Friday, May 3, 2013

Westward Ho

by Sierra from Alibis and Amethysts , in the new Crystal Shop Mysteries by Sharon Pape

Hi, my name is Sierra, but I’ve had many names over the years. No, I’m not an author or a criminal. But more about that when my story comes to light, along with Jaye’s, on August 20th in Alibis and Amethysts,  from the new Crystal Shop Mysteries. 

I can sum up what makes me tick in just one sentence: I believe that living a full life means taking chances, making changes and leaving your comfort zone. I’m not talking about trying to jump the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle or walk a tight rope over Niagara Falls, although that’s fine for a few brave souls. What I have in mind are more garden variety chances like trying out a new career or moving to an unfamiliar place – which brings me to my recent move to Sedona, Arizona.

It started with a trip to to visit a college friend who lives in Tucson. She took me to see Sedona and it was love at first sight. The towering red cliffs were like nothing I’d ever seen before. They made my heart soar. I decided right then and there that Sedona would be my new home. Of course I had to figure out a way to make a living there. After taking a quick survey of the shops in the bustling, touristy part of town, I realized they needed a good bakery. I’d been saving for years, so I’d be ready when a life-altering opportunity came along. It was time to put up or shut up like we used to say when we were kids.

When I returned home full of excitement and plans, my best friend, Jaye, told me point blank that I was crazy. “You haven’t thought this through,” she said in the calmly measured words of someone trying to talk a jumper down from the ledge of a high rise. “You don’t have a job there or anything.”
“That’s where you’re wrong,” I told her. “I’m going to open a bakery.”
Jaye was silent for a moment. “I’ve never seen you bake a single thing,” she said finally. “Do you even know how?”
            “I used to watch my grandmother bake when I was little. I mean, really, how hard could it be?” The expression on Jaye’s face was priceless. I could tell she didn’t know whether to laugh at me or smack me back to her version of sanity.
            “I’d really like you to come with me,” I said, “but either way I’m going.”
            “I teach college level geology. What on earth would I do out there?
            “You could open a crystal shop,” I suggested, having come up with the idea on the flight home. “There are quite a few there already, but with your background, I'm sure you'll be the most popular one there in no time.”
            “I don’t know if I even believe in psychic energy and vortexes,” Jaye said, reduced to sputtering at that point.
            “I don’t believe there’s any law that says you have to. You already know all about gemstones and crystals. All you have to do is study up on the properties New Age thinkers attribute to them and you’re in business.”
            Jaye didn’t look the least bit convinced. I knew she needed time to process the whole idea. She’s never been what you’d call spontaneous or impulsive. It probably comes from having been orphaned at such a young age. She craves stability the way I crave change. I’m pretty sure she’ll come around in the end. I just hope it doesn’t take her too long, because I’ll be heading west by the end of the month. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

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  1. I am curious now Sierra, did you at least try to bake some cookies and cakes before you made the move?

  2. Actually I didn't, but I'm a quick learner. Besides,my motto in life is "go for it -- how hard can it be?" Sure, I fail sometimes, but failure can be a great teacher!

  3. My partner and I took a course at Wilton's in cake decorating many years ago. These days I let my youngest daughter do all the baking. She's really good at it. I'm more of a chef.. I've even cooked for parties.

    I can't wait to get my hands on your new book. I just know I'm going to love it.

  4. I may have to pick your brain for some yummy ideas for my bakery. By the way, I've named it Cravings!