Fun Writing Experiment

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit of a novelist.  I’ve self-published one book and have written two more.  I’m gearing up to publish the next one late this spring.  And that means I need to start working on a new one!  I’m having trouble getting a feel for the characters in my new WIP, so I turned to a couple of character profile questionnaires I’ve saved from writing blogs and forums over the years.  The problem is, those things are not always easy to fill out!  I don’t want my characters coming across as cliches or bland or unrealistic but every time I fill something in for one of the questions, that’s exactly how it feels.  I thought filling out the questionnaire for an actual person might help me get over my issues.  And then I thought filling it out for myself would be even better, and probably more fun.

So, without further ado, here’s a character profile of a real, live, human being (aka Me):

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Profile for: me!
Gender: female
Race: white
Age: 29 (almost 30)

 

Basic Description:
Hairstyle: shoulderlength; brunette usually, but went red recently; wears wavy or straight
Body: chunky; big boobs; small hands and feet; blue eyes
Physical Condition: out of shape
Marks, Scars, Tattoos: scar on left knee; fell down on a dirt road during fishing trip with father and siblings and scraped it badly
Clothing: doesn’t have extra money, so has been wearing the same clothes for several years.  tries to be cute and trendy when possible, but doesn’t usually pull it off

 

Birthplace: Buffalo, NY

 

History: born 1984; grew up in the south; middle child in family of 6 (4 siblings); often felt ignored or least-liked by siblings; community theater and cheerleading played big parts of high school; class valedictorian; majored in Criminal Justice in college, but is never going to use her degree

 

Home: one bedroom apartment above the business where she works; very basic: living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom; usually pretty messy with dishes in the sink; no dishwasher; lots of books and dvds; corner desk collecting dust with pretty framed picture of book cover, awesome Target lamps; all furniture is hand-me-downs/free except really nice Queen bed (really felt like an adult when purchased)

 

Pets: sadly no.  really wants a dog, but pets aren’t allowed in the apartment by landlord

 

Personality: depends on who with (Gemini!)
Likes:
Sunkist, pens, movies – especially Disney and Romantic Comedies, pop music, country music, cute boys of Hollywood; desserts – especially chocolate cakes, ice cream, books, karaoke, dancing (like a dork)
Dislikes:
cutting toenails, lying, condescending people, life sometimes, phone calls
Fears:
being alone forever, rejection, failure, snakes – SNAKES
Goals:
to be a full time writer one day, to live in different places all over the world
Hobbies:
reading and writing, mainly; singing badly whenever the opportunity arises

Occupation: Customer Sales Associate (a.k.a. Accounts Receivable and whatever anyone else asks me to do) at Event Rental Company; aspiring author
Favorite Food:
Just one?  not possible.  Pizza, sushi, chocolate
Least Favorite Food:
tomatoes, onions
Most Prized Possession:
not exactly “prized” but favorite – Buffalo Bills blanket that belonged to Dad
Vernacular (Way of Speaking):
says “You’re killing me, Smalls,” and “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids,” a lot.  likes to use the few big words known whenever possible (ostentatious, for example).
Psychological Condition:
Pretty stable; lonely a majority of the time; has definite moments of envy; worried will never know romantic love
Character Behavior:
can be impatient and quick to temper sometimes; moods really ebb and flow; other times easily excited and cheerful (again, Gemini!)
Aptitude:
smart, but not as smart as used to think; easily picks up on things
Social and Other Pressures, Problems:
living paycheck to paycheck; feeling pressure to find a relationship and start a family – not really from outside forces, more internally
Relationships (With Who and What Kind):
has known very best friend since age 6 (23 years!), and feels blessed to serve as aunt to her kids; close friend from college lives many hours and states away, but try to connect via phone every month or so and visit whenever possible; close friend since adulthood meets to write bi-monthly and do other fun things like go to concerts etc. has best boss in the world and knows how lucky she is; starting to become friends with a lot more writers thanks to her regional NaNo chapter
Belief, Superstition, Moral Value:
Thinks like a liberal, but acts more like a conservative.  really no chance to act like a liberal yet!
Positive Characteristics:
funny sometimes, fairly intelligent, positive sometimes, can be perky/chipper depending on the day and activity, gets very passionate about certain things (Harry Potter!  Jane Austen!  Disney movies/music! dessert!), generous when presented the opportunity to be
Negative Characteristics:
can be impatient; negative sometimes; wears emotions on sleeve (and all over face); doesn’t always feel sympathy for others; passion can be mistaken for obsession; usually waits for the opportunity to be presented before being generous
Other:
desperately wants to go to London; introverted – needs down time alone to unwind; re-reads favorite books; thinks niece is the cutest child on the planet; usually finds it difficult to talk about self, but found this relatively easy and painless

