Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y for Yoda

I refused to post today until I'd caught up with all the comments from my last few posts and returned the blog visits. I really hope I didn't miss anyone. If so, my apologies, it is not, nor ever will be, intentional. Thank you so much for always stopping by here even when I may be late getting to yours.

Now, back to A-Z and the next to the last day when it's all over. In honor of the letter Y :

We are so very fortunate to have a very special guest stop by for some wise tips on writing fiction and embracing our creativity. This is a real treat, so without further ado, take it away Master Yoda ....

Yes, thank you I do. Fellow writers, help you I can. You must unlearn what you have learned if becoming one with the Creative Force is what you wish. Shed the ways of the English teachers around the world. Find your own voice, you must. Let not the purple prose get hold of you. You must learn control! A Jedi writer's strength flows from the Creative Force. But beware of the inner and outer critics, the dark side of the force are they. Anger, fear, aggression--easily they flow. If once you start down that dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will. If it is questions you have on your own ability, you must step back. When you are calm, at peace, passive, then embrace the Creative Force you will. Do not submit to the flaws of some Jedi writers, too sure of themselves they are. Even the older, more experienced ones. A Jedi writer uses the Creative Force for knowledge and enlightenment only. Clear your mind must be, if you are to become one with the Creative Force. 

And as always, try not. Do or do not. There is no try.

Wow, thanks Master Yoda! I'm truly honored you stopped by here during the Blogging A-Z fun. What a guy!

How about you, my lovely readers? Anything to add to our great teacher's advice? Do you also have a soft spot for little green guys spewing wisdom? Share, you must ...

Friday, April 27, 2012

X for X-Men

So way back when I was in my early 20s and waiting tables in a Mexican restaurant, I had this friend Mike. Mike was a lot of fun to work with and we were always joking around, and it was strictly platonic (since he batted for the other team) so there was no fraternizing going on.

Anyway, I mention Mike because he introduced me to the X-Men comics. This was way before the films came out and I hadn't heard of X-Men at all. Well, Mike knew everything about the Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, and he enlightened me. We would hang out in  the side stations looking at comics and I was getting the low down on all of them--while we were supposed to be waiting tables, mind you. LOL... customers can wait. ;)

So in honor of my old friend Mike, and the letter X, I give you my fave character from the X-Men:

STORM! yep, she's just way cool. If I could conjure up some powers, I think having the weather at my beckon call would be pretty darn awesome. Descended from a long line of African witch-priestesses with white hair and blue eyes, Storm was originally born in Harlem, NY as Ororo. She was orphaned after moving to Cairo when a plane hit her home and killed her parents. She grew up on the streets and lived as a thief before Professor X (aka Charles Xavier found her.) Strong and serene, Storm learns to control her ability to manipulate the weather, and because there is a negative to every positive, if she doesn't control it just the right way, she can throw off the natural balance of the earth.

She can control the temperature of the environment, all forms of rain, humidity and moisture, lightning and other electromagnetic phenomona. She can also conjure up tornadoes, thunderstorms, blizzards, and hurricanes, even mist

As far as super powers go, I'm imagining that by controlling the weather, you'd feel pretty goddess-like. 

How about you? Who's your fave from X-Men? Please share....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W for Wicked Witch of the West

This is it, the homestretch of blogging A-Z and I admit I'm just a little relieved to have one less "duty" to fill. With summer fast approaching, my personal time is slowly epping away as the kids only have a few more weeks of school. *sheds a few tears* But as always, I've loved making new friends this month, and sharing new thoughts with old ones.

Thanks so much for making this month rock!

Now, in honor of W day, I give you my fave fictional character pick:

Boy oh boy, this lady had me shaking in my footed pajamas when I was a kid. She was the pure essence of evil, complete with bloodcurdling cackle. When I was a child, every year The Wizard of Oz would come on prime time TV as a special, and it'd take like four hours it seemed like ... with all those commercial breaks filtered through ... just about every year I fell asleep before it got to the end. lol

But also every year I'd be traumatized for nights thinking this lady was going to pop out of my closet and point her nasty finger at me. I was very young, mind you, and the older I got the less creepy she seemed and the more I admired the actual creation of the Wicked Witch of the West and marveled at Margaret Hamilton's ability to embody her wickedness onscreen.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written by L. Frank Baum, and although I've never read the novel, I have to appreciate the classic plotline come to life through fantastical world building, and the Wicked Witch of the West will forever be an iconic image of all things horrible.

Any thoughts on the WWW? Did she scare you as a child? Did you like the book better than the 1930s film? Did the part where the lion sang the song King of the Forest make you wanna vomit? Yep, me too. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Vader

Yes, how could I resist. In honor of V day, my fave fictional character has to be:

Vader, Mr. Darth

What is thy bidding, my master? Wow, how many lines do we have from him that we use regularly? I'm sure by this point most of the world is Star Wars-ed out, but really, if we delve into the character of Darth Vader, there is quite a complex history there.

