Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Character (and a Celebration Winner!)

CHARACTER comes to us from the Middle English caracter, from Middle French caractere, from Latin character meaning mark or distinctive quality, from the Greek charakter from charassein meaning to scratch or engrave.

So character is about something that is carved into one's being, kind of like those runes on beech wood that later turned into books.

I grew up amidst a crowd of characters: John Jodan the Russian opera singer. Old man Penn who when drunk danced with a beer bottle on his head. Trumps the crooked little humpback who swept Miss Meada's yard and the park. Miss Lucy the first female taxi driver. Charlotte, suffragette and first female poetry editor for the New York Times. Steve, a Southern Gentleman and the only person who always called me by my full name. Ethel McGully whose pet peacocks roamed her house at will. (They'd fly down to our place and poop on our roof. I can imitate a peacock quiet well by the way.) Leroy Smalls the local petty thief. Betty who wore big poofy wigs and long fake eyelashes. Duke Ellington the mystery writer. Miss Agnes who had to give you something to eat if you passed by her house, not to mention her ancient toothless mother Miss Missy who lived across the street. Lord help you if she was sitting on her porch and you passed by, she had to kiss you up. Mr. Powell with the shrivelled arm and hand that reminded me of a T-Rex's front legs. Mr. G the recluse who was hardly ever seen. Mr. David the artist with the mean temperament. Mr. Wadsworth who build a concrete statue of Jesus and called it Christ of the Caribbean. It could be seen from the ocean for many miles. My cousin called it the Ghost of Caribbean because it was white washed.

And I haven't even gotten to the characters in my family....

If we look closely at our own lives, the ones we think are mundane and ordinary, we will find characters. Use them in your writing. All you have to do is make a rubbing of the engraved essence of themselves that they have left behind.

AND THE WINNER OF MY 200 RANDOM FOLLOWERS CELEBRATION IS...

Here's my hubby, pulling the name from my Cat in the Hat hat...






Danyelle, if you would be so kind as to email your address to me I will send off the gifts ASAP!

Thanks to EVERYONE who participated!




29 comments:

  1. A fascinating collection of characters - they are a joy to read about.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow..no end of story ideas there. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great take on the letter 'C'. Love the idea of them being carved.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a fun read and a brilliant ride down memory lane for me. As a kid I was always drawn to old people, especially the old woman down the street who everyone called the bird lady :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. A great way to spark your creativity.

    sema
    Expressive Impressive
    Enjoying my first year in A to Z challenge

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice car, Nice Hubbs, Nice post. Go you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love that you post a picture of your husband pulling the name from a Dr. Seuss hat. That is priceless!

    ReplyDelete
  8. chickens with no bones, are boneless chickens...
    jeremy [iZombie]

    explanation:
    http://izombielover.blogspot.com/2011/04/c-is-for-comments-and-crazy-charlie.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Characters truly are endless! And so inspiring, too!

    Wonder what you will do for "D" day?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post! My best characters come from the mundane ... :o)

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's amazing how many"characters" we have in our own family if we just lok at irritating Aunt Betsy or horrible Uncle Charlie in a new light (as in, can I use them in my book!)

    Congrats to Danelle on her prize!
    Judy (South Africa)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congrats Dani! (You lucky ducky.) :-)

    There are so many characters with so many quirks. (Are you and I on some kinda karma thang??) Mr. Wadsworth sounds wonderful. Great post Bish.

    Love the pic of hubby.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It would have been awesome to grow up surrounded by so many interesting people! :)

    And wow! *still stunned speechless* Thanks, Bish! I've sent the email. And congrats again on your followers! :D

    ReplyDelete
  14. Are those really all your neighbors? Pretty cool!

    ReplyDelete
  15. You definitely did grow up with a cast of characters!
    Congrats to Danyelle!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, that is a cast of characters! Congrats to Danyelle.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a sweet bunch of characters in your life. I wish I had grown up with you. I'll bet every one of those characters is a whole book.
    You have a Happy C Day.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree with the others: that was quite a cast of characters!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You certainly know some amazing people. It's true that we do use the characters around us in our novels. That's why friends grab newly published novels and devour the pages, because they're looking for themselves in it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nifty post and no doubt, a terrific homage to some cool characters!

    ReplyDelete
  22. aren't character truly what makes a story; not only in print but in our own lives :)

    Happy A to Z!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm around characters all day! (I teach high school) But wow! You've definitely got some characters in your neighborhood!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great Post. Characters - - yay!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love this. I also use all the wonderful people in my life to base characters on.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Love this blog, keep up the great work wish you all the best.

    Pet Taxi

    ReplyDelete

Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!