While in the past with classics, I already read Jane Austen, Homer, Miguel De Cervantes, Dickens, Hugo, I am now attempting to read a classic book from a new author. There was a point in my life where I was given five classics: those were Illiad, Odyssey, Kidnapped, Gulliver’s Travels, Anna Karenina, and the extremely intimidating War and Peace. Now, am actually attempting to read my first classic by Tolstoy: Anna Karenina (less intimidating than War and Peace).
Thinking of books, I will give a brief update on ALL my three WIPS.
Tale of the Cattail Forest
Now, have actually began my 5th draft. After reading the book in print (which is an uncorrected proof), I was able to find certain things that needed to be fixed. Right now, only corrected things—-but not going to continue until I actually get feedback from my readers.
Lizzy the Lizard
Since this is a picture book, I can’t get way too detailed. Still, there are new things I discovered. Lizzy is curious and adventurous. I already knew somehow she had to get on a truck that would take her away from her farm, and that she needed to find a way back home. Originally her farm would smell like cinnamon in places, I soon learned spices like cinnamon are not grown in The United States. Now that farm is updated to smell like citrus: the book actually begins on a citrus farm in Florida. I already made up my mind on one place she would end up: The St. Louis Arch (hard to think of each place).
The book now has names for ALL the major characters: Paige, Mollie, Aurora, Jasmine, Emily, and Rosie. I soon enough had to figure out which of those six orphans would be the main focus: it ended up being on Aurora and Jasmine, fraternal twins. I know the most about those twins- from personality trait to their family lives to how their parents died and how the death affects both of them.
This was a HUGE struggle- to figure out which characters are the oldest and the youngest. I already knew that somehow they had to be certain ages by October 30th, 2003. I had made up my mind to have them end the story when they were 10-12 years old. Now, I actually have that figure out. Paige and Mollie would be 12, Aurora and Jasmine would be 11, and Rosie and Emily would be 10 (they were all born in the 90s). What I strongly am struggling with right now is figuring out these characters- as in not Aurora or Jasmine. I still need to come up with the other four characters’ family lives, the death of parents, personality traits.
Let me tell you about Aurora and Jasmine:
-Family life: they were born into an artsy family. They would do crafts all the time with their family. The artsy family does explain their names: after all, it is creative to have one of the characters be named Aurora and since Jasmine is twin sister, it would make perfect sense why they named their daughters both after a Disney Princess. So, not only were their family artsy, but lovers of Disney as well.
-Death: it was actually a car crash where they lost their parents. The most tragic thing about their parents’ death was the fact that Aurora and Jasmine were part of it. So both girls had to witness the terror that surrounded it. They somehow made it alive. Good thing they already had such an extremely close relationship: they are literally like best friends. After all, at the end all they left is really each other. Now let me get into more detail about the girls: in some ways talks about the death further. I still am trying to figure out what age the girls were, but they had to somehow remember their parents.
-Aurora: she is the more innocent one. She is into princesses and dolls more than doing the crafts. She actually is who struggles with the death even more. It really has a strong effect on her. One of the dolls she has is more important to the others (still have a hard time thinking of the name): it is actually the last and final doll her mother made her- with some help from Jasmine. It actually relates to her name: that dress somehow can alternate between blue and pink. She still has some nightmares about what happened to her parents, but her sister would always be there. She ended up having a hard time warming up to their caregiver
-Jasmine: well she is the more mature and optimistic girl. While her twin sister is more into princesses and dolls, she is more into the crafts- she actually helps sew on the beads and sequins on the various dresses. She is extremely protective of Aurora- right when she witnessed the death of her parents, she literally right now wanted to be with her sister. Even at the hospital, she demanded that her sister really needed her now: it did take a while, but eventually they were together. She actually helped comfort her sister when she was having a nightmare about that day.
-Birthday: I originally was thinking that all the orphans were 90s’ girls. I eventually realized that if it was early 90s, that it wouldn’t work. But the last three years of the 90s does: if you think about it, 11 years after 1998 would become 2009. So the girls were born in 1998.
One More Character
While I already know things about the major characters, in particular the twins, I already know a few facts about a secondary character. While the caregiver of the orphans has no name yet, I still know important facts about her. She actually is truly like a mother to all of the girls: she literally will take them to Central Park among other famous sites in NYC, and will celebrate their birthdays. They always will be loved by their caregiver. Recently, I came up with the idea that maybe she grew up as an orphan, which does explain her loving nature towards all of the girls. I am thinking that she will eventually open an entire orphanage- in my book, the orphans are the only ones she looks after: all staying in the same house.