Tag: Beautiful People (page 2 of 2)

Beautiful People: Mim’s Childhood

Hi everyone,

This is a rather rushed post because I just got back from an amazing camp last night and almost forgot about my blog.

I’m doing Beautiful People again, this time about a sweet red-haired brigand girl named Mim.

What is her first childhood memory?

  The time her half-sister Elind arrived in tears and started living with them permanently.

What were their best and worst childhood experiences?

  She has fond memories of harvest feast in the town where being poor didn’t matter. And also the time when she was given a new dress. The worst time would be just after her mother and uncle died of the coughing sickness. She and Elind almost starved before Elind finally gave in and married.
What was their childhood home like?

  A ramshackle cottage on the outskirts of the town of Jarrah. it was a dirty noisy place, often dangerous too.
What’s something that scared them as child?
  The men that her uncle would hang around with.
Who did they look up to most?
  Her mother. She was a wonderful woman who always made things come out alright and kept Mim safe.  She wouldn’t let people impose on her.
Favourite and least favourite childhood foods? 
  Favourite food is pies; least favourite is watery soup. 
If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?
  She would have had a father.
What kind of child were they? 
  She was very wild adventurous and warm-hearted. Making friends, but scaring their mothers.
What was her relationship to their parents and siblings like?
  She loved and then missed her mother, feared her uncle and never knew her father. Elind was almost a second mother, but she saw her as being weaker than her own mother. Her other half sister was someone she barely knew existed and never wanted to meet.
What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
  She hoped to become a maid and work herself into a better life. She became a brigand instead.
And that’s the basics of Mim. If you ask me any questions in the comments I’ll answer them for you.

Beautiful People: Natalia Rizzetti

It’s Beautiful People time again. And I found a way to make it take much longer than it had to. But here it is only a few hours later than I like.

After a little thought I chose to tell you about Lady Natalia Rizzetti of Vecoa this time. Since I don’t know her quite as well as I should, I’m going to travel to Vecoa and and ask her the questions personally.

Since she is unaware of my existence and might be uncooperative if I try to explain, I will take another tactic. I dress myself in the traditional flowing blue and white of the legendary guardian of the Maretegna. (The region of sea that Vecoa has a share in.) I think that will open her up a bit, though no one believes such a person ever really existed.

I arrive for her mid-afternoon walk on a day when Eloisa would be elsewhere. Also a few weeks before I will begin the the book. She’ll be less wary that way. Nobody had died for a while.

I spot her quickly, a bright red spot among the green of the forest terrace. I walk closer. She is sitting on a wooden bench, staring up into the trees, yet not looking like she actually sees anything. I scraped my foot against the ground.

“Is that you, Teresa?” She whirls around and her mouth goes slack at the odd sight of me. Then she gives a little laugh. “Well you certainly aren’t Teresa. What are you? The Guardian herself?”

I nod. “I just came to ask you a few questions. You can see I can’t exactly attack you well in these drapes.”

“You probably could,” she says dryly. “But you’re not going to and you wouldn’t get away. Now about those questions.” She drops back onto the bench and points for me to sit next her.

“This is going to sound odd,” I say, trying to keep her gaze, “But how often do you smile?”

“Too much. Sometimes the corners of my mouth get sore. But I can’t just frown at everything I’m not perfectly happy with.”

“Of course. I’m less likely to frown with a stranger than a close friend.” She frowned a moment, but it didn’t last. “I won’t smile at you if I don’t want to.”

I nod slightly, averting my eyes. “You probably won’t after this next question. What- what was the cruellest thing someone ever told you?”

“Oh!” She scrunches up her eyes and leans back against the seat. It creaks and bends. “Well when- no, not that.”

She stops talking. I wait. Finally she opens her eyes and speaks making each word deliberate.

“When Signa Murtas and Grandmother told me that my real father had died before I was old enough to remember and that Father wasn’t really mine at all. That I was different to the rest of my family.”

“What did you do?”

She shrugged and smiled. “I refused to believe them at first and went and hid in the garden where even Eloisa couldn’t find me. Then I wouldn’t smile at them or even talk to them for a long time.”

I sigh with relief. She dealt with that one pretty well. It wasn’t quite the answer I though she might give, but I couldn’t do much about that. “What about the kindest thing someone told you?”

“All about what my real father had done and how he and Father were so close, almost like brothers. I found it extremely comforting at the time.” A dreamy look comes into her eyes. She seems to still find it comforting.

“Who told you all that?”

She frowns and brushes a bit of hair out of her face. “I’m not sure. It may have been Lorenzo and Filippa, in fact I’m pretty sure it was. Not that she remembered a lot.”

