Monday, October 13, 2014

Creation or Destruction?


Dichotomy: A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

What I want is to write about my books. What my blog readers want is to read more about Eric Frein, although there really isn’t much new to say. I sincerely wish I could tell you that Frein has been apprehended and taken into custody. Unfortunately, he continues to elude the massive efforts of some thousand law enforcement officers, as he has for nearly a month to date.

It has been weeks since I wrote a blog entitled “Living Under ‘Siege’,” and sadly, the “new normal” I discussed in that post has become a way of life for the people in my county, especially those in one particular part of the Poconos. They remain resolute and continue to support the members of law enforcement. “Barrett Proud” has become the watchword of the residents of that township. “PSP Strong” has become the watchword of this entire part of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The books I write are about as far removed from the enigma that is Eric Frein as can be imagined. My characters are people whose lives are filled with music and love. They are also people of great courage. My young heroine Melanie Stewart in How I Grew Up is dealing with a horrific family tragedy, and draws strength from her participation in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s powerful musical drama, Carousel. She is an inspiration to her family and her friends. Melanie is not just a survivor, she finds strength within herself she didn’t know she had. She does more than cope. She shines.

My character Eli Levin, in Eli’s Heart, is a true hero. He is born with the daunting challenge of a badly damaged heart, the condition Tetralogy of Fallot. He undergoes surgery at a young age which gives him added years and makes it possible for him to live a more normal life, though the condition is not cured. Then it is discovered he is a musical genius, a pianist with a prodigious gift. Yet Eli manages not only to survive, but to thrive, and has a loving marriage and a vibrant career.

The protagonist in the novel I am currently writing, Jamie Logan, is a young man from an ordinary family who has a musical gift which he doesn’t begin to develop until he is in his early twenties. After a first marriage which ends after two years, Jamie goes back to college with dreams of having a career in opera. Jamie’s failed marriage leaves him with many doubts about himself. One family crisis after another creates problems for him. Jamie’s journey in You Are My Song is a difficult one. Yet with love and music in his life, Jamie finds a way to continue.

For all of these characters, the healing power of musical creativity is vital. Through music and with much courage they create productive, fulfilling lives.

I am baffled by a man such as Eric Frein, who rather than looking for a way to create, seems bent on destroying … lives, communities, and sadly, perhaps himself most of all. Yet all of us who live here want to understand him. Why has he done these things he is alleged to have done? Is he mentally ill? Is he innately evil? I personally hope he is captured and we learn more about what drives him to act as he does.

It’s difficult to live in this area at present and not be caught up in the events that continue to unfold. Daily we wish for news he has been caught. Presently, we’ve had no new insight, no news about what actually is happening in our forests and on our hillsides.

The “dichotomy” … the man who we are all focused on to some extent as opposed to the characters I have created and want to tell people about. The characters I hope people will read about in my books.

Here’s one Amazon 5-star reader review for Eli’s Heart:

They used to call them Blue Babies, the children born with a heart condition that dominated every aspect of their lives, lives which were never long. The central character in Susan Moore Jordan’s exceptional book Eli’s Heart, Eli Levin, born with Tetralogy of Fallot, gave his heart away instead of giving in to his heart. He fell in love with music as a child and as a teenager fell in love again, this time with the woman who years later would become his wife. Eli’s and Krissy’s path is more than a love story; their life together is filled with music, hope and raw courage. The characters of the stubborn, lovable, brilliant Eli and the wistful, loving Krissy are beautifully drawn and the music descriptions are expertly wrought by a writer/musician (there is a discography at the end of the book.) Eli’s story is fiction, but it was inspired by the remarkable story of an actual musician.

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