I set off on my journey for Where Water Meets the Sky armed with paper and some gel pens. (Many, many gel pens, it would turn out.) To date, it’s still the only book I’ve written entirely by hand. When you can type quite (or extremely) fast, you sometimes get in a zone of just getting it out when writing books. And that’s helpful! When you’re trying to just get it out.
I learned many lessons throughout the course of writing this book, not only about taking one’s time with a task when it could be done quicker by another means but about looking at life through a slightly different lens.
There aren’t many books that I’ve written where I would be comfortable at the thought of a younger girl reading, not necessarily due to content but most often the subject matter and how it’s handled. I was proud of this one for feeling it was suitable for an even slightly younger audience, knowing...
It might have some difficult bits, but it’s got some really good ones that I feel we all (myself included) could benefit from, even if only in thinking about. We when young often fail to see things from our parents’ eyes and perspectives, to see why they do what they do or teach us what they do. We’re often faced with the choice of treating others the way we would wish to be treated, whether they would do the same for us or not. We’re often faced with bad decisions of others that affect us, and we have to decide how we’ll handle it and them. We’re often faced with people of varying beliefs, opinions, ways of seeing things, and we have choice in how we handle that along with choosing what images we cast of our own inner substance. And we’re often faced with our own mistakes and wrongdoing to others, intentional or otherwise.
I did struggle with the thought of releasing this book, if only because those issues are far more blatant a thing than they usually are in my writing. But I feel I came out the other side of this book a slightly more understanding and compassionate person than when I went into it, and maybe someone else will feel the same. (Or maybe just have a nice smile or two along the way, which is still a good thing.)
Writing and having this book someplace inside me has helped me many times in those ways and also in thinking about the images we all cast, what those things say about not only us but those who have been and always will be part of us. It’s an interesting thing to think about sometimes, and a beautiful one.
This book, also, is one of very few where I’ve felt I had a moment of choosing. Mostly, it’s always the characters simply going about their lives. With this one? I had a distinct choice.
Certain things might’ve been obvious to you. (Yet another thing that’s interesting with this is the thought of: Sometimes the things in our life are obvious to others but not us.)
It wasn’t obvious or in any way clear to me when writing!
I am not one for ‘tormenting my characters’. This is one of very few where I can say, “I gave her that happy ending.” (I don’t mind saying here that there is one. This is the closest thing I’ve ever written to a ‘fairytale’ and I’m happy with it ending the way it does. Some people might not agree, but that’s okay!)
We should all, I feel, have our own happy endings even when the reality of such things is that they’re hard work and have lots of bumps along the way.
That, too, is a beautiful thing, I think—holding on to someone you love throughout all the bumps and difficulties of life. (Even if you do on occasion want to smack someone to get the hair off their face. There’s a difference between wanting and doing!)
I hope that if you read this, you’ll feel you came out the other side with something good too, even if only a smile or two.