I nod. “She wouldn’t have. Do you have any other strong childhood memories?”.

She scowls. “I remember when Demetrio Pavone knocked me into the harbour on my first visit to Doranto. He probably didn’t know I could swim. My rescuer splashed him badly.”

I try to keep myself from smiling. I hadn’t heard about that before.

“Have you ever been seriously injured?”

She shook her head. “Never. Well not physically.”

I’m about to ask her to elaborate, when I realize what she is talking about talking about. And I do not want to go into that now, even if she did seem open. (Spoilers)

“Do you get along with your neighbours?”

Natalia blinks. “Do you mean neighbouring states or the people who live close to the Palazzo?”

I shrug. “Either or both if you like.”

“Well I can’t very well be disagreeable, but I like some of them more than others. And we get on well with Trione, alright with Doranto, hardly at all with the others. Why are you here anyway? If you were a spy or looking for gossip you wouldn’t do it like this.”

I smile. “It’s kind of complicated, but it will never hurt you. Now are you usually this easy to get on with?”

She makes a quick motion with her hand. “Oh always, the other person is being demanding or foolish or ignoring me. Which is fairly often.”

I raise my eyebrows at the slight contradiction and she shrugs. “It’s true.”

“You’re right.” I say. ” Now, if you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?”

Natalia leans forward, eyes shining. “Anywhere? I’d go everywhere. At least to all the grand cities where women are respected. I’d really like to go to Ingiltere and see the works of Queen Elisabetta.”

“I’d like to do that too. I’m more interested in Vittoria though.”

She gives me an odd look. “Vittoria?”

I look down at my feet. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m already mixing her up enough without talking about an uncertain future. “Never mind. I’ve just got one more question. Who was the last person you held hands with?”

She crosses her arms. “I’m not answering that one.”

“Why not? Was it Taddio at your party two days ago?”

Natalia gives me a queer look. “No, of course not. It was actually Alexso, just after lunch. Now, won’t you stay for afternoon tea.”

I stand up, shaking my head. ” I really can’t stay any longer. The Maretegna has been left unguarded long enough.”

I vanish, leaving her stunned. And I really think she needs to read It’s (Not That) Complicated or A History of Venice. They’d both help her.

What did you all think? Does Natalia come through as an interesting person? Did you like me writing it that way?

Beautiful People: Joane

I was looking forward to Beautiful People this month. Actually I have every time, but not quite this much. I don’t know why exactly. Maybe because I didn’t know what else to do.

On Monday morning when I went to starting writing this, Cait hadn’t put the questions up yet. I almost panicked. I hadn’t though of what else to say. I came up with a few ideas I wasn’t really excited about. Then I checked again, just in case it was there, and it was. So here we are.


Before I saw the questions, I had decided to do Joane, unless it was a special focus that didn’t fit her. When I read the questions I almost changed my mind. Not all of them really fit her. But then I realized that I might be able to show off her character even better.

What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?

I was reading something about diversity in fiction and breaking stereotypes. I thought I ought to stick a few girls among my brigands. And quite a mixture of them. Tough girls, not just Maid Marian. I decided I wanted there to be one who lead the others, and was very bossy and not at all welcoming. A name sprung to mind, Joane Artyn. 
Ever since then she has grown in importance and changed somewhat. I think she is now one of the most dynamic characters in the book. And no, she isn’t based off anyone. 
Describe their daily routine. 

Wake up, grab something to eat if there is anything. Go scouting to check nothing is wrong. Come back and give everyone else their commands. Either go hunting for food, or try to catch something, or rather someone else. Call everyone but the sentries in for practice. Eat supper. If Nylf is around talk big plans. Stare out into the darkness for a while before going to bed.

If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?

There isn’t a high school around where I live and I know very little about them. She would be a tough girl, with a group around her who look up to her, yet afraid of getting on her bad side. Or she’d be a drop out.

Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives…

Nobles, most men, weak people, being forced to get by in the woods, Wil, Aydel, Mim’s superstitions, anyone who believes  the rumours of Lady Adlayda reappearing and saving them all.
How do they react in awkward silences?

By glaring at the other person and making them feel uncomfortable. Joane refuses to do awkward silences. If she doesn’t quite feel comfortable about something she did, that’s none of your business.
Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?

I’d never thought about swimming. I don’t think that proper swimming is very common. Perhaps bathing at the rivers edge. Joane would be able to swim a bit though. Well enough to not drown when crossing a river. The rivers aren’t all that deep though.
What is one major event that helped shape who they are?

Losing her mother. Or more the fact that she never knew her mother. Being brought up by an brigand certainly had a big affect on her.
What things do they value most in life?

