Do you recall what happens after Tinkerbell drinks the poison Captain Hook intended for Peter Pan? As the tiny fairy’s light grows ever fainter, Peter realizes he’s facing the loss of a treasured friend. In desperation, he turns to the audience for help.
"She’s going to die unless we do something. Clap your hands! Clap your hands and say, ‘I believe in fairies!’"
While I’ve taken great pains to collect evidence of my memoir’s veracity, some publishing insiders are suggesting that certain high-profile hoaxes have poisoned the genre altogether. No surprise, those dishonest stories have cast shadows of doubt over CAN I GET A WITNESS. I’m very optimistic about my project’s potential in the long run, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit those perspectives put a temporary damper on my enthusiasm.
Until I remembered Tinkerbell.
Why she came to mind, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps I was inspired by this icon, or maybe it’s the trace of my father’s DNA in me that sees everything as a potential parable. Anyway, when I re-read JM Barrie’s story, this excerpt from the original version really brightened my spirits:
"If you believe," [Peter Pan] shouted to them, "clap your hands; don’t let Tink die."
A few beasts hissed.
The clapping stopped suddenly….but already Tink was saved. […] First her voice grew strong, then she popped out of bed, then she was flashing through the room more merry and impudent than ever.”
Did you catch that? Not everyone clapped for Tinkerbell! Her inner light returned, even though not everyone believed.
In re-reading Peter Pan, I rediscovered that important truth. Not everyone has to believe in my project. Some will say meh, and others will reject it outright. But it just takes one agent and one editor, right? That, plus a writer who believes in herself.
I also realized anew the power of our collective spirit. Each of us goes through dark times now and again; when that happens, we can help one another keep the magic alive. I’m grateful for the wonderful people who clapped for me when I didn’t have the energy to clap for myself.
I refuse to let my light go out, not ever. I’ll keep researching and telling my story true. I’ve worked too hard, endured too much to let someone else write "The end."