Charmed, I’m Sure

Message from AdeCiro, the press that’ll be publishing my novel Suntosun Circus: “Do you have any author branding of any kind? logos and such?”

(Cue: deer-in-the-headlights stare.)

Fumbling, I replied about social media sites & interaction.

Of course, info I found about author brands called to mind my charm bracelet. (Not as farfetched as it may sound.)

It’s odd how autobiography of psyche creeps into a story. In Suntosun Circus, the character Sophie Asher has a charm bracelet that eventually provides clues about her past.

I’d forgotten about my own bracelet. Received when I “graduated” from 6th grade, the bracelet was too big for me. I wore it later, but it wound up tucked in the back of a jewelry box, long-term storage due to so many jobs where wearing jewelry wasn’t allowed or safe. Out of sight, out of mind.

A vague memory of it resurfaced by the time I finished the novel’s first draft. In the strange Lost & Found tent of the circus, Sophie finds her bracelet, though she doesn’t know it’d gone missing. She ponders the attendant’s question–“What did you find?”–and realizes the bracelet represents defining facets of her life symbolized by charms on a chain. She found herself.

The charms on my bracelet are different from Sophie’s. Over the years before I’d packed it away, some had been lost, some broken, replaced. Gifted or purchased, new ones added. A tortoise celebrates years involved in turtle rescue. Rather than gambling or games, the dice symbolizes problems resolved by chance. The pen represents my passion for writing, my love of story.

I often wonder what bits of autobiography show up, intentionally or accidentally, in other writers’ stories. For me, the writing as well as building my author brand somehow begins in the meaning of each tiny charm. They are biography & autobiography in silver. I found myself.

4 thoughts on “Charmed, I’m Sure

  1. Parts of ourselves are easiest discovered in our writing when we pen them. The fourth or fifth time we read through the text, more will jump out and grab our ankles to pull at our heart strings. But of course, this is the child we begat, as much an extension of us as the DNA we share with family. We see the world through the eyes of our characters and, in their turn, they reveal our inner secrets.

    • Very true. Whether those parts jump out right away or later, they’re facets of ourselves. Sometimes, too, we’re so enmeshed in creating our stories, we don’t see facets of self we mask so deeply in our characters until months or years later. Distance & time gives the clarity to see behind the masks, to find the origins of this line, this thought, this image our characters speak, think, experience.

    • Thank you. Yes, I am working on more content, not only about my own interests and works but about the writing process in general. Some observations I’ve made over the years may be helpful/useful to other writers. There are things I’ve rarely or never seen mentioned in the many books, tips, formulae, etc. meant to teach or improve writing.

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