It’s almost here, people!  And if you’re anything like me…you’re starting to panic just a bit.  I still don’t have my outline and only a vague idea of where my plot is going this year…eek!
Luckily, though, I have a strong cheering section–friends and family that know what I do every November and that reply to my frantic Facebook and LJ posts, as well as a FANTASTIC region that holds so many write-ins that we have at least one almost every day in November.  I also have a WONDERFUL husband, who every year will make me his almost patented “Aspiring Novelists Kit” every year (I think this is year 3 of the kit).  The kit contains snacks, booze (he always puts whiskey in there, but gets me something I’ll actually drink, as well.  He takes care of the whiskey), and even cigarettes–everything a writer needs while writing a novel.

Me and my long-suffering dog, Callie.  She’s not too happy about this.

K.L. Eden, another WordPress blogger, has been doing a series of blog posts answering questions about her characters.  I liked it so much that…I stole it.  While she did hers over a few days…here I am, the day before NaNo, so I don’t really have that luxury…so I’ll just be doing the questions about Ansley and Ash today, and I may do them for Cassie and another character later if I get stuck with them.  There are 30 questions in total.

Ansley Charlotte Chadwick

  1. What’s your character’s favourite colour?  red
  2. Do they/would they choose to wear a scent? What would it be?  usually nothing, but if she does, it’s something light from Bath and Body works, more fruity than floral.
  3. Do they care about what things look like? All things, or only some?  Ansley likes a clean house, with things in their place.  She doesn’t get super upset if she hasn’t had a chance to clean up for a few days, but if she has some free time after that, she’ll spend it cleaning up.
  4. What’s their favourite ice cream flavour?  Chocolate
  5. Are they a tea, or coffee drinker? Or soft drinks, or do they drink a lot of alcohol? What kind?  Chai Lattes are her favorites.  She doesn’t drink much in the way of pop, and her alcohol intake is generally limited to Wednesday nights when she and Cassie have their movie and margarita nights.
  6. What kind of books do they read? What TV shows and movies do they watch?  Ansley reads contemporary literature–stuff that you might find on Oprah’s Book Club or the New York Times best seller list.  TV-wise her guilty pleasures are YA type TV shows like Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries.  Her favorite shows are Survivor, How I Met Your Mother, and Grey’s Anatomy.
  7. What kind of music do they like? Do they like music at all?  Ansley listens to top 40, dabbles in country music, and likes show tunes and Gershwin songs.
  8. If they were about to die, what would they have as their last meal?  One of Ansley’s favorite things to do is her Wednesday night dinners with her friend and next door neighbor Cassie–so she’d probably want to do something similar, with homemade mission style burritos; chips, salsa, and guacamole; and birthday cake for dessert.  With buttercream frosting.
  9. Are they hedonistic? In all cases? Or does practicality sometimes/always/often win out?  Ansley is very practical–she, after all, had her life planned out from the 4th grade.  The most impulsive thing she ever did was to leave New York City and move to Wyoming.  Even though she’s abandoned her 4th grade plan, she’s still pretty practical, and is not the type to go out and blow her paycheck on a spa weekend or something like that.
  10. Do they have any philias or phobias?  She’s an animal lover, but she does not have much in the way of phobias.  She’s to practical to be afraid of much.
  1. How does this character dress? How would theychoose to dress, if all options were open to them?  For work, she dresses in a USPS polo shirt and khakis.  Outside of work, she wears jeans, cute t-shirts, tank tops, etc.  She’s pretty all American girl in her wardrobe.  She shops at Kohl’s, Target, and Marshall’s.
  2. Do they have any tattoos? What do they mean?  No tattoos
  3. Do they have piercings? How many? Is this culturally appropriate for them?  Her ears are pierced, one hole in each lobe.
  4. Do they have scars? Where did they come from?  No scars
  5. Do they alter their appearance in some way on a regular basis?  Once a month she goes furry for the three nights of the full moon, does that count?
  6. Is there something they’d choose to change about their appearance if they had the opportunity to?  She’d want to be taller, and have curly hair
  7. Is there something about their appearance they’re particularly proud of/happy with?  probably her green eyes.
  8. Objectively, are they physically attractive? Fairly plain? Unattractive?  Ansley is pretty girl next door, she has freckles and prefers comfortable clothes, minimal makeup and easy to take care of hair styles.
  9. Do they have an accurate mental picture and opinion of their physical appearance?  For the most part–being a practical person, she displays the confidence of someone who knows what she wants and how to do it, which can almost be more attractive than physical looks.
  10. How much time do they spend thinking about their physical appearance?  Not much.  Lip gloss and running a brush through her hair in the morning is about all the time she spends thinking about her appearance a day.
  1. Can they navigate their own local area without getting lost? To what degree?  Yes, but having stuff like GPS on her cell phone and access to Google Maps helps immensely.  Being a rural route mail carrier also helps–she has to drive to every single house in the area, practically, which helps with navigation.
  2. Do they know who the top politician or monarch is where they live? What about elsewhere?  She knows who the President is, and who the governor of her state is, but as for the rest of the world, unless they’re in the news regularly (like the British Royals), she really doesn’t know who runs what country.
  3. Do they know if/where there are any major conflicts going on right now?  Again, unless it’s something in the news regularly, she’s probably not aware of it.
  4. Do they know the composition of water?  Yes
  5. Do they know how to eat a pomegranate?  Yes, and she thinks that while pomegranates are tasty, they aren’t worth all the work.
  6. Are they good with the technology available to them? Average? Completely hopeless?  Fairly good–she grew up in a house where they may not have had the top of the line latest and greatest things, but everyone had their own cell phone and laptop and Ansley took a class or two in college about different technologies.
  7. Could they paint a house? Without making a mess of it?  Yes, but it might not be the best job ever.  Passable, but if you paid her, you *might* ask for a partial refund.
  8. Could they bake a cake? Would you eat it if they did?  Ansley is actually a fairly good cook–she’s in charge of the Wednesday night dinners, as Cassie is hopeless in the kitchen.
  9. Do they know how to perform basic maintenance on the common mode of transportation?  No, she used to rely on her father when she had a car, and when she lived in New York, if she needed to travel a long distance (such as back to Ohio for holidays) she would rent a car.
  10. Do they know the price of a loaf of bread?  Yes, and she always tries to buy the stuff that’s on sale for $.99.

