Thursday, July 3, 2014

Why It's Okay To Want (And Some Laini Taylor Gushing)

So. Laini Taylor. Lots of people have been telling me--no, no, INSISTING--that I read her books. All of them. Immediately. 

Well. This week, I finished her short story anthology, LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES. Holy amazeballs, Batman. Holy. Amazeballs.

First off, there's the (glorious) cover.


Then there are the actual stories.

Goblin Fruit
In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?

Spicy Little Curses
A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.

Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

Awesome, no? Well, I enjoyed all three stories, but my absolute FAVE was "Goblin Fruit." Like the talented Laini Taylor, I'm quite fond of Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market." I even chose to study it for my comprehensive exams in my M.A. program. Everything about "Goblin Fruit" rocked my world: the mythology, the dynamic between main character Kizzy and her friends, her BADASS grandma, the tempting suitor.

Which is why I've decided to highlight something particularly awesome about this story.

You see, there's a paragraph on page 41 that knocked me sideways with its brilliance. It deals with the many, many things Kizzy daydreams of having and doing. The paragraph is immediately followed by a single sentence:

I couldn't help but stop reading to stare at the wall in front of me. Not only was the writing gorgeous, it was also speaking of true things. Of things we can all relate to, whether or not we've been seduced by a goblin disguised as a pretty face. Publishing offers aspiring authors many things. But before we can attain any of them, we're left with the insatiable yearning. Some people advise against thinking of landing film deals and hitting the NYT Bestseller List and touring the world and having monuments built in your name. I say there's nothing wrong with wanting. It's okay to want.

The problem comes when we turn a blind eye to what's within our reach--writing--and only see what we would love to have. Or even worse, when we only see how others obtained what we want first. This helps no one. You should want as many things as you can, but you must fight for them. And even if you fight for the things you want, that doesn't guarantee you'll get them. That's why you should always put writing first. Regardless of what happens, you'll have put in the work toward your dreams instead of just dreaming all the time. You tried. Others might not make it past the first page, but you will. You want. That's the first step to having and doing.

Now go out there and write, folks.

Also, if you haven't already, please devour Laini Taylor's LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES. I insist.

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