Special NaNoWriMo Project with Mom

living a lie

So I registered mom’s novel for NaNoWriMo since I am finishing it for her and am the cowriter now. She’d written about 10k of it, so I am picking it up and it’s picking up steam pretty quickly.

Living A Lie is an urban fantasy started by my mother, Carolyn Saulson. It currently stands at 10,000 words. I am going to use NaNoWriMo to complete my mother’s project, as she is in the hospital currently with the final stages of Multiple Myeloma and is a nine year cancer survivor.

Carolyn Saulson biography

Mom Portrait

Carolyn Saulson, mother of Sumiko and Scott Saulson, grandmother to Scott’s daughters Franchesca and Maria and his step-son Josh, is a nine year multiple myeloma survivor. She has been a published poet since the 1970s, and has already released a comic book with portions of the first and second chapters of Living a Lie, illustrated by her daughter Sumiko Saulson. It is available online. Carolyn is a founding member of Iconoclast Productions, a multimedia arts non-profit dedicated to the creation and promotion of multimedia art by African American, African Diaspora, and disabled artists. She cofounded the African American Multimedia Conference and the San Francisco Black Film Festival. She is a proud member of WryCrips Disabled Women’s Theater, and Ladies of Literature. She has a band. Stagefright, with her family, and she produced a public access television show of the same name for more than 20 years.

Synopsis of Living a Lie

Randolph Cavanaugh isn’t who he seems. Tall, slim, pale, blond haired and blue eyed, he seems to the world an upwardly mobile Anglo-Saxon gentleman in his early to mid thirties. Well to do, educated… and engaged to Marjorie Anderson, a prominent Bay Area socialite whose Republican father owns a hotel chain.

Everything is going his way. But it could all fall apart now.

You see, Randolph isn’t even his name, and he’s been living a lie for over a decade now.

Who is he, really? The well off lawyer he convinced his fiancée’s parents he was, or the local actor who rolled off the Berkeley Repertoire scene ten years ago and decided to use his theatrical skill and abilities to hide everything about him – his heritage, his parentage, his education, his political beliefs, his abilities… even his name!

The closest he’d ever been to Boalt Hall of Law at UC Berkeley was that summer he was performing as Portia/Baltazar in a local performance of The Merchant of Venice at Zellerbach Hall. He wasn’t anything he said he was.

He wasn’t even really white.

But a “talent” he’d inherited from his mother made it entirely possible for him to deceive the most skeptical of persons. It was a form of telepathy… not magic at all, but a kind of mutation that allowed him to not only read minds, but deceive them, putting on everything from minor glamorous to major Jedi mind tricks. That’s how he’d managed to impress the young heiress and her parents who lived high on the hills looking down upon Berkeley.

But that was all about to fall apart… or was it?

He was getting ready to reunite with his mother, Amelia Ambrose. Also blessed with this particular talent, she’d used it in honest ways, to lift herself up out of poverty and homelessness, and pursue a reunion with her long-lost son, James, who’d she been forced to give up for adoption when she was a teenage girl. That was his birthname, James – but he hadn’t been Jimmy since he was two years old. He hadn’t heard from his mom since he was thirteen.

Unlike Randolph, she was a real attorney now, with a law practice he might become a part of if he played his cards right. But how could he do that without tipping his hands to Sarah’s parents? They would flip out if they found out that his mom was half black and he was a Democrat getting ready to go to work for a well-know civil rights defending legal practice alongside his idealistic mother.

Maybe he would have to continue to live a double life after all, just hold onto this subterfuge for a little bit longer.

~ by Sumiko Saulson on November 1, 2018.

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