Football and Character analysis

My fingers are crossed tomorrow: a) for being an awesome movie experience, me and my mom and two of her sisters… can rarely ask for me.
And b) for the Colts to bury Tom Brady and his so-called patriots.

I’m not anti-patriotic if that’s where you think this is going.
Stephen Colbert might have a few choice words for me, but I don’t mean to knock the notion of patriotism.

The economy and corruption aside, the United States of America is the greatest country in the world! You will rarely find a place with as much variety of people. We’re a regular melting pot of cultures from all over. And don’t forget the American dream. I’ll play the feminist card and say that girls have as many rights as men do here. You can’t say that about the Middle and Far East in most cases. Then there’s religious freedom to consider too.

All kinds of patriotic crap that I’m all for.
What I’m against is a nearly invincible team like the New England Patriots who think they’re better than everyone else.
Wait, scratch that. That belongs to Jerry Jones and his %$&%in’ Cowboys… America’s team… $%&# you, man. All 32 teams in the league are America’s teams.

Nobody has the right to be that good… especially not several years in a row. It’s just plain unfair. That could be said about the whole AFC conference which has the Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Chargers… bunch of kiss-ass teams that make the business of kicking NFC ass… especially the NFC east (minus the Cowboys… what the %$#% are they doing in the NFC east anyway, they’re in the southwest for crying out loud).

I doubt Detriot will be able to pull it off this week, but the Cowboys need their own butts handed to them. Preferably by Michael Vick and the Eagles. Hell yeah!
Until I’m absolutely certain that team isn’t going to sabotage any of mine from making the SuperBowl, I ain’t going down without a fight. Hell yeah!

I know, anger management issues.
What was I talking about again?

I wanted to post another blog as somewhat of an update from my last one. I was a complete mess a week ago. No joke, I barely had a pulse late Sunday last… it was like everything that built me up the week before came down to nothing.
Yes, I care too much about football. But considering my circumstances (not that I’m in any hurry to change that, unfortunately), its one of the few things I have going for me right now.

Don’t even get me started on “Dancing with the [so-called] Stars” or I swear I’m gonna have kittens. I just gotta ask how the hell that’s even possible.
Goddam tea-party people!!

It’s funny how sometimes I can be as obsessive-compulsive as hell… and mostly in its video games. Go for broke perfection, get everything there is to get and I’ve truly beaten the game.

Considering I’ve played the game to next-to-nothing, all I have going for me in “Spyro the Dragon” is trying to best myself in playing the game through.
I had myself as completing all 6 levels and the final bonus level in 2 hours, 53 minutes and  15 seconds.
I know, I have issues. Surprisingly, though, I’ve come to find that music is a great boost to help me lower my overall time. But part of it wasn’t quite my fault this time around. There was a glitch in the game keeping me from the last 10 gems of a home world. And, eh, I died a couple times, which really isn’t like me. The Tree Tops level is by far the most difficult because there’s multiple SuperCharges that you have to go down and follow exactly. With the 2nd that leads to the last dragon and last, I’m guessing 75 gems, there’s one part of the route where I have to go up a SuperCharge. Spyro jumped a little early on the runway and there was nowhere to go but down.

Two tries later and it was smooth-sailing.

I played it with a combination of American Idiot, Taylor Swift’s Fearless, Leave this Town by Daughtry and a couple tracks from Maroon 5’s new album.
I checked a table I did on Excel and I noticed there was one runthrough where I played Emancipation in its entirity. No joke. Probably the only time I’d ever listened through the whole set in a sitting. I think it was one of my best records. Three hours and three minutes and change. This last time around, 2hr 58min and 31seconds.

Ch-ah, I need to get a life.

Though I am trying. I’m slowly going through my story and getting towards the end. There’s a dance that is kind of a big deal because its, you know, the last night my characters get to spend together before all gets shot to hell with destiny and prophecy and whatever else. Past lives, good vs. evil, the whole enchilada.

