welcome readers & writers! in this cyber space please find: + a photo writing prompt + a place to post your creative writing response (poem, memoir, short story or the like) to the prompt + a community of readers and fellow writers excited to read your writing + morsels of genuine fiction, poetry & creative non-fiction as the blog is updated. share a response as often as you'd like. everyday discoveries from my life, captured on film, will serve as prompts. this is not a place where we will critique one another's work; however, words of encouragement or praise for writers who share their work are most welcome. writers, share your story, poem or creative non-fiction response to the photo by clicking on comments; word count is flexible. cheers! demery

Sunday, August 29, 2010


welcome readers & writers. happy sunday!
on sundays i usually share an excerpt from my novel. today i'd like to branch out (no pun intended!) and share more about one of my main characters. i've chosen this photo, which i took in a nearby park, because it's a great reminder that every character, fictional or not, is defined by straightforward or commonplace traits as well as the quirks and flaws that make him or her unique. 
writers, i'd love for you to participate too! this is an exercise i've done to get to know the characters in my book better. choose a character (of your own design or a character from a favorite book) and imagine the character's answers to these questions. share them by clicking on comments below.

name of character: Keiko Ikura

occupation: au pair for the Hoffman family, unwilling & uncooperative spy for Hoffmans

three things the character would carry in a purse/wallet: a photo of herself and her sister at her sister's recent wedding, a shinto amulet for safe travel, travel sized burt's bees milk and honey lotion - her favorite new american toiletry.

favorite food: Japanese - homemade sushi; American - french fries

favorite type of music: American country music

typical dress/outfit: jeans, wraparound top decorated with delicate embroidered flowers 

nervous tic/mannerism: quirking her eyebrows together when confused or concerned

special skills/hobbies: batique (an art using fabric and dye), calligraphy, cooking

secret desire/wish: to find American friends who, despite the language barrier, will want to get to know her for who she is.

character flaw: can be very stubborn, sometimes inflexible. sometimes uses American hand gestures she doesn't fully understand. 

what your character is afraid of: being fired from her job and having to go back to Japan before getting to see more of the world.

come write with me!


  1. Name of character: Clara Cooper (Main character from a story I wrote called “Flowers for Clara”)

    Occupation: Clara is a flower arranger for a local florist.

    Three things the character would carry in a purse/wallet: A photo key fob with her grandchildren’s picture. A small pressed flower wrapped in plastic that her husband picked for her. Lip balm as she needs it daily.

    Favorite food: bbq chicken wings from Dana’s Pub.

    Favorite type of music: Soft background music, mostly jazz.

    Typical dress/outfit: Usually pants and a long sleeved shirt. Clara is partial to floral prints.

    Nervous tic/mannerism: She often spins her wedding ring with the fingers of her right hand.

    Special skills/hobbies: Flower arranging, reading, story telling.

    Secret desire/wish: Before the story ended: Forgive herself for taking her husbands last words from him. After the story ended: She would be preoccupied with filling the void from her husbands passing.

    Character flaw: Clara has difficulty forgiving herself.

    What your character is afraid of: Being alone and lonely.

  2. This character was real. He's in my book, Stories I Never Told My Daughter http://chuckgalle.com

    name of character: Dirty Bob

    occupation: Soldier to Mafioso Angelo, and Emcee at Angelo's nightclub, The Bohemian Caverns. As soldier he was muscle when Angelo needed to show it, hurting people severely, often in permanent ways. As Emcee he had an intrinsic sense of timing and rhythm. He would introduce each of the musicians of the Quintet, leaning into the mike and humming, scat-like to the riff the cat was blowing until they came together at the end of a bar: umm, tiddytiddytum tum, oooplabeewah - Andrew White! Ladies and gentlemen!!!

    three things the character would carry in a purse/wallet: A driver's license, several hundred dollars cash, a small glassine envelope of heroin.

    favorite food: Gourmet Italian food and cheeseburgers.

    favorite type of music: Jazz.

    typical dress/outfit: Casual showy. Expensive slacks, shirt, no tie, classy jacket.
    nervous tic/mannerism: None you'd notice. He had explosive arms, that hung limply until they exploded.

    special skills/hobbies: Learned typesetting in prison. Hand typesetting, from an old wooden font into a chase.

    secret desire/wish: To be an artist. Bob had the soul of poet., the ken of a hungry lioness.

    character flaw: Addiction to heroin. This toughest guy on the streets of DC while he was alive died of AIDS.

    what your character is afraid of: Nothing. Deep down, somewhere he almost never went - being wrong about it all.

  3. name of character: Jeff

    occupation: startup video guy

    three things the character would carry in a purse/wallet: ones, fives and tens

    favorite food: chinese

    favorite type of music: 70s rock

    typical dress/outfit: jeans, cool t-shirt, old old sneakers

    nervous tic/mannerism: biting the lower lip

    special skills/hobbies: video, cameras, BS

    secret desire/wish: to win an oscar

    character flaw: over eager to please

    what your character is afraid of: missing an opportunity