My title comes from a song by Patty Griffin, who’s on my iPod and in all my CD players at the moment, thanks to my friend Joan, who also happens to be one of my intrepid readers.
I miss forests and hills, but I’ll say this for Florida: the skies can’t be beat. Every day there’s a new sky and new clouds and new colors. The sky here has inspired the eye coloring for some of my characters, actually (eye color is important in all three books). A character in Fire got his eyes and hair from the St John’s River and the sky above at night, and a character in Bitterblue from all the different purples here at sunset. It makes going for walks a tiny bit narcissistic, because at certain times of day, I see my own books wherever I go…. but it also gets me in the right frame of mind to go home and get back to writing.
Anyway. Without further ado, here is a list of the reasons why I’m not scared of revising Fire:
- I am the best person for the job. (I mean, sure, Joyce Carol Oates would do a way better job revising Fire, but then it wouldn’t be Fire anymore. It would be A Brilliant Work of Magnificence by Joyce Carol Oates.)
- It’s another opportunity to get at the heart of who Fire is and express that to an audience. Opportunities! We like them! Yay! (What? My enthusiasm seems forced? Look over there, a yak!)
- There is no need to make Fire lovable to everyone. Think of Fanny Price. I’ve never been able to love Fanny Price, but it doesn’t mean Mansfield Park isn’t wonderful. There can be good things about the book Fire even if Fire herself isn’t universally lovable.
- Besides, I love Fire. And Fire depends on me to do her characterization justice. So I’m not afraid to do what I have to do; I’ll jump into her head again; I’ll do it for Fire; I’ll figure out who she is, and let her be who she needs to be.
- Also? *thbbbbbbpppppt*
- So there.
- And my final point is this one.
See? Not scared!
Finally, for all you writers out there, here’s something brilliant and comforting a friend of mine emailed to me today, perfectly timed to coincide with my list: “There is no book in the world that everyone would love. It would be Schrödinger’s book, wouldn’t it? Making other people love your book shouldn’t even be on your radar. Does that sound too flip and drastic? As far as I’m concerned, other people’s opinions — not counting your editor and maybe your agent — are only there so that you can hear them and see if they resonate within you. If they don’t, they could be tossed and never thought of again.”
My friend, btw, is Rebecca Rabinowitz, and her blog about children’s literature, queer theory, fat politics, and other delicious cups of tea is here.
Off I go to be fearless.