Late Friday night, I sent my editor the first round of completed edits for CHILD OF THRESH. We still have several rounds to go, polishing that manuscript until it shines like a golden curl under the Chasmarian sun, but it felt monumental all the same, like we just turned the knob to open the door that will take us out of Chasmaria.
I’ve been in that beautiful world a long time.
I’m sad to leave, so I’ve built in a few hidden doors through which I may reenter at will, but it’s time for something new.
I thought it would be one of a few stories I’ve had simmering on the back burner for the past year or so, but something happened. In the process of participating in Write Club 2015, a fantastically fun contest hosted by D.L. Hammons and sponsored by Dallas Fiction Writers’ Conference, I fell in love with another spunky girl. If you read any of my Write Club entries (written under the pen name Commando Grace), you already know just how smart and resilient Grace Welch is. If you’re already cheering her on, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
My Wise and Wonderful Sister and I discussed Grace’s story at length this week, working through the details of each year of her high school career. As I sat down to begin organizing this story into an actual manuscript (or four), I asked my sister a question every author should ask before penning a story:
Why does this story need to be written?
Her answer was simple:
Because a funny, well-written, heart-warming, non-sexualized story about a teenage girl is what I want my daughters to read. Plus the themes of true friendship.
Being the one in the family who thrives on writing thousands of words in one sitting, my answer was a little longer:
Because families are funny and quirky and beautifully messy.
Because girls are smart and strong, but sometimes stupid.
Because girls mess up.
Because life can knock a girl down.
Because girls get back up and keep going.
Because survivors learn to laugh, even at themselves.
Because friends fail each other.
Because we all need to forgive ourselves and one another.
Because friends come through when it counts.
Because the best kind of love is the kind that knows when to let you get away with crap and when to call your bluff.
And at the very heart of this story,
Because in any relationship, from sibling to friend to happily ever after, love isn’t fleeting emotion, but intentional devotion.
So, that’s what’s next and why. Thank you to all who supported and critiqued Commando Grace in Write Club 2015!