You see, I’m the oldest. The responsible one. The one who always had the hand-me-downs until I learned to sew and make my own clothes and then started to work and buy them myself. The one who was expected to take care of everything (cooking dinner, babysitting, keeping my room clean) and follow the rules.
I’m not a very good oldest. I was a rebel and fiercely independent, resenting any attempt to force me to follow the rules or pigeon-hole me into a caretaker role before I’d even had a chance to figure out who I was. Left home at 17 and pretty much didn’t look back for a few years.
You’d think I’d paid my dues. I earned scholarships to college, then worked all through medical school and became a doctor, taught at a prestigious academic medical center, almost died twice on helicopters flying out to get patients in bad conditions, saved lives, comforted the sick and dying….
Doesn’t mean a thing. My little sister, the baby, the one handed everything on a silver platter including $100 designer jeans, the one who stayed close to home…..she wins.
Not only did she meet and marry a really, really great guy; not only is she a wonderful person who, despite all the stuff that happened when we were young (honest, sis, it wasn’t me who shaved your Barbie’s head, scout’s honor), is now my best friend in the whole wide world; no, all that isn’t enough.
My sister had kids. Two of them. Nope, no snotty nose brats for her. She had to go off and have the two nicest, smartest, most wonderful kids in the universe….really, they are!!!
Know what else my niece and nephew are? Grandkids for my mom.
Sigh. I’ll never win.
Funny thing is, the same kind of rivalry plays into writing—at least writing a series like mine.
First born was LIFELINES (available now!) Typical of the oldest, it’s a bit more serious, the main character tries to take care of everyone and everything—which of course gets her into mega-trouble!
It had all my love and attention for a while, but now, bad mommy that I am (did I mention my sister also inherited ALL the maternal instincts in the family?) I can barely remember what it’s all about. Poor baby. It needs some good family to buy it and take it home and give it some loving (BTW, check out my website http://www.cjlyons.net for my contests and how buying LIFELINES can win you free stuff!)
Next up was CATALYST, the sequel. Typical of the baby of the family, it was squirmy and whiny, and a bit difficult at first, but then after I devoted all my time and attention to it, it shaped up. The main character in CATALYST has sibling problems of her own: she’s the baby, the only girl in the bunch, and her older brothers are trying to run her life. She’s a bit of a rebel (just like me!) and that both helps and hinders her as she tries to find her way.
Now that I’ve turned in CATALYST, my mind is wandering. I’m thinking the next book will have to be different—maybe dark and angsty, edgy.
Hmmm….wonder how it will get along with its siblings?