By Fran Fuller
*standing up from my chair and going to the podium, much like at an AA meeting*
Hi! My name is Fran. I work at Seattle Mystery Bookshop, at least for the moment. It’s for sale, see, so that’s taken a lot of my focus which is why you probably don’t recognize me here in the NWP world.
It’s been a helluva year, right? Who could know? I mean, we knew it’d be bad, but this? Wow.
So, I’ve been reading a lot. It’s part of my job, and I’ve gotta say, it’s a great part. There are those who say reading fiction, especially genre fiction like mystery and fantasy (urban and regular) and science fiction is escapism.
Damn straight it is!
I’ve been off killing bad guys with folks like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden and Ian Hamilton’s Ava Lee. And it’s been great!
There’s a lot of healing that goes on when things spin so out of control that seems small and silly. Like reading escapist fiction. To the glancing eye, it might seem like I’m avoiding my duties to stand up to the evil that’s pervading our country, devouring our hopes, stomping on our very lives.
I beg to differ.
In my everyday life, I do resist. I speak up, I call and email, and I do what I can.
But here’s the deal. I can do these things, partly because I Am Woman Hear Me Roar, because there are great folks like you out there inspiring me, and because I’ve taken heart from Harry and Ava.
See, Harry battles odds he can’t possibly win, but even knowing he’s gonna get his ass kicked, he sees what’s right, what has to be done, and he does it. Granted, he never catches a break, but he’s got his loyal and trusty crew, and they have his back always. I may not be Harry, but even as part of the crew, I do what I can and I stand strong.
And Ava Lee? From her, I’ve learned that we’re all stronger than we realize, but I’ve also learned that often the weakness in an overwhelming power can be found in minute details, and you have to keep digging. You may get hurt along the way, but whole empires can fall if you just tackle the bits you can see. If you look at the whole thing, yeah, it’s overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean a single individual – or a whole army of like-minded people working in concert – can’t make a huge difference.
So yeah, I’m reading fiction, especially genre fiction, like a drowning woman. They’re my spars to cling to in a turbulent ocean.
But I’m adding my spar to yours, and I can see the boat we’re building, and folks? It’s pretty damned great.
Let’s keep sailing, shall we?