Holding fast to her father’s legacy and keeping promises.
Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?

It depends on what they’ve done. If they broke a promise, never. If they were just unfortunate, maybe. 
No, she’s never fully trusted anyone and hasn’t had any problems from it so far.
Your character is having a rough day…what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?

Why do people think you need to be happy? If you’re upset with someone, you just work them harder and they turn out better for it. Being angry brings energy, which gets things done.

Yes, Joane certainly has some problems. That’s part of what makes her interesting. Besides, perfect people can’t improve, brigand maids can, though She wouldn’t agree. She wouldn’t consider herself to be a beautiful person and she isn’t exactly. Not in her outer personality at least, but deep down inside…

Well I don’t want to spoil the story for you. Anyway I do have a picture for Joane. It’s not perfect, but it does give an idea of her looks. Just imagine a quarter staff and leather padded armour.

I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it. If you were hoping I was going to tell you how my new project is coming along, it is. Very slowly though. I still don’t have names for characters but I have a whole lots of cool ideas. What do you think of having a wooden legged man who isn’t a pirate or a beggar, but a naval captain? I rather fancy it. It’s likely to be a very fine wooden leg given the setting.

Beautiful People: Arthen and Leisa, and sailing

It’s this time of the month again. The time when I tell you about my characters. Or rather the Beautiful People linkup. Because it’s February It’s romance themed.

The two characters I’m doing are are Leisa Rosir, and Arthen Stute. Both of them are secondary characters and their relationship isn’t a very important part of the story but it is there nonetheless. I was going to let them speak for themselves, but they are both rather quiet people and would just freeze up and not say anything in front of each other.

How did they first meet?

They knew each other as children, but they met again more recently when her father, Captain Rosir sent him with a letter for her mother. And also to stick around and be helpful in his spare time.

 What were their first impressions of each other? 

Arthen was surprised by how much Leisa had grown up since he’d last seen her. Also he noticed that she was much more dignified and restrained than her sister. She saw why her father had praised him for his steadiness, and that there was strength under his quietness.

How long have they been a couple? 

Well technically they’re not quite a couple, but they’ve been spending time together for a few months.

How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other? 

They’re pretty committed. Her father is behind their relationship, so that’s a good sticking force. Besides, they do like each other. I think they’d get through secrets and disagreements and they’re pretty stressed at the moment. It’s bringing them together not pushing them apart. Arthen would die for Leisa and though Leisa doesn’t seem very brave, she surprises even me sometimes. So I think she would.

 List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)

This is a tricky one, but he knows she likes inventing new twists on dishes and hates wasting anything. She thinks his habit of sprinkling cinnamon into his drinks is really odd. (Yes, I did just make that all up on the spot.)

Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?  

Not really. Leisa’s mother is a little uncomfortable with any young man hanging around her daughters, but she doesn’t have anything against him. Aydel(her sister) doesn’t completely like him and think he’s making Leisa insufferably good at first, but she isn’t around for long and later she is quite happy about it.

What would be an ideal date? 

If things are ever peaceful again, they would love to just do some simple things together, go for a walk in a safe part of the forest, walk through a village and talk to the children. Those kinds of things.

What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly? 

Arthen is stronger and wiser then Leisa and she looks up to him. Her desire to learn fits well with his knowledge. On the other hand He is a bit of a wanderer, while she is very domestic. When he goes off into danger, she worries. Or she would worry if she knew what he was doing.

What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple? 

The best times would be when he was repairing the roof and answering her questions about God’s word. And later praying together. The worst would be when there was a conflict between his duties and her needs. Details would spoil the story.

Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years? 

Possibly married with children. Neither of them is quite sure how they think of the the other though, not yet at least. What they really need is a bit of danger to make them realize it though. Or time of course, but that’s not likely to happen.

I wanted to find a picture for each of them, but after much searching I still failed to find anyone who looks like Arthen, so I’ll just give descriptions instead.

Arthen, or Stute as I often call him, has mid-brown skin and dark hair and eyes. He has a small neatly trimmed beard, smiles when he is relaxed.He is of ordinary height, whatever that is and almost always where a broad-brimmed hat and dark green and brown clothes.

Leisa is fair and blond and often wear blue along with natural linen coloured clothing. He eyes are a fairly nondescript grey. She is not particularly tall.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about them. How do you manage romance in your writing? Front and centre? Hidden away in the back? Hate it entirely?

