Adding An Alien To The Story

From a very young age, I have been fascinated by owls. I love owls, as do many other people I meet. According to psychologists, these birds are sympathetic to us for having an ‘almost human face.’ Let’s see if they’re right:

Both pics were courtesy of http://www.google.com

And this isn’t a hint that Johnny Depp looks like an owl. I just picked someone most of us know. Two eyes, a nose, and a mustache. Compared to other birds owls have both eyes on the front of their head instead of the side. But this isn’t the subject of this blog post.

As I said, I’m fascinated by owls. There are many mysterious facts about them:

  • An owls’ eyes are immobile; they cannot ‘roll their eyes’ or move the eyeballs. They can focus on pray. But then, they can turn their heads about 270 degrees.
  • Their ears are asymmetric; one ear sits higher on the head than the other. Since they have excellent hearing, this way they can hear sound in different dimensions.
  • Lager owls eat small ones. And an owl can eat up to 1,000 mice a year. They swallow them entirely: tail, fur, feet – everything. Later they choke up what their body can’t digest. Occasionally these pellets can be found on the ground in the woods.
  • The smallest owl on Earth is the Elf Owl, which is 5 – 6 inches tall and weighs about 1 ½ ounces. The largest North American owl, in appearance, is the Great Gray Owl, which is up to 32 inches tall.
  • Superstitious people in certain parts of the world still believe owls are death omens. In wide parts of Europe owls have been killed by the hundreds because, in particular, farmers believed, owls are a bad sign of destruction. Until in the early 70’s these stupid people nailed owls to their sheds with their wings spread and left them to hang to die and believed this way they could protect their crop, animals, and house from disaster, accident and natural force.
  • For a very long time, owls have been a symbol of scholarliness and wisdom. It seems the origin of this habit goes back to the Ancient Greeks: In Greek mythology, a little owl (Athene noctua) traditionally represents or accompanies Athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom, or Minerva, her syncretic incarnation in Roman mythology.[1] Because of such association, the bird — often referred to as the “owl of Athena” or the “owl of Minerva” — has been used as a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, perspicacity and erudition throughout the Western world.[2][3] (Source Wikipedia)

To me, they have a trace of magic about them.

The series of books I am currently writing is classified between paranormal romance and fantasy, and there is some magic involved. For a while now I have considered adding an owl to one of the stories. But I cannot place it.

No matter how much I think and try, no matter how fascinated I am by owls, that particular owl has no room in these books. It would feel like an alien within those stories. I even considered to build a story around the owl to add it, but it doesn’t make sense at all. It seems owls are not foreseen to be in this book series.

I then thought I might write another story about an owl. But I admit, I didn’t see a plot that does not make a children’s book. At this point, I never considered writing a children’s book. So, what am I doing with my owl?

Does anyone have an idea? And did anyone of you authors out there have an idea for a character and found out that it doesn’t fit into the book you’re writing? What did you do? How did it make you feel? I’d be happy to read from you in my comments.

picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

 

Advertisements

Interview With One Of My Characters III

Hello, 

Welcome to ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. It’s wonderful to have you here.

Thank you, Aurora Jean. I really appreciate the invitation.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Of course. My name is Mairead McCarthy. I’m originally from Ireland. Currently I’m looking for Simin Arnatt. I have been searching nearly everywhere. But whenever I seem to get closer, she disappears.

I know Simin. Is it important that you’ll find her?

Yes, very much so. I do have an order for her. From what I hear she’s the best in her job.

Oh, she definitely is. But can you tell us what you need her for?

Uhm. I’m not sure I should. Not as publicly as here. However, I need to find her. Can you help me?

Sure. I will give you the phone number of her agency after the interview.

Oh, This is amazing. Thank you.

But, please, tell us more about you. Who are you and what is your occupation?

Oh… I told you, I’m originally from Ireland. I love it there. My home is magical in many ways. As for what I do: I’m a jewelry designer.

I see. And that’s all you do? I mean, you don’t hide anything from us? 

