Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Memories: Holly Nicole Hoxter

The "Beach Reads" Summer Challenge is nearing its end! In just a few days I'll be picking winners!

Don't forget to click the banner above and get some entries into the various contests before it is too late.

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Please welcome the lovely Holly Nichole Hoxter, author of The Snowball Effect to my blog!

I wasn't exactly an overachiever in school, but I didn't like to waste time. Throughout high school and college, I took night and summer classes and graduated with my BA in English two years ahead of schedule when I was only 19. But after that, I didn't have much of a plan. I actually felt pretty crappy for the first half of my post-graduation summer. I'd spent the past six years working toward a goal and now that I'd accomplished it, I didn't feel any sense of satisfaction. I felt empty and aimless. Like, "Okay. NOW what am I supposed to do?"

I spent a few weeks angsting about my lack of direction. Why didn't I have a finished novel already? Why didn't I have a job? Why didn't I at least have a boyfriend?

But eventually I decided to stop caring...and just relax.

Every afternoon I would walk to the high school down the street from my house and walk the track for hours. Then I would sit on the bleachers and write in my journal. Some nights the marching band practiced in the parking lot across the street. This probably sounds kind of lame and boring, and I guess it was. But I desperately needed boring at that moment in my life. I needed a slower pace.

After the sun went down and the darkness started to creep me out, I would head toward home and either stop at the snowball stand for a cherry snowball or 7-Eleven for a Big Gulp. Then I'd stay up all night writing. After I slept through the morning, I'd wake up and do it all again. And that's how I spent the entire month of August 2003. Walking and writing. Despite the copious amount of caffeine I consumed on a daily basis, I felt pretty good about myself. I felt healthier and happier than I'd ever been. I felt calm.

Then Real Life happened. I got a job (two, actually). The weather turned colder. Life became about doing what I HAD to do instead of doing what I WANTED to do.

But for the past seven years, the memory has served me well. Whenever I'm in a rut and I feel unhappy, I remember that perfect August month when I was able to spend my days doing exactly what I wanted to do. When I remember how happy and centered I felt then, I'm motivated to take a long walk, to find a quiet place and write in my journal for just relax.

Holly Nicole Hoxter lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband and four obese cats.  Summer is her absolute favorite season.  Her debut novel, The Snowball Effect, tells the story of 18-year-old Lainey who spends the summer post-graduation trying to make sense of her crazy falling-apart life.  You can visit her website at .  

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Thank you Holly so much for stopping by!

To those participating, keep on reading! The final prize post and the wrap-up linky are both coming this week! Woohoo!


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