Ugg, I thought to myself for a moment before I accepted the fact that Alice is usually right. I joke that Alice is the Jillian Michaels of writing. She works her writers hard until she knows you have produced your best writing. So where am I going to find another voice for my story, I wondered.
As luck would have it, I had to take a long 10 hour drive up I-95 soon after our meeting. I always grab an audio book to make the ride more enjoyable. Searching the library, I found, 'Traveling with Pomegranates' a memoir by Sue Monk-Kidd and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor. Sue's book, 'Secret Life of Bees' is one of my all time favorite books, so I was eager to get in the car and listen to what she and her daughter had to say.
Sue and Ann cleverly alternated chapters in their memoir, a loving, frank sharing of thoughts about their relationship and travel through Greece and France. Once I finished listening to it, I got the idea I needed. I would introduce my main character's mother into my novel in a similar mother-daughter chapter volley.
As I wrote from a first person perspective of both my protagonist, Jill, and her mother, Helen, I was touched by the love I felt between these two characters, throughout the story. Slowly I realized my story spoke about a few different types of mother-daughter relationships, even those who don't include a birth mother.
Once I completed my novel, serendipity struck again. "Have you read the book, 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed", a friend asked me.
"No, but I was thinking of going to Barnes and Nobles to get an audio book for the ride back down to North Carolina." I replied. I do this often, ride from New York to North Carolina and vice-versa. I purchased 'Wild' and felt less alone as I listened to it. Cheryl and I had similar relationships with our mothers. Our grief at loosing the key parental figure in our lives at a fairly young age, monumental. I realized this must be true for any child who is raised by one parent. That parents loss is like loosing two parents at once.
This Mother's Day, why not enjoy a good Mother-Daughter book.
Do you have a favorite Mother-Daughter themed book? Please do share your thoughts on this in the blog comments section, we'd love to hear them.