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What makes a good character?

Someone mysterious? Boring? Risqué? Over-the-top? Untouchable? Surreal? Perfect? Ludicrous? Rude? Quiet? Professional? Heart-felt? Needy? Brash? Sexy? Offensive? Kind? Alien? Square? Thoughtless? Thoughtful? Dreamy? Inept? Quirky? Confident? Artistic? Argumentative? Stubborn? Creative? Constructive? Forward-thinking? Magical? Business-minded? Helpful? Shut-off? Energetic? Charismatic? Disabled? Old-fashioned? Forward-thinking? Imaginative? Colourful? Radiant? Beautiful? Ugly? Robotic? Moronic? Warm? Cold? Holier-than-thou? Devilish? Inappropriate? Risk-taker? Stick-in-the-mud? Comical? Interesting?

A mixture of all? Just one? Maybe a couple?

There are a lot of ‘interesting’ characters that call by this blog that could easily fit into the list above. Myself included… Tom Merriman’s a character, don’t forget. OK. Maybe ‘interesting’ was the wrong choice of word.

My characters are all adaptable. They try to fit into a number of different scenarios. Some they take to like a duck to water, and others they’re like a fish out of it.

But they are still characters. Surreal creations that exist in Universes far, far away. Surreal lives with surreal existences that desperately need for their surreal stories to be told.

But are they good characters?

I don’t know. They’re all a work in progress.

Reimagined Classics: Thomasina with the Earring

With beanie hat in tow (with a pair of old tights tied on top) Thomasina (my Inner Woman) reappeared this week demanding another portrait be made. You can’t refuse such a request. Really, you can’t. I have tried.

Ripping the Mona Thomasina out of the frame, Thomasina said “We’ll use this again. And for the next three.” Which was her way of telling me she wanted another three portraits doing. “For this run!” she adds. See? Refusal is not an option.

This rip off version of a classic is based upon Girl with a Pearl Earring, an oil painting by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, dated around 1665. There is a movie of the same name, starring Colin Firth (as Vermeer, not the girl!), which wasn’t the inspiration for this picture, as I haven’t seen that movie. The painting wasn’t named as such when it was first done, but this is the name it currently holds.

As with last week’s painting, this week’s is slightly similar yet totally different once again to the original to which upon it is based. Thomasina is looking the wrong way for starters. She’s also wearing that hat and tights combo, and her earring most definitely isn’t pearl. It’s a clip-on one. And this painting isn’t done in oils.

Just so you’re forewarned… there is a nightmare of a painting coming up. I almost replaced this one with that one, just to get it out of the way… but I think best left until the very last minute is the wisest option. Honestly, it’s the stuff of nightmares. Once seen, it can never be unseen. But Thomasina likes it.

And what Thomasina likes… well. Wait and see.

I shall apologise now.

There will, however, be another ‘respectable’ painting along next week.

Tales from the Superhero Diaries 6.3: As and When Required

“Lycralad, take a seat here, beside me.” Raymond tapped on the cushion on the two-seater velvet sofa that had been installed in his new office. “So tell me, what do you think of this new office of mine?”

Lycralad squeezed himself into the space between Raymond and the arm of the sofa, aware that Raymond was deliberately encroaching onto his space.

“It looks OK,” Lycralad began to say.

Raymond interrupted. “It’s amazing what money can buy nowadays, isn’t it? Those workmen were given until the end of the week to finish this office, and just because I paid them a, erm, little bit extra, they worked constantly and thoroughly overnight and have finished it for today. Obviously, I had to pay them a little more for doing such an erm wondrous job, and I have told them to make sure that they take the rest of the week off as a goodwill gesture. I’ve even paid for the foreman and the main guys to have a few days away overseas – all expenses paid, of course. They were happy to take me up on the offer!”

“I’m sure they were,” Lycralad commented, although he didn’t feel entirely sure. Raymond pressed himself closer to him, and placed his left hand onto Lycra’s right knee. Lycra tried his best not to flinch, but he didn’t manage it.

