The Happy Heartache

When people I know ask me what I'm working on I say "so you know Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue? I'm writing some stories about some people who live there. A young woman who needs to take a swimming pool from two cousins. The books are about some other things, too." And my acquaintance usually asks "what other things?"

And I say one of the following:

-- My devotion to dips.

-- The books are a way for me to tell some stories from my hotel childhood.

-- The stories are about saving stuff we might not think is worth saving at first glance.

-- Sharing is big in the books.

-- Forearms, wrist knobs, neckties, and glasses are VERY big.

-- Friendships, cousinships, siblingships, ownerships, and other ships are themes.

-- Anticipation, too. Glittery, stomach-flipping anticipation.

-- Helping others.

-- The random questions floating at the edge of our vision. (My friends probably think I'm way pompous if I say this, and rightly so, so I almost never say it, or I say it in a different way. I just want the stories to embrace general life mysteries, is all.)

But from now on I might call them happy books about heartache. I think there's some heartache in the books, over love matters, yes, but also matters of taking things away from people you like and can potentially love. And heartache over growing up and facing and accepting change.

Happy heartache can be a positive, though. We don't want heartache in our lives, nor do we wish it upon anyone, but there's a flipside. It's the heartache that compels a person to not retreat but act.

For me, happy heartache is the twisty, turny feeling that says things have a chance of working out for these characters, if everyone rows together. (If my own heart doesn't twist a little over most things I'm putting in the stories, then I reconsider my choices.)

Despite some of the mildly heartache-y elements of the books, though, the trajectory of the Wilfair world is mostly up and rarely down.


***

       “Where do you think we’re going?” Gomery whispered as we ran down the almost pitch-black hallway.

        I held my messager, and its light, in front of me. “We’re going up,” I smiled. 



photo: eva blue (banksy artwork)

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