We are entering the darkest weeks of the year. I always think of the time between Halloween and Christmas as the great darkness before the light. Those days we try to trick ourselves into more light by setting our clocks back, but really, it's just dark. Really dark.
This year especially. We've faced a lot of traumas and tragedies and horrors and terrors throughout 2020. The whole year has felt like darkness. And now, as the sun sets earlier and rises later and we await the winter solstice, the heaviness of what we have endured weighs on us. And we wait for the other shoe to drop...what's next?...what else could we have to endure.
But if there is one thing I know I can always have faith in, it is that the sun will rise again, the light with return, after the darkest night there is always dawn. Yeah, yeah, yeah...that's a lot of cliches. AND, they are all true. In order to cast a shadow, somewhere, there must be light.
My new novel, The Shadow's Shine, is about just this concept. A young girl faces a darkness bigger than she can imagine, and by the end, finds a way to appreciate it.
“I wish for an adventure so big that I get to feel things I’ve never felt before, bigger things, more grown-up things.”
It was the summer of 1985, the summer Alex Wendell turned thirteen. Too old for Scooby Doo and Fred Flintstone, Alex was old enough to ask questions about the Unabomber, but not quite old enough to understand the hostage situation of the Iran-Contra Affair. On the last day of sixth grade, she clutched a fistful of purple helium balloons at her elementary school balloon launch for Save the Children. She made six wishes for things she wanted to let go of. Six for things she wanted. And one wish, the most important one, for something she didn’t completely understand.
While Alex chased the simple childhood adventures of backyard woods and an unfinished treehouse, a haunting Shadow hovered like a storm cloud refusing to rain. Unzipping her empath sensitivities, the Shadow beckoned Alex to meet more firsts of her life than she was prepared to greet. Finally, on her thirteenth birthday, tragedy struck, forcing her to take the Shadow’s hand and let him lead her through the darkness into the shine of her wish come true.