The Ladies Who Love the Bryant Brothers
It would be wrong to ignore the ladies who love the Bryant Brothers. They matter too, and where Mason and Jack shared Colleen (Sounds sordid! You'll have to read "Beachy Keen" to find out if it's so.), this series will be quicker than the male counterpart.
Writing about mothers comforts me, as mine passed away when I was sixteen.
My mother was diagnosed with kidney disease shortly after her brother died, and nothing was ever the same again. So much of her time was spent in hospitals, making growing up a rapid venture for my siblings and me.
Mom was many things...
My mom was many things, and though I didn't think of her specifically when I developed Colleen's character, what stands out is how she showed up. No matter how sick my mother was, she got up every day, got dressed, and faced what surely was an existence of part living hell, part wishful thinking. (She lost my father, the person she loved most in the world, when I was fourteen, and still, she kept getting up.)
"Beachy Keen" is my first story, published or not, with the main character a parent. I didn't know if I was up for the challenge, having not been traditionally parented myself. Plus, it was abundantly clear that being a mother is the most demanding job in the world, and I chose to remain childless. How my mother continued to approach the endeavor sick remains a mystery to me.
I'm nailing this!
The process of writing about what you wish for can act as a balm for the soul. Using my mother's steadfast resolve to take what life threw at her and keep going, I built a loving single mom around that strength of will. Colleen is as imperfect as she is kind and as caring as she is insecure. She embodies, in my opinion, how a "healthy" mother looks and acts, for what mother hits the floor each day thinking, "I'm nailing this!"
In a word, Colleen is the quintessential mom. The one you can go to when you're lost and afraid. The one who will help guide you to answers without forcing an agenda. The mom who understands a child's need for independence while still requiring TLC. All this while holding onto her sense of individuality. By allowing the character a life outside of motherhood, she's no longer simply a role but a potential role model.
While I created Colleen as a great mom, she surprised me by becoming a terrific human being. Colleen helped heal something within me as I wrote. Something fundamental that connects me forever to the woman who gave me life.
Before I go, to all of you moms showing up and doing your best: You are nailing this! Thanks for everything you do. 🌷