This contest is now closed—thank you, commenters. Justine is the winner! I’ll email her directly about claiming A Chance of Rain.
A little more than a year ago, I moved from the Boston area to the Seattle area. When I told people I was moving, they inevitably said, “You know, it rains a lot there.”
I already had some trepidation about moving so far from my family, and I’ve always hated rain. On paper, I was a very poor candidate to move to a climate known best for its sogginess. In the Boston area, I didn’t even like to leave the house when it rained. I hated how you’d arrive wet and soggy with a dripping umbrella and have no place to put it. When it rained, I chose to stay inside.
Now I live here. I know every year is different, and I know I can’t draw any conclusions from the one winter I’ve experienced, but here’s what I have to say so far: It may sometimes seem like it rains a lot here, but not all rain is created equal.
First of all, it’s statistically not really true that it rains a lot. I won’t go into all the technical details because Cliff Mass, weather-dude extraordinaire, has already said it all here. The gist is that we don’t actually have all that high an average rainfall, or all that high a probability of rain at any given moment. What we do have is a lot of wet weather.
The thing I’m confused by is why Seattle natives don’t have more words for rain, the way Eskimos have so many words for snow. In November, it rains hard, rainstorms, with lots of wind, and that’s like the rain I knew in Boston. It’s no fun. It makes me want to stay inside.
But the rest of the time when it rains, it doesn’t do it with a lot of intensity. It mists. Or sprinkles. Or fogs. Or drops. Or drips. (And I’m telling you, we need more words for all the other kinds of wetness it does.) And I don’t mind it — not at all. The gray makes it easy to stay inside and write, but if I feel like going outside, there’s nothing to stop me. The damp breeze is refreshing, the mist on my skin soothing. The sky is way more than fifty shades of gray, and the clouds move fast, so the world is always changing.
Plus, moving here finally prompted me to buy the right kind of rain gear — a truly waterproof shell, a baseball cap and rubber zebra rain boots. I even have a longer rain jacket, so I don’t have to wear my short hot pink one over tunics and dresses. Having the right gear means I don’t have to mess around with a dripping umbrella, and makes me so much happier to be out and about.
I’m starting to think it’s true, what they say, that Seattle-ites made up the rain story to keep non-natives out. I mean, how much less scary would it be tell people, “It grays all the time there?”
There would be an instant deluge of avid readers and writers moving to the Seattle area and setting up shop.
Talk to me about rain, or any other kind of weather you love or hate, in the comments before Thursday, November 14, 11:59 p.m. PST, and be entered to win a copy of Amber Lin’s wonderful new short novel (48K words), Chance of Rain. Winner will be drawn and notified on Friday, November 15.
The only things Natalie Bouchard wants to change are the weekly specials in her Gram’s diner. So when her high school sweetheart strolls back into Dearling, Texas, she allows herself to indulge in a little flirtation, but that’s as far as it goes.
Navy SEAL Sawyer Nolan has returned to sell his father’s land and get the hell out, no matter how enticing he still finds Natalie. Until a storm rolls over the Texas hills, stranding them together at the farm…and the memories of their steamy past lead to a reunion filled with hot days and long nights.
Soon Natalie’s so far under Sawyer’s skin he can’t imagine being without her. But he has a lot of history in Dearling he’d like to leave behind, and Natalie is practically married to this town. If Sawyer wants to be more than just another person who leaves Natalie, he’ll have to give his hometown—and himself—one more chance.