Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Roller Coasters of the Literal and Figurative Variety

First of all: Happy Bastille Day to all of you French people out there (and, also, to anyone who's ever spent several years studying French :). Everybody should eat a chocolate croisant or drink some good Bordeaux wine in celebration. Just say oui!

Secondly: I did my drawing for the Friday Mornings at Nine t-shirt and the Starbucks coffee package this afternoon...and congrats to TINA for winning this prize! Please email me with your address (MarilynBrant AT Gmail DOT com) so I can get it out to you. Hope you'll enjoy both!!

Finally: Yesterday was my annual Six Flags roller-coaster-a-thon with my son. We go just once per summer, but we're there ALL day. Yes, 12 full hours, from opening to closing. And, aside from a couple of quick meals, we don't stop moving.

We went on coasters 20+ times...from the Viper and the Iron Wolf to the Demon and the Raging Bull to a slew of other rides that spun us and flipped us and rocketed us around in the hot summer air. Our hands-down favorite of the day, however, was the American Eagle...a coaster I remember riding for the first time in the mid-1980s as a teenager.

Yesterday, with my pre-teen son, I went on it five times.

Twice on the red train.
Three times on the blue.
Twice at night.
Three times during the day.
We just kept going back to it, despite having had fun on the others... Why? Because it was the perfect coaster for us. Lots of thrilling drops and twists. A fabulous climb--slow but very high--and the cause for great anticipation. (Especially when we were in the first car, staring down that wooden mountain!) A long enough ride to make the wait worth it, but a journey filled with moments where passengers were able to catch their breath, too. It was paced just beautifully, and it was simultaneously exhilerating and scary.

I couldn't help but think, after a few times around, how like the process of getting a book published it was--especially now, as I'm readying myself for my second publishing ride. I know a bit more of what to expect this time: There's usually a long wait to even get on the train. (Although, at the right time of night...or if your contract negotiations go smoothly, the process can go faster.) There's the high climb of writing the book, revising it and getting ready for publication. There's the thrilling descent as the new novel drops into the world and people begin to react to it. (Some by screaming very loudly.) There are the twists and turns that follow--a handful you remember and anticipate from a previous ride, others you don't. And there's the absolutely certainty at some point in the journey that you just can't take it anymore. It's too fast! Too much! What were you THINKING getting on this crazy track?! But you finish the circuit and find yourself running back to the line again, waiting to get on another train so you can do it one more time.

Everybody, raise your hands high in the air with me, feel the rush of the wind against your face and scream, "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"

Yeah. Just like that ;).


Edie Ramer said...

Sounds like you're a thrill seeker, Marilyn. That makes you a good fit for the publishing biz.

It's been years since I've been to Great America. On hot days like we've had lately, my fav rides were the water ones. Some days you want to get splashed with cold water.

Congratulations to Tina!

Marilyn Brant said...

LOL, Edie! I love the fantasy of thinking of myself as a "thrill seeker" :). I wish I could legitimately own the title, but that would be a lie. In most ways and in most situations, I'm very cautious... But a different side of me comes out on these roller coasters--like a phantom personality--and I don't actually understand it. It's a total sensation rush--like driving a little too fast on a warm night with the windows open and the radio blaring... I know I SHOULD consider the ride a dangerous thing, but I foolishly just trust the contraption and go with it. (You're right about the water rides! We only did one this time, but it was fun and very refreshing. :)

Maria Geraci said...

Great analogy, Marilyn. Although I have to admit, I hate roller coasters. I'm absolutely deathly afraid of heights!

Tonya Kappes said...

You're totally a cool mom!! Three of my four boys love roller coasters and I use to, but for some crazy reason I get dizzy and sick to my stomach now...so not so cool mom anymore. BUT I can sing really loud and off tune which they HATE...so still a little coolness left in me:)
Congrats TINA!!!

Pamela Cayne said...

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! :-)

Marilyn Brant said...

Maria~I'm afraid of heights, too, when I'm not strapped into something or there isn't a very solid railing. I can imagine falling all too easily...

Tonya~LOL! You're definitely a cool mom if you can sing like that!!

Pamela~Ha!! xo Thanks for joining me! :)

Anonymous said...

woooooohoooo and thank youuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marilyn Brant said...

Tina, you're veryyyy welcommmme!!! {hug!}

Have a most excellent weekend, everyone!! ;)

Robin said...

I'm wheeeeing with ya too! I love rollercoasters! What a wonderful day you guys spent together!

Marilyn Brant said...

Hee! Thanks, Robin!! And I just LOVE your new site -- looks so beautiful ;).

miriama said...

I used to take my oldest daughter to Marriott's Great America/Paramount/whatever they call it now in San Jose every year. My dad lives in Santa Rosa and it was part of our yrly trip. And we spent every second jumping from ride to ride with small eating breaks...like you. Now she is 25 and can't ride a ferris wheel without feeling sick. Go figure... :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Miriama~I keep hearing stories like that! It hadn't really occurred to me that people could change in that way, but they do. For me, suddenly being unable to tolerate coasters would almost be like waking up one day and finding out that my hair is straight instead of curly ;).

Brittany Roshelle said...

That's awesome that you went on roller coasters with your sons! My favorite rides are the wooden roller coaster....the ones that spin you upside down and around are less fun for me! lol! Sounds like you had a great weekend!

Caryn said...

That looks like so much fun. I LOVE roller coasters. So great that you and your son got to go together, too. Must have made for some unforgettable mother-son bonding time.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Marilyn, I love this post. It made me smile and want to raise my hands up and squeee. Your description is fabulous.

My secret? I've never been on a roller coaster- and hope to never be on one. lol

Thanks for the fun. Cheers~

Marilyn Brant said...

Brittany~I've come to prefer the great big wooden coasters, too. So fun!!

Caryn, hi!!! I've missed seeing you in the Blogosphere ;). It was a wonderful mom-son time, yes...and before you know it you'll be able to take your little girl on rides, too!

Nancy~wow!! It's good when a person really KNOWS when there's something they won't like! I feel that way about sky diving... I'm curious about a lot of things, but THAT one scares the curiosity right out of me--LOL.

Erika Brunmeier said...

Hi Marilyn -

How are you ?

Did you see any sailors at Great America ?

My youngest son has never been on a big roller coaster but does exactly that when we go down big hills - puts his hands in the air and yells Wheeeeeeeee. I can't wait until he can go on them with all of us.

Glad you had a gret time. We hope to make it this year also. Take care. :)

Marilyn Brant said...

LOL, Erika!! Ah, yes, the sailors... Sadly, no. We didn't see them this time ;). I'm so glad you stopped by...I've been thinking about you and hoping you've been having a fun summer!