Seeing as how Christmas is around the corner, I thought a little Narnia humour was in order.
Seriously though, do not eat the turkish delight.
Now onto our next post which comes from Pillow Thoughts II. I found this one on pinterest and thought it was very beautiful.
Have you ever finished reading a gorgeous passage in a book and just sat there in awe? I always take the time to admire them before moving on to the next line. Passages like those deserve to be appreciated for the art that they are.
Have you ever read something without a fandom? I have…it can be a very lonely place. However, I use that as an opportunity to introduce people to new books!
The other day one of my co-workers suggested a book to me that sounds both hilarious and heart-wrenching all at the same time! I’ve added it to my list of books to read ASAP!
I take my co-workers book suggestions very seriously. We spend a lot of time looking at books and judging how beautiful the spines are…I also now have an obsession with the hardcover details thanks to another co-worker of mine. Some of them are absolutely beautiful!
Anyway, here’s another favourite of mine:
I think we all have at least once. When I read the Outsider’s I fell hard for Ponyboy Curtis. Before that when I read Camp Confidential I was in love with Jordan. Before that…and this one takes me way back I loved Prince Val’ in the Princess School series. This doesn’t even include all the cartoon and anime boys.
When building my character’s personalities and backstories I like to include as many details as possible. I’ve created character profile pages like the ones in manga, which usually include a list of things like favourite foods, blood type, star sign etc. Not only is it fun but it also allows me to spend quality time with each individual character.
I love watching my characters go from being an idea to a fully fleshed out being…well fully fleshed out on paper (haha).
Each of these types of questions gives me a chance to think about who my characters are. What makes them happy? What frustrates them? Do they have trouble sleeping at night?
I may never use this information, but I find knowing it allows the story to progress naturally. I don’t have to think hard about how each character would respond because I’ve taken the time to get to know them as if they were a close friend.
So…do my character’s have any special hobbies or interests?
Nicholas likes to draw. Many of the things he’s good at he considers hobbies as they were things he used to do with his grandmother. He’s always done them, so he hasn’t acknowledged that he might actually have a talent for them. He can also play music by ear, something that he picked up as a little kid. These are things that actually come up in the novel.
He also loves to explore and make friends with small animals. Mainly frogs or rabbits. He’s known in his family for bringing home new “pets” every once in a while.
Rose likes to read. She’s the type of person who can’t go into a library or a bookstore without walking out with a book. She’ll reread her favourites over and over and will even come up with her own stories to share with her family. Aside from that, Rose collects ribbons that she uses to accessorize with her outfits.
I’m not exactly sure why I always associated her character with ribbons but from day one that’s how I pictured her. I like that she’s a talkative, fashionable bookworm. Even when she reads, likes to read with or to someone. She’s what my Nana would call a little chatterbox…but it’s one of my favourite thing about her character.
Roland plays the piano. He can also play the guitar but it isn’t his favourite instrument. He just likes how portable it is. He quit playing before he reached his twenties and gave up on the idea of being a professional musician. Prior to that he dabbled in writing his own music and was forced by his teacher to sing solos at the school’s Frost pageant. Before that he was shy about playing or singing in public but after he gained a lot of confidence. Performing made him really happy. Now he claims not to have time for it but every so often he’ll sit down and play something.
He doesn’t look anything like Soul when he plays…I thought I should add that. Although it would be funny if he hunched over like that and smiled at the keys.
Dianna likes to travel. She did a lot of it while she was in college, especially between semesters. She’s very adventurous and loves meeting new people, which is mentioned in the first book. She even does some travelling in it! She doesn’t have her own car but if she did, she’d probably spend most of her time on the road. A lot of the time she travels by train. She also learned a new language while she was in university, which comes in handy (but no spoilers!).
