Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time again.  Time for the start of a new year, and the annual effort to make ourselves new, too. Losing weight, being on time, controlling our tempers, spending less money, etc.

So, characters and authors, what would your New Year's resolution be?  I know many people (including myself) have given up trying to defeat old habits, or perhaps just come to terms with our imperfections, and don't make resolutions anymore.

But if you had to make one resolution, what would it be???

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting to Know You: Winter Holidays


Baby, it's cold outside! And dark. The days are getting shorter and shorter here in the northern hemisphere. In a couple of weeks we will have the shortest day of the year, which we call the Winter Solstice.

Humans have a way of defying the cold and dark with holidays and festivals. We have many of them!

What do you celebrate this time of year? Is it cold where you are now, or is it warm? How do you bring cheer to your year?

(note: This discussion is for characters only, please.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gone for the Holidays

As you've no doubt noticed, the Come In Character site has been rather quiet as of late. Well, after much soul-searching, I've decided that we all – authors and characters alike – could use a much-deserved break. Perhaps putting CIC aside for the holidays is just what we need to rejuvenate this once-treasured place.

So, while you can rest assured that the site isn't going anywhere anytime soon, don't expect any new posts until next year.

In the meantime, I hope you all have

a happy Thanksgiving,









a merry Christmas (or other appropriate winter holiday),





and a healthy, prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Hard, Cold Truth

Let's face it, folks. Participation in CIC has seriously waned since the spring. Oftentimes, no more than two people comment on a given post, which frankly makes me sad and also begs the question... Why?

Are we as authors simply too busy to comment, or worse, are we feeling less than inspired by the CIC prompts as of late? If it's the latter reason, what can I do about it? Please help me by making suggestions about future posts. Would group stories, for instance, do the trick? Or perhaps we should resurrect “Character of the Week” Fridays...

Of course, if it's the former reason, then perhaps it's time to put Come In Character to rest. While I would hate to see that happen, I'm simply too busy myself to fret over posting here twice a week when it seems that few people are interested anymore.

Thanks, everyone, for your input!

Friday, October 29, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Wizard's First Rule, the first novel in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth fantasy series. Congrats to Donna for guessing the correct series!)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. The floor was of varnished wood, with stripes and circles painted on it, for the games that were formerly played there; the hoops for the basketball nets were still in place, though the nets were gone...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's Happening Now?

No doubt most of you are as busy as I am today, but I'd be remiss if I didn't check to see if anything's happened since our last midweek update. This is, after all, a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, boys, girls, and beasties! What have you done since last week? Fought any ruthless creatures? Stumbled upon any lost treasures? Found yourself in any amazing, new underworlds?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help to inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Friday, October 22, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Congrats to Galadriel for guessing correctly!)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

It was an odd-looking vine. Dusky variegated leaves hunkered against a stem that wound in a stranglehold around the smooth trunk of a balsam fir. Sap drooled down the wounded bark, and dry limbs slumped, making it look as if the tree were trying to voice a moan into the cool, damp morning air. Pods stuck out from the vine here and there along its length, almost seeming to look warily about for witnesses...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Two weeks have passed since our last midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, boys, girls, and beasties! What have you done over the past two weeks? Fought any ruthless creatures? Stumbled upon any lost treasures? Found yourself in any amazing, new underworlds?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting to Know You: Regret

So tell us, characters...any regrets? Do you carry the burden of something left undone, or perhaps something done that shouldn't have been?

If you could do it all over again, how would it be different? Or would it be?

Tell us your regrets today. If you have none, tell us that, too!

Friday, October 15, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it. How is such a thing possible? I'll do my best to explain...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quote of the Day: Mark Twain

When it comes to Mark Twain (1835-1910), American humorist extraordinaire, there are simply too many quotes from which to choose. Since, however, it's the school year in many parts of the world, I figure the following nugget o' truth is an appropriate one to consider:

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

So, authors and characters, do you agree with Mr. Twain? In your own life, have you learned more from experience or from formal education?

Either way, feel free to use an example or two!

Friday, October 8, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's Happening Now?

