Saturday, December 10, 2011
Exercise Two: Character
Hello, Fearless Readers. First, let's take a moment to thank the Goddamn Batman for that public service announcement. Today is day two. Day two of what, you ask? Treatments? The second day of the three the kidnappers gave you? What is this day two business? Let me explain. I am conducting le Grande Experiment: the 12 days of simple writing exercises detailed in that there link. The exercise is: Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for.
This is tricky. I could have reached into my past for the 'someone I don't care for', since this is going out into the stratosphere. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Or get my ass kicked. But instead, I chose a celebrity I don't like. And one I think I could take.
Suzanne is around thirty, and to look at her, you'd expect to find her draped in furs and jewels, sipping champagne on someone's yacht. From long black hair that floats down to her waist, the popular bee-stung lips the perfect shade of red that the Hollywood set pays for, and almond shaped blue eyes fringed in black lashes. Everyone who knew and loved her would say it all goes to waste. The ebony hair is usually wound up under a hoodie, and the hour glass figure is swaddled under loose sweat pants. She doesn't have any furs or jewels, and if she did, they wouldn't be much use while cutting down trees, making them into firewood (the only thing she has to heat her home) or feeding them into the chipper. And it's usually beer on Friday nights, not champagne. Those women in the magazines are paid to be sickly and sexy, and Suzanne wouldn't fit in with that, either. She likes to cook, to eat what she cooks; she likes to laugh and she likes to make other people laugh. Sometimes, that laughter hides a lot of pain. And despite the laughter, she sometimes has trouble looking on the bright side of things. In the better times, the glass is half full, but in the dark times, the glass is half empty, and she's only too aware of the frailty of what remains in the glass.