I’m not sure if anyone other than Peter would consider this a hobby…but he really likes hanging out at the pub. He likes the food, the people and the music. I don’t believe he’s actually shown hanging out there in the first book but it does mention it a few times. A lot of the time he’ll go there to catch up with old classmates or to kill time. Unlike some of the other character’s Peter has a lot of time on his hands, so he spends it either doing something stupid with Roland (like most bored people), going on the odd date or hanging out at the pub.
Well, I’d say it’s time to get back to work! I’ve been back and forth between recording, work and catching up on my TBR list (which never stops growing!).
I really want to see how much of the sequel I can knock out before the end of the month. If you’d like to see some of my process, I posted some writing vlogs on my YouTube channel.
This one features me painting my home studio, a portion of my manga collection and my sister’s Persona 5 posters haha. The sparkly guy in the thumbnail was made by my niece. He’s a love bug.
Tomorrow is Rose’s birthday so I thought I’d write her a poem. It also started to snow, which made things very fitting. I think snow is pretty but I prefer all the colours of Fall. I do love all the decorations at this time of year though.
Haha, I’ve already created a tagline but I thought it would be fun to discuss how difficult it was when I first tried. It might seem silly but there is a lot that goes into the completion of a book. You spend all this time writing, drafting, creating characters, setting etc…and then you move into editing. Even beyond that there’s more to do. Synopsis’ for querying, author biographies and taglines.
When my book was accepted for publication I was thrilled! I’ve learned so much on my journey. I’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, learned about being comfortable sharing my work with those outside of my immediate group and have grown to truly understand how much work I’ve put into not only this novel but into learning my craft.
I have learned to appreciate everything I read, every edit I make, the feedback I’m given, the amount of thought that goes into every decision being made. I’m truly grateful for it all. I’m learning and will continue to learn as I go…and to me that is absolutely incredible.
The tagline for this series is “some secrets are best left buried.” I think it fits but this may change closer to publication.
Tomorrow is my character Nicholas’ birthday! It’s also Halloween but he doesn’t care about that he just wants cake.
Nicholas is 14 in the first book but because it took me 7 years to work on he’d technically be 21 now. Ha! I can’t picture it. He’s such a hyper little bean. I call all my character’s beans…I feel like I adopted this from a friend I had in high school although I can’t remember who used to say that all the time?
Roland and Peter would be 31. Damn. I’d better hurry up with this edit so I can go back to editing the sequel!
Last year I spent NANOWRIMO writing book 2 in the series. This year I’ll be completing an 9-12 audiobook written by Jamaal Fridge, which I am very excited about! I’ve had so much fun recording it and I’m honoured that he reached out and asked me to voice his characters! I’ll definitely be sharing the link to that in the near future. Other than that I’ll be editing, working, baking and wrapping gifts.
I wonder what should give Nicholas for his birthday? If he did celebrate Halloween and attended a costume party, I think he’d go as a pirate. Captain Hook or Black Beard maybe?
Roland would never admit it but the person who influenced him the most, was also the person he’d grown to loath more than anything.
He loved Tabitha. She gave him whatever he’d been missing or at least she tried, but she wasn’t his mother. Leon did the same as did Roland’s older brother. They tried to provide some sort of father figure for him but it was difficult.
Roland had parents. A mother who at times was absent, getting lost in her art or inside her own little world. More absent every day it seemed, as her melancholy came in and out without warning. A father who remained distant, not even acknowledging Roland as his son…and rarely addressing him as such. A father who called him “the boy” as if saying his actual name was some kind of curse. A father who never laughed or smiled in his presence, no matter how good Roland tried to be.
He never wanted them to influence him but as he grew older he realized he’d adopted some of their habits. The way his father paced around when he was frustrated, his mother’s anxious rambling. It was bad enough he continued to get compared to his father based upon his looks, but now even his father’s nature. The things that once separated them, he somehow managed to inherit.
He tried desperately to be anything but. He wanted to grow up to be like his brother. Funny, full of imagination, always smiling. A person who could light up a room with their loud laughter. He wanted to be like Tabitha, kind but firm. Always looking out for others. Stubborn but not entirely unreasonable. He wanted to be like Leon, a man who only said what was necessary. A man who thought things through. A good listener. A good friend.