It's time again for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, boys, girls, and beasties! What have you done over the past seven days? Fought any ruthless creatures? Stumbled upon any lost treasures? Found yourself in any amazing, new underworlds?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Getting to Know You: Fame

Fame! When we're children, it seems so appealing to be famous. Wouldn't it be great if everyone knew who we were and catered to us? But now that we're all grown up (are we?) how do we feel about fame?

Are you famous? If so, what do you like or dislike about it?

If you're not famous, would you want to be? Why or why not?

Let's talk about fame!

Friday, October 1, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Intensity by Dean Koontz.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

It is my job to call out if I see a shape, a rocky ledge, an island. I stand at the bow and stare into the fog. Peering intently, I begin to see things that aren't really there. First tiny moving lights, then minutely subtle gradations of gray. Was that a shadow? Was that a shape? And then, so shockingly that for a few important seconds I cannot even speak, it is all there...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Once again, another two weeks have slipped by since we last shared our latest goings-on. Well, here it is again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you done in the past two weeks? Voyaged to any wondrous places? Battled any disagreeable siblings? Made a new friend or two?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

The red sun balances on the highest ramparts of the mountains, and in its waning light, the foothills appear to be ablaze. A cool breeze blows down out of the sun and fans through the tall dry grass, which streams like waves of golden fire along the slopes toward the rich and shadowed valley...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do you see what I see? Fall Colors

In America's northern states – on the planet Earth, for those not in the know – the fall equinox is upon us, and leaves everywhere are making their seasonal change, from the greens of summer to the reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn. Where I presently am, that's certainly the case, which got me wondering about everyone else here at Come In Character.

What do your hometowns or home planets look like? Do you experience different seasons, or does the climate – and, therefore, the landscape – rarely vary? Or, for that matter, do you move around a lot, encountering an assortment of settings on a regular basis?

Come on, authors and characters, paint a picture for us!

Monday, September 20, 2010

You Tell Me: Money!

Money. It's been said to be the root of all evil and yet we can't get on without it, can we?

What passes for money in your world, characters? How important is it to you? Are you rich, or do you long to be? Would you prefer to renounce money's corrupting influence and get along in whatever way you can? Do you think it's really true that a rich man can't get into Heaven, or is money whatever you make it out to be?

Let's talk about money!

Friday, September 17, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from A Painted House by John Grisham.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's Happening Now?

It's time again for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, boys, girls, and beasties! What have you done over the past seven days? Found yourself in any strange, new places? Battled any relentless monsters? Smooched any secret lovers?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, September 13, 2010

You Tell Me: Superstition

Are you superstitious? Do you seek out four-leaf clovers or wear a lucky shirt? Do you avoid stepping on cracks in the sidewalk, and do you stay at home under the covers on Friday the Thirteenth?

Tell us about your superstitions! And if you're not superstitious, tell us why!

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Once again, another two weeks have slipped by since we last shared our latest goings-on. Well, here it is again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you done in the past two weeks? Journeyed to any mystical places? Tussled with any disagreeable relatives? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, otherworldly or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, September 6, 2010

You Tell Me: Art!

Ah, the joys of art! Tell us, characters, what kind of art is prevalent in your world. What do you like best? Do you enjoy looking at sculpture or paintings? Is there a particular style or artist that speaks to you?

Do you do your own art? Tell us all about it, if you do. If you're not into sketching or painting, keep in mind there are other types of art as well. It's in our nature to be creative, so let everyone know how you feel about art!

Friday, September 3, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

I haven't laid eyes on the island in several years. The last time was from a friend's boat that ventured into the outer harbor, and I could see it off in the distance, past the inner ring, shrouded in the summer haze, a careless smudge of paint against the sky...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Emote This: Laughter

Of all the emotions we've contemplated at Come In Character, it's hard to believe that we've never before considered laughter.

No matter how serious our lives might get at times – what with all the demon slayings, band management troubles, romantic conundrums, and other dilemmas – it's important to make some room for a good chuckle, snort, or guffaw every now and again.

