Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Memories of Magic -- Guest Blog by Gale Sears

Stephanie is still on vacation and I'm still jealous, but I'm also impressed. Somehow she convinced the incomparable Gale Sears to fill in for her. Gale is the author of Autumn Sky, Until the Dawn and Upon the Mountains. (Many of you will recall that Upon the Mountains was a Whitney nominee for Best Novel of 2007.) While Gale spins literary fiction without peer, this is her first blog. Ever. In fact, Stephanie had to define the word for her before she'd agree to give it a try.

Memories of Magic
by Gale Sears
Thank you Stephanie for giving me the opportunity to post my first blog!

I grew up in Lake Tahoe, California. I know—lucky girl, and believe me I appreciated every magical minute. I was even luckier because in the summer my mom let me tromp around the neighborhood in bib overalls and scuffed up Buster Brown shoes, exploring to my hearts content, and getting really dirty in the process. There were some days my dog Tuffy and I would come home from a day’s adventuring and my mom would insist on hosing us down on the back patio before we could even step into the mud room. I loved it. I can still remember the sound the water made when it hit my sturdy Levi overalls.

My two older sisters and I would sleep outside all summer long. My parents brought out old metal army camp beds with squeaky springs upon which mattresses, sheets, quilts, and pillows would magically appear the last week in June. The whole shebang was covered with army surplus canvas tarps, and if it rained (which it often did at night in the High Sierras) we didn’t run into the house like little sissy girls, oh no! We’d just pull the tarp over our heads and drift off to sleep with the lullaby patter of rain.

On those nights we weren’t hiding away like moles, we’d gaze up through the branches of the huge Ponderosa Pines at the billions of stars.

Nature wasn’t just around us, it was in us.

As my childhood slid away into adolescence and adulthood, I vowed to hold on to the memories and magic, and more importantly the generosity of spirit that living in such a place offered. It became my touchstone: be grateful.

Gratitude is the scale on which I weigh everything; every pleasant, scary, heartbreaking, funny, difficult, demanding, or remarkable life event. And, as a writer, I find that those Tahoe days of tromping and nights under the High Sierra stars have encouraged the literary choices I make.

Because I have been given much, I too must give.

There must be magic in that mission statement, because even after all these years I can still fit into my bib overalls and Buster Brown shoes.

An additional note from Gale: I’m indeed grateful for two books coming out this Christmas. I have an essay included in a compilation of Christmas stories, By the Light of a Star. (I’m honored to be in there with Kerry Blair.) The second book is Christmas for a Dollar. It is based on a true story of my dad and his siblings in 1931.

On behalf of Stephanie: Thank you, Gale! I noticed that Upon the Mountains is currently 40% off at Seagull Book. You can order it, and the rest of her stunning books, HERE. Stop by Gale's dazzling website and sign her guestbook HERE.


At 8/13/2008 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Omigosh, Gale, until you mentioned the name Tuffy, I’d completely forgotten about our dog’s name when I was a child. His name was Tuffy, too. He was an Old English Sheepdog. While your childhood was enviable , mine was less than idyllic, which is probably the reason I'd forgotten his name.

Great first blog. It was a good way to give back.


At 8/13/2008 5:05 PM, Blogger Pat said...

Lovely blog Gale! I love the Tahoe area and am completely envious - what a wonderful place to grow up!
I look forward to looking for your books.

At 8/13/2008 10:42 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Great blog, Gale. Your childhood sounds much like mine though in a different state. It's unfortunate that today's children can't safely roam as freely as we did.

At 8/14/2008 6:10 PM, Anonymous ally condie said...

This was so fun to read, Gale! You are lovely, and so are your books.


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