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Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Siren's Song

I have to admit to a little trepidation when I came on board this latest H-Team adventure -- retelling The Odyssey without gods or magic?! The period might have been my wheelhouse, but that particular approach most definitely was not my usual style. Add to that the very careful dance of making sure that my contribution to this collaboration wasn't an inadvertent sequel to By Helen's Hand, and I worried, at first, that maybe I wasn't quite up to the challenge.

But then the sirens called me. I could hear the song. And I knew what I had to write. What I was desperate to write and retell. I knew the sirens wanted to sing through me.

Of course that also required a small amount of reshuffling. The sirens weren't initially part of the general proposed outline of our project, and I'm super grateful for the flexibility of my co-authors in making room to allow me to tell their tale! Because I knew exactly where I wanted to begin. I knew precisely how to approach their story and their history in a world without gods or magic.

Or at least, without the traditional idea of magic. I still had at my disposal the magic of storytelling--the magic of the stories we tell ourselves, and the ways we create our own narratives, spinning heroics and humor out of the mundane or the tragic. And what could possibly be more fitting in a retelling of the story of Odysseus than for my sirens to have rewoven their own history, their own tragedy, into something magical?

Once, we'd had wings.

That was the line upon which I built all the rest. A line that didn't make the cut into the final version of the story, but which became the very foundation of my poor, isolated, sirens and their history. Because in a world without gods or magic, it is the stories people tell themselves that matter most. Personal and family and community narratives were the only history they might know--and that went double for my lonely sirens.

So who were my sirens? How did they come to live upon their rocky, barren island to sing poor sailors to their doom? 

Grab your copy of A SEA OF SORROW: A NOVEL OF ODYSSEUS, and find out!

Tamer of Horses Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble | IndieBound

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