I know I don't need to tell you what it is, because you know it well, but here are  few highlights that make him a fave:

*Highly intelligent
*Loyal, even tho it's to the bad guy
*Determined to a point of being convinced
*Skilled in the ways of the Jedi
*Part machine
*Obi Wan's protege
*Inhuman strength
*Streak of goodness

And boy oh boy it took his only son to drag that streak of goodness out of him. Was it Luke's jedi mind trick, or great strength that turned Vader away from the dark side? Nope. It was Luke's belief that his father could be good again, that he was worth it. Isn't that what we all need from time to time? Someone to believe in us?

*sigh* Cinematic history right there... so glad I was part of the original three in the theatre and saw it for the first time on the big screen.

Props to James Earl Jones for giving Vader a powerful voice we can never forget. I love to hear that man talk.

Check out this uber cool story of Mark Hamill paying a visit to fellow blogger and writer, Leslie Rose's, fifth grade class.

Any thoughts on Vader? Or is there another V character you love? Do you like it when bad guys turn good? Please share ...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Umbridge

Howdy, folks! Happy U Day. And continuing my fave fictional characters A-Z, today is a character we can all love to hate.

U is for:
Umbridge, Professor Dolores

Oh what a hateful character, and positively genius! That plastic looking face stretched taut with thin menacing lips ... deceitfully dressed in delicate pinks ... annoyingly obsessed with pictures and baubles of kittens and cats ... perfectly swept coiffure .... and the self-appointed ambassador to all things proper.

Dolores Umbridge is flat out evil. A wolf in sheep's clothing. The kind of teacher every kid hates, but are terrified of. The twist is that Umbridge thinks she's doing good and standing up for what's right. These are just the kind of people that there is no remedy for, that cannot be broken nor enlightened because they are convinced they are always right and the only way is their way.

UGH! Makes my skin crawl! And any character that can do that is designed perfectly. Characters that elicit reactions whether good or bad, are doing their job.

Tell me, do you have a Dolores Umbridge in your life? I sure do.

Thanks so much for stopping by here on the home stretch of Blogging A-Z! How do you feel about Dolores Umbridge? Or is there another character you can think of that gets a rise out of you? Please share ...

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Triple ...

Happy Monday! And welcome or welcome back to my A-Z theme of favorite fictional characters. Today is a triple delight!

T is for :

Triple Tristans! Le sigh ...

The first Tristan to capture my heat was Tristan Ludlow from Legends of the Fall. *sighs hopelessly* Played by Brad Pitt back in the 1990s, he had every woman in the world swooning over this character. Rugged good looks, an unbreakable brotherly love, tough with just a dash of sensitivity, and a bit of a horse whisperer to boot. Tristan Ludlow will forever have my heart. ;)

Tristan of Aragon from the legend of Tristan and Isolde. In the recent film, he was played by James Franco and he pretty much sealed the deal for me. The legend and the film differ quite a bit, but in both,Tristan is a devoted knight and skilled fighter. Loyal to the end. His love for Isolde is the only thing that makes him falter. But oh dear, those smoldering gazes of desire can make a lady melt into butter.

And last but not least, Tristan Thorn from Stardust. Starting out as a bit of a wimpy bloke in love with a girl who hardly notices him, he eventually grows into such a hottie, the same girl can hardly catch her breath when she next sees him. Played by Charlie Cox in the film, and who did a smashing good job IMO, he made the character of Tristan irresistible. The book by Neil Gaiman is quite a bit different than the film, and I happen to prefer the film version, but still, props to Mr. Gaiman for creating such a swoon-worthy male character.

There you have it. And ladies, you're welcome. lol

See you tomorrow for letter U. And tell me, do any one of  these triple Tristans do it for you? Or, guys, can you find any qualities in these male characters you think are helpful in crafting your own? As writers we get to play the god of our stories and I always find it helpful to know what the opposite sex looks for in swoon-worthy characters. How about you? Please share ....   

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for ...

So it seems Blogger has a new design for posting. It'll take some getting used to, that's for sure. Happy Saturday! And how appropriate that S day falls on Saturday. Ah, it's the little things!

In keeping with my fave fictional characters A-Z theme, today I share with you one of my fave  characters beginning with the letter S:

Sawyer from the TV series Lost

Now, before you jump to conclusions that this is some superficial post on how hot he is and all that, let me explain why his character resonates with me. Yes, I admit, it doesn't hurt that he's rather easy on the eyes, but it's the way his character was developed that had women around the world swooning for him.

Well, being the analyzer that I am when it comes to what make characters and stories work, I came up with a few conclusions as to why Sawyer was such a hit, aside from his obvious physical attributes.

