It’s time now to begin to figure out just how all of these short stories will fit together in one larger overarching novella To do so, I need to layout how each of the characters might come into contact with each other, given their professions, where they live and what’s going on in their lives. Let’s begin with what’s currently identifiable from reading these six stories:
Olivia: In “Twenty-Seventh Time”, I introduced eleven year old Olivia whose OCD has her contemplating suicide in Alexandria, VA. She is talked out of it by her friend Ellie, from on online support group who is dying of cancer in New Brunswick, NJ.
Ellie: Aside from talking Olivia out of suicide in “Twenty-Seventh Time”, Ellie is referred to in “Longing on Las Olas” by her nurse, Danté, after she passed away. Dantégrief stricken, went to Florida to clear his head and honor Ellie’s memory as he blames himself for not being able to save her.
Sung: In “FLUX”, Sung , in Washington, DC, discovered she couldn’t have children and worries about letting down her abusive father. While a stranger at a bus stop, Sydney, helps her deal with her grief, she comes across an advertisement to help abused children and recognizes it as her true calling in life. In “Twenty-Seventh Time”, Sung has an argument with her father just before meeting with her new mentee, Olivia. Sung begins the long process of helping Olivia deal with her own demons through yoga and open communication.
Bernie: Bernice, known to her friends as Bernie, works for a water treatment facility in “Shadow Among Us”. In that story, Bernie encounters a young Amish girl, Hannah, and gives her a ride into New Hope, PA. Later, in “Twenty-Seventh Time”, Bernie has gone out of her way to be a source of information for Olivia’s Uncle Kevin. Kevin Deerfield is a magazine reporter who has a reputation for going after stories with environmental impact and the inside info Bernie has about the dangers of fracking sludge involving a global energy company, Global Grids, gets him hot on their trail.
Lauren: As a climatologist for an energy company in “The Brink”, Lauren loses her entire expedition team, which Olivia’s Uncle Kevin is said to have written an article about in “Twenty-Seventh Time” and traces to Global Grids.
Rashida: In “The Horn of Freedom”, Rashida is the daughter of a Muslim police Captain in Dearborn, MI. Her father is killed by a racial extremist after being elected mayor. In “Twenty-Seventh Time”, it is revealed that Rashida and Olivia are friends as Olivia was originally from Michigan but moved down to Virginia to live with her Uncle Kevin when her father was killed and her mother had become abusive.
So, as you can see from the characters I’ve outlined above, I’d already established connections between these stories and began constructing the antagonistic Global Grids as a seed for further exploration. Stay tuned for my next blog post when I’ll take a deeper dive and illustrate how I aim to further connect these stories and set up the framework for “The Grid” itself.