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They Say I’m a Character

Don’t we look awesome?

In lieu of my usual Lame Post Friday,  I thought I would share some cool pictures from the RCIL Character Brunch, which I participated in last Saturday.  It was a blast!  I stole the above picture from the RCIL Facebook page.  I also took a few with my Tablet.

Snow White turned her back, because she had a mouthful of donut.

Unfortunately I could only take pictures in the room where we hung out before the event.  During the event, I was busy dancing, signing autographs (really!), and generally being a character once the event started. But I think my backstage pictures are fun. In the above shot, the foreground features Alice of Alice in Wonderland with one of the Queen of Hearts’ minions (I know you think a minion is a goofy yellow guy in a Facebook meme, but it is also a generic term for an underling).  The Beast from Beauty and is in the background, without his head.

Here’s Snow White, and Beast again.

 

And Cinderella!

 

A kind of artsy shot (or do I flatter myself?) shot of Elsa getting ready.

What I really enjoyed was the eclectic quality of the gathering.  I think at the time I used the word “eclecticness” which may or may not actually be a word (surely you don’t expect me to look it up on Lame Post Friday) (and I will call you Shirley if I feel like it).

Royalty present included Princess Leia and Prince Charming.

 

A Jedi knight and Sponge Bob.

 

I wish I had gotten some better shots of these folks.

Some time when I’m feeling less lame, I’d like to write more about RCIL and the brunch.  For now, I leave these pictures and a wish for a Happy Friday for all.

 

A Post with Character?

I am getting totally used to this Tablet posting.   Unfortunately,  that is pretty much all I’ve got to say this evening.  The other problem is I don’t know how to download new monster pictures for a Monstrous Monday post.  Shall I go with previously seen creatures, as I have on numerous occasions? Or just go with some Monday Middle-aged Musings?

“Did somebody mention Monstrous Monday?”

You know that given a choice I will almost always go with my beloved Nosferatu.

In Sunday’s post, which I cravenly made earlier today, I mentioned finding a new approach.  Well, when I got to work,  I decided  to write.   I opened my notebook to a fresh page and started a new novel.  Ahem, what actually happened was I said to myself, “OK, let’s start our novel.”  After a minute or two of thinking,  “Oh, crap,” I started making up character names.  I put a few notes next to most of them.

I really don’t think this such a bad start.  After all, it is all about the people,  as far as I’m concerned. I just need to make them more than names and notes.

 

Now here’s a character, if you like.

I try to make my characters more than just pretty (or handsome) faces.  I figured this picture combined the Monstrous Monday theme with my novel update.

No Smoking? But this guy is smoking hot!

Just to end on a monster,  here’s one who is also a great character, Blackula!

As for my blog, this post is over 250 words.  Happy Monday,  folks!

 

Murder Mystery Memories

How about a fast Throwback Thursday post instead of the flustered Non-Sequitur Thursday post that I really feel is more along the lines of what I am capable of at this moment.  I am soon to hurry to a rehearsal of Morning’s at Seven, pausing on the way to drop off a script for A Trivial Murder.  Everything will be fine.  I don’t have to be off book tonight.

You may remember these suspicious characters.

Here is a good murder mystery memory: A G.R.A.V.E. Murder, which we presented in October 2017 to benefit the Herkimer County Historical Society.  I am looking forward to A Trivial Murder, which is also for the historical society.

Don’t you just love my hat?

And here is another murder mystery memory:  Donate to Murder, which LiFT, the Little Fall Theatre Company, presented at Herkimer Elks Lodge this past September.  I hope they invite us back.

I may wear those same shoes for Morning’s at Seven.

I like these pictures so much, I think I’ll share a couple more.  Here’s me and Steve and our buddy, Tucker, in the middle.  I wrote Tucker’s character especially for him, after he told me what sort of person he would like to portray.  I think I’ll close with a picture of the character, Renwick Spaulding.

“You wanna see my bug collection?”

Happy Thursday, everyone!

 

Murder Most Different

OK, so I did not write a blog post while at work today, because I spent every break working on a murder mystery.  I LOVE writing murder mysteries!  I feel so clever when I am inventing characters, deciding on their relationships and problems.  When I realize this one wants to do dirt to that one, or the other one loves this one but yet another character knows the dirty little secret of…  you get the picture.

I actually have three mysteries to write with varying requirements for each.  Today I was working on one that is particularly intriguing, because the format is different from what I am used to.  What I usually write is dinner theatre:  the actors mingle with the audience during cocktails then have an actual, rehearsed performance in which all the clues are presented.  The murder I worked on today will be almost completely interactive, with the audience seeking clues throughout several rooms.

I will have to figure out how the murder was committed and, more importantly, how somebody might figure out who did it, how and why.  What clues will be found?  Where will they be?  How did they get there?  Where do they lead?  Can they possibly MISlead?  How about a nice, juicy red herring or two?

However, for me, everything starts with the characters.  I know who will be the victim of the first murder (I think we’ll have more than one corpse during the evening, just to keep things lively).  I started thinking of who the other characters will be.  Soon I had several people identified by roles:  the guy that runs the speakeasy (did I mention that it is a 1920s theme?), the madame of the brothel, the proprietor of a rival speakeasy…   Once I had given everybody a name, things got really fun.

Soon I will have figured out what everybody thinks of everybody else, who hates or loves whom, who did dirt to whom (I do mean “whom” don’t I?  How embarrassing that I am not sure).  I write a lot of random notes then try to organize everything.

Hmmm…  I seem to be babbling on without a whole lot of specifics.  Well, I will give more specifics on these mysteries when I know more about the where, when and how you can get tickets.  In the meantime, I hope I have intrigued my local readers and entertained those farther afield.  If so, I say good work for a Tired Tuesday.

