I'm currently working on the third book in the Fortytude series. What is the Fortytude series, you ask? Good question, because up until a couple of weeks ago, the series had no name. It was only when I scheduled a blog tour for Vegas to Varanasi and Menopause to Matrimony, and the tour coordinator asked me the name of the series, that I decided I should probably come up with one. So Fortytude it is.
Anyhoo, in this third book, which will be titled Harmony to Heartburn, there will be quite a bit of Anna's father. As some of you may know, I like to envision certain celebrities for my characters so I have a better feel for their personalities, appearance, and/or mannerisms. Right around the period I began creating Anna's father was the awful time that Robin Williams died, bringing him to the forefront of my mind.
His death hit me really hard, and it made me realize how much I've always adored him. It seems I don't realize my love for a public figure until they're taken from us, and it takes me by surprise. I remember it was the same when Princess Diana died. Of course I loved and admired her, as many did, however when she died I was surprised to find myself crying for days! I never knew it was in me.
John Ritter was another one. John Ritter? What the hell? I never gave John Ritter a second thought, but I remember exactly where I was when I saw it on TV, and I immediately started crying--not for days like Princess Diana, but still.
Michael Jackson. Ugh! I was heartbroken when he left us. Just devastated. That one didn't really surprise me though. There were definitely a few days of boo-hooing over him, and to this day I can still get a little misty when I think on the fact that he's gone.
Obviously, I don't do this every time a celebrity dies. We lose celebrities every day, but I find it odd when a death hits me particularly hard. Which brings me back to Robin Williams. Not only do I feel his death was a tremendous loss because of his humor and compassion, but it was especially tragic that he spent his life bringing so much joy and laughter to others, while inside he was a tortured soul. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
I always thought his blue eyes were so full of playfulness and kindness, but after he died, I remember others saying they felt his eyes often hinted a deep sadness. I never saw it. I was in complete shock to learn he'd taken his life. I dearly hope he now has the peace he failed to find while he was still with us.
Given that up until today I hadn't been on the ride, I figured I'd better check it out if I was going to have any idea what I was talking about. I have watched several YouTube videos of people riding, some quite hilarious I might add, but it's not the same as experiencing it firsthand when you have the opportunity to do so. And it's a good thing I did, otherwise I would have gotten a few of the details wrong.
I wasn't crazy about the idea of doing this, because with age I've become increasingly fearful of heights. Luckily it turns out it really wasn't all that bad. The anticipation was definitely the worst part. In fact, when the Rio Tower came into view as I was driving down the freeway, the butterflies started immediately as I contemplated the height of that building!
It wasn't so much the ride itself that scared me sh*tless--it was my irrational fears. Visions of the cable suddenly splitting and unraveling. Or a nearby helicopter malfunctioning, careening into our line and taking us with it. A faulty seatbelt disconnecting, dropping me and my daughter to our deaths. I know, I know... Been watching too many movies.
Anyway, I hope that my rather aimless post wasn't too bothersome. For now, I will leave you with the video footage I posted on Facebook of my daughter and I riding the zipline. If you're ever in Vegas, you should give it a go. If I can do it, you can! ;)