Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What Defines You

"I'm not a drinker so I'd just have a gin."

This quote is from an older relative who will remain unnamed.  But it's a statement that just scratches the surface of a character.  I chuckle every time I hear that line.  And as it's a story she loves to tell, I've heard it often.   While we might think the words are rather contradictory, the speaker was entirely serious.  She doesn't drink and back in the day, while those around her enjoyed their favourite alcoholic beverage, she abstained and sipped on her gin.  Now, of course, her beverage of choice is tea but in her mind, that one gin was every bit as benign.

Definitely a character! 

Characters.  They're all around us from the people we know, to those we don't.  They all have their stories but they are all defined by simpler things, sometimes an expression, a belief, a saying.  Today I spotted a man with a bicycle weighed down with a plastic crate that seemed to hold what might be all his earthly belongings.  He was sitting on a park bench strumming his guitar.  An anomaly in the middle of a quiet rather standard neighbourhood.   And an interesting one as I considered who he might be or where he might be from.  Of course the fact that he may be a stranger to the neighbourhood, all of that is an assumption, maybe that was a local resident's alter ego and then, maybe it wasn't.

An author, who I also won't name, one of some renown, would give rather flamboyant speeches, his hair standing up as he swept his fingers through it at regular intervals and often hurled his jacket from the stage.  It was his utter lack of concern over what anyone might think - which was what he was known for, that defined him and made him a character to remember.

Character, it's all about those unique traits.  Any characters in your day?


Tomorrow author Anna Mclean will be here. She is the author of the Louisa May Alcott mystery series: Louisa and the Missing Heiress

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