I'm new to YA Outside the Lines so I'll do a quick introduction. My name is Kristin Rae, I live in Houston with my husband and our two boxers (yes, I'm one of those people that mentions my dogs in my bio because I currently have no human children), I'm backing away from my portrait photography business with my hands up in surrender, and I occasionally lament over the two inches of my height that never came. My YA contemporary debut IF ONLY YOU WERE ITALIAN comes out May 2014 from Bloomsbury and I am SO EXCITED! I'm also extremely thrilled to be HERE with all of these lovely authors! I can't wait to get to know everyone!
Houston summers can be miserable when temperatures reach the triple digits and the air gets so thick with humidity that it's work to breathe. Swimming pools are only a relief until about mid June when they become giant bathtubs. As a teen, I needed something colder, so I spent most of my time at the ice skating rink. I started skating just before I turned thirteen, and when I was old enough (and my mom felt comfortable with me driving the forty-five minutes by myself) I got a job as a rink party hostess in exchange for minimum wage and free ice time. And as soon as I hit eighteen, I ditched the birthday parties and began coaching figure skating classes.
Here I am at 13 when I started learning to skate backwards.
Summers were crowded at the rink, but it was my favorite place to be. The giddy freedom of gliding across the ice on newly sharpened blades with the chilled air whipping through your hair and across your face. The dizzy rush from spinning too fast or finally landing that jump you've been working on for weeks. Racing your friends or competing to see who could do the most loop jumps in a row or hold their spirals the longest. (Of course, there were some drawbacks to spending all day with your feet bound in tight boots and your body in layers and gloves, then stripping it all off to walk out to your car in the blazing heat = numb fingers and toes that seem to be on fire as they readjust, and some seriously wicked headaches.)
I haven't been on the ice in years, but sometimes I still dream I'm out there, working on my moves. In my dreams, I jump in slow motion, feeling every turn, landing perfectly every time. I feel the mechanics of each move so precisely, when I wake up I'm confident I can go out there and do it! Too bad that's not the case!
I miss my summers on ice, but I'm thankful for the memories of them.