Characters have quirks. It’s what makes them likeable and similar to “real people.” In fiction, you are supposed to push their quirks as far as you can to make them three dimensional. This weekend on a twelve hour road trip to pick up my two children from their vacation with grandma, I discovered one of mine. I have the odd need to fondle, grope, and “man-handle” art.
It started out innocently enough when we agreed to stop at “The Lumberjack Cafe” for breakfast. Getting out of the car, we had the hard hitting conversation about if Hubs would order his usual of biscuits and gravy or branch out to pancakes when I spotted the giant lumberjack near the door. How I missed it on the drive up to the parking lot, I have no idea. The large framed rugged man in his airbrushed flannel shirt and bright blue pants called to me as any enlarged Americana art usually does. I snapped a quick shot with my phone to immediately upload it to Twitter and Facebook. But it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving my giant lumberjack without having some defiling memento.
I asked Hubs to hump the leg. He looked between the busy street of numerous cars stopped at the traffic signal on our left and the large crowd growing in the all-windowed waiting room to our right. He laughed a “no” like there was insanity behind the thought. If there was going to be any sexual statue harassment, it was up to me. I climbed as close as I could to get the “money shot.” Lumberjack didn’t even flinch when I went for his three foot crotch.
When I revisited my uploaded memory of the special time I spent with Lumberjack, I realized I have a draw to fondling art in inappropriate ways. It was only four months ago I was walking the streets of Portland and came across the silhouette of a modern art woman. She didn’t have a true-to-form female body, but it did have the “lovely lady lumps” stacked on the front. It was just enough for me to think it would be funny to feel her up for a picture. To which I did.
Donald Maass regularly talks about “quirks” in his books and through tweets. They are the bits to a character which makes them unique and real. On July 19th, he tweeted “What’s a foundational attribute of your MC? Create an odd tic or habit that implies the opposite. Add six times. Voilà: a quirk.” The follow up tweet, “Start with the first standout quality: quirks. Effective quirks create a contradiction” finished the lesson. Besides the fact he’s genius for teaching a writing technique in two 146-charactered lines, he makes a great point. It’s these little things we do that make us the characters we are, like gaping our mouths wide open while we take offensive pictures.
I’m not sure what it says about my character by having the same humor as a high school freshman. The fact I cannot leave sculpted genitalia alone might indicate I have a much bigger problem in my life. But it did give a perfect example about writing quirks. What can I say? I do it all for my craft. What quirks do you have? What tics make you who you are?
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This blog thing a day is a little more difficult than I thought it would be. Even with the subject being around my fave band as I prep to see them in 3 DAYS, I am still short of meaningful things. Or course, I’ve come up with other topics I could ramble on about, but it wouldn’t be the same. That’s a blog for another day. I really appreciate those of you who have participated with suggestions in the contests. They are hilarious! And I’m getting some great ideas for Thursday night. So, here we go to another contest even though the title may have brought you here for another reason, Pervert!
This contest is about getting out the word. Reach out to your friends and bring them around the blog. You are entered when you post your favorite blog (Mikel related or not) on your social network, ie Facebook, Twitter, your own blog, anything. Just leave a comment with the link to your note or if we are friends already on FB, I’ll see it. If we aren’t friends, send me a request and then I’ll see it. Remember, if a friend of yours leaves a comment and references your name, you have another chance to win.
It’s as easy as that. Really, Susan, that’s all? Yes, that is all. Even with a little eye candy for dessert. Oh snap!
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Posted in Hubs, Insecurity, Pervert on January 21, 2011|
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This is not a call to everyone to run naked down the center of town with arms waving in the air like a madman. It also it not a recap of what my husband did over the weekend to end up in the klink. Those would all be worthy topics, which would have hours of great conversation attached, but instead I’m talking about writing.
As I’ve told, my third book is done and out to readers before I complete a final read and re-write. It’s like having a knife sliced across the gut with ropes of intestines dangling out from the top of a statue reminiscent of a scene in “Hannibal.” It’s not that I worry about critiques and having to re-write, I know I’m destined for that. It’s the realization part of me is out there. Not just from my art, but from my memory, my heart and soul. It’s a bit more emotional than needing to re-work a few words or thoughts. What if people say it’s not enough?
