Tag Archives: character

tribe

TBP_8827We do death well….our family. Let it bare its teeth at one of us, and we drive in from far and near and go to work. Just recently we gardened, repainted a whole inside interior, cleaned, scrubbed, washed, and waxed the house of one of our own, whose husband just committed suicide. We let go of political or any bias and worked to make her home something she could come back to—brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers.  I love that in us, this clan tribe thing we can summon up when the chip is down and busted.

collagecropI was reminded of the long-ago autumn melanoma locked its pitbull jaws into my sister, and we knew it was over. We drove in from far and wide on clear autumn weekends, kids tumbling out of cars like a clown act, and gardened and cleaned and talked and cooked and did whatever we could for her. We loved her to death.

 

 

 

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Psychic order

Sometimes I’m asked in what order someone should read my books. I guess this is because some of the same characters appear in the three which are published. First, I think it doesn’t matter. Read whichever one comes your way, and go from there. Each book is written to stand alone: a full-fledged story with beginning, middle, end. But as the one who writes them, it is very interesting to me the way they have unfolded in my imagination. The first one was written to heal over a great hurt. The second one was written because the publisher made an offer I couldn’t refuse. The third one was written because that’s what was there for me to do when I left a regular job. The fourth one is being written now because it’s the one I’ve been trying to write since the second.  A piece of it tumbled out in the third. That was when I realized how large this particular story (Louis XIV) was, and that my mistake had been to try to fit that story into one book. So now I write another piece of that story. And when it is finished, I will take one thread and unfurl it forward into the time period of Dark Angels, and those characters, Richard and Alice, will come back on stage. But then the book after, six, if I’m counting correctly, will again look backward to Alice’s girlhood. And then, and only then, will I be ready to go forward to the early 18th century in which Barbara, the character of the first and second novels, lives. Somehow, there’s a psychic order. I must finish with Louis XIV and Alice before I can begin again with Barbara. It’s as if I threw a rock in a pond, and the rock was the first book, and these which come after are the ripples in my imagination. Those basic themes of what is love, what is forgiveness, what is redemption just keep widening.