Friday, September 15, 2023

Glimmers and Starbursts and Hopeful Endings


You may remember my big summer news:  After a particularly nasty fall, I underwent surgery to replace a very sad hip.  I couldn’t take my walks. I couldn’t go into the woods or see my favorite trees or feed my favorite turtles.  The news was overwhelmingly depressing. I’ve watched every season of Doc Martin and The Witcher. And you know Whoooo!

And just about that time, a meme made its way to my page, defining the nature of glimmers. A glimmer is that micro-moment of happiness; a sign of hope.

So, I decided enough is enough. I pulled out an old story and made it new again.  Working at the desk, while doing my leg exercises, o! the possibilities!

A month later, I could bike ½ mile (albeit, it’s a PT bike. But a bike is a bike!)

I walked 45 minutes (albeit, I stopped to practice my balance, with my trusty cane – Miss Purple Bess – by my side.)

O, big glimmer. My eighth book, this one from Charlesbridge, is scheduled for Spring 2026! 

So how does this relate to our topic on endings? Ending is such a particularly good concept for me these days. I went to my Doc appt recently. I'm at the halfway mark. Only 6 more weeks of PT.  Endings. And new beginnings!

In other words, hope is the core ingredient for a satisfying ending to a story. There are many ways to end a story. There’s the happily ever after, common in romance stories and other fairy tales. There’s the “the restoration of honor through sacrifice; the bolstering of friendship and altruism through earned humility.” As Vaughn Roycroft noted in his article, Good Story Endings: Happy or Sad, or Something Else?” 

There’s the tragic ending, epitomized by Jack’s death in Titanic. And the open ending, when nothing is really resolved, and the murderer seems to have escaped. Then there's the redemption at the end of the story. In each scenario,  hope allows the character to move forward, and the possibilities are endless. After Jack died, Rose’s ‘heart lived on' to love again and have a family. Darth Vader found redemption and the rebellion found new hope.  

Hope means the story didn’t end with the tragedy, or even with the ecstasy. It is, in essence, the beginning to the next chapter – the sequel, if you will.

David Means, author of Two Nurses, Smoking, said, “A good ending doesn’t answer a question. It opens up the deeper mystery of the story itself.”

In other words, through dark moments and tragic scenes, and happy reunions, the most memorable ending invites readers to glean meaning from the story and, in so doing, becomes inspired, as noted by Hannah Gullickson in her article, “Imagination and Writing: The “Hopeful Ending” vs. the“Happy Ending”.  

And to end this reflection with a starburst: this morning I submitted the revision to my agent. 

“Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.” -- L.R. Knost

-- Bobbi Miller


Carmela Martino said...

Congratulations, Bobbi, on your forthcoming book. I can't wait to see it! And congratulations, too, on healing and progress. Thanks so much for sharing the idea of "glimmers" with us.

Bobbi Miller said...

Thank you, Carmela, for your kindness and support these last few months! This is why I love working with the TAs!

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Mazel tov on your newest release, your newest revision and all those glimmers that are lighting up the way for you!
What we really need to offer our Readers is the POSSIBILITY of that Happy End.
Of course, I'm a Cubs Fan! :)
So glad your hip is healing.
Your Fan Esther

Bobbi Miller said...

Thank you for your kindness, Esther! I dare say the TAs are some of my shiniest glimmerings! Your Fan, Bobbi

Louise said...

What delicious news, Bobi! Cannot wait to read your book! And what a lovely, hopeful post this is. Every writer, every human, needs glimmers. Thanks for reminding us!

Bobbi Miller said...

Thank YOU, Louise!

April Halprin Wayland said...

I'm late to the party, but OH, what a party you've thrown us, Bobbi! Thank you for reminding me of the befores/durings/and afters in writing and in life...and for that last, SO true, beautiful quote ✨