I only just watched the series last year on the DVD sets, so I really got to follow all the characters' arcs closely, and I found myself more interested in Sawyer (AKA James Ford) than anyone else. And after a little research online, I learned that he was pretty much everyone's fave character on Lost. Interesting.

Put the actor Josh Holloway in a romantic Fabio-type story where he's a valiant horseman waging war to save his love and ... YAWN. Boring stuff. BUT! Put him in the role of Sawyer ... a sleazeball who watched his parents die when he was a child, has spent his life conning people for a living, speaks with an unpolished Southern American twang, sports a cocky red-neck air about him, doesn't look out for nobody but himself, knows how to defend himself 'cause that's all he's really got anyway ... and you've got the makings of an interesting character.

When Lost started out, Sawyer was someone we loved to hate. He clashed with everyone and made his own rules. Right away, interesting. We had low expectations of him because he was such a lowlife anyway. But continue to put that lowlife in situations where he had to grow and make difficult choices, and watch his arc start to develop over time, and you've hooked your audience. Each little glimpse we got into the guy Sawyer could be if he wanted to, we believed there was hope. Make him stumble, and the hope is dashed, but we still keep following along on the edge of our seats because we now know there's that sliver of a good guy inside ... and we want him to nourish it and blossom.

Besides that, the fact that Sawyer was a sleazeball con-man who loved to read was just genius. He always had a book in his hands and would often spout out lines from classic novels which was so far off what his character's stereotype would've been. But that's why it was so great! That's what we should strive for with our own characters--those little quirks that just bring them to life. And, well, if they just happen to be good looking ... I'm not complaining. ;)

How about you? Any thoughts on Sawyer or Lost? Or did you have a fave character from the series? Maybe you don't agree with my thoughts, and that's okay, I love a good debate! Please share ...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ooops ... Late for Q ...On Time for R

Whoa, this is turning out to a mega busy week for me, and I'm just a hair behind ... um no, not harry behind ... sheesh. ;)

So I'm way late for my Q post and I'll start with that, then conclude with R. In keeping with my fave fictional character theme, I give you :

Q is for ...

Recognize this guy? Maybe the next picture will jar your memory ...

YES! Quint from Jaws. Of course the character originated with Peter Benchley's novel, but Robert Shaw really brought him to life onscreen. Quint was the Irish-blooded sea captain of the fishing boat, Orca, who was well known around Amity harbor for his sharking skills. Rough around the ages and tougher than nails. He weren't scared of any shark, no matter how big. After all, a fisherman had a job to do, and he had to eat.

My fave line from the film is from Quint: "I'll find him for 3, but I'll catch him and kill him for 10."

Plus, his monologue towards the end when he reveals his history on the USS Indianapolis is just brilliant. Here it is if you're interested:

Moving on ... (Yes, I know I'm a little early... Shhhh...)


Recognize this character?

It's the Reverend Werewolf from Stephen King's Silver Bullet. Boy did I ever love this film when I was a kid. I never actually read this book, which was titled The Cycle of the werewolf, but this character at the time in the 1980s when it came out really pushed the envelope. A reverend who turned into a werewolf?? Yeah, I was all kinds of bewildered and bemused at the same time.

And another R character I just love:

Rose Nylund from the 1980s TV sitcom Golden Girls. The sweet old air head that lived with the smartass, the slut, and the old bitty. lol Man, do I love some Golden Girls. I was watching that show in high school when it was on prime time while other girls were watching Beverly Hills 90210. Rose, played by Betty White, was such a character! Her St. Olaf jokes will go down in history forever.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'll be playing catch up all weekend checking out your blogs.

Any  thoughts on these characters? Or do you have a Q or R character to share?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for ...

Hi there! Welcome or welcome back to my Blogging A-Z theme for the month: Fave Fictional Characters.
Today is letter P:
Priest,  AKA Abbe Farria from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Why? Because he's the pithy mentor and I just have a soft spot for wise old teachers. Every hero needs one, and sometimes they come in the least likeliest of ways--mainly I think that's because all the good ones are already taken. lol. Seriously, the classic stories have used up all the images of wise mentors, so now it's up to us writers to think outside the box and create new ones.

But back to the Priest from Count of Monte Cristo--he was just the epitome of the role. So much to teach, and whom without, Edmond Dantes would have never succeeded as he did. The Priest held the treasure map, that much is true... and without knowing the priest, Edmond would've never had access to the trove of treasure buried away on some unknown island. BUT! The real treasure was in the knowledge the Priest passed on to him.

Now the book is a classic through and through, and one of my faves. There's also more than one film version, but I just adore any performance by Richard Harris, and him as the Priest was pure perfection.

