A Return and a Reflection

I’ve taken quite the blog break. Not all of it was intentional. My daughter was born last April, and while I assumed I would cease all writing activities for a few months after her arrival, I never expected to be returning to it almost a full year later. But that has often been the theme of this blog, and the spirit behind its title.

Writing the good write means two things to me:
1. Writing about issues that matter.
2. Persevering as a writer every time life gets in the way.

And it does. A lot. I remember when I was in grad school working on the first draft of Children of Guerra. I was 21, and felt giddy with self-assurance that I’d have this thing written in a year, and published the year after that. Of course, both of those processes took considerably longer. And self-publishing was never my plan. Naivety can be a wonderful thing. Would anything creative ever get done if we all knew how arduous it was going to be when we started out?

I fell in love with writing many years ago, and it’s that love that reminds me to return, even when it’s hard, even when I don’t want to, even when I’ve been chasing the little rat monster all over the apartment and now that she’s napping all I want to do is sit on my butt and scroll through Facebook. Please. Just let me mindlessly scroll.

Most days, if I’m going to spend nap time doing something productive, it’s going to involve picking scrambled egg out of my hair. Not writing. But most days add up to weeks and months, and now a year, and I miss my old love. So it’s time to claw my way back to it.

And today, having accomplished that, I want to address #1. The COG series was always supposed to be as diverse as possible. I tried my best to include characters from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. I’m sure there are people I’ve overlooked, and others I’ve misrepresented. I knew it was never going to be perfect. But I was sure as hell going to try.

The political climate in our country over the past year has at different times made me sad, scared, angry, and hopeless. I know I’m not alone in these feelings, which is perhaps a source of hope in itself. It is a large group of people who still want to spread goodness and compassion and inclusion and love and respect. It is surely too large a group to fit into one cavern deep below the streets of Chicago ๐Ÿ™‚

Never before have my characters’ struggles seemed so real to me. And maybe that’s why I can’t ignore them anymore. It’s time to stop dimming the volume on them while I deal with the daily challenges presented by my darling gap-toothed girl. It’s time to articulate what they’ve been murmuring these past months, to shout, to fight for them. They’re important because who they represent is important. Who I am, who my daughter is, who you are. We’re important.

So I write.