Worth the Sacrifice

A week or so ago I decided to stop writing TGN. I finally discovered what was wrong with it, what was wrong with Cords, and found a solution for the fact I had nothing for the third book of the supposed trilogy. The result is that I’m back to square one. Starting over, again, and it’s going to look completely different by the time I’m done.

I’ve been paging through The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell–a novel that changed my life–for inspiration (I really need to reread it). There is an interview at the end, and it only cements my opinion that Russell is nothing short of genius:

“The idea came […] as we were celebrating the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the New World. […] That’s when I decided to write a story that put modern, sophisticated, resourceful, well-educated, and well-meaning people in the same position as those early explorers and missionaries–a position of radical ignorance.

[…] I found myself drawn to Judaism and eventually converted. When you convert to Judaism in a post-Holocaust world, you know two things for sure: one is being Jewish can get you killed; the other is that God won’t rescue you. This is the theology I was dealing with at the time. […] The central theme is an exploration of the risks and beauties of religious faith.”

And here I am, attempting to recapture the energy that propelled the first novel, the conviction that carried my characters Jenai and Dimitri along, and discover how both they and I lost that firmness of belief half-way through the second story. Trying to figure out why I haven’t been able to shake this story from my blood or my bones for the past eight years. Consciously asking myself, “What are the central themes?” I bemoaned to Kelly how I am not dealing with any universal themes in my novel like Russell does. She said, “Freedom.”

Freedom… and its cost. The sacrifices made by the individual to serve the universal. All of my characters give up their personal dreams for the sake of one larger than themselves. Of exiles recreating a community they lost. Faith, doubt, betrayal. That there is something worth that sacrifice, something worth fighting for, and how each character responds differently.

That’s what I hope to capture, anyhow.

Let’s go a-Maying

Laura and I went to Scarborough Faire today, a Renaissance Faire in Texas. I was so excited that there was a maypole and that we got to dance it! Maypoles are one of my most favorite things about spring. They also feature in my novels, Cords of Orion and To Govern the Night (lovingly nicknamed Cords and TGN, for future reference). Maypoles are an important part of the home-culture of my protagonist, Jenai Daila’in, from the planet of Aiden. Needless to say, I enjoyed pretending to be at an Inick spring festival!

A maypole pattern

The maypole with pretty ribbons and a simple weave pattern. We learned to do three different dances.

a-Maying

Going a-Maying! That’s me in the green, and amusingly enough, the girl in the gray beside me looked like a young Jenai.

We’ve also been listening to Kate Rusby’s version of the 17th century English ballad about Sir Eglamore non-stop. Fa la lanky down dilly!