The best part of the story (and film) is when the Priest is teaching Edmond in the cell. Here are a few lines that resonate:

PRIEST: In return of your help, I offer you something priceless.
EDMOND: My freedom?
PRIEST: No, freedom can be taken away, as you well know. I offer you my knowledge.

The Count of Monte Cristo is a story masterpiece, IMO

And as a bonus for P day, another fave character:

That's a whole lotta pig to love right there! And I do, I just love Piggy! She's my hero. ;)

How about you? Have a fave P character to share? Or any thoughts on my picks? I love to hear from you! Share anything you like ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for ...

 ORC !

Man-shaped, roughly man-sized, ugly and filthy. Dull, corrupt beings who only know how to destroy, not create. When I read Lord of the Rings, I imagined orcs looking a little different than how they were portrayed in Peter Jackson's movies. For me, they had pig snouts and demon eyes, peeling flesh. That's not too far off, I guess. And seriously, who could deny the creepy coolness of the make-up and costumes in the films. WETA did an amazing job at bringing these fantastical creatures to life ... so much so I'm still not ready to let my seven year old watch the films.

Have you ever watched any of the making of LOTR trilogy from the DVD sets? It's really fascinating. I salute Peter Jackson through and through for the masterpiece genius of the LOTR film versions. I saw every movie in the theatre twice and own the extended version DVDs. And ... okay this is kind of embarrassing because it shows what a geek I am, but I have a closet full of LOTR action figures, including a couple of orcs. lol Once I get my office remodeled, they shall be mounted on the walls in crowning glory. Yes, I know I have a great sickness and may need some counseling. Matter of fact, I'm happy to accept my bathrobe and slippers and medicine cup in exchange for my freedom and take up residence in the local asylum. As long as they have books and movies and I can write .. oh and my family can visit.

And I promise not to let this happen:

Hee hee. Thanks for stopping by! The discussion from yesterday's Dynamite Debate was interesting. If you missed it, check it out here, and weigh in with your two cents.  

Can you believe we're halfway through the month? How about those orcs? Are you a die hard LOTR fan like me? Are you elated for The Hobbit coming out in December?? Or do you have an O character to share? Inquiring minds want to know....


Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Napoleon


Is this a character, or what??

Jon Heder as Napoleon Dynamite is just like a whiff of bad breath that makes you turn your nose up and wonder who the heck stinks so bad? What's so great about that, you ask?? Well, maybe becuase you know it's not your breath, that's what. You take comfort that you're in the clear, because somebody's got it worse. Oh, but what if it IS your breath? Oh well, now you know, so get that mouthwash and toothbrush ready and get to work.

All that is me trying to say, why do we love characters like this? And why do we root for them when they're so awkward and unlikable? Because, either we see a tiny sliver of ourselves in them, or because we recognize the fact that no matter who we are, life can always be worse. Or maybe it's just because everyone loves an underdog. And Napoleon Dynamite is the ultimate underdog.

If you've seen the movie, you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it, get it, watch it, love it. It's become my pacifier movie when life sometimes brings me down. I plop it in the player and veg, and every single time, I walk away feeling better. Try it sometime.

I leave you with a climactic clip from the movie to start your Monday and week right. (If you haven't seen the movie and plan to, don't watch this clip, just watch the whole movie.)

Thanks so much for stopping by here! Enjoy your day!

Any thoughts on Napoleon Dynamite? Did you love or hate the movie? It's a generational thing, I think. My parents hated it. How about you?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for ...

Multiple favorites! So many great M characters, I couldn't limit it to just one or two. So here are multiple characters beginning with M for my monthly theme:

Matilda Wormwood from the children's book Matilda. Coming from the worst parents in kid-dom, she shouldn't have a lot of ambition, but her brilliant mind craves knowledge and her sweet little heart needs a love her parents just can't give. I love how Matilda turns the tables and shows her rotten family a thing or two, while never ever losing her cool. I'm willing to bet that JK Rowling took quite a bit of inspiration from this story when creating the Harry Potter series.

Megan from the film comedy Bridesmaids. Oh boy, what a riot she was! Have you seen this film? It is such a trip, and Melissa McCarthy who played Megan is just smashing. Okay, so she's a bit off color and a tad embarrassing, but I just love the fact she's confident and doesn't give a flip what anyone else thinks.

 Minnie from The Help. Love her. Full of vigor and vin, and rightfully so. Her life's been anything but easy with a husband who beats her and five children to feed, as well as having to work for pennies for snooty white women. I love her no-nonsense attitude, and can totally relate to a character who's flat out had enough.

Melanie Hamilton from Gone with the Wind. Yes she is quiet and calm and sweet, but she's also effectively clever. In complete contrast to the feisty Scarlet O'Hara, Melanie is the balance and voice of reason that keeps Scarlet grounded. Even though Scarlet hates her because she's married to Ashley Wilkes, Melanie never lets it affect their sisterly bond, even though they're not really sisters. Melanie's the only one who knows how to handle Scarlet, and she does it with grace and delicacy.

