When snowbirds think of water, they might imagine the ocean. Instead I think of Biscayne Bay. No pound-pound-pounding waves or sand in your suit. It has its own secret rhythms--a slower waltz, the moon its metronome.
In one of my earliest short stories, I wrote, "Biscayne Bay is a ribbon in my bedroom window." I could look out and see a thin strip of blue--the same water where I tumbled off the docks as a little girl (and my dad tugged me out by my hair).
Every summer, we would drive to Shelburne, Vermont (where my family lived before I was born). I would sit on a sun-warmed boulder beside Lake Champagne and read books until dusk--the first novels I ever devoured--from Ramona Quimby to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I couldn't help making up my own stories about the lake monster, Champ, and I looked for his face in the waves but never found him.
Last weekend I visited my favorite reading spot--my boulder by the lake. I used to dream about writing my own books. I still wonder if I'm living in a dream.
PS: In Shelburne, you will find a fantabulous bookstore called The Flying Pig. They've got a great YA section broken down into smaller categories. I searched for my book, of course. When I didn't find it, I marched to the front desk. The clerk said it had sold out. "In fact, we've sold quite a few copies," she said. THANK YOU, VERMONT!