I have a new book out today! Kindred Spirit was originally written and released as part of the Dreamspinner States of Love series, but after receiving my rights back, it feels brand new to me. And it’s a story that is special for a different reason…
When I first learned about the Kindred Spirits mailbox, I knew this was what I wanted to center my story around. When looking online, the directions said you had to walk down the beach, and if you got to the jetty, you’d gone too far. Although I like to think I’m intelligent, my land-locked self had no clue what a jetty was, so at one point on the long walk, I pulled out my phone because this mailbox was nowhere in sight and I needed to know what I was looking for.
I’m sure my shoulders sagged when I learned that barely visible thing in the distance was the jetty. Who in their right mind would walk that far? My hips and knees screamed for me to turn back. I was forty years old, out of shape, and not wearing the appropriate footwear for walking more than a mile down the beach. I almost listened to my body when I saw it… there to my right, sitting on a dune, was a mailbox and a bench.
The angels sang. Or maybe that was my body screaming for mercy, I’m not sure which.
One family was just leaving, having left their mark on the world. I pulled out a notebook, sat down in the softest sand I’ve ever felt (seriously, it was like powdered sugar), and contemplated what to write.
A woman approached me with a drawstring bag. She pulled out a smudge stick and tried to light it. The day wasn’t particularly windy but there was enough of a breeze to make this difficult. So, I pulled out the skills I learned as a teenager smoking outside the school and offered her a hand. Together, we got it lit.
Next came the music. “Do you mind?” she asked. “Not at all,” I replied. It was peaceful. Perhaps unnecessary in my opinion since there’s no greater peace to me than listening to the ocean rolling onto the sand but it seemed important to her. Then, we meditated. She didn’t invite me to join her but what else was I going to do?
It was during that time I figured out what I wanted to write. As we finished, this woman told me her story. The pain she’d been through. What led her to the mailbox. It was a rebirth of sorts for her, just as I realized it would be for me.
She pulled out one notebook and I picked up mine. And we wrote.
No one knows the real me. I’m scared…
I don’t remember the rest of my note to the Kindred Spirits, but that was my way of coming out to the world. Even if it wasn’t how I told my friends or family that I was trans, even if I wasn’t ready to say those exact words to myself, it was another step in my journey.
And it was in that notebook that I signed off as Quinn for the first time. It wasn’t a pen name or a persona I could hide behind on Facebook when the world got too ugly, it was my identity. My truth.
And because of that, Kindred Spirit will always hold a little extra magic in my heart. I’m toying with writing more books centered in this world because the possibilities are endless. The mailbox is a reminder there’s always someone listening, even if you’ll never meet them face to face.