“Now now, my boy,” Raymond sneered, “No need to erm be afraid. I have a little proposition for you, and depending on your choice you can either stay or leave the Elite Force of Britain. First though, I have something for you to watch. Stay seated here, and do not say a word.”

Raymond walked over to his desk at the other side of the office, and pushed a button on his console. Lycralad moved over slightly on the sofa, still feeling uncomfortable about what was happening. “Green Gladiator, please come into my office.” Raymond said, in his gruff voice. He looked over to Lycralad, smiled, winked, and then looked over at the door as it opened. Green Gladiator walked in, and nodded towards Lycra, who smiled back and discreetly shrugged.

“Sit down there, please.” Raymond pointed at the chair opposite his desk. The Gladiator now sat with his back towards Lycralad, but Raymond had him in his full sight. “Green is not my favourite colour, I must say.” Raymond looked repulsed as he eyed the Gladiator’s uniform up and down. “And I erm need to make changes to the team, to make it more erm streamlined. I’ve already dismissed one green member, the alien, Verdian,”

“Viridian,” the Gladiator said, helpfully.

“Do not interrupt. I am speaking.” Raymond’s face changed into a furious red colour, his eyes appearing like pinholes behind his glasses. “Now, before you so rudely interrupted me, I shall cut to the chase. Your days with the EFB are over. You are ordered to get out within the hour, and do not discuss this with anybody. This is in your new contract, which you signed, in effect, by calling into the headquarters today. The same goes for you, Lycralad,” Raymond looked up and winked at him once again, totally ignoring Green Gladiator who was sat before him. “What are you sitting there for? You’ve had your instructions, now get out.”

Green Gladiator stood up, taken aback. He glanced over to Lycralad, who too was shocked. Lycralad bit his bottom lip, and mouthed ‘sorry’ but Raymond noticed. “Not a word!” He shouted, his voice now filled with rage. “Gladiator – get out now before I have the EFB escort you out.”

Lycralad stood, and started walking over to the door to follow the Gladiator out of the office.

“Where are you going, young man?” Raymond’s voice had softened again.

“You said the same goes for me, Mr Reide. I’m getting out.”

“No. No. You misinterpreted my words. Ha ha ha! No. You, erm, aren’t going anywhere. Well, depending, that is. No, the same applies to you not saying a word. Shut the door. We have a new confidentiality clause in the contracts, which all members of the erm EFB sign automatically upon entering this building.”

“You aren’t very fa…”

“Silence! I am speaking, Lycralad. And what kind of name is that? I’ll have to get that changed. The connotations of it are just unbearable. I can’t have you linked to a name like that. No. I need you to be my erm personal assistant.”

“Me? A PA?”

“I asked you not to interrupt. You can speak when I allow you and not before. And no, not my PA, my assistant. My Tea Boy. You have control over your uniform, don’t you?”

Lycralad just looked at Raymond, wondering where this was all going.

“DON’T YOU?!?” Raymond snapped causing Lycralad to step backwards one step. “Er, yes…” Lycralad didn’t know really whether to answer or not, but decided to risk it.

“Good. Now you understand me. I think I’m getting to erm understand you more. With your power, I would like you to transform your uniform into an apron whenever I call you here to the office, to make myself a cup of tea. This may be at any time, so you must be at my beck and call.”

Lycralad stood and looked blankly forwards, his mouth open.

“It is that or you can join your Green Gladiator friend and get out of the EFB. I know exactly what I want you to do, and I have a feeling,” Raymond winked once again at Lycralad, “you know what you want to do as well.” Raymond’s eyes moved down to Lycra’s chest. Instinctively, Lycralad folded his arms across himself, and glanced back at the new controller. He thought for a moment.

“I’ll do it,” Lycralad said. “I’m not sure about the apron thing,” “its erm all part of the deal.” Raymond interrupted, “I knew you’d be in. Better in than out, wouldn’t you say?” He winked once again, and smirked with a sneer.

