Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Searching for Me

I am many personas, many faces, a hodge podge of moods, emotions and thoughts...in one body. I am this way both as a person and as an author. Add to that, the fact that I've grown (at least I hope :-)) and evolved over the years to become the character I am today. Every little experience I have lived, every smile, every tear, every bit of amazement or disillusionment is reflected in me, the individual and the writer.

How am I this many people? Well, it's nothing to be amazed over, really. We all are a huge mixture of things - perhaps we often take it for granted. Over the course of life - and in a big way during our teen years - we spend a lot of time searching for our "identity". Everyone wants to have one. Everyone needs one. It is what makes us unique. Eventually, we realize that it's okay to be more than one thing, and it is those different ingredients that give us our individuality. What an author does that perhaps others don't do is take note of all these nuances and quirks and exploit them in the written word - that is, in the characters of a book. See if you can relate to this...

I am a NURTURER - as a child I took care of my dolls and stuffed bears and pandas. In my case, I also mothered a life size robot with missiles by the name of Goldrake (from the Japanese cartoon of the same name) - my absolute favorite toy, I told anyone who asked. When I grew up, I became a wife and now, I'm experiencing the joys of a soon-to-be mother. It comes naturally to be a nurturer, does it? It is an inalienable part of us.

I am a SULTRY SIREN - not much of that feeling lately, me being with the "bump" and all, but there are times when I love to put on my "sultry siren" hat, that is to say, embrace my femininity. It feels good to be feminine and most of all, to FEEL feminine. When my husband appreciates it, it is all the reward I need.

I am an ADVENTURESS - sometimes I love to try new things and see new places. I love the feeling of novelty when I do something I've never done before. It could even be something as small as trying a strange type of fruit or visiting an unfamiliar part of the city. It is the thrill of the unexpected that gets me going, no matter how slight that thrill is.

I am a HELLCAT - have you ever wanted to scratch someone's eyes out? I have. Perhaps a significant other's or a friend's. When this happens, you'll know. You love these people to bits but sometimes you feel as though they bring out the worst in you. Your blood starts to boil and you fantasize about sharpening your nails on a tough strip of leather, as one would do with a shaving blade. When someone ruffles your feathers, no telling what may come out of you. I've been through this many times.

I am ALL HEART - As women we feel things so much differently than men. Rather, men think and we feel. We see a wounded cat or dog and our heart breaks. We see a sick baby, or elderly person, and we cry for them. We try to see the good in everyone, yet, we realize the world is a treacherous place to navigate. There are times when I want to embrace and comfort everyone. Although I know that is not always possible and life often gets in the way, I like to think that with so much people feeling this way and better still, acting on it, the world cannot be such a bad place after all.

I am a SHAMELESS GOSSIP - Yeah, yeah you know what I mean, right? Have you never gossiped shamelessly with your friends over wine or coffee? What about that new guy at the office? Or that old friend from high school who sold all her earthly possessions and moved to a beach hut on Turks and Caycos? The college slut who got divorced 15 times? Come on now, you know you're not immune! Everyone's done this at some time or other in their lives. I admit, I am not much of a gossip now, but I do catch myself in the deed every now and then. All I can do is acknowledge it and move on to a different line of conversation.

I could go on and on with this, but it would take me forever. I think of shows like Sex and the City and how so many women related a little to each of the characters in that show. Why? Because we all have a bit of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte in us - no denying that. We are many people rolled into one. That's what makes us interesting.

Now, as an author, here is where the fun starts. My characters are a product of my fantasy but in these characters I instill values and traits that I am familiar with. In them I inject a little of me, a little of my friends or relatives, a little of someone I've observed or fantasized about. My Cole for example, from my short Mile High to Heaven (coming shortly at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid) has a bit of my husband in him, combined with other attributes that make me weak at the knees :-D. He is alpha with a soul, a veritable hurricane. The heroine, Olivia, is a little like me, and a little like one of my best friends. Yet, she is also her own person, a product of my imagination. I put a bunch of ingredients in my mental cauldron and mix them to my heart's content.

Man is not purely one thing. If that were the case, wouldn't life be infinitely boring? Man is everything that life has to offer, thank goodness. So I hope that for as long as I keep writing, I'm able to bring the brilliant colors of life into the soul of my characters. This is what makes them whole and unique, the same thing that makes us whole and unique. Not necessarily our traits, but the way those traits mix and mingle inside us. With our characters too, it is their identity - which is a living, breathing, ever evolving thing.

Angela Guillaume
Mr. & Mrs. Foster - Redemption has never felt so sweet! Available now at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

8 comments:

C. A. Salo said...

Nice post Angela.
I have to agree with the little whisps of ourselves we find our characters inheriting from us.
;-D

Congrats with the baby bump!! How exciting is that!! You have my best!!

C~

Sandy said...

Nat,

I can relate to everything but the gossip. I don't think I've ever gossiped in my life, and I'm very uncomfortable when people start. Usually, I find myself moving away from the group. Also, I've never been a fan of Sex and the City. I don't know why. Maybe, that's why I write suspense. Grin.

Great post. Let me know when Baby Bump starts kicking. Smile.

Hugs,
Sandy

Angela Guillaume said...

Hey Sandy, not much of a gossip either, but I was more relaxed in that environment in my teens. I was young and wanted to fit in with my peers. Too often for comfort I was the one being gossiped about though, and I know how much it hurt. These days I don't do it at all and I don't care for people who must talk about others in a manner that denigrates them. When I "gossip" it's more about stuff that's related to lifestyle or politics now- although that's not really gossip, I suppose?

That has been part of me however, at some point...and there's so much more that I didn't add.

Thanks for reading, Sandy :-D

Nat

Sandy said...

You're welcome, Nat. I enjoyed it, and I'm sure there is so much more to you than what you told us in your post. We can't tell everything. Smile.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Hey Angela

You gave a lovely and somewhat cheeky peek into who you are, and also into your persona as a writer! It was great to find out more about you this way, what an intro!

You're right - we're the sum of many parts, and 'real' characters have to feature such a sum too.

Hugs

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn)

Angela Guillaume said...

Thank you Z - I wish I could have added more, but it would have been way too long LOL

love,
Angela

Chiron said...

Love the glimpse into the various facets of your unique self. *smile* Love also how you showed the connection with writing multi-faceted characters. Very intriguing.

It's funny about gossip. Although it often spirals into a negative practice, it's also a learning tool. By our judgements, we learn more about our own values. Just one more tool in our quest for self-discovery. (By the way, can you BELIEVE what a scamp that Samantha Jones is??? *grin*)

Fabulous post, Angela! I really loved reading this...

Smiles,
Chiron

Chicki said...

Angela,

I loved this entry. This is a topic I think about all the time, because until I started writing I don't think I'd ever expressed all of the women I am.

I love what you said about Sex in the City. I've seen bit of myself in each of those women. Writing gives me the opportunity and freedom to be the good girl, the whore, the adventuress and all those other chicks who reside inside me without negative repercussions. :)