(laughs musically). Of course I’m hiding something from you, what do you think? But don’t expect me to blurt it out here in public, I doubt that would be very smart. In particular not, since I need Simin’s help.

Of course. By the way: I’m very intrigued by your name. Does it have a meaning?

Yes. Mairead is the Irish version of Margareth and means ‘pearl’.

Hence, the jewelry designer.

Well, I figured I wanted something to do that fits me. Designing is a passion of mine. For quite a while I used to make my own clothes. But then: everyone is a fashion designer, obviously, even if they haven’t studied design or gotten the right education. You simply have to be some TV starlet and you’re an ‘expert’. That’s mainly why I decided to do something a bit different.

I studied gemology and mineralogy and closed with a degree in design.

Do you design for big houses, like ‘Cartier’ for example? 

No, sorry. I run my own business and it’s quite successful. It’s tiny but exclusive and I’m making quite a good living.

This is wonderful to hear. I am as well fascinated by your look. The strawberry blonde hair and the green eyes. 

It’s genetic. My mother looks just like me and so do my baby-sisters.

I’m sorry for interrupting. But I’m a bit eager to get Simin on the phone. Can we end this? It’s wonderful that I can be here. But I’m a bit impatient. I was looking for her for quite some time now.

I understand. But may I ask you something before we quit?

Sure, go ahead. What do you want to know?

Are you a creature of light or darkness, normal or supernatural, with or without wings and are you single?

(laughs) I’m definitely a supernatural creature of light. As for the wings: occasionally I have them. As for my marital status: I wonder why you want to know that, but let’s say: being one of ‘us’ means it is quite difficult to be in a relationship. Does that help?

Yes, it does. Thank you very much.

It was my pleasure. Thank you for having me.


Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

 

Characters and what or who inspires them – by Aurora Jean Alexander…

Today, our furry friend, The Story Reading Ape, published one of my gest posts. I’m very honored and flattered. Thank you so much for publishing it on your blog, Chris! ❤

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

When I start developing a character sometimes, I construct the person in my head; then I start writing down how she/he is going to be. First the ‘shell,’ then the inside. I very rarely ‘use’ someone I already know… someone I have met or is familiar to me.

It’s more that sometimes I recognize later, after the first draft, when I’m typing the book into the computer, that I find similarities with people I know.

This one time it’s a bit different.

A couple of months back I met a new co-worker of mine. She’s simply beautiful with her shiny black hair, blue ocean deep eyes, and her open, symmetrical heart-shaped face.

We talked about her descants and found out; she’s Irish. After talking to her and listening to her wonderful Irish accent, I decided I would love to use her as one of my main characters in one of…

View original post 302 more words

Happy Mother’s Day 2018

How Wonderful! Once again we all celebrate our Moms! ALL Moms!

Young Moms, older Moms, Grandmas, Mommys and every level of Mom in between.

Moms are a unique species. Heartwarming, caring, protective, selfless, supportive, nursing, sometimes hard to understand species!

Thank you Moms!!

Moms of human and other kids! YOU ROCK!!

Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Character Names – Worth A Research?


Lately, I met an Irish woman whose first name I simply love: Mairead. She told me it’s the Irish version of the name Margaret. I was fascinated. Margaret is a great name, but to my ear, Mairead sounds mysterious and a bit magic.

After a little bit of research, I found out that it’s believed the meaning of the name is ‘pearl.’ I’m convinced in one of my books a character called Mariead will show up.

That coincidence is one of the very few occasions so far that I met a person whose name I plan to use in one of my books.

Most of the time I have a ‘rough plan’ about a particular new character in my head already. Before the ‘fine tuning’ I most of the time need a name. In my head, I can only imagine a character as a person if he or she has a name.

XY is often in a fit of violent temper.
XY is well trained in controlling himself and playing a peaceful and prudent man.
XY occasionally twirls his beard when…

and so on. These things don’t work for me if I cannot address the person properly.

