If you read my last couple of posts here at InspyRomance, you know that over the last month or two, we were beginning to look at selling our house and moving to “the city.” I’ve lived on a little farm for the past 7 years, and it’s been fantastic—wide open spaces, room for all the rescue animals I want, plenty of chickens, a giant garden, and even some adorable Nigerian dwarf goats.
It’s been a dream kind of life on our little homestead. Except for the mosquitoes (our property borders a rice field…) and the long distance commute my husband makes daily (between 3-4 hours daily on the road makes for a long day and a tired husband).
We initially looked for a place closer to his work on a few acres, but then my stepdaughter (age 12) officially decided to move in with us and start school wherever we chose to live. At that point, my plans changed! I want to be the “hang out” house and I know that means living in town. I’ll also be doing school drop off and pick up for the next few years, which meant proximity to school was a priority.
So instead of moving to another farm, we are headed to a cul de sac! In the past week we have officially sold a house and bought a house. Whew! Talk about head spinning stressful times! Lots of prayers from lots of people have gotten me through the last week. (and don’t worry—once Abby is finished with high school, we’ll no doubt be ready to move back to a rural route!)
And now the real struggle begins: packing like crazy and making plans for the new house. Our closing date will be in just a few short weeks and I’m currently surrounded by paint and floor swatches. I can’t help but notice what a wide variety of paint colors are on my “favorites” list.
I really am all over the place when it comes to my preferences. I have finally settled on the colors for all but one room, and they are all over the spectrum depending on what part of the house they are for. The side of the house where my office and daughter’s room will go are influenced by our love of all things beachy and nautical, while the living room and kitchen are warmer, richer colors. And the master bedroom and bathroom are more traditional and neutral. But somehow as I’m sitting here with those colors spread before me, they all seem to “go” together.
The process reminds me of creating a character. When I first started writing, I think I was guilty of what I call “cookie-cutter” characters. There’s nothing really surprising about them. They fit a certain mold and don’t stray from that.
But now, just like my wall color choices are eclectic, I also try to make my characters have some unexpected traits. I remember when I wrote Love Finds You in Charm, the hero, Noah, was a sort of stoic Amish man on the surface—who also had a love of painting and was a skillful artist. I loved that there was something kind of unexpected about him. (and I admit, I was disappointed when the movie version of Love Finds You in Charm didn’t mention it!)
I think it helps to make the characters come to life even more—when they have an unexpected character trait, interest, or habit.
I can think of several characters I’ve read who have stuck with me—largely because there was something “different” about them. They had traits I identified with or admired or that I just found interesting.
How about you? Who is the last fictional character who has really stuck with you? And why? I’d love to hear your thoughts!