Friday, June 5, 2009

The Thief, the Bear, and the Bride of Light



By Kirsten Scott

The world lost a great author this week. David Eddings, the bestselling author of the Belgariad and Mallorean series, passed away on June 2, leaving behind legions of fans. Many, like me, believe that he was one of the greatest authors of all time, right up there beside Tolkien for the richness and power of the world he created. 

Of course, Eddings wasn't a romance writer. So why, you may ask, am I talking about him here? I want to call attention to a gift Eddings had -- a gift for creating memorable characters. This is something all authors strive to do, and in some ways, what he did was very simple. But in other ways...well, let's just say a true master makes it look easy. 

So how do you create memorable characters? I teach a class on writing to kids, and I tell them that they've got to find something unique about their characters. Something other than, "medium height, brown hair, and blue eyes." For each character they create, I make them tell me two or three things about their character that couldn't describe anyone else. 

Two or three truly unique things. 

Now this may sound easy. You can make up unique things all day long (he's got a tattoo of a lizard on his butt! he only drinks Gatorade! she eats ants!). The hard part comes in thinking of unique things that relate back to the plot, the conflict, and characters sense of self. 

Ouch. Now I don't want to get too writerly  on you, but this is interesting stuff. Think of the best characters from fiction. Harry Potter anyone? What are his two or three things? The lightening scar, that's number one, and that relates directly to his quest, right? His bed under the stairs, that's another big one. That bed marks him as different. As having a destiny apart from his miserable Muggle family. 

In the Belgariad, the thief, the bear, and the bride of light were mentioned in a prophecy. They were essential to saving the world -- it only takes a few books to realize that the big burly guy with the chest like a ... um ... bear, IS the bear. And the guy with the twitchy nose who's always stealing stuff? Oh yeah. He's the thief. How did we miss that? (Man, Eddings was good!) 

So these unique things don't have to be weird. I mean, describing someone as a bear isn't exactly a genius of a metaphor. But it works because it means something for that guy, who is also tough, brave, and loyal to his teeth. It sticks in your mind. It defines the character. 

But let's take it out of fantasy and bring it back to romance. Anyone remember a certain hunky guy described as a "brick wall"? (You can save your answers for the comments. ;-)  ) 

I wonder if this explains some of the draw of the vampire and werewolf books. You can't miss creating a memorable character when you make him inhumanly beautiful, and, well, a vampire.  It's character and metaphor all in one (and even better when you make him a vampire who fights the urge to hunt humans!). 

In my YA, my heroine's Grandma plays a big role. The reader doesn't quite know if she's completely senile or fooling everyone -- and that extends to her outlandish sense of style (she's got an obsession with matching track suits and baby doll make-up) and propensity for running red lights. I hope she's memorable to readers, like she is to me. 

So taking this writing analogy one more level, I think we can all learn a little about ourselves by coming up with these two or three "defining" characteristics. I thought about this myself, and here's what I came up with: 

1) I like to think I'm not competitive, but I'm really uber-competitive. That's why I try to avoid competition -- I really really really don't like to lose. 

2) My first name (Kirsten is my middle name) means mermaid. I love this about myself. I love that my name is unique, and I love that it relates to water. I feel like I have a real calling to the water. When I was little, I actually sort of believed if I stayed under long enough, I'd learn how to breathe down there. 

3) I chew obsessively on my cuticles. Tear 'em to shreds. Blood and everything. It's gross, it's infantile, and I can't stop it. It's the real me. A bit OCD, not a true lady, and a slave to her compulsions. :-) 

So back to you, dear readers. What makes you YOU? If you were a character in a novel, what two or three things would the author pick out to describe about you? Do you refuse to sleep in anything but silk or satin? Do you harbor a secret passion for corn dogs or deep fried twinkies despite your commitment to a vegan lifestyle? Are your feet a size six but you shove them into a size 5 just because you always wanted to be a size 5? Are you an expert tae-bo boxer? Do you hoard gardening magazines even though you live in an apartment in the city? 

Please, let us get to know you! And I want to hear who else remembers the brick wall! 

 




80 comments:

Pissenlit said...

