Mama says wishing on stars is a waste anyhow, says you don’t need stars in the sky to make your dreams come true. Hope can pick your dream up, she says, off the floor of your heart, when you think it can’t happen, no how, no way, though unlike wishing Mama says hoping is hard work.
-- excerpt from the forthcoming DANCING IN THE WINGS, January 2012, by Kristy Dempsey, ill. by Floyd Cooper, Philomel Books
In late 2006, my critique partner, Tanya Seale, was at Disney World as we called to tell her that I’d just received an offer for what would become my first published book, ME WITH YOU. She was standing under a night sky filled with fireworks as “When You Wish Upon A Star” played in the background. It was seemingly the perfect soundtrack for this achievement our entire critique group shared in. “A dream is a wish your heart makes . . .” Such a lovely sentiment, but while I’ll always treasure the visual image of Tanya standing under the fireworks for all of us, I’ve come to realize that “When you Wish Upon a Star” sucks as a theme song. A wish doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight. Too often, wishing is an excuse for me to be lazy, to sit around and daydream and to NOT do the hard work it takes to cultivate hope. True hope in achieving my dreams comes NOT from sitting back and wishing it will all come true, true hope comes from rolling up my sleeves and getting down into the dirt of what I want to accomplish. It comes from justifying my hope with hard work.
Of course, we all need a little pixie dust on occasion — CERTAINLY in this “right place, right time” business. So my 2010 challenge to you is to Pick Your Pixie. Is she of the Tinkerbell variety — daydreamy and transparent, flitting from place to place sprinking her magical dust pinch by pinch? Or is she wearing an apron and work gloves, carrying a shovel in her writing hand?
Mine most definitely has a shovel, glittery and pink, and I’m not afraid to make her use it.
Kristy Dempsey is the author of ME WITH YOU, a celebration of the relationship between children and those who love them, published by Philomel Books. Since 1998, Kristy has lived in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with her husband and three children. Her forthcoming books include MINI RACER, Bloomsbury, January 2011; DANCING IN THE WINGS, Philomel, January 2012; and SURFER CHICK, Abrams, Spring 2012. Kristy blogs at http://kristydempsey.livejournal.com and her website can be found at www.kristydempsey.com.