P.S. This post is late because I went sailing this morning. And because I didn’t write it ahead of time. Anyway, as I was saying, I got  to sail a boat, a catamaran to be exact. After drifting around in the bay for an hour and getting nervously close to some moored boats, Dad (who was in a different cat) came back and told us we needed to pull the sheet(sail) in close. After that we actually started getting somewhere on the odd moment when there was a breeze. Remember that, if you ever are sailing into the wind, pull the sheet in.

Beautiful People – Writers edition

Well, after being away for over a week and basically spending the beginning of the year strangely, I feel a bit disoriented. Because conferences with full catering are nothing like normal life. It’s like being in another world that operates under completely different rules. Except that rain still makes you wet and it’s still hard to talk to strangers.

Because of that, I can’t come up with anything wonderful and I’m just going to do the beautiful people linkup. I have already answered some of these questions partially, so I hope you won’t mind me repeating myself.

What were your writing achievements last year?
I actually started writing.  I proved to myself that I can meet goals sometimes.

Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
Finishing my first book, which is going to involve a lot of work.

List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
Dialogue. I have a tendency to let my character ramble all over the subject. I need to work on being more concise.
Scene structure. I really don’t know much about that at all.
Simplicity. My ideas always seem to become huge and complicated in order to support a whole plot. Writing faster. Everything is going really slowly at the moment. If I want to get three books drafted this years I need to speed up.
Being more organized with my writing time.

Are you participating in any writing challenges?
I intend to do both Camp Nanowrimos and maybe even full NaNoWriMo.

What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I do have a writing partner. I haven’t actually sent her anything though. Soon I hope to be at a stage where I will want to do that.

Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year?
Yes. I have a stack of four on the floor near me and I actually am going to buy a couple.
Or are there specific books you want to read for research? 
The History of Venice is partly story research and I’m sure I’ll pick up a few more things.

Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this? 
The unnamed protagonist of my second story. I know next to nothing about her. I’ll have to start by fleshing the story idea out a bit more and figuring out what I need her to be like. Then I’ll have to be creative.

Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack? 
I will be either editing or completely rewriting. I’ll do the first edit when I type my hand written draft into the computer.

Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world? 
More books that actually teach you the truth about reality. Subtly and in fun ways of course.

What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

One book ready for beta readers and a couple more roughly drafted.

What do you all think I should try to write this year? Even give me your crazy ideas.

Beautiful Books + New Title

I noticed the Beautiful Books linkup and decided to do it. So, I have an extra post this month.


So I haven’t been doing NaNoWriMo, but I have still been writing. I’ll be talking about my story Restrained or Protected which I just renamed to: The Weaver and the Brigand.  (or possibly Spinner) This isn’t the only name I’ve come up with though. For a while it was The Maiden and the Brigand in my head, I have a document called, Her Outlaw Knight, and the exercise book I use for outlining stuff says: So Called Freedom. I really like that name. It just does not fit. 
(Edited much later: This book is now called Girl of Rumour.)
1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
It’s becoming more complicated than I expected, but also deeper. I had an idea this week that adds a whole new layer to it. That’s why I changed the name.

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
I really don’t have one. I’ve written many and at the moment I don’t like any of them. Most of the have something about a knight or prince in them though.

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I plan, but not in great detail. When I’ve made changes, I might make a note, but I won’t go and re-outline it.

4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
Last month I bought myself Captivated, by Molly Evangeline. Next time I meet a goal, I’ll have to come up with something else.

5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
I want them to be somewhat distinctive, yet simple. Most of my names have an anglo-germanic feel to them.

6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why? 
The beginning is hard to get right. Lot’s of interesting things things happen in the middle and I’m just at the beginning of the end. Which is fun, but i don’t really know quite where I’m going.

7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
Right now it’s actually Adel, my protagonist. I was a bit surprised to realized that. Especially as every time I do a personality test with her, I get a different result. And when I think about it I’m not sure what makes her cool.

8. What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
I’m just starting to research Roman-Britain. I suddenly thought that would be a good flavour to add in. I’ve got some books set there I’m planning to read. Weirdest things I research was about knocking people out and making sleeping potions.

9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
Racing someone else can help me but I usually write alone. At the moment I’m keeping it to myself. It’s not quite at a stage I can share it.

10. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
I don’t really have any particular habits. Sometimes I listen to music. I really don’t know what time I write best. I write in all kinds of places. Either of my desks, sitting on the lounge, at the bench, outside. I’ve even ended up writing at the library and in the mall. That has worked well. None of the wrong kinds of distractions there. Well at the library I had a bag full of books and did get a bit distracted.
So that’s what’s happening with my writing. I’m having fun. I’m not stuck at the moment, but I’m rather busy and can’t get a lot done. At’s it’s probably terrible, but I don’t care, I can fix it later.
Over and out.

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