Tuesday, March 14, 2006

EILEEN: Matriarch in the Making

Well, my two cohorts have beautifully drawn their characters for this blog, so I guess it's my turn. I, too, wish I had the knack for collaging. The best I can do is find a photo. It doesn't have to look a thing like one of my characters. It has to have the mood of the project. And it has to be something pleasant to look at, so I don't shy away from it. But I just can't collect bits and pieces. First of all, I'm so disorganized, that before I ever got them put together, my cat would eat half and the vacuum cleaner the other half. Second of all, it's like outlines. What the book starts out as tends to be completely different by the time it ends. When I send in an outline, I always put two sticky notes in the middle of it. "Warning: Incidents Liable to Change without Notice" and "Trust me."It's one of the reasons I like to stay with familiar editors. They know by now they can do just that. Even if the outline makes no sense at all. I know where the book is going. I just can't verbalize it until I actually tell the story. Did I tell you I'm very, VERY right brain dominant?
Anyway, back to Dee. Deirdre Dolores O'Brien-Ortiz, which as Dee puts it, translates into "Sorrowful, really sorrowful Irish Mexican chick." Dee is the oldest. And, being an oldest myself, I'm very familiar with her. I always say that oldest daughters in Irish Catholic families could be registered by the AKC as a herding group.
Dee feels like she's been in charge since she was four when Lizzie appeared on the scene. She's certainly always been more mature than her flighty parents. She believes she alone has protected her sisters from not only the madness of her parents' former lives as Phil and Fiona Fortune, the Jim and Tammi Faye of psychics, but her mother's sister, Aunt Rellie, who wants to court the girls so she can siphon their powers like extra gas for her sputtering tank.
Dee has always been responsible. She has been the de facto parent for her sisters since she grabbed her sisters and her mother's jewelry collection and went into hiding on her sixteenth birthday. She's now 28, and can't imagine any other life. She adores her sisters, but still tends to see them as the children she's had to protect all these years. After having to move three times to keep away from Aunt Rellie, she believes that this is always going to be her life.
Like Jen's Mare, Dee mirrors Rellie more than she'd like. Rellie's raison d etre(my french is excreble) is control. She's controlled the girls' parents, all the men in her life(and I mean all), and feels it only her right to control the girls. She is chronically furious that they manage to escape her. As for Dee, she also needs to control. Not out of selfishness, but out of a need to protect her sisters and herself from a capricious world and an avaricious aunt. It often sets her against them, especially Mare, who is really not interested in being in control. It obsesses her, because the one thing she can't quite control yet is her power.
Dee changes into things. She can become a hawk or a mouse, which she does to gain unique perspectives for her paintings that are her real soul. But on the downside, she still hasn't been able to focus her power enough, because every time she finds herself in a hot clinch with a guy, she shape-shifts.....into the guy's mother. Obviously her love life is not a screaming success.
So she's caught, terrified to further explore her gift or her art, frustrated by the stagnant state of her life, ashamed because sometimes she resents the sisters she loves so much. She would like to be able to use her power effectively to be a better painter. She is just afraid to do it, not only because after suffering the circus of life with her parents, she is mortally afraid of notoriety, but because years ago Aunt Rellie convinced her that withough her powerful aunt, she'd never be able to. Luckily for her, Danny arrives on his vintage motorcycle, the freeest spirit she's ever met, the greatest temptation, the greatest threat to her anonymity. Danny says he's here to research a book debunking her parents' powers. What he ends up doing is liberating Dee. Deliciously and quite magnificently. On the mountain beyond the town...that's if I can get an appointment for he mountain in between Mare and Lizzie, who evidetnly are already up there sparking thunderstorms with their heroes.
As for New York, Krissie, I am SO there.



Blogger Rosie said...

This book sounds so cool! Since I read your individual titles it borders on orgasmic to have all three of you writing a book together. Can't wait.

March 14, 2006 11:07 PM  

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