Lycralad said nothing.

“OK, then, my boy. Go and make me a cup of tea, and then you can go up to the gym or whatever it is you do to keep your body in such fine form. The kettle’s in the kitchen over there – that little room on the left.”

Lycralad walked into the small kitchen, and set to work on his new job with the EFB. He decided there and then that he would stay for the way how Raymond treated Green Gladiator and the others, watching, listening and eventually getting to grips with what was actually going on. This nasty man was in no way an ideal candidate to be running the EFB, and Lycra was determined to find something, anything, that would bring about his downfall.

Well, that was another week! May 10th 2019

Is it me, or are these weeks now zooming by at indescribable speeds? It’s the weekend, yet again! I know, here in the UK, this has been a shorter week than normal with the Bank Holiday on Monday, but it still had the same number of days as every other week in it, yet it seems to have gone by remarkably fast. Maybe we should have a ‘Leap Week’ every now and then, where we can spend it doing just as we please, just so we can recharge our batteries and allow ourselves a nice little break before we grab a hold of time once again and rejoin the whir.

I think the important thing to do, when we get those little moments where we seem to step outside of time for a short while, is to really grab a hold of them. Do something memorable; create something incredible; savour the moment. Record that magnificent ‘Ahhh!’ moment within our very core, so we can recall it when everything turns upside down. It’s good to dream, I find.

Speaking of dreams, I had an odd dream on Monday night. For some reason, I was in an episode of ‘The New Adventures of Wonder Woman’, from the late 1970s. Wonder Woman wasn’t in it, although there was a feeling of expectation that she would turn up at any given moment. ‘Oscar Goldman’ out of ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘The Bionic Woman’ was also in this episode, although the title characters from both of those series didn’t appear either. We were in an old house, moving boxes, of all things. I had to go outside to the end of the garden path, to wait for a delivery truck to arrive. Whilst I was there, I was the only person around, back in the late 1970s. Over the road was a group of Seventies style shops, and I was tempted to take a photo of them on my smart phone. Something told me that doing this would disrupt the space time continuum, so I decided against it. I was then pondering as to whether to delete the other photos I’d taken, when my bloomin’ alarm woke me as it was time to get up!

I’m still having timing issues with regards to blogging, although I think I’m getting slightly better. I’m getting a few more visits and comments in, which is good, and it isn’t taking as long for me to reply to comments on my blog either. Although, that said… hmmm… I’ll come back to that.

On Tuesday, I started my Epic Mythology series. My intention is for this to grow and grow, exploring an unknown mythological realm where there are no rules and anything can happen. I intend to write this in rhyming form, and tell the tales of anyone who happens to turn up during the course of events. Where it goes and how long it will go on for remains to be seen, but I would like it to become as epic as the Poetic Edda (and the Codex Regius), if that can be done. The Poetic Edda/Codex, for those who are unaware, details quite a lot about Norse Mythology. Obviously, my mythology is brand new, but I can dream. And I could also do with a few Leap Weeks to get myself ahead of this game as well! But, I shall get there!

It’s generally, otherwise, been a quiet week this week. Brexit’s still rumbling on, we now have to vote in the EU elections, which I have a feeling was planned all along since Brexit was ‘announced’ in the middle of the Eighteenth Century. I wonder what would happen if nobody voted? I know that would never happen, but what if it did? We’d have no representatives in a body that we don’t want to be a part of. That would make things, erm… awkward.

In other ‘news’ this week, babies have been born, people have lost their jobs, folk have been banned from driving for illegally using their mobile phones, and, if we read between the lines, we can see that we are being coerced into thinking one way or another. It’s fun when you spot it!

No direct links again this week, but please take a look at the ‘You May Like’ section over on the right to visit some posts I have enjoyed reading recently.

And that’s it for now!

Have a great weekend!

Well Earned

Earth falls in shadow
As the daylight takes a break
Time to replenish

Well, we all need to keep our energies up, even daylight it now seems!