About Mary Carlisle

Another character from next month’s novel…

First Impressions
Name: Mary Carlisle
Age: 24 years (April 6)
Occupation: ornithology
Summary: sweet, outgoing, intelligent. She likes to be outdoors, in nature.  She’s a real country girl.
Culture: Born and raises in a small town in New York, she isn’t comfortable in the big city, where everything feels too close.  She likes the wide-open spaces and takes things at a slow, relaxed pace

Loves
Family: parents, large extended family
Friends: church, work, etc. she has loads of friends
Romance: husband (Robert)
Things: charm bracelet (Pandora type)

Individuality
Flaws: fiercely independent, unpredictable (not a planner), easily stressed, competitive
Graces: charming, sensitive, imaginative, curious, artistic
Quirks: left-handed, sneezes really loudly
Skills: trained in zoology, very good at knitting

Language
Diction: relaxed manner with a distinctly Upstate NY accent (sort of NYC, but not quite); uses a bit of country dialect
Catchphrase: Did you see that?!

Appearance
Body: slender, athletic build
Skin: fair, but tanned from being outside
Hair: long, blond
Eyes: blue
Face: oval, fine features
Hands: small, delicate
Unique Features: none
Movement: walks with big, heavy steps; somewhat clumsy

Style
Fashion Style: casual fashion style
Colors: browns, tans, greens, soft colors
Textures: soft knits (sweaters, etc.); brushed cotton
Clothing: tee shirts, jeans, sneakers; flannels, sweaters; relaxed skirts; turtlenecks
Accessories: wedding band, scarves, sunglasses
Entertainment: hiking, biking, boating
Activities: knitting, drawing

 

I almost forgot her drabble:

hat

 

“Do you think you’ll need another sweater?”

Mary smiled as she looked over at Robert.  “It’s not going to be that cold, silly,” she said, shaking her head.  Closing the lid to her suitcase, she added, “One will be enough, along with my coat, for cool mornings.”

Robert nodded and hefted her suitcase off the bed.  Stooping to kiss her, he said, “I wish I could go with you.”

“Next time,” she promised.  As she followed him to the door, she shrugged into her coat.  “What?”

“Bring my hat,” he said, settling the ballcap on her head.

She grinned.  “Sure!”

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About Eduard Davis

First Impressions

Name: Eduard Davis
Age: 45 years (Mar. 3)
Occupation: scientist (expert in biochemisty)
Summary: social and generally cheerful; he’s a hard worker, with a direct and honest nature.  He’s not the sort to shrink from telling someone exactly what he thinks of them.
Culture: He was born and educated in Mexico, coming to the States later to follow his career.

Loves
Family: parents, sisters, large extended family
Friends: many friends, mainly among his colleagues
Romance: no one steady, yet
Things: walking stick (gift from parents)

Individuality
Flaws: can be stubborn, judgmental, focused on social status
Graces: loyal, patient and reliable
Quirks: very organized, tends to untie and retie his shoes if one lace gets loose
Skills: graceful dancer, trained in higher sciences

Language
Diction: He tends to use somewhat flowery and poetic phrases.  He speaks in a way that draws the listener in and makes them pay attention to him.
Catchphrase: You see what I mean, of course.

Appearance
Body: average height, athletic build
Skin: medium complexion, tanned
Hair: very dark brown
Eyes: brown
Face: oval, strong eyebrows
Hands: large, muscular hands
Unique Features: slight limp
Movement: graceful, confident; erect

Style
Fashion Style: vintage style
Colors: grays and blacks, some soft colors
Textures: soft wool and cotton
Clothing: fashionable suits with ties
Accessories: pocket handkerchief, flower at lapel, hat
Entertainment: theater (concerts, plays); fine dining
Activities: dancing, reading

Leon Jones

Another character for my upcoming NaNo…

First Impressions
Name: Leon Jones
Age: 32 years (Mar. 12)
Occupation: photojournalist
Summary: gregarious, street smart, flirtatious, snappy dresser
Culture: a farm boy by birth, but he’s worked hard to smooth off those rough edges.  He comes across as sophisticated and refined.

