Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Holly Schindler Guest post!

Guys, I know an author. Yeah. Be jealous. Her name is Holly Schindler. She's awesome and wrote an awesome book, AND she lives near me. Missouri is awesome like that.
Holly did an interview with me last year and wrote A Blue So Dark, which was reviewed here. Her new book is coming out March 8, and I am kind of insanely bouncy and hyper active waiting for it.
Seriously. You have no idea. One of my best friends read Blue and ended up calling me at 2 in the morning to inform me that she wanted to marry the novel. Playing Hurt is described below.
Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown.  But everything changed senior year, when she took ahorrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
As a graduation present, Chelsea ’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort.  There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past.  As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home.  Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?
Seriously. Doesn't it sound good?
And, without further ado, Holly, talking about something very close to my own heart!


[HPIM3191.JPG]Did you ever try to study in a section of your school that’s really high traffic?  Say, maybe a student convocation center?  The kind of place where you feel completely self-conscious?  Or did you ever grab a chair in the library in order to catch up on those last few chapters of Bio reading, at the same time hoping you’d accidentally “bump into” your crush, who just happens to work in the library after school?  Ever try to do your math homework on the bus, while dreading the fact that you’re going home because you had a horrendous fight with your parents or sibling over breakfast that morning?

Yeah.  Doesn’t work, does it?  If your mind is occupied, the words in the textbook in front of you blur, don’t they? 

Let me ask you something else: Have you ever tried to write a term paper in a room without any heat?  Have you ever tried to read a novel for English sitting in the rain?  Have you ever tried doing a science experiment wearing a lab coat so small that it cinched you in like a corset, and you couldn’t breathe?

Now you’re shaking your head.  “That’s dumb,” you’re saying.  “I’d never try to do that.”

And the reason you’d never try it is because it’d be impossible.  Nobody can work when they’re uncomfortable.  Nobody.

Writing’s a lot like schoolwork, in that it takes an inordinate amount of mental alertness and focus.  And with any mental task, you have to be comfortable to be productive.  Period.

Comfort, in my book, can be either physical or mental.  The physical stuff’s fairly easy to remedy, most times.  Too cold?  Put on another pair of socks.  Hungry?  Grab a granola bar.  The mental comfort is a bit trickier to obtain.  Going back to my original examples, when your mindis elsewhere—on what others might think of you, or your crush, or a previous fight—you can’t focus on the task at hand.  If you’re plagued by chronic worries, you’re not comfortable—and worry really isn’t something you can just turn off. 

But for me, the Ozarks really are comfortable.  The Ozarks give me peace of mind and peace of being…Stuff you can’t easily obtain just anywhere.  Springfield ’s like that old pair of favorite jeans you always gravitate toward.  My mind is quiet here, so I get to work full-bore…and that’s why, for me, the Ozarks can be such a fantastic place to write in. 

--Sam again! I know. I'm boring. Sadness.
But anyway, Holly is so right. The Ozarks are amazing and beautiful--and comfortable. Holly put together a video about the Ozarks, which is below. So, basically, you can see what my home looks like.

And because Holly is increasingly awesome, she's holding a contest. Local Missouri bloggers are posting about Playing Hurt -- me, Maggie, Sarah, and Another Book Junkie --and whoever gets the most comments receives a copy of Playing Hurt. So comment away! The entry form thinger-ma-bob is here.
More later, guys. And go buy A Blue So Dark/pre-order Playing Hurt. You will not regret it. 


Abby Minard said...

I love the ozarks too (except maybe the INSANE weather we get ;p) Good luck Sam!

Holly Schindler said...

Thnks so much for having me, Sam! Playing Hurt has made it from the printer's to the Flux warehouse...yay!

Maggie said...

That is one thing that I like about living here: it really is a very comfortable place to be. Woot, nice post Holly! And as always, lovely commentary Sam :P

Anonymous said...

Best of luck Sam! ;D

cipherqueen said...

(arrow upward) That's me.