Saltwater, Sea Air and Sassy Prose

About Cassidy Springfield

Cassidy Springfield writes travel reviews, New Adult Romance and Coming of Age novels. Dog-lover, adventurer, dreamer, and stargazer. Life is too short to waste on anything that doesn't ignite a fire in your soul.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dancing on the Fringe and Reveling in Freedom #traveler #newadult #wanderlust

“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” 

I have a strong sense of wanderlust, yet for years I've fought against it so that I could fit into an acceptable   box of conformity. Part of me assumed this was what being adult meant--conforming, putting off dreams of travel until I was more financially secure, saving for responsible things like a house or...a bigger house. Now I realize that isn't true, that it's a lie I've been fed by a society that likes to define things or people so that they can judge them more easily. By judge, I mean "is this right or wrong? is she worth befriending, worth knowing?" Once you step out of that box, you scare people. 

Right now I live in multiple places. I have a hard time when someone says "where do you live" because it's in flux. My lifestyle might seem chaotic to some, yet I have never been this calm. When I admit this, I get the look of "'re not normal are you?" 

What is normal anyway? Normal to one person may be abnormal to another. For me, because I am highly selective in my tribe of friends, I am normal. I know digital nomads who move every few months to a new city around the world. I know people who have homes in multiple cities. I know people who live in vans. They are happy, self-reliant, and free. To me, they are normal. I am normal. 

But I used to be afraid of this fringe-like lifestyle--and, if I'm honest, I still experience moments of uncertainty. I grew up in a small town in South Dakota where people like me were considered lazy or weird or crazy or "dreamers." Where I grew up, people were expected to settle--get a 9 to 5, go to happy hour for a beer with people you grew up with, make a family, buy a big house, have a nice car, travel when the kids went to college--be safe in every decision. Going against that was--and still is--a point of contention with my family of origin. 

The idea of "being safe", though, implies there is something to fear by exploring the world. I travel safely. I am savvy. I don't trust every random person that enters my sphere. I don't believe everything I hear. I take risks--but only because I trust myself to bounce if I should crash to the ground. 

When I look at someone who is living the 9 to 5 cookie-cutter lifestyle, I have little understanding of their existence. It rattles me. I don't judge it as wrong--because, hey, if they're happy so be it. I simply know that's not for me. I would constantly be looking out the office window toward the horizon, daydreaming about adventures I only read about in books, and becoming resentful of the invisible chains holding me back. 

What's normal for me isn't normal for others, I get that. I only wish that same respect would be reciprocated because it does get tiring being judged all of the time for simply living life on my terms. 

The way I see it is this--if you're happy, if you're self-reliant, if you're not hurting anyone, then do what's right for you. Live life YOUR way. We only get one shot at this. Accidents happen all the time--I could be living the "safe and expected" life and have a tornado kill me in my cubicle! Or I could be ravaged by a pack of hyenas while on safari in South Africa? Guess which one I would prefer? Well, prefer is a strong word--both options sound horrible--but my point is that I would rather die LIVING than die waiting to live. 

Boldy go!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Tackling Issues of Sexual Consent in Writing #newadult #books

I was once told that to be a great writer, you need to write without censoring yourself. That's sometimes easier said than done--especially when writing about sensitive topics like sexual consent.

In my series, Addison Chronicles, my heroine is a rape survivor--but at first she doesn't identify as such because she's working through the details of what happened and with whom. This story unfolds through all six books in the series as she travels alone through Europe. The distance from where the rape happened brings her clarity--and stifled trauma busts through her carefully constructed facade. Despite the new relationships she's forming in beautiful places, the underlying ramifications of being raped while passed out at a party come forth in ways that are sometimes brutal but are ultimately healing as she finally confronts the reality she's hidden for so long.

Writing about consent is important as an author of any genre, but especially one that focuses on relationships. As authors, we have a responsibility to write the hard things to bring them to light. Rape is a sensitive issue and that is exactly why we must address consent in realistic and gentle ways.

We live in a world where everyone is highly sensitive so I understand why some authors might shy away from the edgier topics. Not everyone needs to be a literary warrior; however, if you have a desire to address consent or any other sensitive matter, I encourage you to do so. It's important to use your ability to communicate to reach someone who might be feeling isolated or flawed so that they know they aren't alone.

Through our characters, we have a chance to create a relatable person who works through the doubts, the shame, the denial, the angst and who ultimately triumphs. Characters are powerful in this way--readers connect and identify with them on a deep level. Who knows? Your characters could save a life and you may never know the impact you've had.

When writing about a sensitive issue like consent, though, it's important to be realistic without going over-the-top. Always remember the big picture of your story. Are you trying to give hope? What is your ultimate message? Create characters that are relatable and who stick to your desired outcome.

The Addison Chronicles are so much more than a story about sexual consent--they are about life moving forward, breaking down stereotypes, discovering that you're capable of more than you've ever dreamed, and facing down your past so you can claim your future. But the character is a rape survivor and, if anyone has experienced a situation like that, you know that that shapes you whether want it to or not. In the series, Addison doesn't want to admit that at first...but her journey is all about learning exactly how strong she truly is.

