“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” – Sam Ewing
“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” – Albert Einstein
Thinking About Creating Them
Back in my early teen years, I thought the way to be liked was to be nice and smile all the time. And it worked. But over the years, it turned me into a thin character, one whom people may have liked, but gained me little respect.
It took my mother, a feisty, plain spoken, quick-tempered, cigarette smoking (until she quit cold turkey at the age of 76 because the “damn” things became too expensive), to make me look at things differently. My kids adored her, and I had to wonder why.
It was her rough edges. And so, while I’m still nice and do smile
a lot, I began to let the imperfect edges of my character leak out. I liked it – and evidently so did others because I gained more friends, and one of the nicest compliments I ever received was from a younger friend who told everyone “I want to be just like Pat Bean when I grow up.”
Currently I’m involved in a writing project with my oldest daughter, Deborah. After attending a writing workshop together,about the value of writing 20 minutes a day that Len Leatherwood taught during the Story Circle Network conference in Austin last month, we are both doing just that. Her project is a fantasy book that she has been playing around with for years. Mine is also a fantasy book that I’m making up as I go.
To keep us on track, we’ve established a slackers’ jar that is collecting quarters, one for each day one of us doesn’t write on our projects for 20 minutes a day. So far I’ve contributed a $1 to the jar, and my daughter only one quarter. She is also writing more in her 20 minutes a day than I am.
Right now I’m stuck on giving my characters character – the same way I was stuck for far too many years giving myself one. Ouch!
Bean Pat: 20 Minutes a Day http://lenleatherwood.wordpress.com/ Thought you might want to see Len’s blog after I mentioned her. She mostly sits down at the end of her long days and writes whatever pops into her head.. It’s kind of a public diary, but I’ve gotten inspiration from many of those blogs. She is also an illustration, compared to me who must write early in the day or I don’t write, of how different writers write.