1-14-23, Day 13 In PTL Perrin’s Life
Welcome to day thirteen of A Day In My Life! Happy Saturday!
Why the adorable baby blue dragon? Because I love dragons at that age! And, just maybe, this one will show up in a story I’m working on.
One thing I enjoy about being an author is connecting with people over books. I’ve been privileged to speak about my books at a middle school, at book signings, and at book clubs. The most common two questions people ask me are: “How did you get the idea for your stories?” and “How did you come up with your characters?”
Today, I’ll answer question number two. I’ll share the answer to the first question in another post.
I don’t “come up with” any of my characters. I meet them. Here’s how I met my first character, Jewel Amaryllis Adams.
An exceptional piece of artwork caught my eye as I casually surfed the web one day. Concetta Antico is a tetrachromatic artist, a woman who sees a hundred million colors and whose art reflects her vision. Imagine that! What IS a tetrachromat?
Curiosity led me to websites like this one, Exploring Your Mind, and this one, Healthline, where I learned that tetrachromats have four color cones in their eyes, allowing them to see exponentially more colors than most humans, who have only three. Then I discovered that pentachromacy also exists. If a person with four color cones can see a hundred million colors, what would someone with five color cones see?
A picture began to emerge in my mind. A lovely young woman stepped out of the shadows. Her long black hair shimmered with dark rainbows in the sun, like the feathers of a raven. She gazed at me with large, aquamarine, almond-shaped eyes, smiled, and said, “Hi. I’m Jewel. Who are you?”
I learned that Jewel was seventeen and had just moved to Blue Mountain (fictitious name), NC, from Asheville, where she’d been homeschooled by her scientist parents. She was about to go to a real school for the first time as a high school senior, and she was angry about it. Since she saw people’s auras, in addition to a gazillion colors, her dad invented a pair of color-dampening glasses and made her promise to wear them at all times in school. Jewel was a pentachromat–a smart one, with a loving, supportive family. What’s the fun in that? As it turned out, she was not the only gifted one.
I met the others in much the same way. Curiosity about special abilities led me to more research down many fascinating rabbit holes. As I met each of the characters, I saw where they fit into the story and how they would grow through their experiences together.
The internet has opened doors to unimaginable amounts of information. Meeting my characters led me to learn about a different culture, discover the most fascinating places on planet Earth, read about mysteries galore, and craft a story using much of that information. I wanted to write a story I would have enjoyed reading back when we didn’t have a television in the house. That’s a good thing, considering how many times I’ve read it, edited it, and revised it.
If you’re an author, how do you come up with your characters?
It’s COLD today in Florida. We have winter until Monday. By next Thursday, we’ll be back in the high seventies, low eighties. I’ll take a few days of winter, thank you.
Since I’m not a winter person, I planned to stay home all day. It paid off! I packed one bin full of Christmas, and have a good start on a second one. Our house will look a mess until it’s all put away, but that gives me more incentive to complete the job. Maybe I’ll be done by the time summer rolls around again next Thursday.
Here’s my to-do list for today:
- Write my daily blog. (Check!)
- Read the blogs of everyone participating in this challenge and comment. (daily)
- Balance our checkbooks. (Didn’t get done again.)
- Pack ONE bin full of Christmas and put it away. (Making Progress! This stays on the list until it’s done.)
- Spend an hour editing my friend’s book. (Maybe tomorrow)
- Make dinner and watch a movie with Bill before turning in for the night.
- STAY WARM!
Still seven items on the list. I need the extra padding in this frigid weather.
Patty Perrin (writing as P.T.L. Perrin)