Erik is often in a fit of violent temper.
Wilbur Carstairs is well trained in controlling himself and playing a peaceful and prudent man.
Grandpa Ben occasionally twirls his beard when…

That’s much better. My head has a picture of Erik, Wilbur and Grandpa Ben now.

____________________________________________

Imagine now I created a beautiful Irish woman with light skin, black hair and bright blue eyes. She’s filigree, but no matter how tender she looks, her magic makes her strong. Nobody knows what powers slumber inside of her.

Before going deeper into her character, find out her flaws, build her in detail, I want to be able to think about her as a person, not merely a ‘picture’ or a ‘draft.’ I have a good basic idea of how she will be. What I need now is her name. A name that in my opinion, matches her looks as well as her character (and what I have hidden inside of her).

My research will look like this. First names on the left, last names on the right. I researched the names and the meanings.

After taking notes of the basics, I’ll leave the paper for a while and later on I’m trying to figure out what I like about the names, how they match. I keep scribbling onto the note until it looks like this. (And of course my favorite is red).

And here we go: Welcome to my book, Aideen Brady.

Do you think this is too complicated? What is your process to find your character’s names? Are names really worth such efforts? Let me hear your thoughts, please.

The Grammatically Correct Way To Commit Suicide

A bit over a week ago I chatted with a friend of mine who I was going to have dinner with the same night. We’re always having a lot of fun. The lady is as smart as a tree full of owls and I’m proud to have her as a friend. She’s a librarian and a teacher and occasionally I’m very happy she can give me some advice.

This afternoon we had following conversation, starting harmless, just as women talk sometimes:

(M=me – F=Friend)

M: “We still need to get ready.”

F: “I’m just in my work clothes.”

M: “Yeah, but you’re always chic.”

F: “Not today. Comfy. I’m wearing a moo moo. Just kidding!”

M: “In that case I’ll be overdressed.”

F: “Just wearing black pants and black shirt. I look like I’m going to a funeral.”

M: “Yes… my hope died.”

F: “LOL.”

M: “Maybe my hope hanged itself. Oops… is it hung? Wait! I’m a writer, I can do this!”

F: “Hanged is for humans.”

M: “My hope committed suicide.”

F: “Hope is being personified. So hanged is correct.”

M: “Wow. I’m proud of myself.”

F: “You had a 50/50 shot.”

M: “I should take this conversation and blog about it.”

F: “LOL”

And here it is. Let’s say, a ‘makes-no-sense-at-all’ conversation and still I learned something. I admit, sometimes life is amazing. And I’m once again realizing how grateful I am to have friends who support my writing, even in small things like this.

Thank you, my dear friend. (Does that conversation sound familiar to you?)

As for my hope: It is very much alive. If this wasn’t the case, I would not exist anymore.

Image result for hope

Akismet – Or the Secret Infiltration Of Our Blogs

A few weeks back I was going through my comments, since I had to approve a few of them, and was informed that I had something like 70 spam comments. You can see the spam file here, just when you’re in your comments:

Once again curiosity-driven I went through the spam file and scrolled through the different attempts. And I realized something: while a few months ago, these ‘cyber-impostors” were simply commenting on our blog posts, they had found out they might be more successful replying to one of the comments on our posts.

While a year ago, sales companies for mattresses, online drug stores, and internet Viagra were trying to use our blogs as a sales platform, this time I found that Russian sex sites tried the same thing.

I saw the statistics and realized that the number of spam comments was almost as high as my regular blog comments. Can you imagine if Akismet didn’t exist? We would be drowned in mattresses, bad internet Viagra and Russian whores.

 

I admit at this point I’m grateful for Akismet and WordPress protecting us from the worst. Some trigger words might make them turn a regular comment into a spam comment, but by going through our spam file regularly, we can still catch them.

Without Akismet our blogs were unreadable, and we would have to give them up.
I recommend you keep track of your spam folder to help them improve their service.

Happy blogging!

picture courtesy of http://www.twitter.com