The Great Fall

One extra hour of sleep.

Waking up to the chore of resetting all the clocks in the house.

Daylight’s saving time, you say?

Not at 5 pm, when the world has gone pitch black, you don’t.

But the transition between Fall and Winter isn’t what I want to write about today. It’s another kind of Fall.

I’m writing a new novel. It’s called GRAVITY and it’s all about the falls my main character, Ellie Engebretsen, takes. Ellie and I are quite different. She experiences the world through her body. I live in my mind. She takes her pain to the slopes. I take mine to my writing. But like me, Ellie is the kind of person who reaches too high, stretches too far, gives too much, trusts too soon, loves too blindly.

And so she falls.

In love.

On her ass.

And even on the ski slope.

This little novel of mine was conceptualized as a sweet romance set against the back drop of the ski jumping world. And then…well, I met Ellie and she demanded truths I would gladly have withheld. She pushed me to, as her father and coach would say, “lean into your death.” What a freaking terrifying thought that is, especially when this is your view:

IMG_1040 med

But life is just like a ski jump. It hits us fast and we do our damnedest to survive it and sometimes, more often than we know, we’re flying on not much more than guts and the tug of gravity to keep us tethered to the world.

I’m going share a little secret Ellie taught me. Well, really it’s a secret Kate, her hook-up/rebound/girl of her dreams taught Ellie and, through Ellie, me. Coach Engebretsen’s advice to lean into our death is a pile of steaming dog crap. No good jumper leans away from the jump. She flies toward the sky.

Which is something we all should do. Even me. Especially me.

Yes, sometimes we fall on our behinds, hard, and all we can do lie there, checking to see if all our moving pieces still work. And that’s perfectly fine.

For awhile.

Just not forever.

Because the day is coming (for Ellie, for me, for all of us) when we will be able to spring forward. When we’ll be able to set down the heavy ass baggage we’ve been lugging around…and fly free.

PS. You can read more about GRAVITY here.



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