Feb. 01, 2016
Bloom is the story of a confident, clunky fairy—she’s covered in dirt and has a tendency to break things too. Bloom leaves a trail of mud and footprints wherever she goes—it seems like there’s always a spilled bucket behind her.
She happily shares her magic in the kingdom she calls home, but like so many things we find magical at first, the shine eventually wears off . . . The kingdom grows tired of the mud and the glass shards. Bloom, to her credit, grows very tired of listening to the kingdom’s complaints.
Off she goes to find a place where her magic – and not her mess – is the story.
The trail of debris that Bloom leaves behind is nothing compared to the trail of dead manuscripts I left behind this book by the time it was finished. My agent, Holly McGhee, is the only one who was tortured more than I was by the endless, almost-there, not-quite there, and not-even close manuscripts that eventually (how many years later??) became Bloom. I have two young daughters and the idea for an unintentionally destructive and happily dirty fairy grew out of my own growing dislike (okay, rage) at all the tiny, shiny, pretty, sparkly female characters I was reading about with them.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being tiny, shiny, pretty and sparkly – if that’s you. But it’s not me. I wish I could say this was all about showing my daughters there are different ways to be – but some part of it was likely written for myself. Not all magic is tiny, shiny, pretty and sparkly. Some of it is loud, dirty, awkward, and dare I say, hard work. Sometimes, the magic you are counting on doesn’t even work (but I had such a good idea!) and sometimes the magic is just a spark that requires a tremendous amount of hard work and profanity to dig back out.
Make the dig.
Leave a trail, like Bloom—your mess lets us know you were here.
Let children remind us that they are here – with their voices, their dirty hands, their broken lamps, their songs, their soccer balls, the dry erase markers they used to color in the boring, white bathroom grout, and the pile of hair they just cut off their own heads with the good scissors when you weren’t looking. It’s part of their magic.
So bring a hammer, a shovel, your pen, your clunkiest shoes or whatever your tools are and break something. Make a mess. Leave a trail. It will make it so much easier to find you. Then, if you are extraordinarily lucky, someone will pour their own magic into the mix. Thank you, David Small.