One of my friends likes to say that I have an eeeeevil laugh. *eeeeevil grin* Um, I always have a book on me, whether it's an actual book or an audio book. And uh...I can be perfectly content staring at that oldskool star field screensaver...or those colourful ones that go all psychedelic to whatever music you've got playing. :)

Pissenlit said...

Oh yay! The GR's in Canada today!

Uh oh, I'm rhyming...I better go to bed now.

flchen1 said...

Oh, Kirsten--I hadn't heard about David Eddings! I loved his Belgariad and Mallorean books! Totally gripping stories and as you said, excellent character development and ones that stick in your head. Now I've a hankering to reread some...

Oy, what makes me ME? Let's see... meeeeaaan mommy, compulsive packrat (although I want to change; thankfully we aren't quite at the path-to-the-front-door's-blocked stage yet), and a bit of a lazy slob ;) (I *can* clean, I just don't like to--I'd rather be reading! ;p)

Congrats on the GR, Pissenlit!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Pissenlit.

Hi Kirsten,
Hmm, the brick wall reference is not ringing any bells. I actually wear size 5 shoes. I can't live without Coke(with ice) and I'm addicted to Jeopardy.

Helen said...

Congrats Pissenlit enjoy your day with him

Great post Kirsten I heard about David Eddings just after I heard about Edith Layton a very sad week.

I haven't read any of David Eddings's books but I went to lunch today with a group of friends (all romance readers) and we were discussing both David and Edith.

I think I would describe myself as a good listener a complete softie and if I am doing something I like to get it done right the first time I like to put the effort in.

And sorry I don't know who The Brick Wall is although I am tired after my lunch we even went to the Lindt Cafe for desert "YUMMY"

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Wow, I don't know what is really unique about me. I always have a book available, somewhere close, who knows I might get 5 minutes to read. I really hate conflict, if there are two people going at it you will find me in the middle trying to diffuse the situation. I love chocolate ice cream and plain potato chips. I don't mix them together but I use the ice cream like a dip. That is a little unique...LOL

Inara said...

Pissenlit, congratulations on taking home the rooster! I think maybe you could add that to your list of characteristics (rooster-nabber!).

Okay, huge LOL on the screensaver. :-) And I love the fact that you carry around the books everywhere you go! Great one. Do you have any plans to get a Kindle or some other e-reader device, or are you dedicated to the original?

Inara said...

Fedora, I was so sad to hear it as well, and I'm also hankering for some re-reading. It occurred to me that I could start reading the series outloud to my son. That would be a blast.

Now, I know you aren't as mean a mommy as I am -- I've got that covered. But a pack-rat huh? You're an artist, too, aren't you? With your business? Graphic design? Somehow I find the artist and packrat genes go together. I think it comes from having the creativity to tolerate disorder. ;-)

Caren Crane said...

Pissenlit, have fun with the GR!

Kirsten, I am devastated. I have been a bit under the weather and not keeping up with my news, so I hadn't heard about David Eddings! I have the entire Belgariad and Mallorean series and the Elenium trilogy sitting two feet away from me on the bookshelf. My dh and I both adored him! Truly a huge loss to the fantasy world.

I love talking about unique character traits. It's so true, for both book and movie and TV characters. Who will ever forget Telly Savalas and his lollipops or Indiana Jones and his fear of snakes? *g*

I agree, this is much harder to do well in writing. After all, many of a person's quirks have nothing to do with how they live their lives or their ultimate destinies, but in fiction they had better be relevant!

As for the "brick wall", was that Johanna Lindsay's Capt. James Mallory? I can't believe with all the Mallory lovers no one recalled that!

Inara said...

Hi Jane! I think the shoe reference was really for myself -- I hate wearing size 10 shoes, so I try to squeeze myself into smaller ones. LOL. I guess if you're really a size 5 you don't have these sizing issues, right?

Are you short, too? Or should I say, "differently-heighted"? I've met a number of differently-heighted folks who cling desperately to an extra 1/2 inch in an attempt to keep themselves above 5 feet. I think that's the corollary to the tall folk trying to get their feet into smaller shoes. LOL.