So, what makes you laugh out loud or snicker deep within? A favorite joke? A funny memory? An amusing observation about the human condition? Come on, authors and characters, let it all out! I'm sure we could all use a good laugh or two...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting to Know You: Back to School!

If school didn't start last week where you live, it's about to start soon. So tell us, what's your favorite school memory? Did you look forward to the beginning of the school year, with its new school supplies, new clothes, and opportunities to make new friends and rekindle old acquaintances? Or was the start of the school year just an end to your summer freedom and a great big nuisance?

Tell us what you think about "back to school!"

Friday, August 27, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Atonement by Ian McEwan.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's Happening Now?

My, my, where has the time gone? Why, it seems only yesterday that we were sharing our latest goings-on. Well, here it is again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you done over the past seven days? Experienced any stupendous places? Battled any horrendous beasts? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting to Know You: Dog Days

Well, friends, we're headed into the last full week of August, with September and Autumn just around the corner.

If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, that means the dog days of summer are almost over, so tell us how you've coped with the heat and the inevitable doldrums? Did you take a vacation? Go swimming? Eat lots of ice cream and drink cold beverages?

Do the final weeks of summer put you in a funk, or are they more of a last hurrah?

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

The play Рfor which Briony had designed the posters, programs and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red cr̻pe paper Рwas written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Two weeks have passed since our last “What's Happening Now?” discussion, and I'm curious about what our characters have been up to lately.

Well, here it is – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you done in the past two weeks? Experienced any stupendous places? Battled any horrendous beasts? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Emote This: Bad Day

We've all had bad days, haven't we? What do you do when life seems to be giving you lemons instead of lemonade? Do you seek distractions, solace, peace of mind? Or do you rant and plot revenge? Perhaps you call up a friend and pour out your feelings, or do you put on a brave face and pretend like everything is just fine?

Tell us, Characters, how do you handle a bad day?

Friday, August 13, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Congrats to David, Candy, and Christine for guessing correctly!)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

A throng of bearded men, in sad-coloured garments and grey steeple-crowned hats, inter-mixed with women, some wearing hoods, and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Emote This: Paranoia

Many people think that paranoia is merely an excessive suspicion of other folks' motives. Other people believe something completely different. The author William S. Burroughs, for instance, once said, “sometimes paranoia's just having all the facts.”

However you define it, the truth is that all of us – men, women, demons, and other creatures – have probably experienced a touch of paranoia at one time or another.

Some of us are paranoid about gaining weight, no matter how delicious that key lime pie might taste.





Some of us are paranoid about leaving a drink unattended, for fear that a nefarious entity might try to poison us.




Some of us are paranoid about venturing into open water, where shark attacks and unexpected drownings are daily possibilities.




Some of us might even be paranoid about the strange and lethal beasts that dwell in the oddest of places...

So, what are you paranoid about? Or does nothing scare you at all?

Authors and characters are all welcome to share their deepest feelings of paranoia. After all, we're here to help... or are we?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting to Know You: Virtue

They say virtue is its own reward, but is it really? What does virtue mean to you? Are there any particular virtues you're most proud of? What admirable traits do you feel you lack or need to work on?

Would you bother being virtuous if no one were around to notice? What are your thoughts on virtue?

Friday, August 6, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. Congrats to David Jace's pal for guessing correctly!)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Two weeks have passed since our last “What's Happening Now?” discussion, and I'm curious about what our characters have been up to lately.

So, here it is – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

Well, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you done in the past two weeks? Encountered any stunning places? Met any terrible demons? Stumbled into a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Emote This: Nostalgia

Ah, nostalgia! That sense that time is passing and what is gone was somehow better than the here and now!

When you get nostalgic, what do you think of? Better food, like Grandma used to make? Lovelier fashions and higher quality? Gentler manners? Do you sometimes find yourself reminiscing about days gone by, or is the best still yet to come?

Today, let's get nostalgic!

Friday, July 30, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from The Color Purple by Alice Walker.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

”Where's Papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Group Story: Urban Legend

Over the past few months, Wednesdays here at CIC have been reserved for our midweek character update – otherwise known as “What's Happening Now?” - but I realize that we might all be a little weary of the routine.

