Here are some Thanksgiving facts from the Huffington Post.
1) There’s no evidence that the first Thanksgiving in 1621 had turkey on the menu.
2) In 2007 the National Turkey Association conducted a study that concluded Americans consumed 690 million pounds of turkey during Thanksgiving.
3) The fork was not present during the first feast. It was introduced ten years later by Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts.
4) While turkey does contain tryptophan, more of the amino acid can by found in soybeans and pork. The drowsy effect that many people feel after consuming a Thanksgiving meal is more likely caused by over eating.
5) The night before Thanksgiving is considered the biggest drinking night of the year. Beating heavy-weight champs New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day.
6) Green bean casserole was created by Campbell’s soup some 50 years ago.
Today has been non-stop. I meant to blog earlier but ended up having a rough start. So this post will be more like a journal entry than anything. It all started last night. I couldn’t sleep and work up at 5:00am, stayed in bed until 7:00am. Some how I fell back asleep but it was very restless. Next thing I knew it was 12:00pm! I get up, get dressed am in the middle of getting my breakfast when someone knocks on the door. So I let my boyfriend’s friend in. Shoot the shit with him for a few minutes while my bf gets ready–no cereal for me. I make it out of the house, drive to work, and make pancakes. They were awesome by the way–banana topped with my version of homemade syrup.
Finally, I feel caught up and start working. Only to realize that I have a hospital tour scheduled in oh…less than 30 minutes. So I’m typing, shoveling pizza in my mouth and now leaving.
Personality, I think, forms after a period of time. Life experiences shape our attitudes, choices and our reactions to things. In fiction it is no different except a character’s personality doesn’t take a lifetime to form. This is where the character’s image comes into play.
Take Sandra from Conquering the Five Senses, her whole life is not before the reader to scrutinize unless the story starts at her birth but it doesn’t. She’s introduced as an older lady that has had many life experiences or at least that’s what we assume. Her thoughts and reactions have to come from somewhere, they have to have roots even if those roots are not apparent to the reader. They may not even be apparent to you, the writer. You may decide on a whim that Sandra despises cake. It’s a part of who she is because you said so–the end. The authoritative bluntness of such personality decisions is great and all, but doesn’t depict who Sandra is as a person. We’ll become familiar with her the more we are shown her actions, conversations, thoughts and feelings. So, how are we supposed to decide who Sandra is? You could just let it happen as you write, and eventually her personality will form or you can guide it.
By having a strong image of Sandra it’s easier to form her personality based on physical traits.
- She wears a pink shawl
- Has grey hair
- Has a slight hunch
What can be deduced? She probably likes pink, doesn’t care so much for perfect posture or hair products. These are pretty basic and bland assumptions to make. They still don’t tell us much about her personality, and they won’t until we start adding to her history/life experiences.
Sandra grew up on a farm; not a large-scale operation but a work-you-to-the-bone family endeavor. Being the oldest of twelve, she was constantly helping her mother with household work and raising younger siblings. She felt she never had time for herself, and she probably didn’t with so many responsibilities. Her family was poor; she rarely got to pamper herself with modern beauty techniques or wear the latest fashion. At times she begrudged her position but developed a respect for the land that only comes from the long hours spent toiling on it.
Voilà! Sandra’s a humble woman with respectable charm. She wears pink to bring a little flair to herself. She doesn’t dye her hair because of all the chemicals; she prefers natural beauty–an appreciation she developed while growing up. Her back is hunched because years of back-breaking labor does just that, breaks your back. With a general understanding of Sandra it’ll be easier to form her interactions with other characters and work the plot.