So now thoughts on the brick wall? Are you a Regency historical reader by any chance?

Caren Crane said...

Oh, I forgot the "unique" things about me. I think it's hard from the inside to know what people see outside, but I have been told the following is a bit...different about me:

- I have a smile that lights up a room (hey, I didn't say it)
- I have a confident, sexy walk/stride (again, not my words!)
- I have an almost unnatural love of peanut butter. Really, it goes with everything. I might even eat brussels sprouts if they had a peanut butter sauce. Seriously!

Inara said...

Helen, I've never met you in person but good listener and softie definitely seem to fit your on-line persona! I would love to have been at your lunch and had some of that yummy dessert!

So you're part of the "do it once, do it right" camp? I think sometimes the softies have the toughest core. I bet you have very high standards at work and keep your people in line. I think the best combination for a manager is high standards plus lots of empathy. That way you inspire people because they like you and because they want to meet your high standards!

Good luck getting in a little nappie and sleeping off all that good food!

Kirsten said...

So if you were wondering what my first name is, it's Inara. D'oh! So those first few comments were all mine. LOL.

Caren Crane said...

Kirsten, I too am "amply footed", but I suffer enough with foot issues to just buy the shoes that feel right. Even if they are an 11 (which sometimes happens). The foot pain in your 40s is just not worth buying that 9-1/2. *g* Plus, my feet used to be a 9, until I had kids. Now they are a solid 10!

I shudder for my older daughter, who already wears a 10-1/2. Poor thing!

Caren Crane said...

Kirsten, I love it that "Inara" means mermaid. That's the coolest! My name means "pure". Who wants to go through life with a name that means pure?!

Kirsten said...

Good morning Caren! Oh, what a great point about Indiana! Those snakes were huge for him. I was a little bit brain dead when I wrote the blog so I was having a bit of a hard time thinking of other examples (that didn't come from children's books) and that's a great one.

As for you, my dear, you are absolutely right. You DO light up a room and have a fabulous, sexy walk. You are a tall woman with confidence, and that has an incredible amount of sex appeal, I think. Tall women can go either way -- embrace their tallness and become even sexier because of it, or be nervous about sticking out and become shrinking violets.

Our Caren Crane is no shrinking violet!

Kirsten said...

Caren -- I've discovered a way around the size 10 shoes -- European Sizes!! I'm now a 42! :-)

Kirsten said...

I didn't know Caren means pure -- that's awesome. The ones who are supposed to be pure are the naughtiest, didn't you know?

Kirsten said...

I am not yet revealing if Caren's right about the brick wall. But I will say that I have an obsession with pirates. Especially gentlemen pirates. *VBG*

Joan said...

Good morning eveyone!

Kirsten, very opportune post as I am in the midst of writing a new story, a paranormal and since I'm a pantser...my characters make me DRAG it out of them what makes them unique (Oh, it's there...I FEEL it there, but can't usually just jot it down before I start writing)

Um, sorry. I digress.

Unique things about me? How many blogs will it take :-)

My eyes shoot fire. Ok, not literally as that would be hard on my new wood kitchen floor but....my Irish passion and Aires temperment is expressed with my eyes. I know it many times, other times I can tell by someones reaction. To be fair, it is usually in defense of someone or an injustice.

Someone mentioned potato chips. I love eating potato chips with a glass of cold skim milk. And I love to scoop potato salad on a chip and eat it.

I have limited interior decorating skills. Really. I've lived in my house 18 years and have NOTHING on my bedroom walls! The few things I do have on my living room walls are aligned exactly in the center of walls. No artistic groupings, nothing.

Great post, my little mermaid.

Joan whose name means "Gift of God"

Kirsten said...

Oh, the ice cream comment -- that was Dianna and I missed her post! Hi Dianna!

I am a HUGE fan of the salty-sweet combination. I can absolutely see the potato chip/ice cream combination. I used to love getting a Wendy's frosty with an order of fries to dip in it! If you haven't tried it, you must.

And I am also a conflict-avoider, so I know where you're coming from. Does this extend to personal as well as professional relationships? How about at home with the dh? I'm much better at confict at work than I am at conflict with the hubby. I'd rather curl up and die than start a fight at home. But I can handle it better at work.