So, I think it's high time we return to our creative roots and compose a story together. In fact, it's hard to believe that our last attempt was back in early February when we created a group romance.

Although we seemed to have fun that day, I thought it might be cool to try a new genre. Now, while we've covered plenty of genres in the past, from classic literature to science fiction, I was surprised to realize that we've never done an urban legend before.

Since there's no time like the present, I'll kick it off with a classic... the tale of the flushed baby alligator who grows up in the sewers of an urban metropolis. Remember, all authors and characters are welcome to participate.

Once, there was a little Cajun alligator named Boudreaux who went on a trip with his human family to the Windy City, where he was accidentally flushed down a hotel toilet...

Monday, July 26, 2010

You and Your World: The Afterlife

Happy Monday, Characters! Today, let's talk about something that might be a sensitive subject for some of you: The Afterlife.

Does your culture believe in an afterlife? Do you? If so, what is it like and do you have to do anything special to get there (other than die, of course)?

Tell us all about what you think happens when we pass on.

Friday, July 23, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Good job, Christine, for guessing it correctly!)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

You better not never tell nobody but God. It'd kill your mammy...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Given our “What's New?” chat on Monday, I hesitated to post such a similar prompt today, but it's actually been two weeks since our last “What's Happening Now?” discussion. Remember, last Wednesday, we chatted about our favorite foods instead! (Not that I'm complaining, of course.)

So, I guess that means it's time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current, or at least most recent, whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

Well, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting hot spots? Encountered any wicked monsters? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, July 19, 2010

You Tell Me: What's New?

I know we have a weekly "What are you doing now?" discussion, but let's do something slightly different. Today, let's share the new things in our lives.

Do you have a new friend? A new pair of shoes? A new idea or plan?

Is there something new you're searching for, like a new job or a new outfit for an upcoming special occasion?

Tell us what's new so we can share the fun!

Friday, July 16, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Do you see what I see? Yummy Oysters

I know, I know. Not everyone finds raw oysters appealing. For some, they're just too darn slimy. But not for me.

As a native of New Orleans, I've loved raw oysters since I was a teenager. Cold, clean, and salty – and even better with a squirt of lemon juice and a dab of cocktail sauce. In fact, I dream about them all the time, and I miss them when I'm not down south. That's probably why I eat so many of them during my fall visits to New Orleans – I have to get my fill before enduring months without them, and needless to say, I'm really, really hoping that the current Gulf oil spill doesn't destroy the Louisiana oyster beds for years to come.

So, what's your favorite food? What yummy treat do you dream about often – and what would you lament being without?

Authors and characters are all welcome to share! So, come on, let's get hungry!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting to Know You: Animals

If you could be an animal, what would you be, and why?











Do you have a favorite animal - one that perhaps you wouldn't want to be, but that you think is interesting or admirable? What qualities do you like about it? Would you want that animal to live in your house, if such were possible, or is it something you only admire from afar?

Friday, July 9, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted – it's one of my favorites!

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, the long holiday weekend is over for many of us, and it's time to get back to work... which means it's also time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting places? Encountered any wicked beasts? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Getting to Know You: Independence

Both Canada and the United States had their independence celebrations recently, so let's take a little time to think about what independence really means to us.

Do you crave independence as an individual, or do you fear it? Do you lean on others, or do others depend on you?

Do you live in a place where personal independence is valued? Have you always felt free, or have you had to fight? Is there any day in particular that you think of as a personal Independence Day?

Friday, July 2, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted – it's one of my favorites!

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting places? Encountered any wicked beasts? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting to Know You: Apocalypse

OMG, it's the end of the world! Doomsday, apocalypse!

Okay, not really. But if it were, what would you do? Throw a party? Run and hide? Who would you make your last good-byes to, and what would you say?

Let's discuss what we would do if everything was about to end.

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – and just to get things back to normal, I suggest we keep this a character-only discussion...

So, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting places? Encountered any wicked beasts? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill the details about all of your latest adventures – and remember, this day is for characters only!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting to Know You: Father

Since Sunday was Father's Day (in the United States), let's take a minute and share our thoughts about fathers.

What was your father like? Is he still around? If not, do you miss him or are you secretly relieved? What important lessons did you learn from him?

Let's share our stories about dear old Dad!

Friday, June 18, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Deliverance by James Dickey.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – and just to keep us all on our toes, why don't we open up this discussion for everyone – author and character alike?

So, let's hear it, guys, gals, and creatures! What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting places? Encountered any wicked beasts? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill the details about all of your latest adventures – and remember, this day is for everyone!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Fun!

Since it seems everyone had a good time with last week's Monday Fun, here's another:

You've been invited to a party. When you arrive, the house appears empty...

What happens next? Do you go away? Do you look in a window? Maybe you turn the knob and the door mysteriously opens! What then?











Have fun, and thank David Jace for the idea!

Friday, June 11, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

It unrolled slowly, forced to show its colors, curling and snapping back whenever one of us turned loose...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – and while we've recently allowed everyone (author and character alike) the chance to reveal his/her/its current whereabouts, I thought it might be fun to return to our roots and keep this a characters-only discussion!

So, let's hear it, characters! What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting places? Encountered any vengeful demons? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill the details about all of your latest adventures – and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this day is for characters only!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday Fun!

Today, we're trying something new. Here's the scene:

There is a knock on the door and your character goes to answer it. Instead of what he or she had been expecting, (girl scouts? the alien next door? a wizard with a few gnomes for tea?), there is a messenger with a very important letter for you. This letter has the potential to change your character's life.

What does it say?

And more important, what happens next?

Have fun, and be sure to thank David Jace for the idea!

Friday, June 4, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

Once upon a time when the world was young there was a Martian named Smith...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, it's that time again – time for our midweek update. Now, normally, this would be our characters' chance to reveal their current whereabouts, but given our recent effort to pick the authors' brains, I've decided to open up this discussion for all creatures!

So, let's hear it, everyone! What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting places? Encountered any vengeful demons? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill the details about all of your latest adventures – including, of course, any progress on your ongoing projects.

Remember, this day is for authors and characters alike!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting to Know You: Vacation!

Hey, everyone, with it being Memorial Weekend and the start of summer tourist season in much of North America, let's talk about vacations!












What is your fondest vacation memory? Where would you go if time and money were no object? Do you prefer road trips, cruises, or to just hop on a plane and go?

Tell us all about how you like to get away from it all!

Friday, May 28, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, it's that time again – time for our midweek update. Now, normally, this would be the characters' chance to reveal their current whereabouts, but given the suggestion last week that “we need an author's day without their input,” I figured it was the authors' turn to share what's happening in their lives – and in their stories.

So, let's hear it, authors. What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting places? Encountered any memorable creatures? Found yourself, uh, in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures – including, of course, what you've been working on this week.

Remember, this is for authors only!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting to Know You: Desert Island

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?












Unbelievable that we've never asked this question before, isn't it? So have at it, authors and characters!

Friday, May 21, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Carrie by Stephen King.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, characters. What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting places? Encountered any intriguing people? Fought any maleficent creatures? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting to Know You: Favorite Memory

Hey, everyone, let's get nostalgic!











What is your most cherished memory? Is it something you did or something someone did for you? Do you like to reminisce about a special day or a particularly special someone?

Tell us all about it, and then tell us what makes this particular remembrance from your past so special.

Friday, May 14, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

Nobody was really surprised when it happened, not really, not at the subconscious level where savage things grow. On the surface, all the girls in the shower room were shocked, thrilled, ashamed, or simply glad that the White bitch had taken it in the mouth again. Some of them might also have claimed surprise, but of course their claim was untrue...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, folks, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, characters. What have you been up to lately? Seen any interesting sights? Slayed any wicked demons? Met any interesting creatures? Found yourself in a spot of trouble, supernatural or otherwise?

Feel free to spill any and all of your latest adventures, and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Getting to Know You: Most Precious Thing

We all have something we value above all other things, be it a physical treasure, a dream, or a principle.