It’s all looking really good now. What I’m planning to do, though, is add a little something-something after the big battle scene.
In my original draft, it was part of somewhat of a prophecy that Jonas & Nina’s two best friends, Corey and Mai would play rule in the whole “fulfilling destiny”… as said by one of his loyal servants from that past life. I’m looking at it and wondering what the hell I was thinking… it just seems completely random. Why them? Sure, it made sense at the time. Corey hears about the prophecy and his name is with Mai’s. Therefore, he, not Eric, is going to end up with her, pretty much the “it girl” of the high school. Guys wanna date her and girls wanna be just like her, more emphasis on the latter.

What I need is a way to bring the two of them back into it. When they are needed most, they will play a role. It’s pending, but I might get Eric some reason for him being there. Considering he didn’t get the girl and had his soul literally shredded by the villain’s reincarnation… he got the short end of the stick and I sometimes feel really guilty about it.

I wrote a sequel to this that might never see the light of day because I feel the overall storyline is weak. I mean, Jonas dreams or rather flashbacks to early on in his lifetime, something he wouldn’t remember if not for the psychic thing he has going on… discovers he has a twin sister that he’s never met and is worried every day afterwards that he’ll never see her.
He coincidentally does his senior volunteer work at the same homeless shelter she’s at. He comes to relate to her and even refers to her as “a little sister to him”… seriously, man, you won’t take that long (more like 100 pages) to figure out someone is your twin sister that you’d been looking for. Right there in front of you and you consider her “like a sister.” Hello…
Really, though, Jonas’s intelligence is nothing to sneeze at. Remarkably bright, literally a straight A student even though he used to miss a couple school days a month every school year because he gets struck by lightning. You’d think it’d barbacue him at some point, but its oddly coincidental.

During said sequel, though, Eric has an incredible transformation. He used to be a self-confident guy who could come off as a complete jerk if he wanted to… after that whole ordeal, he didn’t want to make the same mistake and try to please girls with just money and expensive gifts. Taking Jonas & Nina as an example, he wanted something deeper than flesh. You know, that whole speil Christpher Tracy was telling Tricky halfway through Under the Cherry Moon…
He gets involved with the twin sister and they get close. But she has feelings for Jonas, that whole Florence Nightingale syndrome. Fall for the guy that saved you from a fruitless life and gave you friends you didn’t have before. She gets hyper jealous of Nina and wants to be there for him in his difficult times with the nightmares and such… it becomes the whole “its me or her” story. Then of course, dark powers get involved and again, Eric gets ripped off a little bit. He tries to talk her to her senses and she attacks him with some kind of dark magic. This time, he really gets into the action of Jonas’s other side, the side that once destroyed the incarnation of pure evil.

Certain characters deserve a repreieve after a while. You look back and feel you’ve short-changed them. If my agent sees something worthy in that particular story, it might get to see daylight. But right now, I don’t think it’s quite ready.
Plus, there’s the little issue of copyright infringement. The high school gets the rights to perform “Phantom of the Opera”… and of course, some people get involved in it. Mai is the character Minnie Driver played in the newest version… forget her name, Coletta… I think.
Cecelia (the sister) plays Christine Daae… and to avoid the fame, the constant attention, Jonas takes up the part of the Phantom. You wear the mask, most people won’t be able to recognize you. To the musical director, he refers to himself as “Parker”… his newfound last name.

That’s another sort of weird plot twist too. None of my characters have last names, although I do give Eric’s full name: Jonathon Eric Westery… in the sequel. In the first story, Jonas tells a story of his first “psychic attack”… he got overwhelmed and he forced people away from him with telekinesis… one of them being his best friend. The story goes that Eric’s hair changed color drastically from a brown to a reddish-brown after the experience (rather than him going gray at age 8), he transferred to another school district and generally forgot the whole experience with time away and the fact he changed his name where he adopted his middle name as his first name.

The weird thing, though, is that Jonas doesn’t know what his last name is. Peter, his guardian, went to school with his parents and the story goes that they were out of touch over the year. But he didn’t remember their last names either. Then on random night early in the sequel, he comes across his old high school yearbook and finds Jonas’s parents in it.

