While I was inside a hotel conference center for four days trying to find a home for the novel, some other important stuff was going on in the world. Those days saw some of the most beautiful summer weather the Seattle area has seen since, well, it feels like since the last century. Early August always marks the sad anniversaries of the only times (so far and we are all keeping our fingers crossed it stays that way) human beings dropped nuclear bombs on one another. And there was a tragic loss of life in Afghanistan; there have been so many tragic losses there we haven’t heard about, I’m sure, but we heard about this one, because so many of our military people won’t be coming home.
Kinda makes a little novel seem pretty unimportant. But I’ll just say this. Stories have tremendous power in our world. We tell them to one another all the time. We can choose to tell stories that affirm friendship, love, and kindness. Or we can choose to tell the other sort of stories. (At the writing conference, one agent told me she wasn’t in the market for my kind of book – she was looking for ‘darker’ stories. I’ve read those, and I like them, too. Good ‘dark’ stories also bring us to an affirmation of love by the end. Read them closely and you’ll see what I mean.)
No, the ‘other kind’ of stories aren’t dark – they’re hateful. They are stories that allow us to define certain individuals or groups of people as ‘enemies’ rather than human beings just like us. Let’s resist those stories, and tell each other tales of love – light or dark, funny or sad, sweet or sarcastic – instead.