 Maximus from Gladiator. Oh yes! And not just because he's a hunk in armor. Maximus is the quintessential tragic hero. Strong, brave, noble, loyal. As general to the Caesar's soldiers, he knows how to lead and fight, but all he really wants is to get back home to his wife and son and live a quiet life. Instead, he's thrust into a series of snafus that finds him as a slave fighting for his life as a gladiator. Maximus is everything that is good and honorable, everything that the new Caesar is not, and as needed in all epic tales, good always overcomes evil even if the hero dies.

McFly, Mr. George. Crispin Glover mastered this quirky character, and breathed new life into the label of nerd. From the 1980s Back to the Future trilogy, the young George McFly was an awkward sci-fi geek and the target of Biff Tanin's bullying. But when it came down to the nitty-gritty, George McFly had what it took to stand up for himself and for the girl he admired. What can I say, it was his density .... er, um destiny. :)

Hey, how about a story with all these characters together? Now, that would be an interesting ensemble. There you go... inspiration for your next WIP. ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you have an excellent weekend! See you back here on Monday for more fave characters A-Z. Do you have a fave M character? Any thoughts on these here? Please share ....

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for ...

In honor of Friday the 13th (what some consider the unluckiest day of the year,) I'm posting on my fave unluckiest L characters :

Dr. Lecter, AKA Hannibal the Cannibal

The genius of author Thomas Harris created a serial killer so complex and layered, I often found myself rooting for the bad guy. What makes him so fascinating is his diabolical, twisted ways contrasted by his refined love of art, culture, and etiquette. And what makes hims so mind-bogglingly frightening, is his profound understanding of the human psyche. As a psychiatric professional himself, he's the last person you want delving into your subconscious ... or else he could soon be dining on your liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. ;)

His unlucky life of loss and torment could turn any person into a criminal, but Thomas Harris really pushed the envelope with this guy, making Dr. Lecter one of the creepiest characters in literature, while Anthony Hopkins brought him to life on screen in a way that could never be matched.

 Lisbeth Salander AKA Girl with Dragon Tattoo

Talk about unlucky. This girl should be the poster girl. Super intelligent, spunky, tough, but oh so broken. If I was gonna set up a heist, I'd want her on my side for sure. But man, oh man, what author Steig Larrson did to her! It only showed how tough she could be, and I found myself admiring her tenacity and audacity, while feeling immensely sorry for her at the same time. The story is a bit too much for my taste these days, but I really loved Lisbeth's character. And Rooney Mara is outstanding in the film!

How about you? Any other unlucky characters you'd like to share? What do you think of these two? Please share! And thanks so much for stopping by during this busy bloghopping month! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Katniss

Yep, she's pretty much the lady of the hour, day, month .... maybe even year. But hey, how could I ignore the attraction during my month long tribute to fave characters A-Z? And having just seen the movie last week, I can honestly say I love her even more. It's really not hard to figure out why so many readers--and now film-goers--can identify and relate to Katniss Everdeen. She's devoted to her family, poor as a pauper, and tough as nails. And her skill with a bow and arrow makes every female on the planet say to themselves, "Mm-hmm, that's right ... chicks can be bad-ass!"

I got Hubby to read the book and he really liked it too, although he did mention there were too many girly-emotion moments. lol. The film met all my expectations, but if I hadn't have already known the story from the book, I'd have questioned quite a bit. Anyone else feel that way? Jennifer Lawrence owned the role of Katniss, really and truly. I mean, she WAS Katniss in my mind. She's a superstar!

How about you? Any thoughts on the Hunger Games movie, or Katniss' character? Or do you have another K character to mention? Please share! Your comments always make my day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for ...

So in case anyone wants to know, my work schedule is weekends, when I can easily blog and read other blogs and surf the net in the middle of the night. During the week when everyone else is working, I write and do the mommy/wife thing. So I may be slow blog hopping, but I make up for it on weekends.

Anyway,  today is the letter J :

And in keeping with my monthly theme of fave characters, here are two characters the world would be less interesting without:

Captain James T. Kirk and Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Two completely different leadership styles and personalities, but equally effective on the job as starship captain. What I love about James T. Kirk is his ability to manipulate his own recklessness and use it to his advantage. A brilliant mind, a true friend, and a brave and fearless leader.

As for Jean-Luc Picard, well who couldn't love that polished reserve. A true Renaissance man indeed, not afraid to stick up for what's right and for those he cherishes. Kirk is a hard act to follow, but Picard had enough of his own individuality to pull it off with flying colors.

The writers of the Star Trek TV series and films really knew how to develop these characters and keep the audience relating to them. After all, they voyaged where no one had voyaged before, and even that isn't enough to keep fans following if they can't bond with the characters.

