(In celebration of turning Gollywhopper 3 in to my editor yesterday, and in hopes that book will pass this test, I bring you a reprint of the July 2012 post I did for the Smack Dab blog. Wishing you fireworks in your reading and writing.)
I always wanted the fireworks to last longer when I was a kid. It didn’t matter that it was hot or that I was sticky and stinky from bug spray or that I ended up half off the blanket and half on the ticklish grass. I wanted more.
“Close your eyes,” my dad said one year.
I did. And the fireworks reappeared behind my eyelids. I tested that bit of magic on the walk to the car and throughout the ride home. Though the pinpoints grew duller, the memory of both the live show and my personal instant replay kept the fireworks alive for days.
I think of those fireworks when I come to the last lines of some books I’ve been reading – the ones where I want to stay in the story and be friends with the characters and live their adventures or battle their demons or just hear their voices one more time.
But those stories, like the fireworks, end. And commanding more is beyond my control. So I summon pieces of story from time to time for weeks and months, even years, even a lifetime.
I have to be patient to know if a book passes the fireworks test, but when it does …