Underground Matriarchy: #WIP Debut Novel “Unsettled Between”

We’ve heard the reified stories of men brutalizing men.  A rehearsal of patriarchy.   In fact, hyper masculine bullshit permeates our lives.  We see in the media, if not in our daily lives, the ramifications of patriarchy unchecked.  So what’s the answer?  Men are being called out now more than ever and violence continues.  Wars haven’t stopped.  We hear about a mass shooting in the U.S. almost everyday.  In my debut novel, Unsettled Between, Ever Geimausaddle faces his own brutality with the help of an underground matriarchy.

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There are subcultures who maintain the values of matriarchy throughout the U.S.  I’ll speak here about tribal matriarchy because my experiences are based in Cherokee and Kiowa communities and culture.  I’m also fortunate to belong to a family of matriarchs, where women in our family make the major decisions and delegate responsibilities.

“Our mothers echoed words they had echoed before—this time we listened. ‘Being Kiowa will forever be about how we dance together.’  Seemed like, being sisters, those words were a song that made them family, but more important:  it made all Kiowas come together.” — Unsettled Between

Ever Geimausaddle finds himself being witness to brutality and subjected to abuse, where he develops deeply aggressive behavior.  We also see this occur often in poor and disparagged communities. Ever’s circumstances are no different.  He encounters numerous examples of violence and domineering masculine attitudes, whether it’s violence handed down from his father or colonial violence handed down from a history of conflict.

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How does Ever handle these challenges?  Better yet, how do the matriarchs in his family direct him?  Moreover, are there matriarchal males present in his family to be role models?

“I ran into the living room, calling for my mother—ready to tattle, tell, and cry—but there was an old man sitting on the couch.  He held this heavy coffee colored cane at his side.  His skin had the texture of a turtle’s hide.  His jaw seemed to hang lower than normal.  My mother was at the store, he told me, introduced himself as an uncle, he claimed, a Bird Clan member, someone distant but a relative.” — Unsettled Between

At the end of the day, issues revolving around this current version of patriarchy needs to also be addressed by men.  We, men, need to understand and then purge the violence we’re trained to rehearse.  Those of us who are more progressive, or who are willing to change, understand the ultimate self-destructiveness hyper masculine constructs bring.

“We were known as messengers.  Cherokees depended on the Bird Clan to care for children who delivered original instructions between the spirit and material worlds.  Bird Clan mothers protected birds in practical and ceremonial ways.”  — Unsettled Between

Ever Geimausaddle was born into violence, rehearses violence, but he doesn’t have to perpetuate violence to the next generation.  In fact, if he can learn the lessons from the matriarchs in his family, he could potentially become the answer his tribal communities need:  a male standing against patriarchy.

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6 thoughts on “Underground Matriarchy: #WIP Debut Novel “Unsettled Between”

  1. Thank you 🙏🏽. I’m excited for its release. I’m still in revision phases with my agent but we’re getting closer. I like to put out feelers to see how people react. It gives me inspiration. Always nice to see when people resonate with the story. Gives me reassurance I’m onto something unique and powerful.

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  2. I like that it has 12 stories. It reminds me of the sacred number close to the dome of the great spirit. Almost like those people are the portals to that ultimate goal which is the source of all there is. I definitely am ready to read unsettled between. And have it imprinted within.

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  3. It’s pronounced “Gee-maw-saddle.” Thank you, Latonian. That’s the crux of the novel. Ever has this opportunity, like so many males living inside matriarchal families. It’s interesting to see his successes and his failures and ultimately how he recovers from those failures. The community, or communities, are a major component to his choices and the structure of the novel. The novel is structured by 12 different short stories, and each story is told by a different family member. You get to see how each influenced him. And then the last story is told by Ever. You get to see how he takes the lessons learned from all 11 previous narrators and applies them toward his life, toward his future. I’m excited. It’s a very unique story and it feels like something special. I can’t wait to get it into the hands of readers.

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  4. First I need to know how to say his name it is killing my flow as I stubble upon it each time. Aside from that I think you’ve revealed a genius way to present two subcultures as a main culture. What that does for me as a reader is to look at patriarchy objectively as it is juxtaposed to the teaching structures of Kiowa and Cherokee culture. It makes me wonder how he will apply his cultural traditions and how that will impact his sense of self.

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