 

No word yet on if this is actually going to assist me with creating the characters for my book, but I’ll keep you posted on that.  If anyone else wants to use this character profile in their own writing, go for it.  I wish I could tell you the original source, but I got it so long ago, I don’t remember.  If anyone recognizes it and wants to tell me where it came from, please comment and I’ll add the credit in!

Things I Hate

In no particular order

  • Cutting my toenailsno-politics
  • Headaches
  • My stomach
  • People who just won’t get to the point
  • People who waste my time
  • Books (movies, tv shows) with no discernible plot
  • Song lyrics that make no sense (or ones that would make sense if the singer could actually properly pronounce them, but don’t)
  • Politicsleave-your-dirty-dishes-in-the-sink-i-dare-you
  • Those stupid commercials opposing Obamacare
  • People who use religion as an excuse to be hateful
  • Scary movies
  • When my siblings don’t understand or get me
  • People who act like being single is so great and I’m so lucky because I don’t have to “deal” with a relationship
  • My hair, sometimes.  Not all the time
  • Dust
  • Washing disheshateanne-642x336
  • Sweeping
  • Cleaning in general
  • Worrying about money
  • People who vehemently dislike celebrities – what’s the point?  You don’t know them.  What did they ever do to you?
  • When there’s nothing good on tvdislike
  • Radio commercials
  • How easily I am distracted
  • Social media bragging about how awesome/amazing a person’s SO is.  Barf
  • Social media bragging about children learning how to potty train.  Poop is never cute.  No one wants to see it on their FB newsfeed.  Seriously.  What makes one thing it is a good idea to take a picture of a turd and post it for the whole world to see?

Things I Love

In no particular order:

  • Sunkistharry potter
  • Harry Potter
  • Jane Austen
  • Disney
  • Fudge Rounds
  • Pens – specifically Papermate Profile
  • A book that makes me cry
  • A movie that makes me cry
  • Basically anything that makes me cryfirst day of school
  • My nieces and nephew
  • Spending time with my siblings
  • Not doing the dishes
  • Getting a pedicure
  • Getting a massage
  • Zachary Levi’s smile
  • Zachary Levi’s voice
  • Basically Zachary Levi
  • And while we’re on the subject of men: Chris Pine, Chris Lowell, Chris Evans (if your name is Chris, there’s a pretty good chance I’m attracted to you), John Krasinski, Joseph Gordon Levitt, James McAvoy (also, apparently, if your name starts with a J), Hugh Dancy, Andy Grammer, etc. etc. etc.
  • My t-shirt hoodies from Old Navy (thanks to my brother-in-law for those)16th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Arrivals
  • Funny ladies: Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Wig, Maya Rudolph, all the women on MTV’s Girl Code
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Veronica Mars
  • Friends, both the tv show and actual people in my life
  • Photos where I look semi-skinny
  • Photos from my childhood – because I was adorable and there are only a few really embarrassing ones and those are almost too funny to actually be embarrassing anymore (I’m looking at you, third grade portrait with the horrible hat that made my first-grade brother pretend he didn’t know me)
  • Pizza075fbd24a9cea5c1604ec6ab378d7fd7
  • Softlips chapstick (I don’t care what flavor you are, you’ll always have a home in my pocket)
  • Mens well-defined arms
  • Sleeping
  • The Buffalo Bills fleece blanket that I borrowed from my dad approximately 20 years ago and never gave back
  • Funny Bunny (a stuffed pink bunny I’ve had since the day I was born and still sleep with)
  • Singing karaoke
  • Singing in the car
  • Singing to myself for no reason at all
  • Basically singing
  • My books and the characters living my stories

Don’t You Want to Be My Best Friend?

I like celebrities.  I’m not obsessed or anything, but I’ve always had a talent for remembering actors names and what roles they’ve had and lately there are a lot of really cool celebrities who I think I should be friends with.  Not just because I think they are awesome, but because I think we would honestly get along really well.  So, I’m introducing a new series: Celebrities I Should Be Friends With.  If anyone out there reading knows any of my chosen new friends, please let them know I’d like to hang out.  Thanks!

