Summer rainstorms were not a time to head indoors. Heck no! I'd play until soaked with a never a care in the world. I could always be found in the water somewhere as a child, swinging on an old rope across the canal or jumping off a bridge into the water rushing below.
As a teenager, I remember driving down the road during heavy rainstorms, Def Leopard blaring in the cassette player, rain sheeting across the front windshield. Pull over? No way! I'd roll down the windows and get my friends in the car to help see where we were headed, trying to stay on the road as the windshield wipers cruised at max speed, doing absolutely nothing to help visability. I suppose that right there is a prime argument for the case against teenager drivers.
I love visiting the coast, falling asleep as waves crash against the shoreline. Taking mountain hikes to roaring waterfalls. Sitting idle by the lake or spending the day swimming--all these things rank high as perfect vacations.
What is it that draws me in? Water is a relaxing and magical presence to me. It symbolizes all things great to my mind, and makes its way into each book I write. Lilly Price fled from her past, and ended up settling in a small town on the shore of a lake. In my new book, Madeline Scott also moved recently and settled in a little town along the Pacific coast. It's a dream of mine to live in a little cottage that overlooks the water somewhere...anywhere.
As a parent, there are too many things to worry about for me to enjoy that carefree aspect as I once did. After all, the kids might catch cold if they go out in the rain. And swimming across the lake now requires life jackets and sunscreen, rather than guts and glory.
Maybe my characters gravitating toward water is a message from my subconscious. Perhaps that little girl inside me is whispering what my responsible adult self has pushed away--sometimes, to be truly happy, I need to dance in a downpour.