath icy mounds of white. But I have faith that eventually beautiful yellow daffodils will grace my front yard like the floral equivalent of sunshine.
My certainty that my daffodils will return each spring could be a symptom of dementia. At least this year, when we’ve received significantly more snow than usual, folks in this part of the country might be forgiven for believing spring will never ever ever arrive. But I’m a writer. You can’t be a writer if you don’t possess a hefty streak of optimism.
Our books start as nothing, after all. They have no life, no reality. They come into existence only because we—their authors—believe in them, believe enough to do the hard work of cultivating them, coaxing them out of the earth and into the air. We fertilize them. We prune them. We fuss and fret over them. We yank out the weeds that threaten to choke them. And if we’re lucky, they blossom.
I’ve just completed the rough draft of a new book, temporarily titled Kickback. It’s a sequel to my first mystery, Still Kicking, which will be released in late 2013 or 2014. Like Still Kicking, Kickback features as its heroine Lainie Lovett, a fourth-grade school teacher and recreational soccer player. In the first book, Lainie manages to figure out who murdered the husband of one of her soccer teammates. In the sequel, Lainie is confronted with several mysteries, one of which is the disappearance of all the money—a sizable sum—from the bank account of her school’s Parent Teacher Organization. One of the organization’s biggest fund-raising events is the carnival it holds every May. The name of the carnival? Spring Fling! I wish I could say I invented that name for the carnival, but I did not. When my sons attended primary school, their school’s PTO sponsored a Spring Fling every May. I’ll bet many other school organizations sponsor events they call “Spring Fling.” The name just sounds so…spring-y.
So even though the weather outside my window still screams winter, I’ll write about Spring Flings. I’ll wait for my daffodils to fling off the mantle of snow and bloom. I’ll count the days until I can fling aside my scarves and sweaters and dance in my yard (rumor has it there’s a lawn under all that white stuff.) Maybe I’ll have a fling with my husband!
And in the meantime, I’ll remain a mildly demented optimist. I’m a writer. What else can I do?
Judith Arnold is the author of 87 novels, many of which she has reissued as ebooks. On March 25th, for one day only, one of her most popular, award-winning novels, Safe Harbor, will be available at a special discount price of only 99 cents at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and Kobo. You can visit her web site, www.juditharnold.com, for information about all her releases.