Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Meet My Characters: Anissa and Harmon

When I started this blog, my intention was to gradually introduce some of my book characters in the future. I couldn't wait any longer, though, so I have to introduce a couple of my favorites. (Just so everyone knows,  All my characters are fictional, but I do take joy in throwing in a little bit of my own and my family's personalities and characteristics into them.)

Meet Anissa.
As the oldest of a widow's two daughters, Anissa feels like the burden of taking care of her mother and sister falls solely on her shoulders. While she is young (early twenties) Anissa is mature beyond her years, thanks to a past that has only brought her pain. She's extremely sensitive- the least little thing will set her to worrying- and she tends to be the quiet observer when in church or at family gatherings. She never quite feels she is good enough, and doesn't seem to see the attractive qualities everyone else sees in her. She doesn't see herself as the generous lady everyone sees, but as a dutiful daughter doing what is required. She doesn't see a smart young lady who tries to put everyone before herself, she sees people in need and no one willing to help. Her best friend is her cousin Elizabeth- her complete opposite- and she relies on Elizabeth to bring a smile to her face when her past or current events are stressing her. Her sister Mallory can be a trial at times, but Anissa would defend both her mother and sister with her life, if need be. She tries quietly to serve her Lord and be the good daughter she knows her mother needs.
Now meet Harmon.
 There are some things that change our lives on the outside and leave scars on the inside, then there are things that leave scars on the outside but change us inside. Harmon's life was changed when he and his brother were in a car accident when they were children. He doesn't see himself as perfect- quite the opposite- but since God spared his life, Harmon intends on using his life to serve God. He's just graduated Bible college at the beginning of the story, and is looking for God to open doors for him to serve. Though scarred on the outside, Harmon bears no scars on the inside. He is intent on using every opportunity to share the gospel. Volunteering to fill in for a pastor friend is more than the blessing he thinks it to be, because it is what will bring him to his future wife's church!

I don't want to give away their story, but I will say that Harmon and Anissa, though their lives could be seen as completely opposite, are the perfect match. Anissa is solemn and quiet, Harmon is outgoing and joyful. Where Harmon sees flaws, Anissa sees strengths. And the fact that Anissa has prayed for a preacher husband since she was a young teenager... well, that's just an added blessing. Writing their story was one of my favorite things to do. I love the comic moments of their budding relationship- Harmon babysitting her pastor's mischievous dogs, Anissa burning a cake so bad she filled the kitchen with smoke- and the bittersweet moments- when Anissa shared her painful childhood with Harmon- and the fact that the story didn't even turn out how I first intended it to when I started writing! Anissa does have quite a few of my own characteristics- I really have prayed for a preacher husband since I was 15, and I have burned cakes that badly more than a few times- and so it was easy to write her character. Harmon, I had a little trouble with at first, but gradually I was able to build his character up in the way I needed for the story. It was a joy to write their story, and I can't wait to get it published so I can find out what everyone else thinks as well!

Well, my friends, it's getting late here- after 10 PM- so I had better get off the computer. I hope you have enjoyed meeting two of my favorite characters!

What Happens Everyday in My Household....

Remember, I have seven siblings.... If any of this seems exaggerated, I assure you, it's not 😉

7:00 Am... I wake up. Either I've woke up because the sun managed to get through my curtains and I couldn't sleep, or my baby sister has came in to poke my face repeatedly until I get up because, in her words, 'it's wake up time, Miss!' A quick shower and clean clothes, and my day officially begins.

7:30 Am.... Breakfast. Which means a bowl of cold cereal and my morning Bible time for me (my favorite is Cheerios) and helping Mom make something for everyone else. Most times it's waffles (baby sister does love her waffles) or pancakes. There's probably some sausage, maybe bacon, and in the winter, a ton of hot chocolate for the kids (I don't drink the stuff, but they love it).

8 Am.... School time. I take the little sis and go play doll houses, color, watch old kids shows on YouTube or find some other extremely interesting game to play with her while my mom homeschools the rest of the kids that are still in school. After a few minutes, when I know baby sister is totally engrossed in what she's playing, I'm free to send a quick text, work on my crocheting, or (as I'm doing now) work online. We'll do this until about noon, when we take a lunch break.

12 Pm.... Lunch. By now at least one, if not both, of my siblings who work will have left. The laundry (did I mention laundry starts right before breakfast and goes until dinner time?) will be half done, and baby sister's getting bored. Once we've all ate, she and I go for a walk around the yard if there's good weather, and check the mail, my flowers, that pile of dirt, the trees.... Basically anything that interests her. After stopping to see everything (I'm worried about those rose bushes, she's worried about that butterfly) we finally can go back inside, and wait for Mom and the kids to finish.

2 Pm.... School's done, laundry is not. We usually do 4 loads a day, but even with a extra large washer and dryer, it takes time. Plus there's the folding, the sorting, the putting away. Laundry in a big family is a big chore. Baby sister has ran off to play with the other kids, so I'm free to do some more online work, or some sewing. Mom's cleaning the kitchen, and I know that soon it'll be dinner time, so we're talking about that.

4 Pm.... Time to cook dinner. Depending on who is cooking, either I'm starting dinner preparations or distracting baby sister so Mom can. By now, I've texted a half dozen people (More than likely, it's my best friend and all day) and I've worked on at least a little crocheting. Having my own Etsy shop means I have to keep up with the current new listing projects.

6 Pm... Dinner clean up and bedtime preparations. Dishwasher to fill, laundry to put away, and toys to clean up. Blinds to shut, rooms to get ready, and little ones that need their teeth brushed. This hour is the busiest for us. We're trying to get everything ready so they can go to bed, and us adults can relax for a bit. If you call right now and aren't one of my siblings who work, don't expect an answer. Yes, the phone is on (it's off during school hours) but we're rather busy right this moment, we'll get back to you.

8 Pm... Baby sister is asleep, and the other kids are reading their Bibles. Right now I do about half an hour of walking (have to keep in shape, you know 😉) and then I can just sit down and relax. A couple more messages to friends, and then it's just me and a basket of yarn. I'll crochet some cradle purses, doilies, or something for a wedding, or maybe I'll do some writing (I only write in the evenings, mostly only in winter).

10 Pm... Bedtime. I'll do my evening Bible reading, get all my laundry off the end of my bed, and cuddle up under a ton of blankets because I stay cold year round, and finally my day is over! It starts again in the morning, though, so sleep is important.

Grant it, this changes sometimes, like on Sundays and Wednesdays when we have church, or on days when I need to go run errands. But this is pretty much my life!