Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Rose & Jewel

And then the heavens decreed, There shall be but one Boucher daughter. Accordingly, my mother had five sons.  And me. 
With five brothers, my girlhood wasn't exactly lonely.  But I longed for a sister.  I didn't want someone to steal my clothes or leave long, creepy, strands of hair in the sink. (That still creeps me out.) What I wished for was someone who would keep me up at night talking about boys, giggling about nothing, and sharing girly secrets.  More than anything, I wanted someone with whom I could share that sisterly bond that draws girls together.

Over the years, my life has been enriched by sister friends and sweet sister-in-laws. Lovingly, they filled the void I felt in my childhood.  Perhaps that lifelong struggle for connection inspired the theme in Becoming Beauty in the first place.  Having no sisters of my own, I enjoyed exploring the ins and outs of a sister relationship through the creation of Becoming Beauty.
Introducing the dynamic sister team, Bella and Cassie:

With a single-minded focus on her own ambitions, Bella differs greatly from her elder sister Cassie who spends all her time thinking of others and working for their benefit.  Bella takes Cassie's kindness for granted until a certain jewel--the relict of a mysterious woman from the past--comes into her possession. Bella discovers that the previous owner, a woman named Rose, lost everything in pursuit of her dreams. When Bella too suffers great loss, she begins to appreciate Cassie and all that she sacrificed for Bella's family. Only then, does Bella develop an understanding of the true meaning of beauty.

In earlier versions of Becoming Beauty, the relationships between Bella, Cassie and Rose were less emphasized.  Feedback from my readers revealed how much more rich the storyline would be if I brought forward the connections between the female characters. Incidentally, Bella became much more relatable when I expanded Cassie's role in the story.

So my dears, learn from me and look for truly meaningful themes to explore in your writing. Also, notice the positive influence other's have had in your life and find a way to pass it on. A hug, a kiss, an amazing gift (chocolate is always appreciated in my world). Carry on, my dears!

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