I started this post this on Tuesday, December 27, after learning about the death of Carrie Fisher. I’d hoped it’d be the last 2016 death in a long, long string of folks who, through their work and art, helped to spread joy and happiness to a lot of people. Then Debbie Reynolds, as well as Richard Adams, died, and I had to update it. These deaths were more awfulness in the year that brought us Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. (No, I don’t believe that either of those are good things, and I’m not going to argue about either one.)
I have a weird dissonance in that on a personal level, 2016 was a good year. I sold my first story–which, in part, is what this post is about. I got engaged. I sold my second story. All in that order, and against the backdrop of a year when in addition to those I’ve already listed, we lost David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Harper Lee, Patty Duke, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, John Glenn, George Michael, and many others, and against the aforementioned political events which have caused a great number of people to legitimately fear for the future in general and their own in particular.
Coming back to my first story sale: It’s to the delightful Cast of Wonders. It’s called “Wished,” and it’s a rather silly story about a mall fountain that gains sentience, decides it’s a wishing well, and strives to grant what it considers Worthy Wishes. It is lighthearted and, I hope, funny. It’s out today.
I first drafted it in 2015. Frankly, I’m not sure I could’ve managed it in 2016.
So. We are coming out of a dark year into a new one that could very well be no better, and might well be worse. I won’t claim that everything will be fine, because I believe that for a lot of people, it won’t.
But I’m also reminded about how very difficult it is to accomplish anything when one has no hope. Because if you feel that nothing can change, that there’s no way for anything to get better, why bother anyway? Why put forth the effort?
Stories can give us hope and show us a better day. They can also show us hard truths, and galvanize us to action. Both have value, and both are necessary. “Wished” I think is the former. If you aren’t in a place where you can read something lighthearted, no hard feelings; pass it by. Find what will feed you now.
But if you want a little joy or a little hope, please do give it a look or listen. http://www.castofwonders.org/2017/01/episode-226-wished-by-amanda-helms/
Here’s to better times ahead, knowing we’ll have to work for them. And knowing that there are many people who won’t be able to, so those of us who can will need to help them up.
Peace, hope, and love, and happy New Year.