Brooklyn Bitters, my upcoming book due out this summer, deals with lies, alliances, love, and family loyalty. It’s a character-driven read. In this scene, the main character deals with a range of emotions as she comes face-to-face with her mother’s awakening from a long term coma.
I peered into the darkness for her eyes. Spontaneous whimpers escaped my lips as I held my breath, trying to remain calm and not frighten her. Night had grabbed the light from the room, making it hard to see the outline of her face. But turning on a lamp would splinter the moment and startle her. I don’t know why, but the vision of a newborn seized from a mother’s womb flashed through my mind. The babies always, always cried.
Writing about desire taps into vulnerability. When I penned Pages in the Wind the plot had significant grit and violence; it was essential to the story. I chose not to weigh it down with explanation or wordy passages. My upcoming book, Brooklyn Bitters, deals with love, betrayal, and loyalty. My character, Kate, is a career woman whose life has gotten away from her. She missed out on romantic love. In this scene, she lets go of her walls and we feel her inner dialogue. It wasn’t hard to write, but it felt, at times, familiar.
He said love. The rest of it was soliloquy, metaphoric babble, and probably a divergent tactic, but I didn’t care. I was hungry. Starving. God help me, even desperate. My desire for him I’d kept tempered by my doubts collapsed under the word love. A torrent of suppressed passion I had re-directed into duty and hard work engulfed me. I couldn’t resist anymore because I couldn’t swim. Damn it—I didn’t want to.
Oh, sibling rivalry. I’ve seen it up close. Fortunately, as the only daughter and a middle child…my role was the peacemaker and I didn’t have anyone to compete with (or wasn’t interested). But I did have a front row seat. It was sometimes entertaining, funny, and at times…upsetting. Where does it come from? I’m pretty sure the seeds are planted early. In this scene of my upcoming novel, Brooklyn Bitters, although subtle…you can get a sense how it started:
I spooned another helping of gumbo. It felt good to be called a girl at forty-two. As for the beautiful part, I was no Stacey with her sexy body and pretty face. My face wore the signs of too much reading; I had lines between my eyebrows and the beginnings of crow’s feet. I got my dad’s brown eyes instead of Mother’s blue, and my dark hair touched my shoulders with a touch of gray at the temple. At least, I got Ma’s high cheekbones, full lips, and slender, tall frame at five feet nine. I was best described as average. My father always called Stacey the beauty and me the athlete. Of course, I could barely manage twenty push-ups and was always on the tail-end of a one mile run, but he had tried to give me something.