First up, because I was reminded today how much I love her: Mindy Kaling.

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Mindy Kaling is hilarious, that’s the first thing.  I just know we’d laugh together for hours on end.  My family does not always get my sense of humor, but I have a feeling Mindy and I would be all

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(P.S. that’s my first use of a GIF ever!  I feel like I just won my internet card.) (Also, if you don’t get what is happening in this scene, I implore you to stop cruising the Internet and go and watch all ten seasons of Friends right now.  Although, this is from Season 4).

Mindy would go with me to see all the romantic comedies I crave and our mutual love of Meg Ryan would certainly lead to sleepovers featuring You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, and Sleepless in Seattle marathons.

Mindy is a curvy woman who is not afraid of fashion.  Seriously, can I please have her wardrobe when she’s done with it?  We’re probably around the same size.  She could teach me so many things.

Mindy – I love you.  Will you be my best friend?

 

This post is just another way to procrastinate

Sooo… I’m supposed to be editing my book right now.  I mean, I don’t have an editor breathing down my neck with a deadline, or anything like that, but I am supposed to send the first two chapters to my new critique group by Monday and I told four beta readers I’d get the entire second draft to them by February 1st.  So I should be editing.  Really.  Especially since it is the weekend and I have absolutely nothing else going on in my life right now.  I’m not even complaining about that.  It would be great if I had some single friends to hang out with or, even better, a boyfriend, but I don’t and that’s fine.  I really should be using my time more wisely, though.

At 5:30, I put a load of laundry in and told myself I’d edit for an hour while it washed.  Instead, I watched YouTube clips of Disney songs.  Then, I put a second load in and made myself dinner.  Then I edited about two pages (approximately 10 minutes of my time).  And then I came here to do this.

I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time focusing tonight.  Or any time.  I get distracted very easily.  I always have.  Even in high school and college, when I was a straight A (legit) student, I’d procrastinate every chance I got.  Is my lack of love life just another procrastination?

No, I don’t think so.

Good news, though.  Even though this IS procrastination, at least it is productive procrastination.  I’m writing, not “reading” Buzzfeed articles.  Seriously, is anyone else as addicted to Buzzfeed as I am???  I kinda want to go to it right now, but I’m pretty sure I’ve ready EVERYTHING on the site.  I haven’t watched the videos, though, cause that’s just annoying when you click on a link which does not have the play triangle icon in the corner and it is still a video.  I HATE that.  Anyone else?  Anyone at all?

Okay, I have to go put another load of laundry in the wash.  Then I need to fold the clothes I’m taking out of the dryer.  Then, hopefully, I’ll get some editing done.  It’s almost 8:00.  I get my best work done after 9PM.

Things that made me cry today

First: I watched Frozen.  I was kinda meh throughout it, but the ending, where Anna sacrificed herself for her sister definitely produced some tears!  I have a feeling I’m going to love this movie more and more each time I watch it.  Plus – “Let It Go” is AMAZING.

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Second: I finished reading Pride and Prejudice for the bajillioneth time.  Every time I get to the scene where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy finally understand each other, I break down.  It’s just the most beautiful, wonderful love.  I’m tearing up now just thinking about it.  Damn you, Mr. Darcy!  People talk about Disney creating unrealistic expectations about love, but Miss Austen is the master (mistress?).

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Third: Back to Disney.  Tangled.  “At Last I’ve Seen the Light.”  Are you f***ing, kidding me Disney with such a perfect song?

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That is all.  I hope I’m not doing anymore crying today.

Drama at the Post Office

I had kinda a big day today.  I applied for my passport!  I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get one, but then again, I’ve never had the money to travel out of the country, so actually its not surprising at all.

I’m turning 30 this year.  In a little over 5 months, actually.  In a lot of ways, I still feel like I’m right out of college, but in a lot of other ways, I’m definitely feeling my age.  I don’t pay more than $40 for clothes or shoes, but there are actual raw chicken breasts in my fridge right now.  I still live paycheck to paycheck, but I can’t remember the last time I missed a payment on any of my bills.

