Rambles

Themes of ‘Dark Skies Over Brightwater’

cover final but this time i mean it cropped preview

Hullo, everyone! I think while I work on the second novel, I’m going to limit my writing to things that don’t need a whole lot of research, they suck a lot of time and energy better served on the novel.

However, I don’t want to go silent, so I’ll write a bit about the thoughts and processes that went into ‘Dark Skies Over Brightwater.’ I’ll be as spoiler-free as possible! I hope it enriches the experience of reading, knowing where I was coming from.

Maybe if you haven’t already read or checked out the book, something I write here will pique your interest.

The effects of trauma on our decisions have always interested me, but I feel like sometimes we as a society handle this very poorly. Case in point: ‘daddy issues.’ I’ve never liked how we use that to make fun of girls or dismiss them. ‘Ha ha, your poor relationship with your father has impacted your life in a profoundly negative way! What a bitch.’

Like, what the fuck? Who does that? All of us, apparently. So I wanted to touch on how traumatic relationships change people, how being hurt over and over gives you the emotional equivalent of a limp.

The bone doesn’t set right, or the nerve forever after fires off wildly. The brain is convinced of danger at every corner, or is unable to perceive the danger that others see. Decision making is compromised; everything is compromised. Any path that seems to lead to relief is raced down, so fast that you can’t stop from bolting over the cliff. This is the same mechanism that leads to drug addiction. Haven’t vampires been used as drug metaphors for a while now?

Another theme I was interested in was historicity and isolation, but that’s because I love small towns and writing about them. That’s pretty simple. And small towns always lead to intrigue. The fewer people, the more everyone knows, and the more they whisper. Having been on the receiving end of more than one mean small-town rumor, I can say for certain that watching the cogs turn, watching the way these things unfold, is at once disgusting and fascinating.

But perhaps one of the most important, one with symbols cast throughout, is ‘ideals vs reality.’ The contrast between the beautiful lie and the ugly truth, the sweet poison and the bitter pill. It’s been done forever. It’s nothing new. But it’s still something I enjoy exploring. And then you get into the thick of what ‘ideal’ means. Is it what’s best for me, or what I think things ought to be?

How can you tell the difference?

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