Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happiness is...

Thanks so much to the lovely ladies at Anne Spollen's Author Blog and Chasing Empty Pavements! They've both seen fit to award me the Happy 101 blog award (aka Cupcake Award!). If you want to see what makes me happy, check out this post.

This is a great award to get more than once, because who doesn't appreciate MORE cupcakes! As it happens I'm actually making a couple of batches of cupcakes today for some family birthdays -- chocolate with chocolate icing & golden with butter-cream icing. We have a few family members who don't like chocolate. Hard to even imagine :)

As with all else in life, this makes me think about my characters. What's the one thing in the world that would make them happiest? Surprisingly, not cupcakes! Both of the mcs in my Steampunk ms have family members who've been killed, but I'm going to keep it more realistic than having them get those people back.

My male mc would like to avenge the murder of his best friend - the old man who raised him. Vengeance, more than justice, would make him very happy. Steampunk England is a tough world.

My female mc would like to be safe. Again - tough world. She's been living by her wits on the streets. For a teenage girl at the time, this is no easy task.

Our poor characters. Life is not easy. We sure put them through turmoil! Most of us live much safer, happier lives (I hope), and what would bring us happiness would not be as basic or elemental.

So, what about your main characters? What would make them the happiest? Would it be an actual item or something much more basic than that?

60 comments:

  1. Congratulations on all those cupcakes!! Well deserved. I'm so interested in your steampunk writing. Did it take a lot of research? It sounds like such a fun genre.

    Now about your question...hmmm. My male mc would be happy to know he won't turn out like the man who raised him and my female mc would by happy to throw his dog tags into the lake, abscond to Canada and have a chance at happy.

    Yes...my poor characters. Sometimes I wonder how I had the heart to put them through such turmoil.

    Congratulations again on your recognition.

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  2. The best kind of cupcakes - those with no calories.

    My mc would most want to know why her mother left her on the streets when she was a child.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  3. Yvonne - reading a crit buddy's steampunk ms really helped me learn about the genre. Then I realized I'd read a few books without knowing the genre (Oppel, Pullman...). Then I've done a bunch of research on Victorian England too. Fun stuff!

    Your characters are being put through the mill! Fun!! Sounds like a great read :)

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  4. Helen - yes! No calories is always good :)

    Your poor mc! Being left alone & on the streets - great storyline, but horrible reality!

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  5. Ooh, good questions Jemi, and congrats on the award! I agree with Helen that those are the best kind (no calories) :)

    Now about my mc... Well, I think for her the one thing that would make her completely happy would be a normal, safe, predictable life. But that doesn't make for a good story, does it? lol

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  6. Congrats on the Cupcake Award--yummy!

    My MC wants to stay in the human realm with her friends and family and not have to hide her identity anymore. That and a Diet Coke. Simple enough, no?

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  7. Thanks TK!

    LOL :) You're so right - nothing safe & predictable for our poor characters! Well, at least not until the end of the novel :)

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  8. Mary - Thanks!

    Simple enough for sure! Just want to be human. We all just want to fit in, don't we :)

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  9. I love that award - it's just so happy! :-)

    My male MC just wants to grow up and be a ninja airplane pilot. Ha ha ha.

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  10. Shannon - I love that! Ninja pilots - that would be so much fun - maybe in my next life :)

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  11. Congrats on yet another award! You're going to require a new shelf at this rate, Jemi :)

    My male MC just wants to find out the truth... However, If I tell you, I'll have to kill you!

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  12. The things that make my current MC happy aren't things I should post in a public forum. Well, most of them, anyway. He likes whisky. That's safe, right? :)

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  13. Wendy - Thanks! LOL :)

    The truth is always good - unless it's going to threaten my life! Yikes!! :)

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  14. Simon - Oh, my... well... okay then :)

    And yes, whiskey is definitely safe!! We'll stick with that :)

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  15. This is really interesting to pose this question for our characters. You're quite clever, you know?
    My main characters think they want a normal life--secure, safe, fitting in--but, in reality, I think they come to see what they are destined for is what will really be satisfying. Even if it's dangerous, messy and on the outside of normal.

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  16. Tricia - Awww - thank you - I'm blushing!

    I think most people THINK they want normal - but normal isn't always what we - or they - expect. I'm glad they realize that :)

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  17. Just wanted to say congratulations on your awards. Well deserved. And the cupcakes your baking sound great too. :)

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  18. Thanks Mason!

    The real cupcakes turned out pretty well - as evidence I present the crumbs and empty cupcake paper liners! Did I mention I have teenagers and their friends???

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  19. Hello Jemi, been following your blog a while, and really like this post, because it made me stop and think! Good question - what would my mc want? Hmmm..

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  20. Yum, cupcakes! Congrats on the award!

    Great question, and I have no answer. My characters have no idea would make them happiest. That's what pretty much drives the story. :)

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  21. SF - Thanks! Glad to hear you're enjoying visiting :)

    It can be a hard question!

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  22. VR - Thanks :)

    Sounds like a good story line - and pretty realistic too. So many people just don't know!

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  23. Jemi--I don't think I ever give my characters what they want! I'm so mean to them. :)

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  24. Great question! Congrats on your award, btw. :)

    Hmmm...I think my MC would most want to keep his secret hidden! I will give it to him for a while, but not forever! Bwah-ha-ha! I'm enjoying this power.

