Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Darkness Within

What makes Bone Dressing a dark series? Well, that really depends on your definition of what makes a dark series ... dark. To some, dark may simply mean a 17-soon-to-be-18-year old girl struggling to become a woman. To others, it may be defined by that same girl learning to embrace herself, mistakes and all, or exploring her sexuality and finding herself unable to deny it. Yet other readers may see profanity, arson, past lives and cemeteries as dark. Likewise, heartache, self-hatred, even suicide, could better describe dark. And, of course, there are those who may reserve that title for teachers who abuse their authority by mentally, emotionally and sexually abusing their students.

But perhaps dark is more physical, involving torment, pain, torture, loss of blood, and murder ... or is simply defined by things that go bump in the night.

So, what about Bone Dressing, is it a dark series? That's simple, really. No matter which of these defines your darkness, Bone Dressing has it ... and so much more. Sweet dreams!

WARNING: The StoryWriter General has determined that Bone Dressing is a dark YA series and that, once reading the first book has begun, lack of completion of all seven books may be dangerous to your past lives ... and all your future sweet dreams.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Questions Left As Yet Unanswered...

From time to time throughout the days that have filled my life since beginning to write Bone Dressing, a recurring comment from readers floats to the surface ... that of all the unanswered questions. It’s a good comment, a fair one, and perhaps the only question I’ll definitively and completely answer in this post.

Bone Dressing, unlike most fiction being written today, is written first person. Beyond that, it is written only person. What do I mean by that? Yesterday, today and all the tomorrows yet to be filled in, will provide Bone Dressing readers with the single perspective of one Sydney Annalise Bovay Roberdeau. Period. This perspective may, at different points throughout each of the books that comprise the series, be that of Syd’s present day persona, or that of any number of her previous lives, but it will always be directly and singularly hers.

Having said that, answers that lie central to her perspective and understanding will most certainly be defined, even if perhaps wrongly at first, while those that reside in a more peripheral position may or may not. Syd is, after all, seeking to find her way, and will indubitably bump into walls and stumble over cracks along her journey. That’s part of the fun of life ... those missteps that take us places we never imagined we’d find ourselves. Conversely, any and all issues that Syd is not able or prepared to face or understand cannot and will not be answered until the time she herself actually comes face-to-face with them and/or comes to terms with them. It would be rather impossible to have my struggling, earthy, impetuous, courageous Syd dance with partners she cannot yet see, or who don’t yet exist in her own reality ... much like ourselves, yes?

How many of the questions you long most to have answered within your life are answered the moment you ask the question? And would we really want or understand those answers if we weren’t given sufficient time to savor the need for them ... to develop a thirst, a hunger, a burning drive to uncover and discern their true meaning, their true depths? Much like baking bread, the big questions of life become so much more satisfying, they melt in our mouths ever so much more delectably, given the time to rise in a nice warm oven.

The final consideration of those damn unanswered questions is that Bone Dressing is a series of seven books ... seven books representing as many lives of a single girl. In addition, each of these books feeds upon the others. Exactly how much fun would it be if you knew the story before it had even been told? So, enjoy the unanswered questions. If I’ve done my job well, they should be there, and they should itch to be answered.

Guess that’s my cue ... better get back to writing The Awakening (Book 3), so you can get back to scratching those itchy places!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bone Dressing series: The story behind the story

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan of Indiewritersreview interviewed me recently. I thought I would share two of her questions and my answers with my blog followers.

What inspired Bone Dressing? What is the story behind the story?

Let’s break that apart and take that in two bites. Nibble number one, the inspiration for Bone Dressing, the whole seven book series, start to finish, came to me in a dream one night. When I woke up the next day I couldn’t write fast enough, I was consumed with getting every bit of the outline down before it slipped from my memory. Then came a mountain of research, a ton of writing, and voilĂ  ... Bone Dressing took its first breath.

