Former Fortune-100 Executive, Breast Cancer Survivor & Widow, Linda Crill, will be featured in our April 17th Grief Speaker Series. Read an excerpt from her book, Blind Curves, below. You can RSVP to the event here. There will be a meet-and-greet on April 17th, so if you're interested in purchasing a copy of her book for her to sign, visit her Amazon page here.
Blind Curves Synopsis:
After months of following one-size-fits-all advice for a fifty-seven-year-old widow, Linda Crill is still miserable, until she makes a rebellious spur-of-the-moment decision: she trades her corporate suits for motorcycle leathers and commits herself to a 2,500-mile road trip down America’s Pacific Northwest coast on a Harley. The problem—she doesn’t know how to ride and has only thirty days to learn.
Four short weeks later, Linda joins two men and a woman for a white-knuckled, exhilarating road trip along the west coast from Vancouver, Canada, to the wine country of Mendocino, California. Along the way she encounters washed-out mountain roads, small town hospitality, humming redwoods, and acceptance from gentle souls who happen to have tattoos and piercings.
By heading into the unknown—the blind curve—she faces her fears, tests old beliefs, and discovers not only a broader horizon of possibilities to use in building the next phase of her life, but also the fuel to make it happen.
Funny, irreverent, and extraordinarily honest, it’s the perfect read for people looking for ways to reinvent themselves, and anyone asking: “What now?”
Excerpt from Chapter 1: Halston to Harley
AFTER TWO DIFFICULT YEARS I was tired of sympathetic voices, puppy-dog looks and an environment filled with reminders to walk gently and pamper myself. Instead, I craved thundering noise, the thrill of speed. I wanted icy air whipping against my face, making me know I was alive. I wanted crescendo, vibrato, to drown my screams and tears behind the roar of a large powerful engine. Opening the heavy glass door and stepping into the Harley dealership, I entered an unexplored world. Confronted by hundreds of shiny motorcycles laden with chrome and leather, covered with colorful graphics and logos, I felt my courage falter. My light-hearted fantasy evaporated as the realities of my impulsive decision started to settle in. Until a month ago I had never dreamed of riding a motorcycle. I didn't have a husband, family or even friends who rode. At fifty-seven I was at the age when many of my friends were scaling down their physical activities as they edged toward retirement. There are many acceptable activities for a widow, but learning to ride a motorcycle wasn't on anyone's list-- even at the very bottom, if such a list exists. Motorcycles are designed to appear fast, flashy and intimidating-- and it was working. My normally rapid gait slowed and then faltered as I surveyed row after row of gleaming bodies clustered around the showroom floor. Viewed from inside my Dodge Caravan, motorcycles had always seemed more like overgrown bicycles or toys. Now, up close, they looked huge, expensive and complicated. The one elevated in the center of the floor--painted neon yellow with orange flames flaring from front to back-- was loaded with a multitude of switches, indicators, dials, gears, buttons, lights, pedals, knobs and levers. My stomach muscles tightened as a panicked voice inside cried: How am I supposed to learn to ride this in just three days? Wanting to divert my attention away from this emotional outburst, I glanced at my watch, reminding myself, Class starts in three minutes, and I don't want to be late. I had barely convinced myself to continue walking forward when I passed the clothing section stacked with helmets, boots, shirts, gloves, and racks of black leather. Nothing here looked like the Fonz's simple leather jacket from the 1960s TV show. Nothing here remotely resemble anything I had hanging in my closets. I stared at a black T-shirt with a metallic skull laughing down at me. Another displayed the profile of a busty woman that would have made a Barbie doll blush. What was I thinking? I could never wear a shirt mocking death and certainly I wasn't ready to be a sex object. And what about all of my 1960s feminist protesting? Am I supposed to violate all of my values for this? My attempts to slow down my racing heart were futile as I processed the sounds of engines revving, tools clanking and men shouting coming from the service shop in the back. All mixed with frenetic hard-rock music blaring from the speakers overhead. My heart pounded even louder wanting to be heard. In two minutes, my rebellious plan-- a delicious fantasy that I could use to shock others-- shattered. Now I was the person being shocked."