Sadly as he began leaving his childish ways behind him, he’d morphed into the ugliest creature he’d ever come across. A loathing, jealous, stubborn creature. Not even human. He barked at everyone, cursed at them. He was violent. He had fits of rage. Broke things. Broke himself when he could. At first he thought he was punishing his parents but soon he realized, after an argument with his father in the parlour turned violent, that it was possible he’d taken things too far. He thought the anger, the violence and the cockiness made him feel whole. Made him feel stronger. Made him impenetrable. That was until it didn’t and he realized that it never would.
And so, Roland shrank within himself. There was no more loathing, or anger. A bit of his stubbornness remained but the loud, aggressiveness of it all faded. He couldn’t justify it anymore. He didn’t understand it or himself.
In his attempt to get some sort of acknowledgement from his parents, he frightened those who had loved him all along. He’d forgotten them. Their kindness, their friendship, the way they comforted him. Some left him for good. Disgusted by his behaviour. Others, as he shrank, realized his walls were crumbling along with him and reached out, hoping to find beneath it all, the charming little boy they loved so dearly.
You don’t ever have to be stronger than you really are When you’re lying in my arms, and, honey You don’t ever have to act cooler than you think you should You’re brighter than the brightest stars
Lana Del Rey
I was listening to this song the other day on my way home from work, and thought of Roland as a teenager and the people in his life, especially those who saw the changes in his character. He’s made some really amazing friends and has such a loving chosen family. The lyrics really popped out to me. I really hope as Roland grows in this series that he’ll come to realize how truly blessed he is to have them in his life.
Today’s prompt was to create a collection of formal wear that my character’s might wear. If you’re also following my drawing prompts on Instagram, I’m a few posts behind due to work. I’ll be back to posting regularly this week!
The taffeta skirt being worn by the girl on the right, is worn by one of my character’s in the novel (only in a different colour). I often like to look at images like these when I draw or plan outfits, so that I can create a wardrobe for each of my character’s. This is something that I find helpful to go back to and reference when creating a particular scene or describing something on a person. For example, in the book Rose always has a ribbon in her hair (sometimes more than one!). It’s her favourite accessory and at times even acts as an extension of her personality. I may not spend a lot of time describing her hair but instead the colour of the ribbon and what’s being done to it during a certain scene.
It’s always nice to find certain clothing items in colour. This being from the 1940s film Leave Her to Heaven. The red lipstick is such a pretty shade.
I also love putting Rose in softer shades of blue…almost a robins egg colour. There are many times where she’s not wearing the colour in the novel but she has a few dresses in this colour. I actually think the dress on the right here is absolutely gorgeous.
I could probably spend all day talking about different clothes and which styles my character’s prefer. I’m not a style expert or anything, I just like to dress them up in different outfits. It’s also a lot of fun looking through photos and film archives. I think there are a few pieces here I’d love to add to my wardrobe someday haha.
For today, there are going to be two blog prompts. The first one is a Character Mood Playlist and the second is Thanksgiving themed.
This mood playlist is a “Sad Vibes” playlist. The goal is for me to go through my character’s playlists and find the sad songs on that list that suit them.
This first song is off Darius’ playlist.
#1: Try to Change
Some of these songs you will definitely recognize from some of my Instagram reels and stories featuring my character’s.
#2: Noboby’s Home
This next song is off Charlotte’s list. Charlotte is an original member of the core four. Haha…makes them sound like superheroes. Anyway, I won’t spoil anything more than that.
#3: Take It All Away
This song is on Nicholas’ playlist (the small bean with the pointy teeth). I think it’s actually the saddest song on there. Nicholas is probably one of my favourites to draw. I like drawing his socks. I haven’t done that yet, but he has some really fun socks….
