We recently published Lynn Mundell’s warm “Our Bright Lights On.”
Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1) I love the powerful imagery in this story — the glow that lights the way toward hope. How did you come up with this particular idea?
I was thinking about how there is so much sadness in the world right now that it can be hard to remain optimistic. But somehow people still have faith, and that having a baby is one of the most hopeful things you can do. Then I wondered if it is harder to make a family now, with so many stresses. At the same time, I take a yoga class that can be very rigorous. I always speculated my teacher was ex-Army. (He says no.) Somehow the two were conflated and it was a paranormal prenatal yoga class!
2) The moment with Nan is so heart-wrenching, leaving the reader so worried that something is wrong, and then so relieved when her belly begins to glow too. Did you ever consider a sadder ending for Nan?
While I have written many sad things, I realized recently that too much of what I read is sad. I almost wonder if that has become our go-to as writers. It brings the drama that we want, but it also leaves the reader with a heavy load. It can be hard to write happy things without them seeming saccharine. But for these women I wanted to show that while they are losing heart with so many worries, their babies are determined to give them joy. Nan’s concerns are the greatest of all, so while even her baby may have started fading and losing hope, the others will coax them through it. This speaks to the other heroes of the story. While the babies are lighting the way, women are caring for each other. There’s a lot of sisterhood going on in this story.