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  25. Thanks Michele!

    Ooo - keeping secrets hidden makes for a great story line! And, yes, the power is awesome :)

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  26. I've been fascinated by the steampunk genre lately. I can't wait to see how your characters find their happiness.

    Mine would appreciate simplicity and strength. A tough sell to get those qualities together.

    Congratulations on the award, definitely well deserved! (Hugs)Indigo

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  27. Indigo - it's such a fun genre! Thanks for the vote of confidence :)

    Simplicity & strength. I like that!! You're right - those are not qualities easily found together - but they are compelling.

    Thanks again :)

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  28. Felicitations on your award and I look forward to hearing more about your story.
    Warm regards,
    Simone

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  29. Thanks Simone! I hope it will satisfy when it's done :)

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  30. mmmm, cupcakes.....oh wait, I'm supposed to be on a diet.....again.

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  31. Congrats on the award! Cupcakes rock.

    It's interesting I should read this post today. Spent the morning at a soup kitchen, and it has me thinking. So often, what we think will make us happy are the big things--a trip to Acapulco, a plasma-screen tv, that MFA, a new BMW...but there're people who just want a warm place to eat a warm meal with a hot cup off coffee that they can refill when it runs empty. Or like your MCs who wants vengeance or to feel safe....

    We ask for so much sometimes. That's the great thing about writing, sometimes. Experiencing things outside of our own world helps to put things into perspective. So important, I think.

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  32. My mc wants to find her birth parents-it would make her very happy. But sadly, that won't happen. :(

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  33. they'll be happy when they get published.

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  34. Cate - Me too - but these ones don't count :) Right??

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  35. Carol - so very, very true. Part of the reason I like to tell stories - and hope to publish one day - is the kids I teach. So many of them come from tough situations & they enjoy escaping in books.

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  36. Shelli - I like that!!!

    I bet there are many characters - and writers - who feel the same way :)

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  37. Julie - it might not make her happy anyway. We do what's best - or at least what makes the best story :)

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  38. Wow, my MC's are so...broken. I think sometimes they're just happy they're still alive. In my dystopian worlds, sometimes that's all they can cling to, you know? Great, thought-provoking post. :)

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  39. Congrats.
    Check out my blog - you got another award.

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  40. Thanks, Elana :)

    I love dystopian world stories. And being alive is sometimes all they have!

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  41. Carolyn - Thank you! I'll pop on over & check it out :)

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  42. Our MC is sad and sort of friendless when she starts her journey. Her best friend died a year ago and she sort of became a social pariah. And things really start to go downhill when she starts getting e-mails from her dead bestie. Yeah, I guess we're not very nice to our characters either.

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  43. Lisa & Laura - how sad :( Although I LOVE the emails from the dead best friend - that's awesome!! Hopefully it all works out for her in the end - I'll be in her corner!

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  44. Yay on the cupcakes! Happiness is a great choice to make. Congrats on the Happy 101 award too! :)

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  45. Lisa - Thanks :)

    I like the way you phrased it - happiness is indeed a choice!

    Thanks for dropping by!

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  46. Hmm, I think they are all just looking to be accepted for who they are, and to not be afraid anymore.

    Congrats on the award!

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  47. Congrats!

    I'm actually still working on what my MC wants. she does need a job and direction in her life, but I think she may mainly want her parents to be proud of her.

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  48. Natalie - Thanks :)

    Your characters sound like a lot of people I know! Definitely a good sign for your book!

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  49. Jennifer - Thanks :)

    Is your MC a teen? Because that sure sounds like a lot of kids I've taught and known :)

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  50. Congrats on another award Jemi! Goes without saying how much you deserve it. :)

    What is happiness for my character? Well, depends on the story? heh. ;p

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  51. Hmmm, my current mc would like to find out if the boy she saw outside her window in the middle of winter is a wolf, a boy, or something she conjured. And she would like the snow to melt so she could go home.

    Makes me feel lucky that all I have to worry about is the kids getting their hw done.

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  52. Thanks Mari - that's so sweet!

    So true - each character has their own set of wishes and dreams. :)

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  53. Anne - sounds like a great story line! The trials we make our characters endure sure puts it all in perspective for us! :)

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  54. Congratulations on your award. We do put our characters through a lot, come to think of it.

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  55. Medeia - Thank you!

    And what exactly does it say about us that we have so much fun doing it??? :)

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  56. I really should go out and get a cupcake today - this is the second reference to cupcakes I've seen online so far and I'm getting hungry!

    Your happiness question is a very good one. I'm doing a reread of what I've written so far of one of my novels, and it's a great question to keep in mind for that.

    You've started me thinking, too - I'd love to read a cozy mystery where cupcakes are what happiness is all about for the MC!

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  57. Belle - Yes - cupcakes are very good!

    We're in sync! That's exactly where I am - and why the question came to mind. I needed to figure out the ending & knowing the characters' motivation really helped with that :)

    I like the cozy idea! Several cozy series revolve around food - I wonder if any focus on cupcakes? :)

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  58. Just noticed you are seriously close to 100 followers! Goooo Jemi!

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  59. Thanks Carol :) It's a weird and wild feeling!

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