Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Character Development


It is day four of 90 Days To Your Novel, a day-by-day plan for outlining and writing a book (or in my case a memoir). It was a gift from my soul sister, Mairead. If nothing else, it's a welcome distraction from the relentless churn of the chemo train.

I tend to do better with goals if I tell people about them. So here I am, confessing my intentions. I've signed a contract with myself and my completion date is  PI  (3.14), March 14th. This is also my husbands birthday. So instead of mourning the birth anniversary of a lost love, I'll celebrate the volatile chapters of my glorious life.

Todays lesson focuses on character development. Several questions were asked so that the reader could gain a sense of who the main character is. Since this is ME, it shouldn't be too tricky.

What do you want most in life?  LOVE

What was the most important thing to have ever happened to you?  The loss of LOVE, or what I initially perceived as the loss of love - the death of my son.

What is your middle name?  Elizabeth

Where do you work?  At a company that my father built and has rewarded me with a great sense of pride and independence.

What is the favorite thing about yourself?  Knowing that on any given day, chances are good that I will make you laugh.

How do you drink your coffee?  Starbucks breakfast blend, french pressed with six pinches of cinnamon. In a hearty, two fisted mug, goes a teaspoon of raw sugar and 3/4's of a cup of warmed and frothed, 1% organic milk. It's more complicated than it needs to be and I enjoy the process.

What is your favorite holiday?  I am the costume queen, so it's Halloween.

What kind of music might you listen too?  Tonight, I am paralyzed by Caleb's vocals in Wait for Me.

I saw the surprise
The look in your eyes
I gave it up
Gonna be who I am
Be who I am
And give it up...


What is the color of your bedroom?  French Blue

What age was your first kiss and what was his name?  I was seven. I gave two boys, Michael Pope and Jimmy Griffith, the key to my bicycle lock and watched them race each other down the hallway, up the stairs, and out the door to the bike rack in the back corner of the school yard. The first one to reach my bike got to unlock it and walk me, and my bike, back home. This went on for several months. Midway through spring, I declared them both winners and rewarded them each with a kiss.

What are your favorite childhood memories?  Getting lost in my imagination...hiding in the barn behind my house, riding in the backseat of my father's car, fairy hunting, skiing solo.

What scares you the most?  I'm in the thick of it - pain and suffering. The lingering sting of a pain that drugs can't numb.

***

The barn behind my house is the perfect place to hide. Confined in cobwebs and creepy crawlers, no one dare go inside. Tucked low against a musty wooden post beam, I sit with my knees pinned tightly against my chest. A cracked, weather-beaten window covered in faded yellow newspaper and caked with dust, keeps most the sun out. The barn door is two-tiered just like the one in Mr. Ed, my favorite television show.

No one remembers animals ever living in the barn but I can smell them.  I’ve scrubbed the cool concrete floor with Mom’s minty green Palmolive soap - sprayed it with water from the garden hose and watched streams the dingy grey suds flow around the troths and disappear into the muddy base drains. I bet it's old horse poop I smell, maybe some from cows and chickens too.

Dad says he’ll buy me a pony, any pony I want. Mom says NO but Dad doesn’t know that yet. I want a black pony with a white diamond on his forehead. His fur will be shiny and his eyes will be sweet. I'll feed him carrots, hay, and alfalfa, and let him wash it down with gallons of sweet tea. He won’t scare me because we’ll both start out small. He’ll grow up strong and so will I.  


xo, MonkeyME


29 comments:

  1. This is a great start, keep going...you will have much written by March. I can't wait to read it. Love inky

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    1. thank you for your love and encouragement sweet @inky! xoxo

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  2. How wonderful to have a memoir as a goal. I've got a manuscript that I dust off every once in a while, but I haven't done enough character building yet to get down and finish it. I love your attitude Shannon. How you keep going in spite of so much pain.

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    1. I'm trying Myrna! Some days are better than others. you are correct, I am in so much pain

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  3. What a wonderful, engaging, sweet start. This character is down to earth, hopeful, determined to be strong, and smart enough not to tell Dad that Mom says no to the pony idea. Sounds a lot like a very young you.

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    1. ha! yes, smart enough not to tell Mom but my sister ended up telling him.

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  4. Shannon Elizabeth is a beautiful name. You have a French Blue bedroom? I have never had a blue bedroom. In fact, as much as I have always loved the color Blue, I don't have any in my house. hmmmm.....
    Barns are such wonderful places and you describe it so well, I can see the young Shannon there. xo

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    1. thank you Denise. I have always wanted to live in a barn. maybe someday soon

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  5. Lovely, just lovely, thanks for sharing!

    I am inspired by your strength, thank you for sharing that too!

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    1. thank you Yolanda!!! thank you for giving so much of yourself...

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  6. It's great to have a project to focus on -- good luck with the memoir and have fun with it too.

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    1. oh, I did forget the "fun" part. I will try to keep that out front. Thanks Debra ~

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  7. Fantastic idea, plan, goal and start! Yippee! {{{hugs}}}

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    1. thanks Renn! I'm way behind but I'm chugging along

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  8. I feel magic coming on!! Chills!!!!!!

    xoxoxoxooxoxox

    MG

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    1. magic sounds just right. need it, want it,...

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  9. The first step is sometimes the hardest to take. Then the next, and the next...

    Soon, a new journey adventure is hatched.

    Namaste.

    Ed

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  10. U are an amazing woman Shannon. Dawn :0)

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  11. This is wonderful! What a wonderful goal and such an enchanting start. And Mr. Ed was my favorite show, too. I can still sing the entire theme song.

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  12. I. AM. SO. PROUD. OF. YOU. PERIOD!

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  13. I hope the kiss story is included! Awesome idea, it is great to find something to do!

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  14. Go, Shannon, go!! I believe in you, but most importantly, YOU believe in yourself! You can do it!

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  15. Your character was fully developed when we met. I really look forward to exploring more of it!
    Jesse

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  16. dear Shannon,

    doing a happy dance in my head for you! I cannot wait to read further installments - this is going to be some sublime writing (already is!) and your JOY of writing will shine through. a win for all of us who adore you, and win for you to immerse yourself into something beautiful, and lasting, and to be so proud of. still sending you oceans of LOVE and boatloads of warm hugs - I hope you feel them when chemo is a totally bitching drag.

    much love and light to you, Dear Shannon,

    Karen XOXOXOXO

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  17. My daughter's name is Shannon... I'm partial to that name.

    Your start here is amazing... but then, so are you...

    ~shoes~

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  18. A very good goal - keep it up! It was fun to read about your characterization :)

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  19. I follow a few blogs re: cancer and I thought you may relate to this post... the author had similar experiences as you, especially in the relationship department..

    A new year... a fresh slate...
    xo
    Inge


    http://dansfight.com/2013/12/31/happy-new-year/

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Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing
greenmonkeytales@live.com

Shannon E. Kennedy

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Photo by Joan Harrison