Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sisters of Solomon cover reveal!

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you—
if you find my beloved, what will you tell him?
Tell him I am faint with love.

"It was a woman Edward Fitzgerald, I think, suggested who made the ballads and the folk-songs, crooning them to her children, beguiling her spinning with them, on the length of the winter's night." ~Virginia Woolf.

So I wrote Sisters of Solomon last summer, after reading Michael Bunker's Pennsylvania novel about a young Amish man who is traveling to a new planet/colony and gets involved in a conflict he didn't even know existed. It was a really cool look at a new kind of story, and I thought "hmm. Interesting take on the hero-myth." And I thought I was done.

Then I started having vivid dreams about a woman in that world, a young Amish bride sent to colonize a strange planet. And the consequences of that action, the travel to a place where your only family is the other community of colonists and your spouse, and what would happen if....and lo and behold, Michael Bunker & my friend Chris Pourteau accepted it for inclusion in the Tales From Pennsylvania anthology.  I was so excited! It was my first official publication in the real world!!

I've always been really into the idea of women's history-- the stories that haven't always made it into the history books. Sure, we can see what happened during the Revolutionary war, but aside from a few stories about say Betsy Ross or Abigail Adams' letters to her husband, what all do we know about a woman's life during that historic time? Or ANY historic time, for that matter?

In her amazing book, A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf said "I would venture to guess than Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman." And I think that's true-- women were busy doing other things. They weren't much for writing books, poetry, history. But they were there. They were sewing quilts, they were canning vegetables. Alice Walker also talked about this issue in In Search of Our Mother's Gardens-- that a woman's art, at one time, may have been in those quilt colors, in the beauty of her flower garden.

And so, I like to write that story, even in small snippets. I did it some in Mariposa-- the long stories that some people have thought were distractions from the main action of Sallie White selling her chili in San Antonio, or of the tragic actresses, or even the sad story of the ghost of one of San Antonio's respected hotels. They are all women's stories, small bits of a life often unrecorded. Anonymous.

It also seems to me that a lot of women don't read or write sci-fi. Genre fiction is often "paranormal" (and I love that genre, myself, wrote a book or two in it.) But sci-fi is not the preferred. Why is that, do you think? So they stay anonymous, in those "space opera" kinds of stories.

Not anymore. This story is a little sad. It's a diary written during a time of transformation for Sarah Atwood (named, by the way, partially after Margaret Atwood and partially after Sarah, from the Bible.) But I hope to revisit Sarah, at least in a short story, and discover the ways that she transforms from a grieving young woman to someone who takes the history into her own hands. I hope you'll come with me. There's a reason I called it "Sisters of Solomon." It's based on the Song of Solomon, from the Bible, which is a beautiful love-story. And it's about Sisters. Maybe even Shakespeare's Sister. I've appropriated a little corner of Michael Bunker's universe to find a woman's story, and I think she is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Here, then, without further yakkity yakking, is the amazing cover. I just love the colors, the brightness of the yellow with the twilight blue of the background. Just... yes. I love it. I hope you will too. The story is already live on Amazon, and if you've read it already, I would very much appreciate your opinion, your review.

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