I promised myself a trip to London for my 30th birthday.  I’ve always wanted to go and how much longer am I going to be able to travel so freely?  Today’s passport application made the trip feel real.  In 4-6 weeks, it will arrive in the mail, and I’ll be officially able to wreak havoc all over the world!

While I was waiting in line, my application, driver’s license, and birth certificate in hand and ready to go, there were two separate meltdowns going on ahead of me almost simultaneously.  The first – the woman who the passport office was helping did not like her photo.  Apparently, she had gone to Walgreens or CVS and made the photographer(?) there take hundreds of pictures of her until she was happy with one of them, and then that one was rejected by the passport office.  I didn’t hear why it had been rejected.  So, she had to take a photo there at the office and she hated it.  HATED it.  Like, was almost in tears with how much she disliked it.  The office offered to let her take another photo, which didn’t make her happy because she still wouldn’t be able to “preview it.”

I wanted to scream at her, “It’s just one photo!  No one is going to even see it!” but I kept quiet and stayed focused on my Kindle.  Oh, I got a Kindle for Christmas from my mother in anticipation of my London trip – so I wouldn’t have to drag a ton of books with me.  The passport office assured the woman that the only person who would ever see the photo would be the worker at customs.  Finally, she agreed to take a second photo.  After a few more minutes lamenting over how bad BOTH photos were, she finished her application and left.

While this was happening, the woman working in the passport office asked the first gentleman in line if he had an appointment.  He said he didn’t and she explained he needed to call the number on the sign.  He told her he had called the number and no one answered but a recording told him to leave a message.  She repeated her instruction for him to call the number.  He said, you need to listen to me, and this started a fifteen minute rant where he kept shouting that she needed to listen to him and she explained that she had no way of scheduling an appointment for him, that he would need to call the number.  His tactics never changed, but his voice got louder.  Her tactics never changed, either.

At one point he asked for her name.  I always think it is funny in situations like this where the disgruntled “customer” asks for the employees name.  She wasn’t trying to be difficult or unhelpful.  She was literally helping another person and he kept interrupting her.  She told him what he needed to do and he just wanted to be mad.  He thought asking for her name was somehow hurtful to her.  Like he was going to report her to her boss.  THE GOVERNMENT.  Good luck with that, crazy guy from the post office.

I’m just glad my application experience went smoothly.  I even made the woman laugh with a joke about flirting with the cute guys at customs.  I have a feeling I’m going to be double adorable in England.

I Am Enough

IMG_0890First off, sorry for the delay in posting again, my internet hasn’t been working 😦

Second off, I decided not to be completely cynical this year and get a tree for my apartment despite all of my misgivings about decorating for one.  I have a cold, so I probably should have waited another week or so, but I’m pretty stubborn, and once I make a decision, I follow through.  So, Monday night, I headed out straight after work to find a Christmas tree lot.

I live in a downtown area of a medium-sized city (think smaller than New York, Boston, Baltimore, but still the second largest city in my state).  Apparently, Christmas tree lot owner/operators don’t feel the need to place their product where I live.  I drove around for an hour looking for any place that sold trees until I finally found a Lowes that did.  And then, after stuffing my 5′ tall tree into the backseat of my car (I wasn’t even going to try tying it to my car), I spent another two and a half hours searching for a tree stand.  Before you ask, yes, I checked at Lowes.  No, they did not have any.

I tried Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, Big Lots, and about eight stores in the mall.  No one carries tree stands!  Finally, after getting megafrustrated and soaked to the bone (oh did I mention it was raining during my entire quest?), I went home and ordered a stand offline.  I was able to pick it up yesterday at a different Lowes from the one I purchased my tree at.

Now, to the point of the post and the title.  There were a few moments during the saga when I really wanted someone to share my frustration with.  Someone who could tell me to calm down – that everything would work out.  But, I didn’t have that.  I was alone.  And that was okay.

Before I left to search for the Christmas tree, I secured the promise of a neighbor to help my bring the tree inside – it’s my first Christmas tree, I had no idea how heavy it would be.  But, I carried it up the steps all by myself.  I didn’t need anyone for that.  After I got the stand, I balanced the tree while screwing the base in.  Then I decorated it.  All on my own.