Loves
Family: parents, young sister, elder brother
Friends: Nathan Donavan (co-worker)
Romance: nothing steady or significant
Things: pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather

Individuality
Flaws: can seem arrogant, sometimes stubbornly close-minded
Graces: an honestly good man who wants to help others
Quirks: shoots his cuffs when frustrated, chatters when nervous
Skills: self-defense, sharp shooter

Cardinal Sin
Pride | Greed | Envy | Wrath | Lust | Gluttony | Sloth

MBTI
Extravert / Introvert | Sense / Intuition | Thinking / Feeling | Judging / Perceiving

Language
Diction: speaks in a precise, careful manner; faint Vermont accent
Catchphrase: I’m sure I’m right.

Appearance
Body: lower side of average height; average build
Skin: rather fair
Hair: dark brown
Eyes: brown
Face: chiseled features
Hands: long fingers
Movement: confident, certain

Style
Fashion Style: rather formal
Colors: more browns and blues than blacks and grays
Textures: soft, smooth fabrics
Clothing: suits with ties; khakis rather than jeans, polo shirts
Accessories: pocket watch, tie bar, pinky ring
Entertainment: theater (plays, ballet, opera), concerts
Activities: reading, photography

 

pumpkin

Leon was tired.  It had been a long and day.  He wanted to take a long bath.  As if he could just wash the problems of the day away.  He knew it wasn’t that easy.  It never was.

He opened the door of his apartment.  Then, as he closed the door, something rubbed up against his calf.  Chuckling, he flicked on the light.

A small marmalade tabby was rubbing itself against him.  It blinked up at him before returning its attention to his leg.  “Hey, Pumpkin,” he said.  Stooping, he lifted the cat into his arms.  Life wasn’t so bad.

About Andrew Smith

Here’s the first Character Worksheet for my upcoming NaNo

First Impressions

Name: Andrew Smith (Andriy Surikov)

Age: 30 years (Oct. 17)

Occupation: writer

Summary: quiet and unassuming; somewhat shy with little interest in socializing; he’s tense – nervous about something

Culture: Born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine, he’s been living in the States for the last six years.  He still has some of the old-world charm going on (kisses ladies’ hands, bows slightly when greeting men).

 

Loves

Family: parents and siblings dead, one estranged uncle with wife and child

Friends: no friends to speak of, not very trusting, has trouble making friends

Romance: wife dies before action of story (Sofiya), toddler son also dead (Dmitri)

Things: carries small acorn trinket box with him everywhere, it was a gift from Sofiya

 

Individuality

Flaws: anxious; can seem callous or selfish

Graces: clever, droll wit

Quirks: sometimes talks about things that only interest him

Skills: theft, gymnastics, firearms, self-defense, speaks several languages, degrees in higher sciences

 

Language

Diction: speaks with crisp consonants, sometimes overly polite, has some trouble with certain idiomatic phrases; implacable foreign accent (sort of British, but not quite)

Catchphrase: “Did I say that correctly?”

 

Appearance

Body: short (for a man); athletic build

Skin: rather fair

Hair: blond (naturally strawberry blond); falls down over neck and ears, parted on left with long fringe over forehead

Eyes: blue; soulful

Face: oval, full lips, expressive brows

Hands: large, strong

Unique Features: scars on back

Movement: graceful, certain, confident

 

Style

Fashion Style: relaxed; clean cut

Colors: mostly black and white, some dark jewel tones

Textures: favors smooth, soft materials (cotton, linen)

Clothing: crisp white shirt, dark trousers, heavy sweater with polar bears and snowflakes

Accessories: acorn trinket box, glasses; wrist watch, wedding band

Entertainment: reading, writing

Activities: plays guitar, sings

 

Here’s a drabble, to show a bit of his character…

sweater

Andy heaved a soft sigh as he frowned out the window.  The sky was gray, overcast with clouds that threatened rain.  Wind swirled in the trees, shaking leaves from the branches.  Cold as it was here, it was bound to be worse in Vermont.

Shaking his head, Andy added a couple long-sleeved shirts to his suitcase.  Then, he closed the lid.  He paused at the door to shrug into a black sweater with polar bears facing each other.  He felt safer in this sweater – as if he were calling on the protection of the Great Father just by wearing it.