Truth be told, Mai’s full name was Mai Valentine. But the funny thing is, that’s a character from the 4Kids animé series, Yu-Gi-Oh. Her use of purple in her wardrobe, the way she talks, all taken from that character.
That reminds me, I need to edit one tiny little part. Supposedly Mai is not only a cheerleader, but she’s the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. The queen of gossip… maybe I should come up with a clever penname for her. You certainly can’t have a school newspaper article and the by line is just a first name. Unless you’re Brandy or Prince and only go by your first name, that’s not going to fly. Although, much like Jonas, nobody else has the same name at their high school, so technically I should be able to get away with it.
But I won’t try.

I’ve often thought about this, especially lately. With all of the famous couples throughout history, their names are so synonomous with one another that you can read them in one breath.
Romeo & Juliet, Sonny & Cher, Bella & Edward, Bill & Fleur, Jonas & Nina, Orion & Penelope…
The last two, I take complete credit for. They just fit well together… and Corey & Mai, its the same thing. You see those two names together and it feels right.

Therefore I can’t exactly change Mai to something else. It wouldn’t work right unless I go really dumbed-down and change her name to Topanga.

Haha, that’s another famous couple:
Corey & Topanga, Shawn & Angela

But that would make my claims mute that I didn’t borrow the names Corey and Eric from Boy Meets World.

The thing is, when I come up with names for my characters, especially the secondary ones, I don’t think out their names all that much. They just fit right for the person. There’s no personal reason behind it.

Jonas and Nina do have their origins, though.
I was trying to figure out a name for my heroic reincarnation and Jonas could be converted to somewhat of a Biblical name. Jonaseriah sounds likes something you could find in The Bible. Josiah… umm, that actually would be a good back-up name if I REALLY needed it… though I doubt Josiah & Nina fit together…. oh they do, just enough.

But you see names like Josiah and Isaiah in the Bible. I wanted to sound a tiny bit Biblical with the epic beginning of the story.
And The Giver truly is my favorite book of all time. That was the first time I heard the wonderful name. Coincidentally, my Jonas has the pale eyes and the dark hair. There was a little something in The Giver about people with the pale eyes being able to receive memories from the past Receiver of Memory… but let’s just say he’s a combination of several inspirations. My crush d’ans (sophomore year of high school) had the pale blue eyes I fell in love with. I never saw any more startling in my life. And I literally got lost in them hours every week. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays were the lunch days I always looked forward to. (the other two days, one of us had labs in place of our lunch periods).
Then there was a tiny bit of Harry Potter in him in that he is an orphan. His parents were killed, not by an evil dark lord, but by a dragon representing the element of fire, who was still loyal to my villain after all these centuries.
His shyness around people and brilliance was my little contribution, though both were more exaggerated with him than they ever were in me.
But “Spirited Away” really helped pull him together. Some of his actions, however tiny they were, become a part of him. Jonas has his own unique way of showing his affection to Nina, which is established as early as their first meeting.

Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to make something up, I don’t have as a good story for Nina’s creation. I just loved the name and it seemed to me that whenever I heard it, the person belonging to it was Asian. It might be common, but in the back of my mind, I knew for a fact that it wasn’t strictly an Asian name. There was someone in a 1st grade class in my first elementary school, Herbert Hoover with that particular name.
And I really don’t have anyone in mind as to what she looks like. She has blonde hair that is roughly shoulder length and frames her face more than say, Mai’s hair, which is very rich blonde and thick and runs down to the small of her back.
Nina has nondescript hazel eyes, nothing really special considering Jonas has pale blue eyes that are like limpid pools. That is how you spell that, right?

Some names I just choose because I fell in love with them.
I put a little more thought into Orion and Penelope. I wanted something that sounded Greek or was out of mythology. Unfortunately when I read about Orion in our mythology class, he suffered an unfortunate fate. There’s really no similarity between him and my Orion.
Penelope is first and foremost a red head. But I was thinking of The Odyssesy when I thought of her. The story goes that the two of them are vacationing in Cancun. He goes on this snorkeling trip (why they let him on is beyond even my horrible logic because he’s in a wheelchair and had recently become very self-conscious of his handicap) and nearly drowns. He wokes up and finds he’d been transformed into a Mermaid.

