I am feeling a little anxious about my trip to Illinois. That’s a lot of unmitigated time with my parents. But I’m also really excited. I’m fretting about the book, some, as seems to be my constant state when writing. I’m worried that it’s unfair to churches and ministers and that Methodists, especially, those who have brought me up will feel hurt or betrayed. Not because you can point to anyone and say “Oh, that’s really Joe Smith! I recognize him!” I tried to be very, very careful about not giving specific characters specific traits of people I know, especially because Hannah experiences them as a kind of undulating, undifferentiated mass of people she can’t be a part of.
But I still worry.
And then I think, well, it’s a story about ministers’ kids, specifically a particular Methodist minister’s kid. Let someone else write a book in which the congregations are awesome and the pastor’s family sucks, or in which the pastor is awesome, but his family and church suck.
I don’t know. I’m still not sure it’s very good. I’m worried there are holes I just can’t see. I’m worried it doesn’t make any sense. I’m worried no one will want to publish it or read it.
But I’m still having a shit-ton of fun writing it. When I read it, I feel like, “Yeah, I wish there’d be a strange little book about ministers’ kids like this before.”
And the truth is that I’m not exactly sure what I’m getting at, what I want people to take away from it, so who can say it’s not happening?
I guess I’m getting nervous about asking folks to read it and closer to the time when I’ll want them to.