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caren Crane said...

Kirsten, now I feel like a character in a book: the one who is supposed to be pure but turns out to be the naughtiest of them all. Reminds me of Loretta (Cher's character) in "Moonstruck". One of the many, many reasons I adore that movie!

Kirsten said...

Good morning Joanie! I must admit, I am very surprised that you aren't into interior decorating. You are such a welcoming, nurturing sort of person, I imagined you having a house with cozy couches, warm blankets, and lots of pictures of Ireland on the walls and frames.

Oh, and lots of bookcases! You must have lots of bookcases.

I can see the eyes shooting fire thing. LOL. It definitely goes with the Irish heritage.

Caren Crane said...

Joan, your eyes totally DO spit fire! Good thing for us mortals that you're such a sweetie at heart; otherwise, we would all be in trouble!

How cool that you're writing a paranormal. I expect to hear more at the conference!

Caren Crane said...

Kirsten, I'll admit to the frosty and fries thing. That was my dinner more than once in college!

Kirsten said...

Oh, Joanie, I forgot to say that I think it's interesting your characters don't reveal their eccentricities until later in the story. I feel compelled to develop these things the first time I describe someone. It helps me avoid the "brown hair, medium height, blue eyes" thing if I can say, "She had piercings up and down her earlobes and one tiny barbell hidden in the corner of her eyebrow," or "He wore a baseball hat that looked like it had traveled with him through hell and back, and now remained permanently molded to his head."

I love thinking up quirks. I probably should have mentioned to everyone in some form of a disclaimer that I fully intend to mine this blog for ideas for characters for the future. LOL.

jo robertson said...

Superb post, Kirsten! I love that you got all school-teachery on us LOL! I think that often as readers we don't appreciate the thought and detail writers put into creating their characters.

Your comments reminded me of the Wizard of Oz characters -- the lion, the tin man, and the scarecrow and how well-developed they are and the important roles they play.

Chewing you cuticles reminds me of Amelia (I think that's her name?) in the Lincoln Rhyme series. She's this perfectly beautiful woman with these stubby, chewed down nails. The contrast is perfect.

I'll have to think some more, but I know that I'm like you in that I DO NOT like to lose and as a result often avoid circumstances where I'm pretty certain I'll fail. I also like being an expert on something LOL. People often think that's child-rearing because I have so many kids, but so not true!

Kirsten said...

Good morning Jo! I hadn't thought about the Wizard of Oz but that's another perfect example. You can distill the essence of those characters into those few words: scarecrow, tin man, cowardly lion...wow. That's amazing.

LOL on being an expert on something. I like to think I'm an expert on EVERYTHING. *VBG*

I can see people thinking you're an expert on childrearing. And I have to say that I've heard a few of your recommendations about parenting and they're pretty darn good. I suspect you ARE an expert on that.

kimmyl said...

My friends and family get so irritated with me b/c I love to stay home and read, garden and just relax. I love to excercise to rock(hard rock) and I argue about everything and that is my biggest fault.

Virginia said...

Congrat Pissenlit on nabbing the rooster!

About me, let me see I have evil eyes or so I am told. Over all a pretty nice person until you cross me or make me mad then look out because the eyes tell it all. I wear a size 8 wide in shoes, have to have that room in my shoes. I don't want my feet squeezed. I like a clean house but I am a bit of a pack rat, so I hide junk in the closets and drawers as long as I don't see the junk I'm OK with it. Love my books and I never want to get rid of them but I am running out of room.

Louisa Cornell said...

Good morning all! Oooh Pissenlit you nabbed the bird. What are three unique things about HIM, I wonder?

Great post, Kirsten. I hadn't heard about David Eddings either. That is a shame as I really love his books. Between him and Edith Layton I am going to go broke making sure I have ALL of their books.

I am with Caren. The first "brick wall" that comes to mind is Capt. Mallory !

I am constantly surprised by my characters odd little quirks that show up as I am writing them.

