The Circus of Brass and Bone is a post-apocalyptic steampunk serial story (and podcast) that follows a circus as it travels through the collapse of civilization. Things fall apart. People come together--or die. Above all, the show must go on.
This story has been written for and in memory of my mother. At this point, the medical bills she left behind have been taken care of. With that said, if you've enjoyed reading the story and would like to donate to support it, donations are more than welcome! With two small children, new expenses occur all the time. (Sigh.)
My mother died recently. This
story was started in her time of need. She
was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer while
working at a school in India at the time of diagnosis, so she didn't
have health insurance. My parents came back to the U.S. for
treatment, so they both gave up their jobs. And they had spent
much of their lives working to help others--working with farmers in
Africa and teaching in India--so they don't really have anything in
the way of a savings cushion.
She survived about 15 months
after being diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancer. I don't
say she struggled or battled or fought--she didn't like using violent
imagery to describe it. She endured it with remarkable grace, and it
seemed to leave her outwardly untouched for a very long time, even as
it spread through her body. Up until the very end, she would run--and
then walk--along the Sand Creek bike path, taking photographs that
will be displayed in a gallery exhibit later this year.
In the last year of her life, she was
able to do much. She saw her photographs from India exhibited in an
art gallery. She held her first grandchild. She rejoiced in hearing
from many of the people whose lives she had touched over the years.
She told me how much it mattered to her that she got so much support
from friends, family, and even total strangers who knew of her only
from news articles or from The Circus of Brass and Bone. During
the darkest days of her treatment, my mother found inspiration and
comfort in the kindness of strangers.
of the last things she did was to celebrate her 33 1/3 wedding
anniversary. People came from all over the world to see her, to honor
her life, and to say goodbye.
She died because breathing became
just too difficult. When my aunt, a nurse, told my mother that she
thought my mother would probably die that night, my mother's response
was to give her two thumbs up. She was ready to go. And when she
stopped breathing, she smiled before she died.
Her last coherent
words were to my dad: "I love you."
She lived a rewarding and adventurous
life, and she had a good death, though we all wish she could have
stayed with us longer.
So what happens next with The Circus
of Brass and Bone?
Well, I am constitutionally incapable
of leaving things unfinished. Now that I'm back to writing, I hope to
be able to put up new episodes about every month, as infant-rearing
duties permit. During my mother's illness, some significant bills
were racked up. Donations are still what keeps The Circus of Brass
and Bone going, and every little bit will help. And if we hit the
target donation by the end of the story, there will be a free
ebook/audiobook final version circulated once all the editing and
polishing and extras are put in and the print version is made. (We're
a bit more than 2/3 of the way there already!)
Until next time, keep looking for the
light in the darkness.
Circus of Brass and Bone