Something that really helps me when I’m struggling to commit equitably to my ensemble cast of gay mermaids is having different music I listen to to get into the headspace of each one. I’ve always wanted to be so organized that I had playlists for each of my characters to actually share, and I swore I would do that for all their birthdays in 2019 but then immediately missed Angela’s (January 17).
Last week, after I got invited to display my drawings at KPL for the month of December (!!!), I decided it might be cool to link playlists for each character with the most important songs I’ve collected over 11 years for each one? So I’ve been working on that for a couple of weeks. Today’s Jehona’s 130th birthday, so here’s hers. It’s liable to change between now and December, but I don’t think it will change much. I stole half the songs from Meghan’s Tumblr years ago, fair and square. (P.S., Derdriu’s playlist is totally bangin if you’re into Irish music you can swordfight + swashbuckle along to.)
I think I always forget how much I love Jehona. Every character I write has something from real life; that is their “spark of life.” If it doesn’t happen, I scrap the character. Like Derdriu, Jehona is a character who encompasses many “sparks” from many humans I have loved. The silence around Jehona and her near total solitude help her fade into the wallpaper, but she’s one of the biggest things in the Isles to me. She’s been through outrageous harm, but yet her Glandula Musa enables empathy so powerful she can experience someone else’s pain for them if she wishes to. It’s part of why she’s so reclusive. No one ever says, “Jehona was my favorite character,” not even me (let’s blame Derdriu 🔥), but like Derdriu, she’s one of the precious few who make me look up from my writing every now and then, surprised to remember that she never really lived at all because she has been such a very real friend to me, and I think that’s the most a writer could want.
As my boy Cyrano de Bergerac put it, “Lorsque j’ai fait un vers et que je l’aime, je me paye en me le chantant a moi-mème.” (“When I write a verse I love, I pay myself by singing it to myself.”) Jehona’s arc is one such a verse. 🖤