Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bonfires and Visions

(I'm late with my Midsummer post, mostly because mine was spent on a plane to Seattle for work. I still wanted to share a few Midsummer traditions on this blog without having to wait until next year, though, so... let's pretend this was written a week ago, okay?)

There's magic in the simple fountain* in my family's village. According to legend, if a girl drinks its water in the middle of the night on Midsummer's eve, she will dream of the man she is meant to marry.

If you believe in the old traditions, that is.

And if you believe in these traditions, you probably would have already jumped the midsummer bonfires, maybe while holding hands with the boy in town who had stolen your heart. Because, you know, jumping the bonfire means that you will stay together.  And, of course, you would also have devoted a few minutes to setting out a glass filled with water and an egg for another 'bout of pre-sunrise fortune telling.

Anything is possible on Midsummer.

A lot of this folklore is amazingly similar to Midsummer traditions throughout Europe. Generation upon generation of girls dreamed of the boys they would love. Will o' the wisps were chased through forests. Magic and wonder wove into the everyday for just one night a year.

These customs are dying out with my grandparents' generation as young people move overseas or to the city, or push away "silly old superstitions." Sadly, they stretch back centuries, back to before Christianity replaced "Midsummer" with the feast of St. John. I still think the magic is there, waiting. All you need to do is take a sip and believe.

*These aren't the jumping water kind-of fountains, but usually just spigots of continuously running spring water from the mountains or faucets connected to a communal well. Before modern water towers and plumbing, families who didn't have their own wells were dependent on the town fountain for their drinking/cleaning/bathing water. Many towns still test the water to make sure it's drinkable, and many fountains still run to this day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Waiting on Wed... uhm...Tuesday: Cover Reveal for All the Broken Pieces

Breaking my self-imposed blog hiatus for a moment to help reveal something awesome.

First, read this:

What if your life wasn’t your own?

 Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

Now, look at this:

All the Broken Pieces: a Gothic mystery, this is the story of Olivia, who wakes up with mysterious voices and urges she’s not used to. Turns out there’s another voice in her head—but where exactly did she come from?
Imprint: Entangled Teen; Publication Date: December, 2012.

Isn't that cover GORGEOUS? And it couldn't belong to a more wonderful person!  I've been following Cindi on twitter for about a year now and (when she's not trying to set me up with the guy in my office who looks like Thor/Chris Hemsworth...) she's fantastic and supportive-- and I couldn't wait to hear the announcement about her book.

Now that I've seen the blurb and cover and read the excerpt, I can't wait!

Find Cindi here:!/search/cindi%20madsen

And you can pre-order her book here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

(Just in case you need any MORE incentive... I have a little excerpt under the cut):

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sometimes You Catch Wonderful Things...

(First, sending my love to everyone who usually follows this blog and to all of the blogs I follow-- between family, work, physical therapy/doctor's appointments, recital season, a head cold that took over AFTER finishing antibiotics, and writing/book related events... blogging and blog-following have fallen by the wayside. But a few of those are finally winding down and I promise I'll be back to posting and commenting and reading soon. *crosses fingers*)

There will be a BEA post soon, but not today. Today's post is about two wonderful, magical moments I glimpsed while on the ice this weekend for my skating lesson. Both involving teens. And "liking"/"crushing"/"love." They were adorable and wonderful and reminded me why I love writing for and about these amazing not-kids but not-yet-adults:

1. A beautiful and confident teen girl was skating around with some of her friends, one of them a boyfriend (or a boy who wants to be more than friends.) It was easy to see how he felt about this girl from the look in his eyes whenever he looked her way. Her hair was loose to about her waist and practically floated behind her when she skated. At one point, he was skating from behind to catch up with her and reached out to just let his fingers graze the tip of a strand of her hair before picking up speed and coming up beside her to chat. I don't think she was aware of that faint touch and, unless anyone was watching, it all would have gone unnoticed.

2. A different teen boy was skating around with a girl-- I'm not sure if she was his girlfriend or almost-girlfriend, but this was another boy who wore his heart on his sleeve. She was obviously a first time skater, so he skated backwards veeeerrrrrry slowly, holding her arms, talking to her and keeping her eyes on him instead of on the ice. At a few points in the session, he had leaned his head down until their foreheads were almost touching, whispering to her until she smiled these goofy little smiles. He put her at ease and kept her steady on a frighteningly unsteady surface. They were still slowly making rounds of the perimeter of the rink when I finished my lesson and left an hour later. I'm usually not a fan of people skating backwards without looking, but I'm going to give him a pass because they were so cute!

(FYI, I had a skating date once when I wasn't a skater. He complained about propping me up, tried to get me a cone to hold on to while I skated, and then asked me if it was okay if he "skated around by himself for a bit" because "going slow is boring." Uhm... that should have been a hint as to how the rest of our "relationship" was going to fare. Nothing like the adorable couple in #2!)

So, was I right? How could these moments not worm their way into your heart?