So tell us about it! What's your most precious thing, and how did it come to have such meaning for you?

Is there anything that could make you give it up?

Friday, May 7, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Watership Down by Richard Adams.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

Novalee Nation, seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight – and superstitious about sevens – shifted uncomfortably in the seat of the old Plymouth and ran her hands down the curve of her belly. For most people, sevens were lucky...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, characters. It's time to share your pleasures, your pitfalls, your ambitions, or whatever else is on your mind – and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Emote This: Disappointment

We all face disappointments in life. Sometimes love, work, friendships or family matters go awry and we're left with feelings of sadness and frustration.










How does disappointment make you feel? Does it make you want to flee to a dark room and hide, or does it inspire you to charge back into the fray and make things come out right? Do you have a strategy for dealing with disappointment?

Discuss!

Friday, April 30, 2010

First Line Challenge

Well, shut my mouth, I can't believe I'm so late today! Can it really be Friday?! Seriously, where does the time go?

Anyway, it's obviously time for the weekly edition of First Line Challenge.

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake. Congrats, by the way, to Ginger for guessing it!)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

The primroses were over. Toward the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed among the dog's mercury and oak-tree roots...

Oh, and have a great weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, characters. It's time to share your pleasures, your pitfalls, your ambitions, or whatever else is on your mind – and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, April 26, 2010

You and Your World: Marriage and Commitment

Today, let's talk about happily-ever-after!

Or not.

In your world, what ways to people commit to each other? If they get married, is it for love, social status, or politics? Do they marry only one person and commit to monogamy, or is some other type of arrangement allowed?












Equally important, how do you feel about the marriage and commitment customs of your time and place? Are you on board with the status quo, or are you determined to flout convention at all costs?

And finally, what makes for a good marriage? No matter how or why two (or more) people commit to each other, what makes it work out for the happiness of all involved?

Friday, April 23, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Congrats to Candy for guessing it!)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

Lieutenant Dunbar wasn't really swallowed. But that was the first word that stuck in his head. Everything was immense. The great, cloudless sky. The rolling ocean of grass. Nothing else, no matter where he put his eyes. No road. No trace of ruts for the big wagon to follow. Just sheer, empty space...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, another seven days have flown by, and it's time once again for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, characters. It's time to share your pleasures, your pitfalls, your ambitions, or whatever else is on your mind – and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting to Know You: Phobias

Admit it, we all have one: an irrational fear that no amount of reasoning seems to conquer.

What's your phobia? Is it spiders?











How about heights or enclosed spaces?

You can tell us. We're your friends and we promise not to laugh.

So this week, share your phobias with us. Maybe you'll find you're not alone!

Friday, April 16, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from It by Stephen King.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's Happening Now?

I can't believe another week's gone by. Time sure does fly when you're having fun! Wait – you are having fun, aren't you?

Well, I hope you've made room for work and play this week, and I trust that you've seen a little more progress with your current writing projects.

'Cause, whether we like it or not, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, characters. It's time to share your joys, your woes, your dreams, or whatever else is on your mind – and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting to Know You: Comfort Food

We've all had those days. A tough day on the job has got us down, family is on our case, and it seems like the whole world is spinning out of control.

When that happens, what we need is comfort food!










What's your favorite comfort food? What cozy memories does it bring back for you? Tell us all about it, and maybe we'll share...if you let us.

Friday, April 9, 2010

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing?

I'll give you the first sentence or passage of a famous novel, and your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to attempt this little exercise. Let's see how many different perspectives we can create. As a bonus, try to guess the book that's being quoted.

(Incidentally, the last opener was from Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.)

Okay, are you ready? Here we go!

The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years – if it ever did end – began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Wow, has another week really gone by? Time sure does fly when you're having fun! Wait – you are having fun, aren't you?

Well, I hope you've made room for work and play this week, and I trust that you've seen a little more progress with your current writing projects.

'Cause, whether we like it or not, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, characters. It's time to share your joys, your woes, your dreams, or whatever else is on your mind – and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!