Writing the hard stuff can be daunting. There's always this little voice whispering about "triggers" and cautioning about the world's reactions. The only way to write authentically is to tell those voices to shut up and be true to not only your characters but to your intentions. It's important. And, hey, all the best writers in history rocked the boat and stirred shit up so you're in good company.

Peace to you!
Cassidy Springfield

See all of Cassidy's books at Author Cassidy Springfield

Monday, July 2, 2018

Can Their Love Survive the HEAT? #NewAdult #Romance #NewRelease

The Wildfire Romance Series is a shared world where multiple authors tell the tale of a wildfire threatening the town of Ouray, Colorado, from differing perspectives. All stories are stand-alone books that share common landmarks, a few overlapping characters, and the same crisis situation. This blog hop connects all stories so readers can take a peek inside each one. 
The link to various posts are below the excerpt.

Featuring Heat, Book Two, below

From the back cover...

Kiley Ross and Leo Marshall have a secret. He's her indulgence, her vice. She's his compass, his impossible dream.

Kiley is home for the summer between graduating the University of Colorado and attending graduate school out-of-state in the fall. Everything is changing—friends are scattering across the world, her long lost brother has appeared out of nowhere, a wildfire is threatening the family home, and her secret affair with the local outsider—Leo—is exposed.

As the wildfire ravages the forest around the small town of Ouray, she realizes what really matters and what truly doesn't. Her resistance toward change forces her to come to terms with her own failings—or risk losing the friendships and relationships that mean so much to her. Can she break free of the expectations that have held her back in time to rescue her love affair with Leo? Can he forgive her for wanting to keep him a secret? Confronted with seeing everything she has ever known burn to the ground, can Kiley rise up and step into her own power?

An excerpt...

"I heard what you said, voices fucking carry up here and I wasn't very far away."

"What I said about what?"

"I'm just a loser who can't get his shit together, huh? Screw you, Ki. At least I'm not a fake bitch who would die if the world knew you weren't perfect." He slams the van into gear and starts to drive out of the camp. "I'm a weird boy, huh?" He slaps his hand against the steering wheel. 

I flinch. I have no explanation because I can't deny what I said. 

"We're done. Whatever this is between us," he flips his hand between our bodies, "is done. Over. Don't worry. I will never tell anyone that we have been screwing each other's brains out for three years." He shoots me a glance. "Threeyears, Ki. Explain that. We were never just a fling and you know it even if you never wanted to admit that you were screwing the hired help, the weird boy who couldn't get his shit together."

"You're overreacting."

"Do not tell me I am overreacting!" He rolls the window down and leans his left elbow on it while taking the corners on the curvy highway a little too fast. 

I kick the dashboard. Every word he says is true and I know it. I am the one who is messed up. I roll down the window and lean my right elbow on it. We drive in silence the rest of the way to Tailwind. I know that anything I say at this moment will escalate the situation. He is mad, angrier than I have ever seen him. 

When we arrive back at Tailwind, he jumps out of the car and heads toward his own van with the words Elevated Distraction painted across its side. 

"You can't just walk away!" I yell because I do not want us to end, not like this, not because of some dumb thing I said to my brother because I wanted to appear more sophisticated than I am. 

"I have a gig at High Altitude Brewing tonight," he shouts over his shoulder. "The world doesn't revolve around you and your issues, Princess Ki." 

I feel my own rage burning under my skin. I stomp toward him but stop when my mom comes onto the veranda of the main resort with guests. 

He notices—his gaze darting between mom and me—and smiles that cocky smile that always makes me want to simultaneously beat him to death with my bare fists and strip him naked. 

"Is everything okay, Kiley?" Mom asks, the group of guests following her with blissed out expressions on their faces. 

I have always been mystified by how tourists act when they first step foot on this property—it's as if the altitude has turned their brains to mush. They snap pictures of every flower, bird, rabbit, chipmunk, deer, or pine tree they see while ooing and ahing over the view. The foursome following mom—also known as Matilda Ross—do not disappoint. 

Mom shoves a wayward strand of long silver hair behind her ear and gives me the infamous Ross glare that used to freeze me in motion when I was a kid. 

I think of the valuable information on my cellphone and smile as they walk past. "Enjoy your stay at Tailwind." 

"Did everything go well with the delivery?" Mom asks. 

"Excellent." I keep smiling until they walk past me to the trail leading to the cabins. 

My smile fades immediately when Leo slams the brakes on his van, sending up a cloud of dust. He rolls down the passenger window and shouts, "Three years! I want you to psychoanalyze yourself about what that means."

"I'm sorry, okay? I really am. Stop acting this way."

He swirls his finger over his ear and then stabs it through the air at me. "Three. Years. Figure yourself out, Kiley."

He speeds off, more dust churning behind his ridiculous Volkswagen Bus tires. I kick dirt after him and fist my hands at my sides. 

Fine. Go. I'm better off. Maybe Naomi has the right idea. Maybe it is time to move on from this place and meet new people.