How about you? Are you a fan of both Kirk and Picard? Who's ship would you want to be on if you were a member of Starfleet? Have another J character to share?   

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for ...

Happy I Day! This is my fave character that starts with the letter I :

Inman, W.P.

Okay, bust out the fan because even just thinking about this character gets me hot and bothered. lol
And I'm not exaggerating. *ahem* Anyway, Inman..... sigh ..... from the epic story Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, played in the film by Jude Law, who I thought simply nailed the part. A British actor doing a Southern American accent is just precious. What's so resonating for me with Inman's character, is that the entire journey takes place from his POV and he doesn't have a lot to say to people--a quiet kind of guy--but he's strong willed and determined and through all the adversity that befalls him, he has one goal: to get back to his one true love, Ada.

Call me crazy, but I like a guy who doesn't have to talk a lot. I like a guy who's confident without using words to talk about it. I totally fell in love with this tragic character, and couldn't wait for him to get back to Ada.

How about you? Any thoughts on Inman or Cold Mountain? Or do you have a fave I character to mention? (BTW I'm slow getting around to blogs this last day... please forgive me as I may be delayed, but also determined to visit anyone who comments here.)

Have a great day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for ...

And we're back! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Weather just couldn't get anymore beautiful than it is right now in Florida. Easter was just perfect!

In continuing with my fave character theme for Blogging A-Z, I give you my choice for the letter H :

Hermione Granger, of course.

So why did I choose Hermione instead of Harry? After all, Harry was the star of the show, right? I liked Harry, but what made him come alive, was the characters around him. Hermione was always the wind beneath his wings. Smart, sassy, resourceful ... yet the product of muggles, and often the butt of other kids' jokes and insults. She didn't seem to fit into either world--too magical to mesh with muggles; and no impressive lineage to support her in the wizarding world. But this made her oh so relatable, and it was so great watching her grow into a striking young lady hopelessly infatuated with Ronald Weasley. I cheered them on through the entire series, so anxious for them to finally end up together.

Hagrid is another great H character... so rough and unrefined, but strong and brave. And the contrast of his adoration for animals, to his burly image was just brilliant. And he was loyal to Dumbledore til the very end. What a fun character!

How about you? Who's your fave H character? Or what do you think of these two? Please share ...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for GUMP!

Happy Saturday, and Happy Easter weekend! We painted our eggs yesterday and all ready to go for the bunny's big day tomorrow. Spring is definitely in the air.

Thanks so much for stopping by during this busy month of never-ending blogs! My theme for the month is characters A-Z, and for today, April 7, 2012 ...

G is for ....

Gump, Mr. Forrest

Is there anyone out there who doesn't like Forrest Gump? What a character! I have to watch this movie every couple of years. Besides the uber amazing soundtrack, following along Forrest's journey is just plain heartwarming. Simple-minded, yet pure of heart, Forrest Gump was focused on one thing, one goal: Jenny. That was it. Everything else that fell his way, were simply obstacles--ones he overcame because even though he wasn't the smartest of guys, he was true to himself, and to what his mama taught him.

How do so many of us relate to a character like this, when most of us have much higher IQs? I'll tell you how--because everyone, no matter who, plays the fool at some time. We all have those moments, hours, days when we just feel stupid, or do something stupid ... and that's just part of life. No one is exempt. Watching Forrest Gump in action isn't about the audience laughing at a mentally-challenged guy--it's about seeing a small part of ourselves in someone who maybe got the short end of the stick, and cheering him on through life's obstacles.

That's what every main character should have us doing.

I leave you with a few of my Forrest Philosophies that I started writing down over the years:

1. Life is happier when we keep it simple
2. Have at least one goal in life--something to always strive for
3. No one has all the answers, so why pretend like we do?
4. Even a person with a low IQ knows the difference between right and wrong
5. The basics in life are what unite us all: love, hurt, loss, joy, friendship, hunger, thirst, procreation
6. And of course ... stupid is, as stupid does

That's all I've got so far, but maybe one day I'll have a book of them. ;)

I leave you with a clip of my fave scene from Forrest Gump:

That look on his face after the braces break away always gives me chills--it's the obstacles being overcome, the freedom from achievement ... the look of "I can do this."

Have a fabulous weekend and thanks again for adding my little blog here to your visits. Anything you want to share? I love your comments! Any thoughts on Forrest Gump, or do you have your own G character to mention?

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for ...

Hey there, blogosphere! I'd say so far this A-Z challenge is a smashing success! So many fun, creative peeps out there and it's so great meeting new ones and cherishing old ones.

