Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Going Home - Prologue

My novel has been published for close to two and a half months now and I have had many people ask me questions on how I came up with certain plot developments in my novel and which of those were based on true events. I actually had a few people who thought that the entire book was a true story. I thought it would be fun to dissect my book chapter by chapter to explain why I chose to write what I did and what elements were based on actual events.

If by some crazy reason, you have not had the chance to read my novel, hurry and get it so that you can join the fun as I give away some of the secrets in writing it and also so I don't spoil the book for you. :)
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Prologue

For my prologue I pretty much just described my son Bryce's funeral, with just a few minor exceptions. The very first sentence makes reference to purple carnations, which my editor actually tried to change at the very beginning. However those of you who have read my book know how that particular flower has extreme emphasis throughout the entire novel.

But why purple carnations?

My editor actually suggested using yellow roses. I couldn't. I had a specific image in my head and it involved purple carnations. The day of my son's funeral, I had received many types of flowers from friends and family. A bouquet of purple carnations were among them. We had taken these flowers with us to the cemetery and throughout the entire service my son, Stephen, who was just shy of his first birthday, picked pedals off of these flowers and would line them on top of his baby brother's casket.

After the funeral, I was having a particularly hard time leaving the cemetery as we walked to our car (which I will talk about a little later) and when I opened the passenger side door sitting on my seat was a single purple carnation. I like to believe that Bryce left it for me, to help me get through that day and many others. I still have that dried out purple flower lying next to a soft baby blue blanket, locked away in my safe. Just a few months ago as my husband was working on the cover for my book he looked up carnation and learned that it means the Flower of Gods, and a Mother's undying Love.

That entire afternoon we spent at the cemetery, Stephen never left his brother's side. He clung to the casket rubbing his hands across the top of it, I think he liked the way it felt. I mention that the setting is a hot June day, which by looking at the date on the picture of my son's headstone is true to my experience.

The poem, "Mommy I'm Here", was written by my mom, Deanne Taylor. It was read by her at Bryce's funeral and is engraved on the back of his headstone. The picture on the very back cover of my paperback is a picture of Stephen when he was six years old, reading the poem, as we visited Bryce for his fifth birthday.

I mention in the last paragraph that the young boy is fifteen months old, when in reality, Stephen was only a year old. I did this because my son, Bryce, was "stillborn" at twenty seven weeks. If he would have made it to his due date, Stephen and he would have been fifteen months apart.

The last sentence was really hard for me to write. In all reality the entire prologue was probably hardest to write followed closely by the very last chapter of my novel. I cried and cried every time I would read it, but the last sentence was the hardest. My little family was the last to leave the cemetery that day. All the people had left. And I knew it was time for me to leave. I was screaming inside because I didn't want to. What kind of mother was I for leaving him like that. I could see the crane hooked to a tractor off in the distance waiting for us to go so that they could lower and bury the casket.

We walked slowly to the car and my heart hurt so bad that I felt like I was dying. Before getting into the car I looked back and his little white casket looked so tiny and bright sitting there by itself on the big grassy field. I silently apologized to Bryce for leaving him there all alone. I wanted to believe that he wasn't alone. That was when I found that beautiful purple carnation sitting on my seat waiting for me.

1 comment:

  1. You are an amazingly strong person Jamie and I love and look up to you so much!

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