Three things about me? Hmmm

I can be EXTREMELY stubborn. It can be a fault at times, but it is also the reason I have survived some of the tricky things life has thrown at me. I just refuse to give up.

I'm a great mimic when it comes to accents and I do it sometimes without knowing it. There are times when it is very difficult to tell where I "come from." It has helped me in my opera career, my study of foreign languages AND in keeping bill collectors at bay when the DH and I were in grad school/medical school. Roger used to call it my "Scarlett O'Hara" routine. If I got a Yankee bill collector, especially a man, I could charm him into at least another month to pay our bills!

I'm not afraid of reptiles of any kind. And very few bugs bother me. I owned a 13 foot python for years and have owned several 4 to 6 foot lizards.

My real name - Pamela - means "elf" in Welsh. My father was three quarters Welsh and his Welsh grandmother named me.

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, congrats on taking home the rooster! I hope he'll behave.

Kirsten, I also loved the Belgariad. I didn't glom onto Eddings' later series the way you did, but that first one grabbed me. To a lesser degree, so did the second. We were on vacation when Eddings died, so I didn't know until I saw it mentioned online. I'm sorry he's gone.

Like you, I really, really, really hate to lose. If winning or losing RWA contests determined publication status, I'd avoid them like the proverbial plague. I try, as I'm sure you do, to be a gracious loser as well as winner, but that's easier when the outcome of a dream doesn't hang in the balance.

I love obscure facts. Alas, but the character who comes most readily to mind on this is Cliff on Cheers, though I try to use more judgment about sharing said facts.

My associational thought follows odd patterns, sometimes leading to the impression that what I'm saying comes out of left field, though I can trace the path that took me there from the current topic.

Nancy said...

I don't remember who the brick wall is. I'm pretty sure it isn't Aragorn. :-)

Nancy said...

Fedora, I'm also a compulsive packrat. My theory is that throwing anything away will result in needing it very soon after the trash is gone. The dh, on the other hand, loves throwing things away, so he helps me keep this tendency of mine in check.

Nancy said...

Helen, "Lindt Cafe?" As in chocolate? Yummy, indeed! It's a good thing we don't have those around here.

Nancy said...

Jane, if you're a longtime Jeopardy fan, go to YouTube and put in Weird Al Yankovic and "I Lost on Jeopardy," his parody of the original game show. It's a hoot! I like Jeopardy, too. fits in with my love of trivia.

Nancy said...

Dianna, I have a book in every room. My mom told me her mother always had a book by every chair she favored. On trips, I pack extra so I can have something that suits my mood at the time.

Ice cream as potato chip dip? Hmm. Salty and sweet. Interesting. And you can't ever go completely wrong if chocolate is involved. . . .

Tawny said...

OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I hadn't heard David Eddings had died. I'm heartbroken. I adore The Belgariad and The Mallorean!! all time forever and ever favorites!!!

I have to go pout for awhile, then I'll come back and share my secrets.

PJ said...

Congrats Pissenlit!

Interesting blog, Kirsten. I've never read any of Eddings' books but one of my younger brothers loves his work. Always sad to lose someone of such immense talent.

What makes me ME? Hmmm...let's see.

1) I love to smile. A lot. No matter how bad things are I can always find reasons to smile and I love it when my smile causes others to smile. :)

2) I'm calm in a crisis. Whatever the problem, I'm the one who immediately takes control and takes care of everything and everyone until the crisis has passed.

3) I see the world through a camera lens. I always have a camera with me and have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures since receiving my first camera at the age of 10.

The brick wall is the very yummy James Malory.

Anna Campbell said...

Pissenlit, I'd say another defining characteristic, at least today, is that you've won the CHOOK!!!! Congratulations, if he doesn't behave, try the evil laugh.

Kirsten, what a great post. And really thought provoking. And I was so sad to hear about David Eddings too. I only read the first half dozen of his books - for some reason, after that I wandered away from fantasy. But I remember them all fondly. And although he wasn't a romance writer, he knew the emotional power a good romance can add to a story. I remember there was a great romance between the girl who was last of her race and whoever she ended up with. Sorry I can't be more specific - it is many years since I read these books. Perhaps some other fan can fill me on who she married.