#4: Lonesome Town
This song is off Roland’s playlist. It’s pretty. I tried to learn it on guitar. I’m not the best guitarist though but maybe I’ll record it sometime haha. I can picture Roland singing this to himself at home.
#5: Man on The Mountaintop
This song is from Dianna’s playlist. It’s more upbeat than the previous but still sad nevertheless. I’ve been drawing to it for maybe 11 years now? Which seems extremely weird…but I remember drawing character’s from a book I was writing when I was 13 to this song. Wow time sure flies.
For this song I’ll be sharing two versions. The original and a translated cover I did a while back, which Ashmute liked. I still can’t believe they came across my cover haha. Anyway, the song is on Rose’s playlist and is absolutely beautiful.
I wish the sound quality on mine was better but I did it 2 years ago before I had a booth built in my basement…so it’s bedroom quality haha.
Roland’s mother’s character playlist probably has the majority of sad songs. I don’t know why or how this happened but it did. Anyway, his mother went through a recent name change so to keep things simple I’ll call her Roland’s Mom. Our next song is from her playlist.
#7: Secret Door
I absolutely adore Amy Lee’s vocals. This song is so beautiful. On Roland’s Mom’s playlist the song is listed as a song that represents the saddest moment in her life. So yah…there’s that. Scene’s with his mom are probably the hardest for me to write. She makes me cry…no wonder her playlist is so sad.
The next song (if you’ve been watching my reels) you’ve probably heard already.
#8: Baby Boy
This song is shared between Vincent, Roland, Roland’s older brother Lawrence’s playlists. I believe I used it on a reel or story involving a drawing I was doing with Roland. I usually listen to it while I draw him.
This song is on Kurtis’ playlist. I enjoy a lot of the songs on his list. It has songs like this and then stuff like My Sharona. Which is weird because Kurtis tends to be very serious.
I’m trying hard to avoid having the same artists on this list but Eloise doesn’t have a lot of sad songs on her list. I’d say this song is more angry than sad…which I think might be a prompt! Oh well.
The next song belongs to her son’s playlist.
#11: My Smile Is Extinct
I love how upbeat this song is despite the lyrics. I honestly feel bad for Thompson sometimes. I really do. Although I occasionally sympathize with all my character’s in some way…even the horrible ones.
#12: I Don’t Care
This song comes from Micah’s playlist. I drew him the other day with his sister and brother. His playlist isn’t very cheery either.
The next song is another repeat artist…apologies.
This song is on Zana’s playlist. It’s the same vibe as Micah’s and directed at the same person…however they have different songs for the same incident in their lives because each matches the character’s voices. Micah tends to be more expressive and upfront about his emotions. Zana on the other hand keeps a lot things to herself.
Now, Peter doesn’t have any sad songs on his list at all. I’m baffled by this. Actually no I’m not. He’s a pretty happy guy most of the time (as long as he’s not stressed out). So…I guess to put a break in this sad fest, I’ll share his cheer up song.
#14: Old Friends
I wanted to use this song in my reel the other day of Peter and Roland…because it describes their friendship perfectly. It may not seem like it but…Roland is Francis. Gosh those two make me laugh sometimes.
#15: White Sparrows
This song is on Lawrence’s playlist. T’is a sorrowful ditty. A mournful tune. It’s…well yah. It’s sad.
#16: Under A Black Sky
This is from Wendy’s playlist (she’s Rose’s mother and Lawrence’s wife). I absolutely adored this song when the album came out and whenever I’d listen to it, I thought of her. I guess because of the contrast between the chorus and versus along with the lyrics.
#17: Confessions Of A Broken Heart
I think it’s kind of fun that I did these playlists for nearly all of my character’s in this series. Both the major and minor. This one is for Wendy’s aunt. I’ve always loved this song. It gives me chills.
