Monday, May 21, 2007

What a character!

I got the biggest kick out of seeing my newest grandson last week! He put on quite a show--sticking out his tongue, sucking his fist, smiling, grimacing. . .he even tried to gnaw on his toes. He's as cute as they come--replete with the same trademark cleft in his chin as his daddy.

Hands down, I'd rank this real-time, hour-long video event as the best piece of cinematography I've ever witnessed. You see, my newest grandson isn't expected to be born for another six weeks or so. He and his mommy (and Daddy Kevin, our youngest son) are in Kansas City, while I'm here in Ohio. But thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I was able to link to a live video feed of the 3D/color sonogram they performed in the doctor's office and catch my first glimpses of our little man.

Now, he's no longer a nebulus figure I look forward to meeting eventually. Not just a grainy gray one-dimensional outline like that of the first still-life sonogram image that I couldn't make heads or tails of--literally. I can see his precious little face in my mind's eye. He's REAL to me. . .and I can't wait to hold him in my arms and become real to him, too.

For you writers, do your stories come alive with three-dimensional, full-color characters? Do they become real to your readers--more than inert and monochrome words on a page, but vibrant, moving, breathing, human beings? Who is the most memorable or favorite character you've ever created in your writing? Or, if you're a reader, what book comes to mind when you think of the most memorable character you've encountered in your reading?

For your viewing pleasure, I am attaching a couple of still pictures captured from the 3D sonogram of Baby Boy Downs. I'm sorry to say, the still pics don't do him justice. At all. You'll just have to take my word for it. . .he's a real doll! sd


Anonymous said...

CONGRATS, Grandma Susan! I agree--he is a real cutie-patootie, and he's very blessed to be coming into such a wonderful family. Enjoy!

~Kim S.

Rhonda said...

Grandbabies are the best!! Thanks for sharing yours with us Susan. I have to admit he's a handsome baby!


Lynette Sowell said...

WOW. Amazing. :) I would have needed a tissue (or two) to watch that. :)

Character? I'd have to say Jo March from Little Women. She was the first character that I remember touching me to the core...watching her change and grow and fail and try to change some more. :)

Anonymous said...

Susan, what an absolutely splendid baby! I can't get over how golden he looks! I'm amazed that you were able to see the sonogram with your son and daughter-in-law at a distance. At the risk of sounding reeeeeally old, "What will they think of next?"

Favorite character in someone else's book: Francie in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." She just gets stronger and stronger throughout the book.

Favorite character in my books: I can't choose. It'd be like choosing which one of my kids I like the best.


Kristy Dykes said...

Amazing pics! Just amazing! And how neat that you compared this to our writing. Great analogy. Makes us think. Thanks, Susan. P.S. The little one is adorable.

Linda Ford said...

He's beautiful. Congratulations. Grandbabies are the best thing God created. Just my opinion of course.


Becky said...

Favorite character from literature has to be Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. I liked her as a kid, but I enjoy her even more as an adult.

The Barbie Girls said...

Her name is bandied about so often, referring to her now is almost cliche, but Scarlett O'Hara in GONE WITH THE WIND--the BOOK version, remains in my memory years after my last reading. In my opinion, Scarlett has been given a bad rap. Yes, she was conniving in her efforts to win the heart of Ashley. But I can so relate to her rampage of emotions--longing for the way things used to be, her fear, and her overriding determination to survive.
In the books I've written, I'd have to say the character I can most relate to is Anton Klassen in the last of the "Heirs of Anton" series. He fought daily with feelings of inferiority and fear, yet he was able to overcome. I hope I'll be able to say the same about myself when all is said and done!

The Barbie Girls said...

Oops, the post from "The Barbie Girls" should have been signed by me--Susan. Sorry 'bout that.

Marian Merritt said...

Amazing pics! Congratulations!

The character that resonates with me, is Karana from "Island of the Blue Dolphin." I can't remember how many years ago I read this book (too many to think about), but her strength and her fears have stayed with me.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.:)

Becky said...

The Island of Blue Dolphins is a great book. I haven't heard it mentioned in years, though.

Mary Connealy said...

Those pictures are AMAZING. I missed the whole ultrsound technology with my girls. I had them back in the day when they only took those pictures in an emergency and there was still some question if they were SAFE. I wanted one, too.
Characters in OTHER books that touched me, I have to say Abbie Deal in A Lantern in Her Hand. IF you've never read this book, or haven't read it lately, you need to go find it. I think it's particularly touching to a mother, and to a mother with dreams that she gives up for her children.
For myself...this is hard because I fall in love with my characters.
I really loved Clay in Petticoat Ranch, making him a clueless as possible without making him dumb or unkind was fun. Having Sophie be so strong AND try to be submissive which really doesn't suit her, was the source of a lot of humor, too.
I love a character in an unpublished book of mine, Cassie, a woman who has been trained to be an ultra submissive wife by a domineering husband and, when she's widowed and remarried, her new husband expects her to think for herself. Having her grow into a confident women was really a pleasure to write. Especially when, once she finds her backbone, her husband has his hands so full he wishes for his quiet, obedient little Cassie back.

Blissful said...

What a sweetheart, Susan! He's just darling.

My favorite character that I've written? Wow, I guess almost all my heroines resonate a part of me. Usually quite outspoken and angry (!). The difficult part for me is veering away from making carbon copies of myself in my characters. Like the character I just wrote about in my upcoming Christmas novella. Alice Wells. Giving, thankful, understanding, merciful, and brave. I need to be more like her. :)