 

Writing and Weather on Wuss-out Wednesday

It is the last day of Summer, and quite frankly it does not feel as if Summer is going anywhere.  I say this in a perfectly neutral manner, because I know that some people enjoy warm weather while others are anxious for Fall.  I say it at all, because, again quite frankly, I got nuthin’ else.  I would say, “Oh, that’s OK: it’s Wuss-out Wednesday,” but I have had so many foolish posts lately, I feel abashed.

I spent part of my day at work trying to think of what I could write a blog post about.  However, I spent more time thinking about the murder mystery I started to write.  I am in the midst of inventing characters and backstories. Murder mystery characters are especially fun to write, because everybody has many secrets.  I’m sure there are people who will pipe up with, “EVERYBODY has secrets!”  Well, I am not going to argue with imaginary people today.  I had fun writing my murder mystery characters, that is all.

As you may guess, I had more success with the characters than with ideas for the blog post.  Additionally, I spent another day with that coating of sweat that has been a permanent part of my wardrobe for months now.  I mention that not in a complaining spirit, but as a continuation of my earlier weather report.  So I have given you a brief report on my weather and my writing.  I find that, and my headline, properly alliterative.  I hope to see you all on the non-alliterative Non-Sequitur Thursday.  I wonder if I can fit in a Mohawk Valley adventure to write about between now and then.

 

On with the Murder Mystery!

It looks as if the murder mystery dinner theatre I’ve been working on is going to happen.  That is good news, since I finally know who the murderer is.  I was working on it today instead of writing a blog post.  So instead of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday, I thought I would write a little about how I create these murder mysteries and call it a Mid-week Mental Meanderings.

I often start with the setting.  Obviously the setting is the dinner the play takes place at, but why are we all there?  Just a dinner party?  A hoity-toity fundraiser for some some charity beloved by rich folk?  Rich folk are often involved.  For one reason, it gives us actors a chance to wear our most fabulous outfits.  For another reason, it’s fun to make fun of rich people.  I often have a few false starts, but that’s OK.  No mental effort is ever wasted.

What finally got me started on this one was a glimmer of a character.  I wanted to include a woman who was somebody’s aunt and preferred to be called by her full name:  Awnt Theodora.  That is not a misspelling; she pronounces it “awnt.”  Naturally there must also be a character who insists on calling her Ant Teddy (again, that is not a misspelling).  This is the sort of thing that goes over much better in a play than in a book.  In the play, we’ll all just say “ant” or “awnt.”  I won’t have to explain anything.

I decided Theodora and her niece must be hoity-toity rich people of the Old Money variety.  The character who keep mispronouncing her name would be the niece’s fiance from the wrong side of the tracks, perhaps the son of a nouveau riche cattle rancher.  The reason for the dinner could be their engagement party.

And so it began.  Soon I had the number of characters I wanted and I began to add the details.  Who dislikes whom and why?  What secrets are people hiding?  This part is a lot of fun.  The rest of the process is pretty fun, too, only it’s not as easy.  I have to make choices and figure things out.  There is a lot of brain work, a lot of sitting and thinking, a lot of writing and crossing out, and quite a bit of blank-page staring.

I fear that to go through the whole process will be longer than, well longer than I feel like writing right now.  However, I think what I have so far will be an OK post for today.  I’ll write more about the Murder Mystery Process in future posts.  And I have made a discovery: writing about writing is even more fun than writing about not writing.

 

Novel Thoughts

Dammit, I can WRITE. I am an awesome writer! You would not BELIEVE the fiction that comes from these same fingers that are currently typing this Friday Lame Post. Wait a minute, I mean you WOULD believe it, because my characters are wonderful, and the story would carry you along.

I had thought NOT to have a Friday Lame Post this week since I have been not exactly non-lame for most of the rest of the week. I guess nobody believed that was going to happen, although who knows, it may someday. To that end (as well as for my fitness and weight-loss goals), I ran this morning. I fully intended to write a Running Commentary while at work. Well, let me explain what happened, starting yesterday.

I have mentioned the problems I have been having with the novel I am writing. It’s been at kind of a standstill, progressing at irregular dribs and drabs. Well-written dribs and drabs, I hope, but still. But my determination is unwavering and I persevere. I spend a good portion of every day at least THINKING about my plot and my characters. I come to very few conclusions.

Until yesterday. There I was, at my machine, hard at work, when two lines came to me, rather dramatic lines spoken by two characters who have previously had no interaction. I pondered them and found them to be good. I surreptitiously pulled out the little notebook I carry in my BDU pants and jotted them down. I pondered them more, where they were said, who else was there, what else was happening.

Then the buzzer rang for the two o’clock break. I ran to my full-size notebook and started writing like mad! That has not happened to me in YEARS! A co-worker made a sarcastic remark about my leaving my machine turned on. I went and turned it off. He made another couple of sarcastic remarks. I ignored them.

“Kind of busy here,” I said, which was not particularly well-received, but I was buried in the fiction by now and was unaware of further sarcastic remarks. It was great.

I’ll be damned if a similar thing didn’t happen to me today, on breaks and on lunchs. Perhaps the writing was a little less intense, but I liked it. I admit it wasn’t all good. I would write a scene, then think about it later, realize there was a better thing to happen, get to the next break and write a new, better scene. Oh, it was fun. This is the way writing was meant to be!

And so I didn’t write a blog post. And I’m not apologizing about it. I’m going to go back and work on my novel some more. When I finish it and publish it, you can read it and tell me if I wasn’t right to do so.