#18: You Are My Sunshine
This song is from Caspian’s playlist. He’s in the pumpkin picture. It’s not exactly a sad song but it is…that is if you actually listen to all the words. This cover captures the feelings of it. The song is a favourite of my grandparents. They used to sing it when washing the dishes every night. Which was really sweet…
This version song kinda ruins that vibe for me but it definitely captures Caspian.
This song is on sweet little Julius’ playlist. It makes me a little sad that it’s on his but being little is tough sometimes. Don’t worry the rest of his list is happy. I swear!
#20: Hurts Like Hell
This song is from Theodore’s playlist. I haven’t drawn him yet…or ever actually, which is super weird! I like him though, he’s a good guy.
He’s Micah and Zana’s father.
The next set of songs are bonus songs from my MC’s playlist because these character’s have more than one. I’m skipping a handful of character’s because they don’t appear in book 1 and their songs are kind of spoilers.
Roland has a few on his list so I’ll pick 3 from his, Dianna’s and try to get 3 of Nicholas’. These songs are also from different periods in these character’s lives. For Roland and Dianna these are more of their teen years playlists.
#1: I Am In Great Pain, Please Help Me
#2: The Grey
#1: Little Pistol
This song is listed as a song representing Nicholas’ childhood. I think it might be one of the saddest he has, although there are a handful of them.
#2: Ein Liebeslied
#3: Hate Me
Nicholas and Roland both have this song on their lists under different categories.
#1: A Soulmate Who Wasn’t Meant to Be
#2: Break My Broken Heart
Well, I hope this list of song didn’t make you cry and instead introduced you to a new favourite song haha!
I believe I have another prompt for music. Yes the next music related one is Romantic Vibes. Yikes…that’s gonna be hard. I’ll try not to do any repeats. I notice that a lot of sad songs are also romantic.
I think I’ll do one final bonus song. I’ll pick from Roland’s list I think.
What’s your favourite song?
If you’re a writer, which song fits your character’s current mood?
Question 1: Where is your favourite place to be alone and why?
I like travelling alone. I think better when I’m in motion. It’s not really one place or another. Any particular place I can think of is somewhere I enjoy spending time with my friends. I guess I’m not much of an “alone” person.
Question 2: What is your favourite holiday?
It isn’t exactly a holiday, but when I was a little girl we had to put on these Winter Pageants at school. My friends all hated them but I loved spending the month decorating, learning songs and dances. Afterwards we’d have a big dance with everyone and their families, and my cousin and uncle would come visit from out of town. If that were a holiday it’d be my favourite.
Question 4: What is something that people make fun of you for?
I used to get teased about how I did my hair. Now I get teased for my choice in men.
Question 5: What is the most memorable untrue rumour that has ever been spread about you?
Wow…well anything Connie has ever spread about has been somewhat truthful. I don’t think any of them were untrue. I guess it’s more gossip than rumours. I ran away to get married once. Never got married. For some reason people still think I’m engaged to the man.
Question 6: Do you have any nicknames? If so which is your favourite and which ones do you hate?
Let’s see, Freckles and Pigtails. Both nicknames I absolutely hate. I’ve never understood why anyone would nickname you based on what you look like. I used to wish people would nickname me something like Speedy or Lightning. I think I’ve outgrown nicknames at this point.
Question 7: What are 3 things that you would never do?
Elope (again). Eat bugs. Drink tea without milk and sugar.
Question 8: What’s been on your mind lately?
I’ve been living with a man who hates me, putting up with my cousin’s nonsense and still have yet to tell my parents I’m back in town. I need to get my own place.
Question 9: What is your favourite season and why?
Winter. It’s so much fun! The snow, the festivities, the hot chocolate! It makes me feel like a little kid again.
Question 10: What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as someone who made a positive impact in others lives. Even if it was something small. I’d just hope someone remembered me fondly…although I could care less about how that man remembers me. He’s stubborn. He’ll do as he wishes. He can stay miserable for all I care.
Although, if by some miracle I manage even a smile from him I think I’ll have done my job.