Tag Archives: Leonora

Review – Tumult

Review – Tumult

Tumult came easily.

Background

On May fifth of 2160, Lili and Doug arrive on Ceres for Tommy’s birth, on May sixth.

Plot

As a direct sequel to Together, I wanted to begin to show the Beckett-O’Day-Reed-Digiorno-Madden arrangement and how it would work.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | Tumult
In Between Days, the Arrangement

Hence much like with Equilibrium, this story would show some of the adjustments that would need to be made in order to get an open marriage to run smoothly.

Tommy is one of the pieces that holds the whole mad scheme together and got it kicked off in the first place. Because if Melissa had not been pregnant, Doug might not have bonded with her as well or as closely or as quickly. Furthermore, it is not likely that Norri would have been so forgiving of allowing Doug into their lives and sharing Melissa with him.

So the story opens with Lili and Doug on their way to Ceres. And they are taking Joss and Marie Patrice with them, as Tommy will be their half-brother. But Empy is just an infant. When they arrive, Norri comes to greet them and explains that Melissa went into labor earlier than expected. Hence the Digiornos and the Maddens have already arrived.

When Dino and Belinda Digiorno see Doug and Lili with their children, the introductions are made quickly (I never actually named the Maddens). Dino, as a call back to An Announcement, asks to hold Marie Patrice but also asks Lili who is related to whom. He cannot figure it out and it all seems too strange to him. The whole arrangement is hard for him to follow and piece together.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I liked the frenetic pace of things, that nobody really knows what’s going on half the time. I also liked revisiting Dino’s doubts about all of it, and whether the arrangement would work.

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Review – Equilibrium

Review – Equilibrium

Equilibrium. And we all know how elusive it can be.

Background

After the end of Together, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa, and Leonora are ready to start the arrangement and live their lives in tandem.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | Equilibrium
In Between Days, the Arrangement

Essentially, Lili and Doug will have an open marriage and each take a lover, and Melissa and Norri will open their relationship but only Melissa will take a lover.

But the problem was that I had forgotten all about one person within the family unit and had not accounted for him or his feelings in any way – Joss.

Plot

Hence after the ordeal of Lili and Doug’s kidnapping in Together,  and in anticipation of a new little sister, Joss regresses a tiny bit. He wants his parents with him. This means some co-sleeping.

Living in a system that is significantly psionically charged, Lili and Doug (and all of the Calafans, actually), are able to share dreams as a kind of alternate secondary reality. Hence this is a big part of what makes the extramarital arrangements work in the first place. But of course Lili and Doug are not going to expose Joss to anything untoward. Therefore, Joss will not be a witness to any sort of a primal scene.

Hence they decide to share with him a small child’s most perfectly excellent dream, ever.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Ao from the picnic to the train ride to the old-fashioned baseball game, the dream is everything Joss and his proud parents could ever want. Therefore, I simply adore this little story.

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Portrait of a Character – Kevin Madden-Beckett

Portrait of a Character – Kevin Madden-Beckett

Portrait of a Character – Kevin Madden-Beckett
Children with Cri du Chat Syndrome; image is from the Cri du Chat Support Group of Australia, http://www.criduchat.asn.au/

I wanted for there to be a tragic figure, a child who would not survive a month. This would, in many ways, be a direct statement about Doug and his origins in the Mirror Universe, where he was forced to memorize the Five Signs of Weakness, as shown in Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions. This child, symbolically, would be a complete and utter rejection of that twisted philosophy.

Origins

As I was writing Fortune, I hit upon the idea of a sixth child. Portrait of a Character – Kevin Madden-Beckett I had had Kevin O’Connor in mind for a while, so to have a consanguineous ancestor he was named after was an idea I wanted to explore.  A baby entering the family’s lives at this time is quite the disruption. Had Kevin lived – and even if he did not have genetic issues – it would have still caused a great deal of upheaval. After all, at the time of Kevin’s conception, Neil is nearly fifteen.

Kevin’s tiny, difficult life was not shown until About Nine Months, although he acts as a spirit guide to Tommy in Seven Women.

In Fortune, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, and Norri all see Kevin as a child in the afterworld, and he is always depicted as holding a seedling in his hands.  There is loss, yes, but the seedling is symbolic of growth, and of hope.

Portrayal

There is no actor to portray an infant who dies so young (none of the above images are intended to be of him). There are no relationships, there is no truly known personality, and there is no theme music. There are no quotes.

Mirror Universe

Kevin’s existence in the Mirror is impossible, but he has an analogue, Takeo Masterson Sato, as they both symbolize hidden potential.

Upshot

I wanted very much for the Beckett-MaddenDigiornoO’DayReed family to not be utterly perfect. Cri du chat is a very real issue and in some ways Kevin is a sign to fellow writers to lay off the perfection and wish fulfillment. Kevin’s life is tragic, but he teaches the people around him about love and acceptance and, after his death, he even assists them in the afterworld, comforting and guiding Tommy at his end, and being a signpost for Leonora and a bit of proof to Lili that there really is something there, beyond the end.

Please give generously to Cri du chat charities and support those who are directly affected. The Cri du Chat Support Group of Australia is a great place to start.

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