Ashley Charles Garrett

  1. 1. What’s your character’s favourite colour?  Black
  2. Do they/would they choose to wear a scent? What would it be?  No–he uses unscented everything, from laundry detergent to shaving cream to deodorant
  3. Do they care about what things look like? All things, or only some?
  4. What’s their favourite ice cream flavour?  Iditerod–think Moosetracks but with peanut butter swirl instead of fudge.
  5. Are they a tea, or coffee drinker? Or soft drinks, or do they drink a lot of alcohol? What kind?  Coffee drinker, but black with sugar only.  No froufrou coffee drinks.  He drinks beer, sometimes more than he should, as well as the occasional vodka tonic
  6. What kind of books do they read? What TV shows and movies do they watch?  Ash isn’t much of a reader, but he does like comic books/graphic novels.  For TV, he likes the off-beat, quirky, and scary shows–his current favorite is American Horror Story Asylum.
  7. What kind of music do they like? Do they like music at all?  top 40s, electronica, hard rock, heavy metal.  HATES 80s music.
  8. If they were about to die, what would they have as their last meal?  vegetable lasagna, thick cut garlic bread smothered in butter, green salad with italian dressing, and a thick thick strawberry milkshake
  9. Are they hedonistic? In all cases? Or does practicality sometimes/always/often win out?  He likes to sleep in til noon, if possible, staying up late watching TV or playing on the computer.  He doesn’t overspend on anything except for maybe beer.
  10. Do they have any philias or phobias?  LOVES computers and anything to do with them, is afraid of getting old
  1. How does this character dress? How would theychoose to dress, if all options were open to them?  he loves wearing bright colored, odd t-shirts with funny slogans, black jeans, and ratty converse.  He’d dress like that all the time, except he does have to look “presentable” for work, which consists of either a button down w/o a tie or a polo and either black pants or khakis.
  2. Do they have any tattoos? What do they mean? black and silver crescent moon on his upper left arm, meaning unknown (as of this time)
  3. Do they have piercings? How many? Is this culturally appropriate for them?  none
  4. Do they have scars? Where did they come from?  some faint ones on his back, source unknown (at this time)
  5. Do they alter their appearance in some way on a regular basis?  Like  Ansley, he goes furry the 3 nights of the full moon…
  6. Is there something they’d choose to change about their appearance if they had the opportunity to?  he’d get rid of his scars, not that it would make him forget how he got them, and would like to be a bit more muscular–his body just isn’t built for bulk.
  7. Is there something about their appearance they’re particularly proud of/happy with?  Loves his hair, though he keeps it back in a low, tight ponytail.
  8. Objectively, are they physically attractive? Fairly plain? Unattractive?  Very attractive, almost in an emo way
  9. Do they have an accurate mental picture and opinion of their physical appearance?  Doesn’t realize how attractive he really is, sees himself as moderately attractive.
  10. How much time do they spend thinking about their physical appearance?  not much–he is, after all, kind of a nerdy guy at heart.
  1. Can they navigate their own local area without getting lost? To what degree?  He grew up in Winnipeg, so he’s very familiar with the area
  2. Do they know who the top politician or monarch is where they live? What about elsewhere?  He keeps tabs on local, national, and international news–so he’s always aware of what’s going on in his city and country, as well as other parts of the world.
  3. Do they know if/where there are any major conflicts going on right now?  Yes, see above
  4. Do they know the composition of water?  most definitely
  5. Do they know how to eat a pomegranate?  no, he doesn’t really know what a pomegranate is, honestly
  6. Are they good with the technology available to them? Average? Completely hopeless?  Since he works with computers for a living, he’s very good with them, and most of the technology associated with them.
  7. Could they paint a house? Without making a mess of it?  He’s slightly messy–dishes usually in the sink, some clothes on his bedroom floor.  He does try to keep the “public rooms” of his apartment fairly clean, though, in case of “company”.
  8. Could they bake a cake? Would you eat it if they did?  No, and you definitely would not want to eat it if he did…
  9. Do they know how to perform basic maintenance on the common mode of transportation?  Most definitely.
  10. Do they know the price of a loaf of bread?  A vague concept, yes, but as he’s a single guy with a high paying job, he doesn’t really pay attention to the price of stuff like groceries.

That was fun, and informative!  NaNo kicks off (for me) in less than 4 hours.  I’m almost ready!  Are you?

As always, if you would like to be “Writing Buddies” on the NaNoWriMo site, you can find me under marzipan9

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