Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Comfort and Inspiration in Banned Books

Banned Book Week Bulletin Board 2010Image by booklover472 via Flickr
Thursday, closing up on Banned Book Week and I am finding  comfort and inspiration from both my "real" friends and "fantasy" friends who write books that make us stop and think.

About how we treat each other and ourselves.

Like Laurie Halse Anderson, Sherman Alexie, Ellen Hopkins, even my grandmother (yes, she was banned) to name a few. Books that can make a difference.

I aspire to that, I do. I practice, I work, I lose myself in other worlds. So it is with both glee and mental fatigue when I tell you that I have finished rewriting The Land of the Lost and Found. No, that does not mean that I am ready to send it back to my agent. I have to step away from it for a few days in order to see the forest through the trees. Does my new ending work? I don't know yet. I have to REVISE my rewrite, and you know how I heart revision! The plot remains in tact, but the structure is completely different, which forced me to rewrite practically every word! But I have been feverish, driven. Hopefully I have improved it.

I would normally be jumping up and down, but I am so sore from taking a class involving kettlebells at the gym yesterday (DON"T ASK!) that I can't.

I have been living and breathing this leading up to and through this Banned Book Week, because the issue of "pregnancy" is at the forefront of this novel. Oh no, you groan. Not another novel about teen pregnancy? And you know, I groaned too when I learned that this was what was coming from my soul. I didn't plan it this way, really! I write the book that wants me to write it. But I promise you that although it has this "issue", it is from two very different perspectives and not, ultimately, what it's "about".

I am watching the wind rage through the trees and the rain pelt the ground. I have to remember this: I have been able to write despite several men stomping around putting holes in walls, ceilings and floors for heating ducts, despite my husband tapping away on his own novel next to me, despite that I have been disappointed by the chains not being willing to stock my book at first and a one star review (with no explanation) on Goodreads.

I have also gotten some rave reviews too, including a very sweet note from the actor, Ryan Gesell who narrated the Luke portion on the audio of EDGES, telling me how much he loved it. And my friend Judy, who I was afraid to loan my ARC to, only because I adored her book, What I Did and Why I Lied soooo much - she loved EDGES too.

I can't be afraid of reviews, because they're coming. My writing will be out there soon for the world to judge. But Banned Book Week gives me comfort, because I know that EDGES most certainly be banned somewhere, and I will have the company of many of my favorite authors. Those who make us think about the human condition, who might make us, yes, feel a little uncomfortable. Or a lot.
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  1. I'm looking forward to reading Edges! Try to practice equanimity about the reviews, good or bad.

  2. Thanks Hope - that's definitely the deeper message!

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