Hey Y’all ✌️
Writing Mily’s story has truly been one of the biggest joys of my life. The level of engagement I’ve seen from new and established readers of mine is encouraging in a way I don’t know how to express. I know I’ve been tossing out “coming soons” for months now, and I appreciate those who are sticking with me despite the wait. I hope beyond hope when you are finally able to read the whole story, you’ll feel the wait was worth it.
So much of what held me up during this project is self doubt. I’ve never wanted to be anything but a writer (except when I wanted to be a paleontologist when I was 5), so as the social landscape has started changing so radically over the last few years, there were a few times I admit I was afraid. Cancel Culture is an enemy of mine; I don’t believe in it one bit. That’s not to say we shouldn’t call out the evils in our world and work to make life better for our communities, but when cancelling begins, the lines blur. The standards for some are not the same for others. As a person who was forever impacted by stories like Harry Potter, I feared what would happen if I put my words to paper and made a mistake out of ignorance or arrogance or really anything. I analyzed my views in every facet of my life to death. I considered the good and bad I’ve done and how to speak truth through fiction in a way that stays; I want to write evergreen, but more and more it feels like the standards change on a daily basis. I started to think that I needed to have it all figured out, know my spirit inside and out, in order to be sure I was doing good work, sowing healing and not strife with my words.
Mily has helped me see and grow beyond that. And now that I’m so, SO close to finishing this project, Mily’s bravery is strengthening me and giving me courage. So here is what I want my existing and future readers to know…
My work won’t be perfect because I am imperfect. But my intent with this project was to listen, reflect, and shed light on the great insights that children have every day. This is a story about an eight year old girl, and while I have made every effort for it to be something a child could pick up and read and be unharmed, the intended audience is not kids—it’s adults of all ages. I have faith in Mily, and no matter what the world may think of her, she will always be my hero. Without discovering her, the last few years would have been much harder and sadder for me. She is my little light, and I’m gonna let her shine.
Chapter 4 introduces an idea I’ve been afraid to share, but no more. If Mily could live it then I can share it. All I want is to make art that is better than me, and I feel I’m getting closer. I am filled with hope for that, anyway ✨
Next week I’ll have more to put out there. In a few after that, it’ll all be out there in the light of day. Yay 😁
Here’s III. Upturned 🤟