“Mom, watch out!” he cried, the terror in his voice breaking the moment without warning.
I jerked my head forward as a semi-truck straddled the yellow line on the windy road, coming straight at us. With no shoulder on the road, there wasn’t anywhere to pull over on my right. Instead, the right hand side was bordered by a sheer hill that crowded the road. On the other side of the road was a steep drop carpeted with thousands of trees. I had nowhere to move as the truck barreled towards us, and I weighed out my best chance of survival in a flurry of thoughts that lived within a second. My foot hovered over the brake, but I then saw my chance in the widening space on the other side of the truck. My only hope of survival was if the truck driver understood what I was doing, and moved over to the wrong side of the road to allow me to drive on the left.
I jammed my foot onto the accelerator and gunned it forward, driving over the yellow line and onto the left side of the road. The truck driver blasted his horn as I passed his truck, my tiny car teetering on the edge of the sloped roadway. I breathed a sigh of relief as I sensed the truck making room for me. However, I didn’t anticipate the cars behind the truck. An older red car appeared out of nowhere, and I only caught a glimpse of the driver’s terrified face before I swerved left to avoid hitting them. All my efforts of staying on the road were for naught as our car sailed over the edge of the roadway, floating towards the sea of green that lay in the forest below.
We were going down. – A Symphony of Cicadas, page 27, Chapter 2
So, about 9 months ago, I had a really bad dream. I was about 6 months into planning my wedding, so naturally, bad dreams were inevitable. Except, this dream was different. You know how nightmares have this way of waking you up with a start just before the bad part happens? This one didn’t. The bad part happened, and then it kept going. And before I woke up, the scariness changed into something sad and beautiful.
I knew I had to write it down.
Fast forward to now, and that dream is now this book. And you are really, really not going to want to miss what happens next. As one of my friends wrote to me: “Holy ####. Just got to the 3rd chapter. Wow.”
Another big part of this book is the forest. Here in California, we are totally fortunate to be surrounded by giant redwood trees. To be honest, I have taken them for granted for a large part of my life. I mean, after all, I grew up here. I see them every day. And I kind of just figured everyone got to see trees that were hundreds of years old like these ones. But then I got to hear from people who didn’t always live here, how majestic trees like these are. On my honeymoon to Costa Rica, I even met a sweet Costa Rican girl who told me her lifelong dream was to travel to California and see the redwoods.
I am really lucky.
The scene I described took place on the windy backroads between Marin and Sonoma County. That road is just as I described – no shoulder and surrounded by a steep drop covered in trees. It’s a beautiful drive (though the windy roads aren’t fun as a passenger, urp). And I have to admit, these photos are NOT of the trees in Marin. They’re actually photos of trees in Occidental where I stayed this past weekend on a Women’s Retreat. But I thought, hey, what a perfect opportunity to share some of the book AND what I got to see all weekend long. 🙂
This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/YZYB8w.
Stay tuned for more!