I am enough.  I am an independent woman who can do anything on my own that a couple can do.  Well, not exactly anything – see the title of the blog – but I think you get what I’m trying to say.  I like that I’m my own person and that I don’t have to rely on someone else to get things done.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that.  Feel free to remind me from time to time if I’m becoming too much of a whiny bitch:)

 

There are no single men

So today, my boss had two IT guys come into the office to replace all of our computers with new hard drives, keyboards, and mice.  Apparently the plural of computer mouse is mice (the IT guy said it, so it must be true).  The younger guy seemed about my age, give or take a few years and he was sending jokes and teasing comments my way like it was his job, instead of his actual job of replacing my computer’s essential components.  I flirted back, because, you know, why the hell not?

At one point, my coworker, asked “What do you think of the IT guy?”  It’s sort of become her mission in life to hook me up with every single male that walks in the door of our office.  I laughed it off, because I didn’t want her doing or saying anything to embarrass me, but I actually thought he would be fun to grab a drink with or play a round of mini-golf.

Of course, as he was leaving, my boss tells him to come back once he and his girlfriend start planning their wedding.

Figures.

There are no single men left where I live.  Seriously, I feel like I’m constantly meeting men and they are always ALWAYS taken.  I know single men exist somewhere in the universe, but it isn’t here.  And the thing that really gets me is that I know I’m not imagining the flirting.  I think men with girlfriends, fiances, and wives are just more easygoing, more open, more willing to joke around.  They’ve already found someone so they can.  Meanwhile, us single girls are just trying to find someone unattached.  Anyone unattached.  And they don’t exist anymore.

It’s Holiday Season and You’re Single

Well, you might not be single, reader, but I sure am!  The holidays come every year and every year I’m on my own, like millions of other men and women out there.  There are a lot of things during the holidays that suck about being single, but there are some good things, too.  Let’s discuss, shall we?

It Sucks because…

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No one to take to all of those parties you have coming up.  Sure, you can go stag and feel all empowered.  For about two minutes.  And then you realize you are the only single person in the room.  Even that weird, creepy guy from your office has his arm around a date.  Would I like a glass of champagne?  Are you fucking kidding me – just bring the bottle.

It’s Awesome because…

Christmas List Printable

Let’s face it, shopping is one of the worst things about the holidays.  Making your list, checking it twice, and then actually figuring out what to get for everyone on your list is not my idea of a good time.  Being single basically cuts the number of people I have to buy gifts for in half.  No boyfriend gift, no gifts for boyfriend’s family and friends.  Because, let’s face it, girls buy the gifts on their SO’s lists.  No thank you.  You’re a grown-ass man.  Buy your own gifts.

It Sucks because…

joseph-gordon-levitt

I get fewer presents.  I’m not buying for as many people, so not as many people are buying for me.  Although, this year I’m having trouble coming up with what I want anyways, so I guess this isn’t really that bad.  Obviously, though, if someone can get me Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Christmas, I’ll love you forever.  *I wanted to photo shop a picture of JGL and myself together, but I don’t have those skills.  Anyone want to give it a go for me?

It’s Awesome because…

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No in-laws!  All of my holiday time is devoted to my own family!  I don’t have to worry about coordinating schedules or dealing with a mother who doesn’t think I’m good enough for her precious son.

It Sucks because…

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What’s the point in decorating when you live by yourself?  I love Christmas trees and lights and the red-green color combination.  But putting up a tree that has no gifts under it is just sad.  I don’t even know how I would get a regular-sized tree in my apartment by myself – i.e. I don’t want any of that miniature crap.  That’s just pathetic.

It’s Awesome because…

Green-Bay-Christmas-Card

No one expects you to send out cheesy holiday cards, so there’s no worrying about being PC, or setting up a cutesy photo shoot, or spending a shit-ton of money on printing, envelopes, and postage.  You don’t have to come up with that one awesome anecdote to include in your card that proves what an amazing year you’ve had.

It Sucks because…

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You secretly want to put together that cutesy photo shoot and make your friends and family super jealous with how hot your boyfriend is and how much he loves you.  He’s wearing a Santa hat and twinkle lights and he’s agreed to send out a holiday card with you – that means he fucking loves you.

It’s Awesome because…

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You can watch as many Christmas movies as you want, sans judgement or requests to change the channel to whatever athletic event is happening this time of year.  Football, right?  And hockey.  It’s cold, so it must be hockey season.  But I don’t have to care because Love Actually is on for the hundredth time!

I think it’s best to leave it on the awesome, don’t you?  What do you think about single holidays – what are the best and worst things about being alone this time of year?