It’s that time again…

Each year since 2006, I’ve spent the month of October preparing for National Novel Writing Month.  This year is no different.  I’ve already signed up.  I’ve got my title (Crossing Paths).  I’ve got character images, setting ideas, dialogue prompts and such like on my pinterest page.  I’ve got a blurb.

I’m going to be spending this month getting to know my characters a bit more by writing drabbles featuring them and crafting character outlines.  Meanwhile… here’s what I do know about my story:

My blurb:
When he checks into the Bayview Inn, Andrew Smith is only looking for a dry place to stay for the night.  A chance encounter in the lobby may change his life forever.

Andrew, called Andy, is the main character.  There are five other major characters in the story.  There are, very likely, a host of minor characters that I’ll dream up as I need them.  I got the idea for this story from a prompt that I found online a few years ago.  I took it and ran with it in a completely different direction.

The basic idea is that Andy is going to meet someone at the Bayview Inn that he knows and who knows him.  The last thing he wants is to encounter someone who knows.  Why?  Because he’s on the run!  He’s hiding from… something.  I know what he’s hiding from, but I’m going to work on making that something of a mystery, at least at first.

One thing that I’ve learned from doing NaNo for so long is… what I think I’m going to write in November and what I actually end up writing is, at times, completely different.  I’m a discovery sort of writer, so that’s all right with me.

So… Are you going to participate in National Novel Writing Month?  If so, what are you writing about?  Are you a plotter, a pantser or (like me) something in between?

Nature

Last part!

**

Illya sat close to the base of a tree.  He could hear the wind rustling through the leaves far above.  He could hear birds twittering to each other in the bushes nearby.  He could hear the chirping of a cricket in the underbrush.

All around him, there were the sounds of nature.  He couldn’t, however, hear the one sound that he wanted desperately to hear.  He shivered as he pulled his coat a little closer over his chest.  Then, he closed his eyes to listen harder.

There!  The snapping of twigs as some walked towards him.

“Illya?”

“I’m here, Napoleon.”

Guess

Nearly out…

**

Illya was soaked, but he made it to the other side of the river in one piece.  Now, it was a matter of getting to the rendezvous.  The question was: would he make it there before or after his “ride” did?  If whomever was sent to pick him up arrived first, would they wait for him?  That was anyone’s guess.  Although, Illya supposed it really depended on who they sent for him.

He was making his way up the slope when his communicator warbled.  “Kuryakin,” he said, pausing to lean against a tree.

“It’s Napoleon.  Wanna wait there?”

Illya sighed.

Danger

Yeah… Illya has more problems getting away.

**

Illya was frustrated.  No, that was an understatement.  He was beyond frustrated and edging into angry.  Mr. Waverly had said they couldn’t come to his location.  He had no choice but to make it the rendezvous.  When Illya asked how he could be expected to do that, Mr. Waverly had pointed out that he was an intelligent young man.  He could surely solve the problem on his own.

All he had was a rope.  Illya tied a stone to one end and threw it around a branch on the far side.  After tying it off, he plunged into the rapids.

Rapids

More problems for Illya…

**

Illya had lost his pursuers, but now he had a new problem.  He stood at the edge of the river with a frown on his face.  There had been rains recently and water tumbled wildly over stones.  There was simply no way that Illya could cross that in his current state.

He sighed and sat down on a large stone.  Once more, he drew out his communicator and assembled it.  This time, he was calling to tell them he couldn’t make it to the rendezvous.  He wondered what Mr. Waverly would say.  He could well imagine the old man’s displeasure.

Trick

Continuing…

**

Illya dozed in the tree for a moment, nearly falling asleep completely before he heard his pursuers reach the brush where he’d left the trail.  He held his breath as he watched them through the leaves.

First, they beat the bushes themselves.  Then, satisfied that he wasn’t hiding there, they moved away, deeper into the trees.  When one of them approached the tree, Illya acted quickly.  He snatched an acorn from nearby and threw it as far away as he could.  As it crashed through branches further off, the Thrushies ran off in pursuit.  Illya breathed a sigh of relief.

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