I Have a Dream
I'm so jealous.
Can I just say it has always been my DREAM to get banned?
I even have a whole speech written up in case it ever happens, so I can remember to thank the people who helped get me banned (my publisher; editor; friends; husband; parents who raised me with no idea that the stuff we regularly talked about in my house could get you banned if you put it in a book). I mean, I wouldn't want to leave anyone out, like Hillary Swank did when she forgot to thank her husband the first time she won an Oscar (and look how that turned out).
The thing is, ever since I was a young girl growing up in Bloomington, Indiana, and saw the incredible made-for-TV movie Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger, starring Miss Bonnie Franklin as Margaret Sanger, the American birth control advocate who got thrown in jail for teaching women about diaphragms, I longed to do something someday that would make me get thrown in jail, too. You know, for a good cause.
But the only thing I could think of that I would ever get in that much trouble for doing was writing something I shouldn't have. Because that was back in the days when I was using my writing skills for evil instead of good, by writing really mean notes about other girls, listing their perceived faults, and then “accidentally” leaving the lists in their lockers.
But Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger changed all that (as did Father Bob when I was forced to admit what I'd done in confession, and he urged me to use my powers to make people feel good, not bad).
Suddenly I realized I COULD be like Margaret Sanger someday—only through my WRITING.
So it became all about getting banned. And who wouldn't want to be in such esteemed company as Judy Blume, R.L. Stine, Toni Morrison, Sonya Sones, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and Hikaru Hayashi & Kimiko Morimoto (authors of How to Draw Manga, banned in Texas this year)?
But now I'm starting to wonder if I will ever be able to use my speech—let alone live up to Margaret Sanger's example–because every single year that goes by, nothing. Lord knows my hopes were raised after The Princess Diaries movie came out, when all these parents rushed out to get the book for their six year old and were unpleasantly surprised to find references to French kissing and spermicide not present in the G-rated film, then wrote me livid letters demanding to know what page the text of the touching letter Mia's deceased father wrote to her was on and why they had to wade through all these condom-references to reach it.
But it still wasn't enough, apparently, to get me banned anywhere. Except possibly certain households.
So then I really thought Ready or Not would do it.
But still. Nothing.
Sigh. I will just have to work harder, I guess, to achieve my dream. In the meantime, congratulations, Susan.
In other news, the effortlessly elegant and currently unbanned Sarah Dessen has pointed out in her blog that November is Nanowrimo, better known as National Write a Novel Month. Now, readers have emailed me in the past about Nanowrimo. However, I had no idea what they were talking about. I assumed Nanowrimo was a city in Alaska.
(WhatEVER, people. I have a lot on my mind, OK?)
So when I saw Sarah mention it in her blog, I was like, “Wait…Sarah is going to Alaska?” and clicked on the link she provided to learn more about her Alaskan sojourn.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Nanowrimo is NOT a city in Alaska. You guys. How cool is that???? Write a novel in a month??? That is so my kind of project! I am totally taking part!
Come on, are you with me??? As the Nanowrimo website states, it doesn't have to be GOOD. It's just a first draft. You're just getting it down. I always consider the first draft sort of like throwing up, anyway, only on paper. After it's all out, you can start arranging it so it looks nice (perhaps this was not the best metaphor, because who tries to organize throw up so it looks nice? But you get my drift).
If I can do it, you guys can do it.
And who knows, maybe with THIS book, I will finally achieve my dream…my dream of getting banned.
Please join me!