“A carnival?” I squealed. “That’s your distraction?”
“Can you think of anything better?” she asked. I shook my head with a smile as I surveyed the grounds. I recognized this place; we’d traveled to the boardwalk carnival in Santa Cruz. I hadn’t been there since I was a child, and I flashed back to when my parents had packed up my sister and me for a weekend trip to the rides and roller coaster on the beach. I remembered how the three-hour car ride had felt like an eternity, though the soundtrack of Genesis singing ‘Home by the Sea’ and ‘Illegal Alien’ through the tape deck helped us to sing the time away. Years later, that album still transported me back to seven-years-old, when our only view was of the ocean as we went round and round on the Ferris wheel. And now seeing the same view, I felt seven-years-old again, the excitement inside me hard to contain. – A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 8, page 99
If you haven’t already figured it out, I have slipped actual snippets from my life within the pages of this book. It’s kind of like writing a love letter to the very favorite parts of my life. This is one of them, a mention of a trip I actually took with my family to Santa Cruz, listening to Genesis the whole ride there.
Confession time – I actually had a huge whopping crush on Phil Collins when I was a kid. And he was old then! I can only blame my parents for exposing me to his British accent and deep lyrics throughout my childhood.
I mean, look at him:
At any rate, I had a lot of fun with this chapter of the book. Rachel has been cast into the afterlife, and has been so somber about all the stuff she’s missing in life. So her friend Jane (one of my favorite characters!) distracts her with a trip the Boardwalk, where they get to indulge in all the joys of life we deprive ourselves of.
“Come on!” Jane prompted, grabbing my hand and pulling me to follow her through the crowd. I laughed as I followed, getting wrapped up in the vibrant colors and delicious smells, the sounds of ringing bells and laughter becoming a part of us. Jane grabbed a tuft from the top of an unsuspecting child’s cotton candy and placed it in her mouth. With only a slight hesitation, I copied her action and placed the stolen pink cloud in my mouth. I was surprised when the brightness of the sweet candy sparkled with flavor on my tongue, just as it had years ago as a child.
“We can still taste food?” I asked, and she laughed.
“Of course we can! Can’t you hear, smell, and feel? Why can’t you also taste?” I immediately grabbed another handful of cotton candy from a kid passing by, this time a baby blue, and stuffed it in my mouth. A hot dog lying on a cart became my next meal, and I savored the way the hot juices exploded in my mouth with each satisfying bite. All the foods I had resisted as I worried about calories and getting fat were now beckoning me to indulge in a feast of culinary abandon. – Page 100-101
Cheeseburgers, ice cream sundaes, hordes of chocolate… I have a whole fantasy about what I would eat if calories didn’t count…. But of course, they do. So instead I lived vicariously through Rachel and Jane as they continued on in their food adventure, eating every kind of carnival food they could get their hands on. My mouth is still watering…
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 – only 99 cents for a limited time!
Stay tuned for more!