Of course fiction is…well, fiction. A story based in imagination instead of fact. For the most part, that is true. But not entirely. There are times where characters remind me of people I once knew or scenes I may have endured in the struggling years of adolescence. They are in there because I hope those are the parts that make it relatable. Small touches to make it real in everyone’s mind because something similar may have been part of their past. But right now, my inside thoughts and feelings are out there…exposed.
Some may ask, “What’s so scary about being exposed?” “No one will know what’s truth or fiction.” To answer, I could ask you to strip down naked and head to a bustling mall full of strangers. I’d tell you “We all have the same parts.” “No one knows who you are.” Instead, you will only be known as the crazy guy/gal who walked through Macy’s in the buff. (And who wouldn’t want to be that guy?)
Now that I’ve had a chance to think about it, I’m recalling my first line. This is a call to all of you to get down to your birthday suits and start streaking. Because maybe if the town is a talkin’ about all the naked people running around, I won’t feel so insecure about what those readers have learned about me.
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As I mentioned before, the end of the year brings the reflection of another year passed. While there have been successes this year, I have the tendency to focus on the near misses and all-out fails. Listing through all of them would only serve as the main course in a buffet-style pity party. Instead, I’m going to make references about the title I chose. (Snicker away at all the dirty jokes that have already come to your mind.) And yes, of course, my husband’s involved dropping his pants.
This year brought an introduction to cupcakes and cake balls. Although you have already seen the phallic symbols of the cupcake, the name cake ball is just as bad. But I’ve opted for cookie balls (no better in name.) I have followed a couple of the recipes from the book with marginal success, but yesterday I attempted to go out on my own. I wanted to make a zombie head. Well, it sucks. The kids think it’s funny with pink hair (that’s suppose to be a brain) and I’ve tried to add embellishments to jazz it up, but this sucker is dead (pun obviously intended.) But, I’m not going to let that failure get me down on balls. Instead, I am in the process of making some sugar-coated ones for my team as a gift into the new year and for a friend who needs a little reminding she is something special.
The kids played T-ball this year. It was Girl’s first introduction to a sport and my son’s recovery from the wrestling failure of last year. It was so cute to see them geared up in the team uniform and topped with a baseball cap. We endured some windy afternoons, frustrated screaming of “ready position,” and even crying during a game. I actually said the line “There’s no crying in baseball” to my son. But, they didn’t give up. They practiced on weekends and had a smile at every game. We even attended the year-end pizza party where the coach encouraged them to come out again next year.
No balls dropped in the constant juggle of home, work, and self. There was struggling times with Hubs going back to work and adjusting to the kids back in day care, but we got through it. We had more adventures this year (concerts, parties with friends, karaoke) than in the several past ones. Still marginal success in the work world with being able to bring new ideas to a corporate environment and not hating my job. All around it’s hard to not say it was a success.
I guess the crystal ball falling in New York will symbolize the same thing it does every year, hope on the horizon. We make the new year for what we strive and remember the past one the way we want. Good things are coming up…I can feel it. And no, this isn’t a continuation of my husband’s joke of dropping his pants. (But I’m snickering for you thinking it–pervert!)
Just in case you wanted to see how bad “Zombie Pop” sucked. The redemption is in the background. The kids refuse to let me throw away the zombie.
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Inspired by my favorite blogger, Tawna Fenske, I’ve decided to add a feature of phallic baked goods. Tawna is a romantic comedy writer from Oregon and she is hella funny! She has a great writing style and sometimes humor of an eleven year old boy (which I LOVE.) She goes through her garage or Home Depot and makes all the tools sound dirty and posts it. It’s hilarious.
So, here I have a cupcake in it’s early stage. As I had ten of them staring back at me, I couldn’t help but giggle (like an eleven year old boy.) Can you guess what it will be?
I’ll post the answer (with photos) as soon as they’re done.
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