But even more interesting are the positive aspects, which include:
- Strong will
- Defense against peer pressure
- Passion and vigor
- Good work ethic
But even more interesting are the positive aspects, which include:
|Narcissus by Caravaggio|
Narcissism is a self-centered personality style characterized as having an excessive interest in one's physical appearance and an excessive pre-occupation with one's own needs, often at the expense of others.
The most common symptoms include:
|Dial M for Murder by Alfred Hitchcock|
It has to be for murder, of course. It's a Cutting Edge Mystery. What will make this set of stories a little different is that all the murders will involve blades of some sort. Knives, swords, and even box cutters. And don't forget straight razors. Henry Bell, my hero, is an expert blade master. He might be a suspect in any of the murders, but not for long. He usually is sought out as the civilian expert and becomes part of the police team.
So, let's think about murders and where they might happen. It's early days here, and I have only started brainstorming the first book's murder.
Another idea: because he helps choreograph theater fight scenes, a sword could become a murder weapon in that setting. No clue why, but actor egos seem logical. Maybe even some competition around the heroine?
Shears. He sharpens those too. Murder at a hair styling salon? It could happen. Those scissors are pointy and very sharp. There is a lot of pressure on business folks in the early days of the pandemic, and hair salons were shut down. Death by stress? It could happen.
Garden tools, farm equipment, and even power tools like drill bits can all be used to maim and murder. I don't even like thinking about those possibilities. Ew.
And the classic throat slitter, er, I mean, straight razor, a time-honored way to end a life quickly. Double ew.
... and for laundromats. I haven't used one in forever, and probably take my washer, dryer, and clothesline too much for granted. But someone who travels in a home on wheels, would have to scope out laundry facilities everywhere they park, right?
How do they even work nowadays? Does one still use cash? How much per load? Do campsites have laundry facilities? I'm guessing probably so, but don't know for sure.
Now keep in mind that my main character has a child. That changes the paradigm a little, too, doesn't it? Because children are not naturally clean, and most kids love to play.
|Photo credit: HuffPost|
But in a novel that begins during a pandemic when everyone is cautioned to wear masks and social distance, kissing is going to present quite the challenge, isn't it?
So that leads to research about a new kind of smile - the Duchenne smile. How would I describe this in my story? Smize like you mean it! I do believe I'll use that expression.
The Cutting Edge mystery series begins at the start of the COVID pandemic. So many things were instantly impacted, including travel and how businesses operated. Can you imagine what is was like for a traveling business, not knowing how your usual venues were impacted? Theaters closed. Stores closed. Restaurants closed or had limited hours. And how to find more work? I think we all realized how dependent we were on the internet. Certainly my book characters did.
So that begs the question: how do RVers access internet? Do they have equipment on their rigs? What's a hotspot? Or do they rely on their smartphones? Because you can bet that everyone was tapped into some form of virtual communication. Must research this some more.
That made me wonder how banking would work for people on the road all the time. Online banking, but what about carrying cash? How would you hide money on a rig?
And those stimulus checks. No problem, I guess, with federal payouts, but what about state support? Do travelers register somewhere so they have a home base? Would they qualify for some sort of state unemployment?
Please leave me a comment if you know the answer to any of these questions!
|Modern Day Gypsies|
Let's skip the effing swear words in the Cutting Edge book. I have a child in this one, and a parent who is sensitive to young ears and what they should hear. Swearing has its place in any piece of writing, but it doesn't fit these characters. At least not yet.
|Photo credit: MentalFloss.com|
But what about some other F-word prompts to help me understand these people?
Fear: That's always a big motivator, especially for parents. Henry Bell has a young daughter, and because they are constantly on the road and often in strange places, he keeps a wary eye on the girl. There are definite rules to follow, and he is very cautious about who takes care of her when he is gone. In fact, a certain level of trust with the heroine helps their romance develop. I really need to name this child.
Friends: Lots of friends via travel and related work. Henry Bell is much-loved and respected. Have I mentioned his best buddies call him Tink? Short for Tinker Bell. Get it? Ha ha.
Family: I don't have a sense of family at all. Henry might have a sister, but parents? Nothing strikes me. Yet his daughter might wonder about her grandparents, right?
I must name that child. I already have a scene in which she wants a nickname and Henry teases her with ideas like this: Liberty Bell? Blue Bell? School Bell? Door Bell? Cow Bell?
She needs a real and pretty name. I have until the letter N for Naming to figure this out. Any ideas?
The eyes are the window to your soul. ~ William Shakespeare
The eyes shout what the lips fear to say. ~ William Henry
The soul that can speak through the eyes, can also kiss with a gaze. ~ Gustav Adolpho Becquer
In the Cutting Edge stories, the eyes play an unusually significant role. The book begins at the start of the COVID pandemic when everyone is wearing masks. No smiles. No frowns. Just voices. And eyes. So much communication has to happen through visual contact.
And in an enemies-to-friends scenario? Oh, yeah, miscommunication could get very interesting.
Henry Bell isn't just a tinker who travels around the country sharpening knives and other tools. He MAKES knives when he can find a forge to use.
Here's a blog post that explains how to do it.
|Photo credit: charlestonstage.com|
This is a part of the character that is totally me. I love knives, I collect them, and, yes, I throw them. But only at inanimate targets. I'd be embarrassed to admit how many knives I own. So, I won't mention it.
This is actually a fairly inexpensive hobby. You can get a set of beginner throwing knives like this for about $20.
Does your character have any weird passions or hobbies? You have to admit, Henry Bell is an unusual guy.