Yesterday was Mother's Day. I didn't get a chance to visit my mom, who lives about 1/2 hour away, because I was 2 hours north retrieving most of my daughter's things from college. She will follow with the rest of her stuff next Sunday.
I did call my mom when we got back home and we talked mostly of writing stuff. She had went through and formatted The Summer of the Frogs for me to (hopefully) go through the Smashwords meat grinder for ebook distribution. Since publishing has been her work for more years than I can remember, she is much more familiar with the lingo used in the Smashwords tutorial than I am. Especially more difficult since I don't have Word. Yet. I really want to learn how to do these things for myself at some point. I'm a big girl now, I can't keep leaning on Mom.
After I hung up with her, though, I was thinking about the week ahead and about what sorts of things I wanted to talk about for this blog and things got mushed up in my brain.
I got to thinking about the role of Mom in fiction.
In The Summer of the Frogs, the main character's mom plays an integral role in her life. Since she lives at home with her mother, it's obvious Mom would be there. Mom in TSotF does the best she can with her daughter who she perceives as being extremely mentally ill. (whether she actually is or not is up to the reader.) Oftentimes, she pulls back away from her daughter, because she is so overwhelmed. The main character, wrapped up in her world, can't really understand where her mom is coming from and believes that she would be happier without her. Toward the end and into the upcoming sequel (The Winter of the Birds) they have a little better relationship, even if they still can't really understand where the other is coming from.
In my other WIP, Fragile Bones, the main character doesn't have a family. Both his parents died when he was very young, so he is lacking the support, love and nurturing of a mom. And with his particular set of challenges, the loss of Mom is especially tragic. Mom's influence on him is in her glaring absence.
Even though the Mom doesn't show herself personally in all my writing, she must always be there. For all characters -- main, secondary and tertiary -- had mothers, even if just for their birth. How must this influence their personality and character? Whether a key player or not, Moms hold such a powerful influence over the lives of the characters we create.
What role does Mom play in your story?
Note: my mom is a wonderful, beautiful person. I am very fortunate to have such a mother. She's supportive in everything I've every set my mind to, even if it's peculiar. Any Mom I could ever write in a story would always pale in comparison to my mom, so I don't even try. The Mom in my fiction is always a complete fabrication.