Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Character Sketch

I recently came across some blog posts focusing on characters (I think there may have been a blogfest but I missed it).  In my "travels", I also came across this Character Chart.  I thought it was interesting and helpful.  For linear processers it will feel comfortable and for those more right-brained this chart can help organize thoughts.  As for me, to flesh out a character I need to use the senses as I find it much richer.  I'll use Shayla as an example.

Quick-List (these details originally came out as I've written her story):
15 year old female
A bit awkward, clumsy physically & socially
Colored red hair, black streaks
Long parted bangs covering eye
Enjoys writing and art
Divorced parents
Younger brother
Labeled with mental health diagnoses

OR, the actual character sketch that I wrote, which may look familiar as I included a variation of this in an earlier post:

Shayla felt like an alien transplant in a world filled with coffee shops and malls, tight clothing and short-shorts. Shayla could not stand the concrete crowds. She did not hear their thoughts. She heard their feelings, deep in her veins, pulsing through her heart. Insecurity feels like a flutter of baby bird wings not quite ready to hit the air current. Sadness feels congealed, sluggish;  blood moving through quicksand. Guilt feels like tapioca pudding. Anger matches the clich√© of boiling blood combined with a brewing thunderstorm.  And happiness, well happiness tickles its way through my arteries, causing me to laugh out loud.

I used both emotional and physical feeling in this passage.  I will also explore Shalya by answering questions through story such as what color does she see the world, what song does she hum in the shower, what smell triggers a memory and what textures soothe her.  Oftentimes I will collage images for the visual and sometimes I come across an image that begs to be written.  Perhaps this is how others work with their characters as well?  [Although I've written for years, this sharing of thoughts with other writers is new to me:)]

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mag 33

Somewhere along my blog wanderings, I came across Magpie Tales, a blog that hosts writing prompts & links.  This week's prompt is this picture of a popular, upscale Italian fragrance from the 1930's - if Google is correct:)  Gazing at this picture brought to mind the next image (also found in my wanderings from Magic Moonlight) & together they formed:

Drops on pulse points
Hint of cathedrals and wine
A sharpened gaze under a nightsky

If I peel mosaic layers
Will you see
beyond the moonsplash on the arches and stairs
Or will you see crumbled stone
Concrete blocks of bone
Will you see lips, eyes, flesh
An artist's brush and awl
Or will you hear the aria in my spiritsong

Will my banner of shimmery stars
and lightrays fly
or will you raise your own
overshadowing all 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Random Words

Inspiration has been elusive, lost among a mulititude of obligations recently.  In an effort to piece words together - at this point I think I would even welcome See Jack Run -  I opened up a book to a random page and picked five words to string together somehow(sapphire, whisper, mesa, cradle, consort):

The silver whispering of the Shadow Goddess
Flutters on the wind
Evoking images of exotic power; her

Fingers mold mountains
Gentle exhale, a cool breeze
Tears cleanse, nourish soil
Feathered wings blanket the fatigued

Earth, her consort
Yields to her whim
Provides soil to seed
Entangles flowered knots in her hair
Bares glittering gems to adorn and to heal

A Sapphire-desire as
Lush vines entwine her legs
Lifts her to mesas
As she cradles the moon

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dark and Stormy Night

Jenny Matlock

It was a dark and stormy night
Caressing my mood as
Mother Nature sings my song
Fingers of wind stroke chords
Rhythm of thunder matches rage
I scream in time
Lightening strikes in beat
Face uplifted, in harmony with rain
Only a sotto voice remains

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Merry Go Round

Mama's Losin' It

Look around about this round
About this merry-go-round around
If at all God's gaze upon us fall
His mischievous grin, look at him

Forget about the reasons and
The treasons we are seeking
Forget about the notion that
Our emotions can be swept away

Seek Up...DMB

The merry-go-round beckoned children and adults alike to the fairgrounds.  Lights twinkled in the twilight as children squealed while carnies squirted them with waterguns from the plastic horses.  Shayla still couldn't believe that Ms. Rose had assigned this exercise as her First Level exam.  Her fingers brushed the familiar energy of the crystal choker, drawing strength as she faced the onslaught.  Before Ms. Rose had found her and brought her to the academy, Shayla felt like an alien transplant in a world filled with coffee shops and malls, tight clothing and short-shorts. Shayla could not stand the concrete crowds. She did not hear their thoughts. She heard their feelings, deep in her veins, pulsing through her heart. Shayla described it once to a friend:

Insecurity feels like a flutter of baby bird wings not quite ready to hit the air current.
 Sadness feels congealed, sluggish; my blood moving through quicksand.
Guilt feels like tapioca pudding.
Anger matches the cliché of boiling blood combined with a brewing thunderstorm.
 And happiness, well happiness tickles its way through my arteries, causing me to laugh out loud.

As time went on and the overwhelm grew stronger, Shayla withdrew.  Ms. Rose and the academy (for those "gifted") had given Shayla an opportunity to understand herself and a chance at the semblance of a "normal" life.  Tonight was Shayla's first challenge.  She prepared for this test of sensory overload all day.  She meditated and cleansed in the salt pool, lit sage, practiced visualization exercises of healing light surrounding her and thanked her shadow angel in advance for strength. 

Shayla walked through the entrance, her blood immediately battling itself with the conflicting blitz of joy, anger, frustration and even sadness.  Shayla was always amazed by the layers of simultaneous emotions others felt.  She took a moment to center herself, breathing in deeply, ignoring the aromatic assault of asphalt, funnel cake, cotton candy and smoke; focusing instead on oxygen filling her lungs.  The sweet air soothed her neurons as if singing soft lullabyes to the emotional explosion. 

Shayla finally relaxed and began to walk beyond the entrance.  Her task involved one complete tour of the carnival without dissolving into a crying fit or freezing.  She began to mix with the crowd and realized that she actually could take notice.  Shayla watched a little girl in pigtails with a gap-toothed smile eating ice cream, chocolate sauce dripping on her chin as her mom frantically tried to wipe up the mess.  She saw a young freckled boy crying when his dad took him away from the arcade games and a group of teen girls laughing loudly to draw attention to themselves from the boys nearby.  All details normally denied Shayla due to her "gift."  Shayla was halfway through the park when she began to feel an itch.  Not an itch she could scratch, but an itch in her blood.  She looked around, trying to find the source.  A sea of faces and blurry rides surrounded her as she began to lose her focus.  She silently called to her shadow for a stronger shield of healing energy.  She felt a slight shift of air but the itch continued.  Shayla began scratching at her wrist and felt the panic increasing.  She began turning in circles looking for the energy vamp that had to be near sucking her dry, forcing her into a merry-go-round world of emotional insanity. 

(Ok, so Shayla really isn't going insane or I wouldn't have a book to write, but the writing exercise called for a beginning and end with "merry-go-round" which sounded fun even if a bit contrived on the ending!)