Thursday, August 11, 2011

The eye of the beholder

This is a commercial for my army and my navy
This is a rehearsal for all the empty promises I will be
And I won't let you down
Done letting you down

-Matthew Good, “Pledge of Allegiance”*

I have struggled and struggled with this post on heroes and I think, finally, I’ve figured out why: My characters don’t consider themselves particularly brave or heroic.

That’s not to say that they aren’t those things. They are. But if you hauled any one of them aside and asked, “Do you think you’re some kind of hero?” they’d look at you as though you’d lost your mind.

They do what they have to do. To protect each other. To survive. To find answers and come to grips with the past. They don’t see the bravery in their actions because they’re only too aware of their own fears and mistakes.

They haven’t realized that fear doesn’t cancel out bravery and that the strongest heroes are sometimes the ones who’ve had to work for redemption.

Someday they’ll figure that out and, when they do, maybe they’ll be as proud of themselves as I am of them.

* An amazing acoustic performance of this song can be seen here.

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Kathleen Peacock is a semi-reformed vampire addict and unapologetic geek who has taken to writing about werewolves. Her debut, HEMLOCK, will be published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, in Summer 2012. Visit her website at www.kathleenpeacock.com.

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