Sunday, March 22, 2015

Magical Thinking

Spring is here, but we seem to be buried in endless winter up in Vermont. We got a little excited last week when the thermometer shot up to forty degrees for a nanosecond, but tonight we are once again looking at subzero. Yesterday I decided to try a little practical magic, sometimes referred to by the less whimsical as positive thinking.
     I banished my embarrassingly  large collection of heavy sweaters to the off-season closet. I did hold out a couple of older ones for snow-shoeing, but anything with a reindeer or a snowflake was packed away. Instead I pulled out a cotton sweater; a favorite with a French sailor vibe. I wrapped a lovely floral scarf around my neck and assured myself that I looked rather wonderful. I swanned around the house for about fifteen minutes before I had to pull on a faux fur vest so that I wasn't freezing. Now the vibe was French sailor being attacked by multiple groundhogs, but at least I was finally warm. (Not one to let reality get in the way, today's sweater is the same one I've been known to wear on chilly summer days. Once I've written this, I'm going to grab that vest and warm up a bit.)
     In my novel Glory Days, Glory is something of a master at magical thinking, as are many children. She's yearned for a father her whole life and her hope has never flagged. After all, didn't the fancy red shoes show up when she wanted them?

Glory ran around to the front of her house, but Elmo Robinson's car wasn't there. She ran towards the library, all the time hoping and praying that he'd be inside. Halfway there she stopped and tore the red shoes off of her feet. They'd been too tight for over a month now, but she hated not to wear them. It had seemed ungrateful somehow, like tossing away a gift or the ability of to saw a woman in half. But now they were just slowing her down and she couldn't let that happen because the rest of her felt as fast as lightening.
     As she turned the last corner she saw the two of  them coming out of the library with their arms around each other. Elmo, even though it was the middle of the day and he didn't even know who might be watching, kissed her mama right on the mouth and ran his hands up inside her hair, which for some reason was no longer in a braid. Something about that hair being down made her one-hundred-percent, 'A'-plus-with-a-star certain that she finally was getting a daddy.
     She squinted up at the sun. She wasn't sure, but she thought she saw it dancing.

Glory Days, A Twist of Light and Careful Mistakes are published by Little, Brown UK and available as e-books internationally.