Now for the second bite, interesting question, “the story behind the story”, because Bone Dressing is a series of mini-stories nestled within a broader tale, that is itself, only a single piece of the over-riding storyline. So, let’s start with the mini bits tucked deep within the series and work our way out, shall we? Each of these inner stories lies within the heart of one of the seven books. These revolve around Syd’s past lives, so the inner story in the first book is focused on the love between Jesse and Rachel. As the series progresses, these mini-stories will intermingle, ultimately fusing with the broader tale of Syd and Beau. These past-life single-book stories, as well as the cross-book tale of Syd and Beau lie within the pages of Bone Dressing. But, the story of Syd and Beau centers on a girl trying to make sense of herself and the world around her. It’s a story of love and of loss, of good and of bad. And because of that, it’s a story that blurs the lines between the two, because as soon as we choose to define what’s good, then we must also give birth to what’s bad. This is where the final story begins ... where it ends depends upon both the tale that’s left to be told in the remaining books of the series, as well as what happens outside the pages of Bone Dressing ... what happens within the person in whose hands my little story has crept ... we may all find ourselves doing a little Bone Dressing by the time we turn the last page of the series ...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Where, oh where, could The Dreaming be?

Syd: “Would you stop already? They can eat next year. You’ve fed those kids day after day for their whole lives, and you’ve even fed that new hubby of yours for almost a year. What do they expect, a slave for life? Besides, they can take care of themselves ... shit, your kids are almost as old as I am. Surely they can fry their own damn bacon by now. So, just sit your butt back down in that chair before I glue your ass to it!”

Michelle: “You know, for someone who wouldn’t have a voice without me, you sure as hell can be ungrateful. If I break these yolks because of you breathing down my neck, I’m gonna make you eat them half raw! Besides, I like spending time with William and the kids, doing things for them, laughing with them ... just sharing space with them. You, on the other hand, I could seriously use a little vacation from!”

Syd: “Perfect! So, finish The Dreaming already and bada-bing bada-boom you can plant yourself on some beautiful little Syd-free beach in the Caribbean! Hell, I won’t even breathe in your direction for a full two weeks. You can fry all the bacon your little heart desires for one week and still have seven days left to go cavort around in the sun with your hubby.

After that, though, the writing hat goes back on and your tanned little butt is mine until Bone Dressing: The Awakening is a done deal. So you’d better stock up on all your silly little writing shtuff ... candles, incense, coffee, music ... and give your stupid little Zombie writing buddy a manicure. Cause you’re not leaving that chair again except to pee and change the filter in the coffee pot.”

Michelle: “What’s your damn hurry, Syd? Wasn’t the Caribbean good enough for you? And Australia, damn, people would give their left ear for a chance to take a trip down under. ”

Syd: “It’s not that I don’t like Australia. It’s great. Sydney’s harbor is phenomenal, the Outback’s striking, Beau’s ... mmm ... well, he’s just so unbelievably hot, I just ...”

Michelle: “Come on, Syd, wrap it up, I’ve got better things to do than sit here listening to your hormones kick into overdrive again.”

Syd: “Fine! Who’s in a hurry now, huh? If you had the big bad Mr. A. breathing down your neck, maybe you’d understand. Until that day comes, though, you’d better write your fingers to the bone with the Bone Dressing series. You’re the one that plunked me down in the middle of all this, hell, until then I wasn’t even a figment of your imagination! So, just post this Goddamn blog already. Let all my fans know it’s not my fault you haven’t finished Bone Dressing: The Dreaming yet.

Then, if you absolutely have to do something with pig meat, fine! Feed your hubby while he does the whole publishing thing. Just be sure everyone knows to look for Bone Dressing: The Dreaming in February, just in time for bloody Valentines’ Day.

Now, conversation’s over. Get me the hell back to the Outback so I can vent my frustrations on whoever’s stupid enough to walk in earshot of me.”

Michelle: “Aye aye, Capt’n!” God, I’ve created a monster! Wonder if they’ll have to carry me off in a straight jacket after I work my way through the remaining 6 books? My left eye’s already twitching every time I hear Syd’s voice in my head!

Syd: “Hello! I’m in your head, you little idiot! I can hear every single word!”

Michelle: “Fine! I’m parking my butt back in the Goddamn chair now! Next stop, the Australian Outback. Please, keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.”