Anna Campbell said...

How interesting also to try and work out a few character traits that display who I am.

As most of you would know, I have a silly sense of humor and can pun endlessly, even if the amusement value is only mine. I actually think that says I'm interested in words and the magic way you can put them together so that reveals something about me.

I collect postcards and have them stuck up all over the house. I think that says I love to travel in my imagination and learn about exotic and interesting places. Which I think also feeds into my writing self.

And I think that's quite enough self-revelation for today ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Jane, I'm addicted to Jeopardy too. I wonder what that says about us?

Helen, isn't the Lindt cafe just the greatest? Did you have hot chocolate? YUMMMMMM! And the Lindt ice cream is pretty darn good too.

Dianna, wow, ice-cream and potato chips together? Well, takes all kinds, I guess! I must say I love the two as separate entities!

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, you DO have a great smile! I must observe your walk much more closely. ;-)

Kirsten, want to say I think the mermaid thing is so cool. I had a real mermaid obsession when I was a wee gel.

Louisa, laughed at you going all Scarlett O'Hara. I can hear it my mind already. Actually I'm not scared of reptiles either - Madame thinks it's very odd of me to be so fond of the lizards that live at my place. I must say, though, if a big saltwater croc was chasing me, all bets are off.

By the way, I'm not sure if I've congratulated you in this venue before, but huge congratulations on signing with a big major agent, you star, you!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I love obscure facts too. And obscure words. I know we're sisters in that particular line!

Hey, PJ, you sound like you're a tower of strength in a crisis. Do you want to move next door?

Hey, this is fun! I'm really enjoying hearing everyone's quirks. More please!

Minna said...

It was so sad to hear about David Eddings' death. He wrote really great fantasy. I have many of his books and I'm trying to get the ones I don't have yet.

As for the question: I can't live without chocolate, salmiac and xylitol. And don't even talk to me about peanut butter sweets. It's terrible to have an addiction when you can't get your fix anywhere. I love languages and I collect dictionaries -the kind I actually need. And I hate to just throw things away, so I trade instead.


Nik Kershaw - The Riddle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQYvGUL1OLA&feature=related

Enigma - Beyond The Invisible
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwEak8AWv7E

Indica - Vuorien Taa
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoOdaDRs5R8

Pat Cochran said...

Can't say that "brick wall" rings
a bell!

Honey calls me a "professional volunteer" because of my sustained
involvement of 25 years/schools,
30+ years/community, and 35 years/
parish. Another me-ism: My awards
in cooking competitions, yet I don't do much daily cooking as in the past. I am such a collector:
celebrity items (Bill Clinton
letter),sports goodies, eagles,
turtles, carousel horses and more!

Congratulations, Pissenlit, on the
Golden One!!

Pat Cochran

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you, La Campbell ! I am really excited about my agent (love the sound of that. Sounds so posh and professional! LOL) and the best part is her enthusiasm about my work.

Well, in the case of a saltwater croc I would be right behind you! I helped move some alligators from their old habitat to their new habitat at our local zoo! It was a really great memorable event, but their mouths were tape shut. I wouldn't want to try it without the tape! And their tails are LETHAL!

You have some of the cutest, most charming little lizards in your garden. My nephew is quite jealous!

And you and I have the postcard collecting in common. Many of my really nice ones are framed and displayed in my writing studio (as you well know!) I also have albums of them collected over the years and I love to relive my trips through them.

Helen said...

Dianna
I too always have a book on me for the same reason you never know when you will be able to get a chance to read.

Kirsten
I really like getting things right the first time but of course it doesn't always heppen we have to make mistakes in life to learn I always say. And one day I would love to meet everyone that would be so cool.

Caren
I take size 11 shoes I don't know if the sizes are the same in the States but yes I have big feet and wide as well and I need compfy shoes

Joan
I too am an Aries and my children even to this day tell me that they can see if they have done something to annoy me just by the look on my face lots of people tell me I have great facial expressions LOL.

Nancy and Anna
Yes the Lindt Cafe was fantastic I had a Iced Mocha and a beautiful piece of cake called Wimbeldon so yummy with white chocolate and crushed strawberries. I also visited the British Lolly shop and got some yummy English toffees.