In keeping with my fave character theme, I give you two fave characters that start with the letter F :

Dr. Frazier Crane

He was my fave character on the 1980s TV sitcom, Cheers, and was so popular that he got his own successful spinoff, Frazier (played by Kelsey Grammar)... the only character from Cheers who did have a successful spinoff. What did I love about Frazier? He had such a dry personality... proper, refined, polished. But what made him such a hit, is seeing him in real world situations and conflicts that made him step outside that polished persona and show his true colors. It was unexpected, out of character, and insanely funny.

I leave you with a Frazier quote from his sitcom, Frazier, where he gave psychiatric advice on the radio in Seattle:

[responding to a caller] Roger, at Cornell University they have an incredible piece of scientific equipment known as the Tunneling Electron Microscope. Now, this microscope is so powerful that by firing electrons you can actually see images of the atom, the infinitesimally minute building blocks of our universe. Roger, if I were using that microscope right now, I still wouldn't be able to locate my interest in your problem. 

LOL! Love him.

And for the kid in me, another fave character that starts with F ....

Falcor from The Neverending Story. Because who doesn't love a luck dragon? I've got a special spot in my heart for Falcor because my dog looks exactly like him:

Yep, what can I say, I'm a mini-van mom. ;)

Thanks for stopping by! Have any F characters you want to share? Or anything at all? Go for it! I love reading your comments! :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for

Anyone else having trouble keeping up with blogs? 'Cause uh, I'm not or anything like that, I was just uh ... wondering if you were. I'm cool, though ... I've got this thing in the bag. :/

Here we are at letter E

Some fave characters that begin with E:

Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice. Anyone out there not love Elizabeth Bennett? She must be the best female main character ever in literature. So complex, and smart, yet playful and poised at the same time. A free thinker, like moi, so Lizzy and I got along just fine as I read P&P. My copy of P&P is a small paperback that is so old the cover is gray and worn, and the price on the front cover says 25 cents. It was my mom's when she was a girl, and this book is probably my most cherished of all my books.

And for my next fave E character:

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon! Who is your fave E character? Are you keeping up with the A-Z blogging? Please share ... 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for ...

Alright, letter D and the fourth letter in the alphabet and fourth day of the month, so as it happens, I have four awesome characters that start with the letter  D.

1. Dumbledore, Mr. Albus Percival Wolfric.

Who can resist a wise old wizard? I know I can't. He was definitely one of my fave HP characters. I'm always a sucker for a pithy mentor, and I loved that Dumbledore often spoke in riddles and never felt it necessary to explain himself. I adored how sometimes he'd rise and announce he wanted to say a few words, then rattle off a few words that were just fun to say, like bumblebee, shenanigan, or bamboozle.

I cried when he died in the books. But I have to say, after seeing him played by the late (and uber awesome) Richard Harris in the first two movies, I just couldn't bond with him the same way in the remaining six films. Michael Gambon just didn't cut it for me after seeing Richard Harris own the role.

2. Mr. Darcy

Okay, many actors have played Mr. Darcy, and I'm not sure if any of the films ever got the story just right, but as for the brilliant story of Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, I have to say Mr. Darcy is one of the classiest, most irresistible love interests ever. Cold and aloof at first, but only before the thick layers to this tender-hearted, only-has-eyes-for-one-girl kind of guy, have been picked away. Mr. Darcy represents what every woman swoons over: a shell that must be broken. We should all take notes from Ms. Austen's genius.

3. Dracula

Oh yes! Best villain ever! A villain I rooted for at some points. The film by Francis For Coppola is quite different than the book, and in some ways, better IMO. The romantic thread throughout the film sucked  me in and of course, being played by a genius actor like Gary Oldman, I was hooked. As for the book by Bram Stoker, it's one of my fave all time classics. A character like Dracula is not something many can brush aside. The many layers that make him unforgettable is why he's lasted throughout the years as an icon of sorts. A tragic being without a soul. Bram Stoker used ancient myths and legends to create a character that spawned almost an entire genre of fiction, and wow.. can you imagine a world with no Dracula, or one where vampires didn't exist?

4. Diane Chambers

From the 1980s TV sitcom, Cheers. Yeah, I know I'm showing my age here, but I grew up on shows like Cheers and the caliber of comedy today just isn't the same, and I wonder if it ever will be again. But why Diane? What a character! Played by Shelley Long, she was smart as a whip, and proper to a point of nausea. lol Modest, yet weak by her decadent streak of lust for the scoundrel of a bartender, Sam Malone. She had some amazing lines and paired with her complete opposite, Sam, their dialogue just crackled. Diane gave smart women everywhere a voice.

Thanks for stopping by here! I love reading your comments!

Do you have a fave D character? What do you think of these? And how's your A-Z blog hopping going? Please share...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for ...

Welcome back, or if it's your first time dropping by here, WELCOME! My blogging A-Z theme this month is favorite characters.

