Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Secondary Characters - Blog Hop

I am excited to take part in my first blog hop with other writers and inspired by Libby Mercer.
Our invite was to write a post about secondary characters.

When I was at drama school, studying to be a professional actress, a tired, bitter female teacher told me that the only roles I would ever get were the secondary character ones. The quirky and/or plumpies with British cockney accents, often the comedic friend who pops into every episode.
I did not take this news as the negative comment it was meant to be, because those were exactly the acting roles I wanted. Ironically enough, she was totally wrong! I became a successful stage lead, ha just kidding. I failed many auditions and didn't get to be fourthly characters let alone secondary. However, I digress (often and with snacks). Here follows my post on fictional secondary characters.

Thinking about "girly books" I am reminded of one of my favorite chick heroines. That being the wonderful story of Cinderella. Short story run through in case you are not familiar with the tale (really?!):
chick gets poor, moves in with step mum who hates her, there is a lot of magic with a pumpkin, chick dances with a prince, she leaves behind a Prada shoe, (always good to leave something behind for the excuse to go back) prince finds her, marries her, paparazzi everywhere, she goes topless and everyone lives happily ever after.
I read the original story of Cinderella from The Grimm Brothers. The secondary characters for me are the birds. Alfred Hitchcock would agree because he made a movie about them. 
It is the turtle doves and the pigeons who pick pick pick all the lentils out from the ashes and bring CinderChick a great frock to wear. Those birds saved her day, actually her life, and the Princes life. That's what a great secondary character could/would/should do: inspire, motivate and put into action a change of events that our leading character cannot begin. It is often a surprise when the secondary steps up to do this and it's the moment that highlights their loyalty and love for the lead. 
Here's something that I admire in writing; is when the secondary does an additional act, that will show yet another side to their character. In the movie Notting Hill - remember when Hugh Grants Welsh weirdo housemate, jumps out of the car to direct the traffic in order for Hugh to get to Julia Roberts.
My second surprise from the pigeons in Cinderella were that they peck peck peck peck the eyes out from both Ugly Sisters. Isn't that awful???? They risk becoming a bad thanksgiving meal for the anger they have toward Cinders enemies. Good idea Mr.Disney to edit that scene from your movie.

I have a prize of my favorite Summer read from the brilliant Leslie Daniels - Cleaning Nabokov's House. I loved this book and thoroughly enjoyed a set of dishy men as secondary characters.
So to win please post your answer: If the Brothers Grimm had a modern day life profession other than writing, what would you have them do?
My favorite answer will win a brand new copy of the book. You can also tweet me (see my connection to theme!) @JayneHannah1
Please do not forget to add your email so that I may contact you.
Take a look at other writers below at their postings and prizes.
Remember if you cannot be a leading character at times, then be a sensational secondary character.
Surprise yourself.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meaningful Beauty and Getting Wiser



I know I am getting wiser because…………


  • At 1am I do not want to hear Cindy Crawford tell me how much I need to purchase Meaningful Beauty.
  • Listening to a popular radio station is like listening to songs from the Disney Channel.
  • Clothing leaves imprints.
  • I no longer wear reading glasses trying to show that I’m intelligent and/or sexy. Now I actually need them to read.
  • I’m putting my pennies together to exchange for notes at the bank.
  • I buy earrings and sparkly bracelets instead of lingerie.
  • I’m considering buying Meaningful Beauty in the next fourteen minutes for the fifty percent discount and free shipping.
  • I was shocked at the cleavage on the Red Carpet during the Emmy Awards. How do they do that?
  • I double check for tooth loss after chewing Mentos.
  • When visiting the store Forever 21, I keep saying loudly: “Now what did my niece say she wanted?” For fear that people will imagine that I am in there for myself.  Which I totally am and never understand why I torture myself like that.  I'm glad to say it is only an annual event that often inspires depression, a diet and a chocolate binge.
  • I’m searching for the credit card to purchase Meaningful Beauty. I just need to locate my glasses in order to find the credit card, and why do they give that telephone number so quickly?
  • Wait a minute - why am I still up?




Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alzheimer's Month - Dr.Jekyll

September is World Alzheimer's Month and it would be remiss of me not to post something.

Since David died, I have not been keen on thinking about the disease. I am on a break.  Somewhere within me, however, is an ambition to do something for Davids honor. He was treated professionally by the hospital, as though he were an experiment. It would be incredible if I could assist in saving others from this, and perhaps for his pain to eventually become part of the reason others do not suffer.
Sounds grandiose I know. I bet they said the same about Clara Barton, or Christiaan Barnard or Dr Jekyll. Well perhaps not Jekyll, though wasn't he the good personality? Actually he was fictional, (kind of) so best not to think about Jekyll.
Anyway, main purpose for this posting is to share the reminder that personal caregivers for an Alzheimer's patient - remain in love with their loved ones.
It is the hardest challenge for patience, tolerance and strength, both emotional and physical.
Last year Sandy, my inspiration of a friend, whose husband had passed away from cancer in 2011, once said to me, no matter how hard the care giving had been, that the grief was so much harder.
I was so fortunate that she told me that, as I knew to enjoy the time I had, no matter what was going on. Sadly I was not perfect - that's right everyone not even me! My biggest regrets are all connected to not supporting myself well, and hence I had bad days. The exhaustion and fear did not serve David and I and I'm left feeling that I let us both down.

If you know a caregiver - reach out to them. Do something to assist. Even a little thing like an email or phone call. A pint of milk and a bucket of ice cream. Well, not that if they are lactose intolerant, that really would not help. Anything good, really counts.
Remember that if you witness bad times between the couple, at some point, they will sit quietly together and smile. I would watch David sleeping knowing there would be the day that I couldn't do that. Within this post I include all caregivers who are relatives. I recognize that taking care of a non spouse has issues that a husband and wife do not encounter.
My heart pours for all the caregivers who give and love fiercely. I feel responsible somehow to support those who I know personally. It is an honor not a duty. They all should/could/would be treated with compassion.
The fear of the unknown can make us unknown. Don't be like that when we have so many other choices. Jekyll or Hyde is a choice - I knew I could reference that again!



Christiaan Barnard