OS: We’d love to welcome Jaime Samms as she gives us an introduction to her new book, Like Heaven On Earth with a discussion of : A Dance Bag – LOL – read on to find out more!
JS: Thanks for having me! Let me tell you what a dance bag can teach you.
Anatomy of a Dance Bag
We all know a new mom is the best-prepared entity on the planet.
Have you just crossed a desert and you need a bandage? She’s got one. Several, in fact. In various sizes. Something to clean up? There’s an entire package of wet wipes in there somewhere. Water? Plain or sparkling? You’re starving? If you don’t mind a bit of lint stuck to the gummie bears, she’s got your back.
Enter the intrepid dancer with their satchel on their shoulder, and they can give that mom a run for her money.
It looks innocuous enough, doesn’t it? Just a shoulder bag with some dancerly things sticking out.
I promise you, a pair of pointe shoes and set of leg warmers are just the tip of the iceberg.
Lets just deconstruct this for a moment, shall we?
Everything our intrepid dancer could need for a class. Any class, because let’s face it, some days, not only don’t they know which end is up or what day it is, they couldn’t possibly tell you what dance class they have that day. Best to just be prepared. Or for a rehearsal, or quite possibly the Great Snowstorm of 2150. Sealed protein bars have an almost indefinite shelf life.
Just…trust me on this. Short ones, long ones, fluffy warm ones, and thin, cool ones. It’s a thing and it Matters.
As any dancer (or actor) can tell you, there is a lot of sitting around waiting while rehearsing a show.
Every dance requires a different style, and no one ever has quite enough–or the right–pins, clips, elastics or spray. It’s a fact of life we all learn to live with: your dancer will spend the fortune of a small country on hair products.
We already talked about the power bars. Add fresh fruit (if slightly bruised), a microwavable heat pad, and endless supply of bandages, four sticks of deodorant, and a refillable water bottle, or you might as well take out shares in a bottled water and/or plastics company.
Also, we mentioned the sitting around waiting during rehearsals, which leads to the other part of the dancer’s arsenal: your average dancer has enough clothes in their bag and/or on their person to cloth a reasonably-sized invading force.
And we haven’t even gotten to the shoes.
It never ceases to amaze me what can be found in these magical bags of holding, or how incredibly personal each one is to it’s owner, even when they all carry much the same items. Dancers are, to be certain, an interesting and fascinating breed, and perhaps that’s why, even though I am not and never have been, or ever really wanted to be, a dancer, I found I had to write about them, explore their drives and get behind the beauty we all see on stage to what makes up the lives of some of the most interesting and inspiring people I know.
Cobalt Winslow lost two loves when his ex-boyfriend, Calvin Denvers, infected him with HIV, taking his health and his place as principal danseur in their New York ballet company when Cobalt became too weak. Now dealing with the aftermath as best he can, Cobalt teaches dance in Toronto with the support of his oldest friends, Conrad and Peridot. The one bright spot in his life is Malory Preston, his brother’s driver and a man who is always there when Cobalt needs him. Kind and attentive, Preston embodies everything Calvin lacks, but Cobalt can’t let go of his unhealthy, long-distance relationship with his ex.
Calvin brings a messy and violent end to their affair, but offers a chance for Cobalt to return to New York—as Calvin’s understudy—just when he’s on the verge of a real and lasting relationship with Preston. Now Cobalt faces a choice between two loves: dancing and Preston. Preston must show Cobalt that he has the power and support to make the life he wants and deserves, no matter what he decides.
Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Often asked why men—what’s so fascinating about writing stories about men falling in love—she’s never come up with a clear answer. Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.
These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Freya’s Bower, Dreamspinner Press, Totally Bound, and now, Riptide Publishing.
Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.
She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all . . .
Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms