Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘conception’

It’s a Baby!

HavingMyBabyHaving My Baby Short stories by Imari Jade, Daphne Olivier, Tori L. Ridgewood, and Joanne Rawson.
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans.

Having My Baby is fun to read whether you want a baby, have had a baby, don’t like babies, know nothing about babies, or are just curious. The book consists of four fictional stories that look at pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood in the present, past and future, and which are uniquely told in first and third person.

The Family Plan, by Imari Jade, follows the heir to a well-know clothes designer, Emily, and her unplanned pregnancy with Bekim, a man she despises. Emily has never wanted a child, let alone marriage, and Bekim is not the settling down kind of a guy. Can either of them change? The odds are forever not in there favor.

In Daphne Olivier’s futuristic Rock-a-bye-Baby, Cela and Cane win the lottery to have a perfect, modified child of whichever gender they choose. When they must decide what level of intelligence, and physical features, there son, or daughter, will have, they question there life-long desire to conceive, as well as the idea of “perfection”.

Tabitha’s Solution, by Tori L. Ridgewood, finds Tabitha and Alex desperately trying to induce labor, in order to avoid the hospital and any medical interventions. Issues many parents discuss, and must decide, before, during pregnancy, and at the time of birth, take on a personal and intimate nature, as the couple struggle with their preconceptions, beliefs, and desires.

The final story in the collection, Learner Mum, by Joanne Rawson, takes a confirmed child and baby avoider, Polly Wilkins, to her sister Wendy’s home to take care of her nephew, Josh, for two days. Polly tries to get out of it, but ends up in the thick of panic, and being overwhelmed by a person one quarter her size. Will this experience confirm her worst fears about children, or force her to see another side?

If you haven’t thought about pregnancy, childbearing, or raising children before, read Having My Baby. Though fictional, these stories ring true, in most cases. If you have already had a child, or are in the throws of doing so, you will laugh and cry with these characters, because they will be all too familiar.

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Recommended Reading

LastConception-CoverReview of The Last Conception
Onely: Single and Happy
13 September 2014

“To my mother. To my wife. To my husband.” Authors commonly dedicate their books this way. Nice, but boooring. (To everyone, that is, except the mother, wife, or husband.) Gabriel Constans dedicates his book The Last Conception “To Love, in all its manifestations.”

We here at Onely are interested in all aspects of the single experience and particularly like to learn about single people from different backgrounds than ourselves (Lisa and I self-identify as white, upper-middle-class, agnostic, heterosexual women). The beginning of Constans’ novel allows us into the world of single scientist and first-generation Indian-American lesbian Savarna, whose parents–still unaware of her sexuality–have been pressuring her for years to marry and give them a grandchild. Any unmarried, child-free reader whose parents have pressured them in this way will wince along with Savarna as her parents become increasingly fervent in their matchmaking–all while Savarna is trying to figure out her relationships with two different women. (I refer to her as “single” because initially she is not part of an “official” couple.)

Appropriately, as an embryologist, Savarna spends her working hours manipulating eggs and sperm to help women conceive. She herself, however, doesn’t feel the tick-tock of her biological clock. If she did, this book wouldn’t exist. (Or it would be very boring.) We have several layers of tension going on throughout the story. Savarna the happily child-free woman vs. her grandchild-wanting parents. Savarna the American vs. her Indian parents. Savarna is not religious, but her parents who travel to India once a year for some ceremonious gathering that Savarna has never attended and vaguely considers cultish.

Through the course of the book these subtle battles wage, peak, resolve and eventually weave together into an ending so satisfying I really wish I could share it here. I’m afraid to say much more because I don’t want to put out any spoilers. Let’s just say that ultra right-wing conservatives would hate this book, especially the conclusion. (All the more reason to read it!) One of our favorite words here at Onely is amatonormative, which means the normalizing of a few specific kinds of love relationships while marginalizing all others. The Last Conception kicks amatonormativity in the ass.

Which is why it gets one thumb up from our blog. The other thumb is busy turning the pages for a second read-through.

–Christina

Read entire review and more at Onely: Single and Happy.

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The Last Conception Is Born

LastConception-CoverMy novel The Last Conception was just born at Melange Books.

The description and some kind words from best selling, nationally recognized and award-winning novelists, follow (below).

I hope you’ll get a copy or two and tell your friends, family and colleagues. If you enjoy the story, don’t hesitate to leave a good review.

Available in print and eBook formats at: Melange Books
Kindle edition available at: Amazon

With Gratitude,
Gabriel

The Last Conception
By Gabriel Constans
Melange Books – 179 pages
Published: July 17, 2014

A successful embryologist (Savarna) must make difficult and life-changing choices. Should she continue devoting her soul to work and party with her girlfriend Magdalena or settle down with Charlemagne (Charly) and have children? If she decides to have children, how and when will they start the process and what will it take to convince her conservative East Indian mother to stop trying to marry her off to a “good man”? If that isn’t enough pressure, throw in the bomb her parents plant when they tell her she MUST have a baby because she is the last in line of a great spiritual teacher who reportedly never had children!

Advance Praise for The Last Conception by Gabriel Constans.

Gabriel Constans’ inspiring new novel delves into the framework of our purpose in life; explores the tenuous balance between destiny and personal truth and the struggle we undergo when those forces are at odds. Constans weaves the two together seamlessly and in the end, we are certain that love surpasses tradition, destiny and our own selfish wants.
Syd Parker, best-selling author of Secrets of the Heart, Love’s Abiding Spirit and Immediate Possession.

Often, when tradition and technology meet they collide without forgiveness. Gabriel Constans manages to bring these opposites together with an open heart and the result is a story of compassion, love and the gifts that a generous partnership can provide.
Joan Tewkesbury, award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. Author of Ebba and The Green Dresses of Oliva Gomez in a Time of Conflict and War.

The Last Conception is a delightful read! It depicts a family muddling its way through a mire of personal, cultural, and generational differences, and reminds us all to slow down and remember – what else – love. Besides, what good are agendas when the dance of life is out of our control?
Clifford Henderson, author of acclaimed Spanking New and Mae’s Request.

“The Last Conception” is a bhakti-fest of love and loss, hope and courage that comes in unexpected packages. Take a peek into the lives of an Indian-American family faced with an unusual demand of their medical professional unmarried daughter whose job and personal life intersect in unanticipated ways. Although happy endings are never guaranteed, it seems that one is in the offing for this savory literary masala.
Edie Weinstein, author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary.

The Last Conception is an engaging and unexpected tale of a young American woman whose choices about partnership and parenting have significant implications for her East Indian parents. According to them, it is Savarna’s destiny to have a child, to continue the lineage of an ancient spiritual teacher. The novella is well written and fast-paced and evokes important inquires into spirituality and the true meaning of birth.
Donna Baier Stein – author of the novel Fortune and award-winning short stories, including The Yogi and the Peacock, El Nino, The Jewel Box, Coming Clean and Lambada.

In The Last Conception, Gabriel Constans reaches into everyone’s heart and mind. He explores the essence of religion, not as something prescribed, but as a suggestion of loving connectedness beyond time.
Arny Mindell, author of The Dreammaker’s Apprentice and The Shaman’s Body.

The Last Conception is a compelling read. The mystery at the heart of this tale about the complicatons of conception lures the reader to examine the deeper issues facing the characters: telling the truth about one’s needs and desires, the urge to have children, the pressures of family ancestry, and the power of love. Suspenseful and sweet, there’s always an unexpected twist, all the way to the end.
Marcy Alancraig – author of A Woman of Heart, accepted by the National Jewish Book Awards and Lambda Awards for a debut novel.

8 Days Until Release

LastConception-CoverIn eight days my novel, The Last Conception, is being released by Melange Books!

Here are some wonderfully kind words from one of the pre-publication reviews.

‘The Last Conception’ is a bhakti-fest of love and loss, hope and courage that comes in unexpected packages. Take a peek into the lives of an Indian-American family faced with an unusual demand of their medical professional unmarried daughter whose job and personal life intersect in unanticipated ways. Although happy endings are never guaranteed, it seems that one is in the offing for this savory literary masala.

Edie Weinstein, author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary.

Jumping With Joy

The Last Conception

I am honored to have my novel The Last Conception accepted for publication by Melange Books.

The contract was just signed, sealed and delivered (I’m yours).

Expected date of publication is April/May of 2014.

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The Last Conception is the story of an engaging embryologist (Savarna) in Silicon Valley, her decision to try to have a child with her girlfriend and her conservative East Indian American parents, who tell her that she is the last in line of a great spiritual lineage and she MUST have a baby to carry on the bloodline. In the process of trying to conceive, Savarna and her partner begin to question the necessity of biology or lineage within her parents’ beliefs, as they are embedded ever more deeply into the mystery of conception. Threads of Dan Brown (DaVinci Code), Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Sister of My Heart) and The L Word (TV series) flavor this colorful tale of love, conflict and commitment.

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