Day 4 of the Concordant Vibrancy Blog Tour. Next up is author . . . Me, Beem Weeks.
It is such an honor to be invited to participate in this newest All Authors anthology. That I’ve been asked to contribute to three editions at this point truly humbles me. The topic of choice for Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno offers a myriad of possible directions. Inferno suggests fire. And fire, to me, presents a variety of representations. We know its warmth is vital for survival in those cold winter months—without it, we would freeze to death. Fire’s orange glow chases away the darkness, offering sight and comfort in the dead of night. But there’s a dangerous side as well. It takes just one stray spark to destroy a forest, to wreck a home, to snuff out life.
In addition to that which I’ve mentioned above, fire also represents passion. This is the angle I decided to pursue in my contribution. But even the subject of passion isn’t a fixed item. We humans develop many and varied passions over the course of our lives. We nurture passion for a spouse or a mate. Passions form for a much-loved job or hobby. I’ve been quite passionate about the sports teams I’ve followed over my lifetime—both college and pro teams.
Passion often ignites a deep focus in the individual stoking its fire. It’s a drive that will block out the world around us while we engage in that which has captured us. My story, entitled “The Complications of Fire,” tells the tale of a young woman who suddenly finds herself in a tug-of-war with a new passion that competes with a long-standing one. This leads to serious—and even deadly—consequences. We all face these conflicts at various junctures in our lives. Perhaps it’s an innocent flirtation with a co-worker that ignites into a blaze that destroys a marriage and rips apart a family. Maybe a friendly wager on opposing football teams weakens a long-standing friendship. Passion and fire are the very batteries that keep life moving forward; both carry positive and negative charges.
The POV character in my story is a young woman named Judith Zot. Her lifelong passion is archery. And having been born into a traveling circus family, Judith has become quite famous across the country for her marksmanship. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt himself is in awe of the woman’s prowess with a bow and arrow—he’s had her as his guest at the White House. So, what might stand a chance to wedge itself between Judith and her passion for archery? Well, that would be an age-old accelerant known as lust. When the bombing of Pearl Harbor pulls her young husband into battle, Judith finds herself attracted to another man recently hired by the circus. In a rare show of weakness, she gives in to this competing passion, allowing her focus to drift away from archery—if only for a moment. And that’s all it takes—a single, solitary moment. Life changes for everybody in the aftermath of the ensuing inferno. Nobody walks away unscathed.
What I find to be a truly amazing aspect of the All Authors anthologies is a prompting of new stories from the authors involved. Give us a topic and see what we can do. As a writer, I enjoy these sorts of nudges. I find deep satisfaction in this challenge. Once again, I am truly grateful for the honor and privilege of contributing to another incredible volume in the Concordant Vibrancy series.