Have Fun
Helen

Christine Wells said...

Fantastic post, Kirsten. I cannot WAIT to read about the grandma in your YA. She sounds like a hoot!

I also love that you can admit how competitive you are. I don't like to think too much about it, but I have a feeling that the reason I don't like competition is exactly the same! I have a fondness for instant coffee (a particular brand, not just any instant. I do have some standards!) I am lazy and disorganized but I do manage to get most of the essentials done. Except getting things fixed. I will live with a malfunctioning appliance for a long time before i will get it repaired or get a new one. I only realize it's gone beyond a joke when someone comes to stay and I have to give them a 3 step chart on how to get decent toast out of the toaster.

Thanks for the reminder about writing great charactes. We know this stuff but we tend to forget sometimes.

Congrats on getting the bird, Pissenlit!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*Soobbbbbbbb* I've been in the cave and had no idea David Eddings had passed away. Oh. My. I'm going to have to go reread everything now, in tribute.

His characterizations, especially Silk - the thief - and Barak - the Bear - were so canny, so complete, that you just knew them. And I still thik about the fabulous character, Sparkhawk, from his other series.

Sigh. Oh, he will be so missed, in my household at least.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, forgot to say Congrats to Pissenlit! Whoohoo! on the GR!

Louisa, congrats on your new agent!

As to unique things, I can totally attest that Caren has that fab-o smile and sexy walk. Joanie T, I've seen that shoot-fire look. Yep. You've got it, babe. :>

Jo, I think you've got a lock on Mom skills, from geometric experience if not from desire to have it. Snork. You're right about Amelia in the Lincoln Rhymes series. Isn't that the best series? The Bone Collector is just chilling. Jeffrey Deaver has a hesk of a characterization skill too! Then again after reading your Amazon finalling entry, I'd say you do too! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Inara, I love that your name is Mermaid. Mine means "God is Gracious"

Um, well, yeah, but that don't say much about ME, now does it? hahaha!

As to personal quirks, I love the martial arts, and weapons of virtually all kinds. you've never guess that, now would you? hahah!

I'll paint any walls that will hold still long enough, love to landscape and re-landscape till the cows come home. I love trees, and try to plant at least one every year. Grins.

Don't even get me started on shoes. I'm a 9.5 narrow. Like Caren, I'm all about comfort now, but I wishe they made prettier ones (sexier ones!) for us larger-footed gals.

Christine Wells said...

Anna wrote: Madame thinks it's very odd of me to be so fond of the lizards that live at my place.

Uh, yeah. And I'm not the only one...

Christine Wells said...

Hey, Louisa, woohoo about your agent. Who is it? I seem to have missed out on this goss.

Christine Wells said...

Looks like I'm going to have to go and get some David Eddings books. They sound terrific.

Kirsten said...

Hey all -- today was ballet recital day and performance day so I've been at the theater all day, and the husband and I just remembered it's our anniversary (we're bad about these sorts of things!) so we're now headed out to dinner. But I promise I'll be back to respond to everyone I've missed all day!!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, your family don't count, Madame! They agree with you coz you're scary ;-) And Louisa thinks my lizards are cool, so there!

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsten, congratulations on your anniversary! Can't believe you'd rather go out and celebrate than hang around and blog with us. Yeah, right.

Joan said...

I'll paint any walls that will hold still long enough...

Good to know. I'll call when the hole in mine is fixed and needs re-painting.

Shoe size. In my earlier days, 51/2 narrow. Somehow, its morphed into 7...it would still be narrow save for the fact that not a lot of shoes...cute shoes...come in that width, so I have to deal with mediums.

Doesn't matter...it still have pink toes :-)

Joan said...

I swear I know how to spell. Really.

That should have been 5 1/2 and

*I* still have pink toes...

Seeshh

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Heehee. I think its a typing thing, JT. I meant HECK, not hesk when I was talking to Jo. :>

Pissenlit said...

Kirsten - Do you have any plans to get a Kindle or some other e-reader device, or are you dedicated to the original?

