Symbolism – Flare and North Star – Posy Roberts

January 13, 2014

Have you ever started out writing a story and ended up incorporating a ton of symbolism you never knew you’d truly add until later? Maybe that only works for writers or film makers. But, yeah. The North Star. That wasn’t the title of this trilogy in the beginning. In fact, there was no fancy title tying the books together. And then after North Star was chosen, I felt I had to completely retitle each books.

Yes, I’m a total dork. Let’s just get that out of the way. I live in Minnesota, North Star is set in Minnesota, and… dun, dun, dun, the nickname of Minnesota is the North Star state. It’s all over the place here. We used to have the Minnesota North Stars who were then sold and became the Dallas Stars. That’s hockey in case you didn’t know. Don’t feel bad. All I knew growing up next door in North Dakota was the Vikings (cuz they could never be counted on to win) and the Twins (for occasionally pulling it out of the bag – 1987 and 1991!).

I will now share my working titles because they are so lame. Spark was logically The Lake. Fusion was called The City. Flare was called Grounded or Suburbia, depending on what part of the process I was in. After all, I wrote all three rough drafts very quickly so being creative with the titles wasn’t really on my list of priorities. There were very few edits along the way because I wanted to get my thoughts down as fast as I could. Then I spent ages—a year—editing before I submitted all of these stories.

The North Star became very important after Kevin gave Hugo a gift in high school with an engraving on it. There’s a quote right on the front cover of Spark that shows how important those word were, even if not immediately recognized.

So you’ll always know your way.

Sometimes our characters surprise us, and Kevin certainly shocked me. I knew he was thoughtful when he gave his gift of a keychain to Hugo, but I had no idea how important this would become for years and years. And that wasn’t it. There was more with these guys. They were comfortable with each other in a way that they never felt with anybody else, even lovers or best friends they had over the years. Hugo almost felt this close with his best friend Summer, but not quite. Kevin always had something over him, even if we can never define it. And I’m totally okay without defining it.

Have you ever had that? Have you had some symbol (words, pictures, stars) that had meant more to you than you can share with most people? I think of jewelry I shared with boyfriends in high school. With my husband, I think of little notes he wrote to me, poems, haiku he wrote for me. You don’t have to share exactly what those symbols are if you’d rather not, but how did they transcend typical communication so you truly knew things were different this time?

Also, for those of you who are caught up until book 3, Flare, do you think the first two working titles worked? Why? What should new readers know before delving in?




9 Responses to “Symbolism – Flare and North Star – Posy Roberts”

  1. Andrea M says:

    No symbols, pictures or the like, but my husband always touches me when he passes by. Usually just his finger grazing my shoulder but always something. It makes me feel very, very loved.

  2. Juliana says:

    I’m not really someone that holds symbolism in things, except tea cups! I also didn’t know that it was The North Star State… And I think The Lake would have been too limiting for book one, this was a good change!

  3. Posy Roberts says:

    Andrea ~ Touch is so powerful! Very, very powerful. I get haiku, but not directed at me, more directed at the world/nature, or I get cartoons that relates to life. And then I get the cuddles in bed. I love this time of year cuz my hubs comes to bed cold and he relies on me for heat. Crazy, but it makes me feel very powerful to be able to warm him. :) I’m glad I can do that for him after he’s played his guitar in our basement.

  4. Posy Roberts says:

    Juliana ~ The Lake is a huge phenomenon or a culture in Minnesota, but few know this unless living here. haha. There is a book/phenomenon known as “Too hot, going to the lake,” and everyone knows what that means up here. It’s scary! And tea cups? I need to hear more!!!! A Lot more! I have symbolism in coffee cups. I want so much more from you. :)

  5. Juliana says:

    Well my mom and I are big tea people, when I had tea parties with my mini tea set it would have real tea in it! My mom has collected tea cups my whole life, so every time I see a beautiful one I think of her. :) And fancy tea parties with china are perfect for royal baby news coverage or a crappy work day!

  6. Jbst says:

    Pardon my ignorance, I learning so much about the state of Minnesota. I didn’t know the state’s nickname was North Star state. I grew up in the Southwest, so you can imagine learning more about Minnesota is quite interesting to me. I would have to think about any symbols or words etc, can’t remember at the moment.

  7. Posy Roberts says:

    Jbst~ No problem. How often do people actually want to hear about Minnesota?!? Never, would be the answer. :D

  8. Mel says:

    I always have little things that remind me of the people I love. I had a friend who I’d never met in person but meant the world to me and he passed away. He was always fond of rainbows and shared that love with me, so whenever I see a rainbow in the sky I smile and think of him and I save all of the pictures of rainbows I find. It makes me believe it’s his way of saying “hi, I miss you, and everything is going to be fine.” I was having a really crap day awhile back and I looked up at the sky, there was a beautiful rainbow and I smiled because I just knew!

    Also certain songs remind me of certain friends or moments in life and no one else gets them! Angels of any kind remind me of my niece who passed away 8 years ago. So maybe not so much symbols (although there are some) but songs, movies, and such remind me and ground me so much more. <3

  9. Posy Roberts says:

    Mel~ It sounds like symbols have been really important to you. I think they often are, especially when we’re the ones being left behind. Rainbows…what a wonderful symbol for your friend. You know, I’m just thinking this now because of your comment, but Hugo was left behind, so he did hold onto to that last little bit (the keychain) he had of Kevin. Or maybe I just need a second cup of coffee this morning. :) Thanks for sharing your stories.

Leave a Reply