Syd: “Smart ass! And you wonder where I get it from ...”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Itsy Bitsy Firefly

My apologies to the spider ...


The itsy bitsy firefly
Knew not what life’s about.

Down came Mr. A
Who tried to take her out.

In came Beau
With the dead but not alone.

So the itsy bitsy firefly
Is now in search of bones.


Sarah, Beau and T.J. ...
Showing Syd life among the dead. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Dreaming - We're not in Kansas anymore

As Syd faces the dangerous mysteries waiting for her in the mistakes of her past, she must leave the comforts of her world behind her in book two, Bone Dressing: The Dreaming. The time for best friends and midnight escapes to her hiding place, the cemetery she calls home, is over. Now she must find a way to embrace her destiny, her future … and her past.

Leaving everything she knows, Syd puts her life on the line, sailing from the shores of sanity through the rocky waters of the unknown. Little does she know the dangers awaiting her throughout the journey to the sleeping grounds of her next past life. Taken on a roller coaster ride through mysterious cultures, rogue mercenary pirates, past loves and new-found abilities, Syd must listen to her heart, she must right past wrongs.

But, how can she possibly change what she still doesn’t understand? What chance does she have to survive against an evil that has hunted her for lifetimes, much less hope to defeat it?

Help continues to come through the unlikely team of Sarah and T.J., Syd’s own personal dynamic duo. Too bad they were time-challenged, blipping on and off her radar at the worst times. If only they were front and center when she really needed them.

And Beau … when would she be able to function, to breathe, in his presence? What was her connection to him? And why couldn’t he get over himself and admit his attraction to her?

Off on a race against time, against evil-incarnate, against her own fears and passions, Syd must turn to the strength within. To the strength she gains from Bone Dressing.

Bone Dressing: The Dreaming is planned for publication in December 2011 and is the second book of seven in the Bone Dressing series. For updates, follow this blog.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Breath

I'm in the midst of a wonderful adventure writing Bone Dressing: The Dreaming (book 2). That's one of the things I love most about writing, I feel it all, the happy, the sad and all the shiver-me-timbers in between. But, sometimes, in the midst of living, loving, working and writing, life steps in. And mine did just that, here's a taste of something a bit different from Syd ...

A breath slips slowly in ... a shiver traces its way through my body not liking the cold intrusion it brings.

I adore my life. I really do. It's a most perfectly wonderful, marvelous life and I couldn't wish for anything more.

Except when it isn't perfect. When it hurts and my hands get dirty. Or perhaps, better said, except when I let myself see the cracks instead of the whole ... The what's yet to be, instead of the already is ... The broken bits, instead of the unique perfection of this day, just the way it is ...

Another breath, just to keep the tears at bay. But with it comes a hope that makes my heart cry out in pain.

Still, the "already is" is exactly what I've always wanted, always needed, always held highest in priority. So, why am I so damn set on standing here dancing all alone in the cracks? Why is it so difficult to feel the life beneath my feet, the life breathing all around me, the life breathing ... and bleeding, within me?

Happily ever after ... sharp, cold, empty cracks ... happily ever after ... sharp, cold, empty cracks ...

Seems like such an easy choice to make. So incredibly simple. Perfectly clear.

But, the simple route is always so cluttered with all those who find themselves tempted by it ... And sometimes, the hurt feels good. Sometimes it's the hurt that speaks louder than the noise surrounding me. Telling me in no uncertain terms that this moment is real. Comforting the ache of hope with the ache of reality.

One more breath breaks in ... and I let it.

So. What next?

Nothing quite so dramatic as, "to be or not to be," as Master William would so very eloquently say. Still, perhaps no less important. Maybe even more so ... to choose happiness in this moment, today, just the way it is, or not?

I think that's one of the most difficult times to smile, when you think the day, your day, is broken. That it somehow needs fixing.

Maybe "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is more than skin deep. Maybe it rests somewhere in the soul.

I guess life is just that simple, after all. So, Mr. Kleenex box, you're fired. Feet, you're on, take me where I need to go. I have a life to live, and a love to give.

And I'm taking my very first breath of it, now.