Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why is this a theme for me?

So, a few weeks ago, I blogged about the repeat imagery that crops up in my writing (tuna fish and mayonnaise, paper umbrellas, and, of course, water, to name a few).

Yesterday, while I was swimming, I was noticing the themes that repeat themselves in my writing. Themes I seem not to tire of exploring, that creep in, even when I'm not expecting them to -- in both my women's and my young adult novels:

Friendship, and particularly, the betrayal of friends, especially female friends;

Surface beauty vs. inner beauty, and whether you must give up the effort to maintain one to achieve the other;

Marriage and infidelity, and how the latter affects the family unit.

Of course, these themes are universal, so not hugely surprising for me to write about, but still interesting how they always pop up. The first personally affected me -- in h.s. my closest girlfriend betrayed me in a swift, cruel act (that was borne of a moment of weakness on her part rather than sincere, and I long ago forgave, but which certainly shaped me and my trust toward women at that time); the second played itself out over and over in my family growing up; and the third not only is a common issue for anyone in a long-term marriage (mine is going on 17 years...), but is a focus of my "paid job" as a divorce mediator, and before that, a divorce attorney, so permeates my waking life.

What are the themes that drive your novels? Do they crop up time and time again?


  1. I'd say my main theme concerns IDENTITY: who am I? (The story then becomes a story of becoming, finding one's true self, and then having the courage to be that Self....).

  2. I often write about death. I think it intrigues me for some reason. Mending Fences, Lockdown, and one I wrote (I lovingly call my mess) What Gets You In about a group of people's afterlife, and what came before.

    I also write about troubled relationships, so far in EVERY book I've finished.

    And people (kids namely) who want to do something that's bigger than them. Become the superhero, defy tradition, mend fences ;)

    Good blog Gae. Thanks.

  3. Yummy topic!

    I was surprised a little while ago to discover a common theme in my writing: duality. How we often have two contrasting but equally important sides. And what if we don't even realize it??? Which begs the question: what is our darkness?


  4. Interesting to read, all (ok, three).

    An aside to Barb - I posted on your site a week or so ago, asking our connection and telling you I liked your blog. I don't see the post or the answer. Hope you get this. I've appreciated your input. And the two of you are both adorable! :)

  5. Hwy Gae,

    That is really weird. Another friend of ours has said the same thing! What's up with that? And what to do?!

    Our connection goes to (in my mind because of course I mostly read and very little inputted) to the last ABNA forums. Loved your voice and your supportive feedback to all. Kinda became a fan-stalker of both yours and Megan's and a few others!

    I really appreciate your feedback about our blog. And I wish for both of you more and more writerly successes! B

  6. I write more adult books, but I still have a lot of child and teen characters, and I think the recurrent theme are abandonment and poor decision making on the part of the parent, and the repercussions in the life of the children. It think every one of my books has a kid suffering because of something their parent did (sometimes because the parent is rotten, sometimes because they just haven't thought something through)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. As often shapes the way we hold our body, how we walk, the traumas of our early lives do the same for our writing.

    Philip K. Dick wrote about identity and the essence of reality in all of his works.

    I guess my themes are 1) What makes up reality? 2) Is all we see all there is? 3) Friendship - if you have one true friend at your back, are you ever outnumbered?

    Have a healing weekend, Roland

  9. Thanks, all, for your comments.

    And, Roland, welcome. Tell me how you found your way here. I love your themes.