So for letter C:

Chris in the Morning, the silver-tongued, mellow-styled, full of witty charm dee-jay in Cicely, Alaska (population 800) from the early 90s TV show, Northern Exposure. Oh boy did I have a crush on him back then. Everyone loved Chris in the Morning.

Chris was an ex-con who grew up to an alcoholic dad who was never around. He definitely had some skeletons in his closet, but what I loved about him, is that he didn't let it define him. He was okay with it, and used it to deepen his own soul, as well as his understanding of mankind. I loved hearing him give advice to the citizens of Cicely. He just had this really great way of seeing the world, and respecting everyone and everything for who they are. Okay, he was a hippie, basically. LOL

But here's a quote from Chris:
"There's a dark side to each and every human soul. We wish we were Obi-Wan Kenobi, and for the most part we are, but there's a little Darth Vader in all of us. Thing is, this ain't no either-or proposition. We're talking about dialectics, the good and the bad merging into us. You can run but you can't hide. My experience? Face the darkness. Stare it down. Own it. As brother Nietzsche said, being human is a complicated gig. So give that ol' dark night of the soul a hug. Howl the eternal yes!"

And as a bonus for today's letter, I wanted to include another fave:
Chip Douglas from the 1996 film, The Cable Guy. 

This has always been a fave movie of mine, and I adore Chip's character. Yes, the film is dark and the humor is considered black comedy, and maybe that's what I like about it, but Chip's character is so demented, it's like a train wreck... you just can't look away. Masterfully played by Jim Carrey, Chip comes complete with multiple quirks and a lisp, as well as some of the best movie lines ever (that I still use to this day.) He defintely has his layers, and if you want to know why his character is so wacky ... well, there's a backstory there, but it's much more fun if you watch the film. Chip is far too under-appreciated in my opinion. 

I'll leave you with the trailer if you're interested:

SO the theme for these two C characters today, is their rich and developed backstories that make  them who they are. One became a better person for it, the other ... well, he needed severe counseling. lol

How about you? Do you give your characters fully-realized backstories? How about plenty of quirks? Ever written a really quirky character before? And what do you think of these two guys Chris and Chip?

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Becky

Day 2 of Blogging A-Z and I'm continuing my theme on favorite characters.

And for B:

Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair by William Thackeray.

When I first read Vanity Fair in my early twenties I was on a mission to read as many classics as I could and wasn't expecting to fall in love with this story. I was hooked. Now, I know Beck Sharp is not exactly one of those characters we're supposed to admire --she was not exactly sympathetic at times. But I found her to be smart and misunderstood.

I really found myself rooting for her and hoping she'd get her life figured out. And she was a fun girl to journey through the story with. She's a perfect example of how writers don't have to create "nice" protagonists for readers to connect and enjoy reading about. Matter of fact, the more conflicted, yet determined, the better!

Thanks for stopping by! I love making new friends! Do you have a fave character that starts with a B? Or just someone you'd like to mention? Please share ....

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 1 A-Z

We made it! And I've got great news!!! I still don't have an agent or publisher!! Woo-hoo!! That means I still make my own deadlines and write whatever I want!  :/

Um, yeah ... April Fool's. That's my feeble attempt of dragging out the silver lining.

But hey today's day one of Blogging A-Z and my theme for the month is favorite characters from A-Z.

Today's choice for letter A:

Appropriately enough, this is also my all time favorite character. Adam from the 1990s TV series Northern Exposure. The writers who dreamed up this guy were pure geniuses. Let me give you a brief bio:

Adam is well traveled, well-read, familiar with all the finer cultural customs, and is a gourmet chef. He's studied all over the world, speaks fluent Cantonese, and makes the best dishes anyone in Cicely, Alaska, among other parts of the world, has tasted. Sounds like a winner, right?

Well, now let's talk about his flaw. Adam is rude, brash, stubborn, discourteous, un-hygienic, and sequesters himself out in the wilderness of Alaska to live like a slob. Mind you, he still takes the time to travel and visit the finer cities of the world where he's well known for his gourmet dishes. But his preference, is the boonies, away from society because, in short, he hates people. (And after working in customer service for fifteen years, I can sometimes totally relate.)

His attention to detail with his cooking is in direct contrast to every other area of his life. Multi-layers.

Each time Adam would show up on an episode of Northern Exposure was a treat. He was brilliantly played by Alan Arkin. Watching Adam in action makes me wonder just how creative I can get when crafting my own characters. I'm not sure reading about him would ever do his character the same justice as having him to come to life on screen, but he's definitely an inspiration.

I leave you with a quick two-minute clip of Adam in action. If you've never seen him, you should really have a peek. Totally worth it.

That's it for me! Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you'll be back to see my remaining selections of characters. I promise to keep them short!

How about you? Any favorite characters starting with the letter A? Did you know Adam from Northern Exposure, or anyone like him in real life? What're your thoughts on him?