I'm never going to entirely swap out physical books for ebooks but maybe one day I'll pick up something that can read ebooks. I'm not a fan of juggling multiple electronic gadgets so I don't know about an actual e-reader device.

Pissenlit said...

The GR behaved himself today but he didn't cheer loud enough during my softball game and my team lost by 3 runs. He'll need to work on that.

Also, happy anniversary, Kirsten!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jeeper, Pissenlit, I totally missed that. Happy Anniversary, Kirsten! How many years???

Jessica Scott said...

I'm one of the guys around a bunch of soldiers where females usually aren't. I swear worse than most of them. I'm told I'm one of the few females who would not just survive but thrive in an infantry unit. Yet, I'm a girlie girl. I love makeup,nail polish and styling my hair. I'm an obsessive slob and my husband is compulsively neat. But my husband and my kids love me, so it doesn't matter who I drive crazy over here in Iraq!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jessica! Thanks for serving! Had to laugh about you benig a girly-girl. A bunch of us are too, 'round here, but we like our "guy stuff" too. Ha!

Kirsten said...

Kimmyl, I love the hard rock workout tunes myself -- helps keep the blood moving! And I'm a total homebody myself. I'm very hard to wedge out of the house. You need a serious crowbar.

Thanks for sharing! Have a great night!

Kirsten said...

Virginia - I love the evil eye on the otherwise kind hearted person! Too cool. Shows you have hidden depths. Like all those junk drawers. LOL.

Kirsten said...

Louisa!! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on nabbing a big agent!! I can't wait to hear the call story that I KNOW is just right around the bend.

And YES, of course the brick wall is James Mallory. Hottest gentleman pirate evah! Though I'm really an Anthony lover, if forced to choose, I do love me a little James.

What a fabulous list of eccentricities. You could be two or three different characters. ;-)

Kirsten said...

Nancy, I knew you were a big Eddings fan. It is tragic, isn't it? He was such an incredible writer, and really left a mark on everyone who read him.

You think maybe there's a connection between the competitive thing and the lawyer thing? Hmmm....

And the random facts must help for the teaching gig. Maybe there's a connection there, too. :-)

Kirsten said...

Tawny, I am so glad to know someone else is mourning like i am. It's horrible, no? And wasn't the Belgariad just the most amazing series? I should go back every few years and re-read it, like a master class.

Kirsten said...

PJ -- of course it's James! How could anyone not know it was James?!

Now, I want to hang around you more. Calm in a crisis and smiles a lot. That's the kind of person I want in my life. I'd love to see your pictures, too. You can tell so much about people from the pictures they take, and I bet they're shaped by your sunny outlook.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing -- I love hearing more about our BBs.

Kirsten said...

Anna, I think you revealed at least six or seven confidences today -- mermaids, postcards, puns, AND random facts? Oh, and an obsession with Jeopardy? Wow! No wonder you're such a blast to be around. :-)

Kirsten said...

Christine, there's definitely a link between the lawyering and competition. Note Nancy has the same issue! I'm glad you liked the blog. A bit too writerly, perhaps, but I can't help myself sometimes. I like to swim around in craft every now and again.

And I'm loving hearing all about all the BBs eccentricities!

Kirsten said...

Jeanne, there's no way you could write such amazing action scenes without having a little fascination with the deadly arts. :-)

I love the idea of planting a tree every year. But isn't there a chance you'll fill up the back yard someday?

Kirsten said...

Minna, I definitely need to write this into a character -- a love of dictionaries. Wow, that's awesome. Thanks for sharing! And I share the sweets addiction. Yum!!

Kirsten said...

Jessica, you sound like such an interesting person. I'd love to hear more about your adventures in the infantry. Wow, you must be tough as nails. I don't know how you preserve the soft side at the same time. My hat is off to you!!

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today and sharing a bit about yourself with us!

Kirsten said...

It's 11 years everyone! And thanks for the congratulations. I'm going to go cuddle up with the hubby now! Nighty night!!

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsten, don't forget my lizards. People come from miles around to hear about their antics - just ask Christine! ;-) This was a really great blog!