Monday was my oldest daughter, Kelsey’s 30th birthday. She wanted to do something significant to celebrate. The original plan was to climb Oregon’s highest peak, 11,235 foot Mt Hood. But with the low snowpack this year, the rockfall danger was too high. So instead we settled for something less strenuous. We went skydiving.
The experience was one I’m still trying to process: the tiny, tin-can of a prop plane; the slow, noisy climb to 10,000 feet; the roaring rush of air when the door opened; the moment of commitment; the initial tumble of earth-sky-earth-sky; free fall at 128 mph; then the gentle, almost lazy swoop around and down on the wings of the parachute. Talk about sensory overload. I was still vibrating when I got into bed that night.
My wife, Debbie, asked me if I would use the experience in a novel someday. I said, “I don’t know.” But the next morning I realized that it would actually fit perfectly into my new YA, Fracture Lines — well, perfectly with a lot of creative license. Which reminded me once again that, for me at least, writing is not limited to the time I spend in front of my keyboard. It is the sum of everything I do, and think, and feel. The keyboard is just where I sift, ponder, and try to make sense of it all.