Child of my heart.
Please indulge a sappy mother who wants to get sappy about you? Just this once. Then no more sap, I promise.
I had tucked you away for thinking, revising, and re-shaping. After months of letting you wilt in the darkest corner of my closet, I dusted you off and sent you into the cold, cruel world.
I had hardened my heart by then. I wouldn’t allow myself to care what happened to you. If no one else could see the beauty in you, I would keep you to myself. Perhaps you were the face that only a mother could love.
Imagine my surprise when your editor loved you. Imagine my surprise when, on the day of your arrival, you were feted with a public birth announcement. Imagine my surprise when I found myself in tears while telling the story of how you came to be.
I have never been accused of taking things lightly, but I thought that I had convinced myself not to care.
For Vennie, your older sister, there were sheets of promotional posts and the entire blogging community came out in force to support her. For you, with only ten days’ notice what could I do? I couldn’t ask our dear friends to promote me again so soon.
I fretted. I paced. I agonized whether you were another self-indulgent story of a writer who needed to grow up enough to write real fiction, and I cringed at what the critics would say.
I wanted everyone to like Vennie, but she was the jokester. The class clown. She made people laugh.
She was safe.
You, Mira darling, were my naked soft heart pulsating on a platter offered up for others to devour.
Be professional, I told myself. Let go.
Were I to do it again, maybe I would have made a few improvements. A mother is never satisfied, right?
Yet I have never worked so hard as I did when I was creating you. I slept about you, ate about you, and even wandered through my day job communing with you.
You were my soul and my guts all wrapped up in one.
As I wrote on KT Grant’s blog today:
Desire in Any Language is a lyrical meditation of a twenty-something girl, Mira, who studies abroad and is smitten with her female tutor. It is both a coming-out and a coming-of-age tale, and Mira makes many wrong choices in her attempts to deny her identity. Yet at the same time, the unfolding of her self-acceptance is accompanied by the love of those around her. It is a coming-out story that I wish more could enjoy in real life, rather than the prejudice and even discrimination that many have faced.
I know that prejudice, angst, and all of the difficulties of simply having and enjoying a F/F relationship are part of life as we know it, but must we keep replicating this in fiction? I want to read stories about women who care for each other and a world that allows this to happen.
Mira-ya, you are the story of what I wish the world could be.
(and a whole lot of spankings…)