Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Character Question 1

I have decided to explore my characters by wondering about things which I come across and how they would react to them.

If Sauri were to go into an attic and find: A doll house, a bird cage, a cedar chest, clothes, baseball cards, a tennis racket, a bicycle, a blender, a mouse trap, a frying pan, movies, a ball glove, a suitcase and a tennis racket. What would she keep?

The doll house sat empty in the attic for a decade by the time the old lady died and her daughter put the whole house up for sale. If Miguel hadn't bought it, Sauri would never have found it and the whole situation might have been avoided. No, who was she kidding, the situation would still have happened, it just might have taken longer, in the end.

Meg would have fun with it, she thought, as she dragged it down the stairs and into the living room. It was fortunate she'd found it. The birdcage, blender, mouse trap, frying pan, movies, cedar chest, baseball cards and ball glove would go in the garage sale. But the suitcase she would keep, along with the bicycle and the tennis racket.

Clarence, assumed the house was his and moved in before Meg could even come home from school and see the find. "Don't get too comfy," Sauri said, knowing Meg would kick the cat out as soon as she got home. She was, however, proven wrong.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Secret Life of Characters

Today, I spent time moving and pricing stuff in preparation for the garage sale I have having next week. It's something I have been trying to get organized for awhile as I am trying to purge and clean out things I no longer need. My biggest hang up is books. What to keep and what to get rid of? I'm uncertain if I will even put the books in the garage sale. However, this got me thinking about the secret lives of characters. One of the things I love about Jasper Fforde's books is that his characters can go in and out of books and that the characters in books are only living a part on the page, like actors in a movie, and have whole other lives outside their 'home' books.

As a writer, one of the things I love about my characters is learning about them through the story. But, now that my novel, "The Trade Off," has been written in first draft, which I am about to revise, I am wondering what else I can learn about the characters which isn't in the book. I suspect that if I become intimately acquainted with the characters, aside from the story line, that it will help them become more vibrant on the page.

So... I am going to begin a series of posts where I explore aspects of the characters in relation to real life and I hope you will join me on the voyage and enjoy getting to know their secret lives with me. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Writing Beans - Part 2

There is nothing quite like sitting in a warm, cozily lit coffee shop, sipping a hot latte and painting story scenes. Especially when the weather drops to -40 and the sun crochets the mornings ice fog into lace, covered the trees in shimmering starkly in the daylight.

Stretching, one can watch the shop slowly fill and empty of residents, bundled like Michelin Tire men and vehicles bump down the road square tires.

Every once in awhile there's the opportunity to share a cup with a friend, or notice a specific detail which can make a story more vibrant in detail or description.

Hmmm.... look at that scarf with the paisley reds and blues and yellows. Did the woman wearing it just grab it to help layer against the cold or does it hold some significance for her? Faye would so wear that, it will be her favourite, in that scene where she goes to meet Steph for the first time; a meeting she will later regret. The scarf will eventually become saturated with memories best forgotten and wind up in a second hand shop down on Commercial...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Writing Beans - Part 1

As a coffee shop writer I really enjoy the number of different, privately owned, homegrown coffee shops which are available to me.

Bean North is a local roaster which resides 20 minutes outside the city centre, by a popular swimming hole, the Takhini Hot Springs. It boasts city personas looking for a change, local cross-country skiers ending their morning and those topping off a sightseeing trip from the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

The thing which sets Bean North out from the other shops is it's little rooms and the art/crafts in the shop. There are hand knit items as well as metal crafted wall hangings. The rooms are furnished by couches, chairs, coffee tables as well as taller tables and chairs; one room has a small stove in it, which makes it toasty on a 40 below winter morning. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Shell

It all started when I picked up the shell, the small pink one hidden amongst the rocks on the beach. I hadn't planned the journey before then, you see, I hadn't even realized I could use the staff to travel. I had thought Old Rumeir made up all the stories he told, not that he experienced them. Once I had the shell, I knew I would be able to get her the help she needed. The medicine woman didn't seem to be able to help her, but I could, I had to; after all, she was my mother and I couldn't lose her now, when I could get her the cure. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Life of It's Own

For the past month I have been sick with what many of us, here in the Yukon, are now affectionately calling 'the plague,' as soon as you feel you are finally getting better it knocks you on your ass for another 3 - 5 days; I'm on round 4 and really hope I can kick it this time.

In the meantime.... life goes on.
Freak snow storms in the middle of May.....

Stellars Jay's return...

Bears have snacks on the side of the highway... hopefully not people.

And I begin writing a new story... 

The day the snowbirds returned, I followed the Innukshuk down into the ancient land. It was no accident I had inherited the staff that took me. Old Rumier had known me before I'd taken my first introductory breath, I still miss him. 

A new chapter, of an old piece... 

But isn't that what all stories are, continuations of stories told before, told anon with fresh eyes, new mouths, as we each travel the worn path of life, learning who we are, finding purpose, daring to dream, to stand, to speak, to sing, to love... to live. 

Some would say there is nothing new, everything has already been said, done or written and stories are just being recycled through different voices, tellings, and live. That the words may change, the characters and story lines, but in the end the result is the same. I can't help but think that in someway they are wrong, there may be similarities, but I believe that every story that breaths, and lives, is it's own being, just as there are no two beings on earth who are exactly the same, and every story I write has it's own life, it's own voice, and it's own message for those who read it. 

Announcing the Yukon Blog Carnival

Before last week, when my friend Amanda sent out an email organizing one, I had never heard of a blog carnival. A blog Carnival, to my new understanding, involves participating bloggers to all commit to blog during the same time and is designed to get people blogging and readers reading. There is usually a theme and the suggested theme for this particular festival is "Blogging in 2012."

As you can see, at the bottom of my page, and right below this paragraph, there is a web tag notifying readers I am a participant in this carnival. During the next 2 weeks I will attempt to blog at last once a week, probably on a Saturday, and hopefully more. I also look forward to seeing who all the other participants are and reading what they have to blog about.

Happy reading!!

PS If you would like to join us, participants are welcome to join at any time :) Have fun!!