Geraniums--mom's favorite flower

If it walks like a duck…


Building Character, the topic for this morning’s workshop…and I’m not talking about Anthony Weiner here. Lori ( took us through several ways to consider writing characters with depth and believability. She has a nine-step process which a writer can utilize when first developing the good, bad and ugly folks in the story. She also covered Enneagrams (see, which provides a quick and dirty type of “test” to get at various personality types. I took the test and found out I’m #8, “The Challenger”, which among other things notes I am self-confident and assertive but also ego-centric and domineering. At my best I use my strength to improve others’ lives but at my worst have problems with my temper and allowing others in. I thought I finished therapy last year.

But I digress.

The most useful info for me from today’s class had to do with 4 questions a writer should ask about their main characters:
1. What do they love deeply?
2. What haunts them?
3. What do they think they can’t or most don’t want to do (then make them do it)
4. How do they contradict themselves?

Excellent questions all.

Speaking of characters…on my walk after lunch (during yet another spectacular weather day here in Madison) I took some photos, two of which are posted here. Lots of kids, their parents looking on, fed the ducks and frolicked in the shallow end of Lake Mendota. Near the end of my hike I came upon the two planters with geraniums and got a bit teary; they were my mom’s favorite flower. My mom enjoyed simple things like swimming in the lake, reading to us and planting bright red flowers, the same color of the lipstick she loved to wear.