Misty was taken right out of animé as well and for, of course, all the wrong reasons. I was very irate about her and therefore put her in a position where it seemed she loved Orion and wanted to keep him from his true love. Unknowingly, she, him and Penelope have a past-life in common… a realm of greek mythology where they were all centaurs during a festival where they choose their mates for life. As does our villian, Adam. Name came to me, no real reason for it. Somehow I forgot that was the name of the first man in the Bible.

Penelope is the wife of Odysseus and waits 20 years for him to return home after the Trojan war. Penelope does the same in my story when Orion disappears off the coast and nobody knows what happened to him. She waits for him to return, hoping he is at least alive.

Nowhere near true to the tale, Misty was one of nine daughters of Neptune. All but one of the sisters has a name starting with M (Nutmeg is the youngest). I wanted to write a mermaid’s tale like the Little Mermaid, one of my favorite movies as a kid. I loved the whole idea of mermaids and hopefully my sequel to the story starts to come together in a few years, still in the earliest of stages… Neptune’s wife’s name is Gemini, noting that she has a twin brother, but she’s the complete opposite of him. The number 9 came from the movie Xanadu where Zeus has 9 daughters with one goddesses and the daughters are called muses. One of them is played by Olivia-Newton John. Great movie, definitely recommend it.

There are also two sea dragons in this realm. Oceana (pronouced, O-she-anna) is the good dragon who is pure white, both of which have diamond scales. Dragoonas is the evil black one… I know, the worst possible name, but it works for its given purpose.

There’s a huge thing in making up characters that has to do with naming them. Most authors have their own method to their madness and take the names from people they know or just names from history. I have really no history with any of the names I’ve come up with for my characters. Simply the name fit for certain people, though there’s no relevence to me personally.

The exception to that is with some of my characters in that teen angst story. Jamie was the name of JR’s half-brother in All my Children, but I didn’t know that when I chose the name. He has a group of friends. Derrick, I just like the name. He happened to be one of the original cast members in Barney, long time ago… but I wanted to spell it this particular way.
Katie and Sara… I knew a girl in elementary school named Kate Sara. I didn’t really define either of them one way or another. Brian and Chris, he knew from the track team he joins, but I happen to like both of those names. His half brothers Freddie and Roger, I think I got from Freddie Krueger (Nighmare on Elm Street) and Doug’s arch nemesis in the Nicktoon bearing his name. Both were bullies in their own right, though Freddie gave Jamie a pretty good ass-kicking throughout the 2nd “installment”. Josh was the name of his abusive step-father (other side of the family), but I just pulled it out of the hat. Roxanne is a beautiful name, his new step-mom, also Freddie and Roger’s mom. Jamie’s crush and later on, girlfriend, I made up as I went along. My first crush in middle school had the initials M.N. so I put my own spin on that.

The pull-of-the-hat strategy came about most prevelently in my story based on the animé series InuYasha. It started out as a fanfiction and I started to change some names and identities along the way. Inuyasha became Lucas (originally Travis, but the name just didn’t fit so I went with my 2nd choice), Kagome became Anna, Miroku became Bastian, Sesshomaru became Ivan (as in Ivan the Terrible… Lucas’s older brother in both worlds), the village priestess Kaede became Sonja and the villian that Lucas and Anna are trying to defeat became Silas.

All of the characters I had in my fanfiction that crossed over from the series got a new name.
With everyone else, except Riley, which I liked as a girl’s name, all of my characters had Japanese names. More or less, I picked my favorite ones out of a hat. Chihiro was the heroine in “Spirited Away”, there is a Kohaku in InuYasha and “Spirited Away”… Kira, Katsu (in a sequel becomes Katsushiro, receives his full name when he becomes of age, I got the name from the animé series Samurai 7).

Yikes, I almost feel like I’m giving away trade secrets over here. It’s getting me thinking of that one disclaimer you see in all the movies and books and TV series. The names of the people have been changed and any similarity is purely coincidental.

Not purely in my case, I’ll admit. But if there wasn’t some coincidences, we’d run out of stories to tell. Everything had already been done.

What this past entry tells me is that I have such a passion for writing that I know my characters better than I know a lot of things in life. I’m not an expert in any work field except on maybe the dog show circuit or in the realm of Ceteceans. I definitely know my characters very well to the point I can go on and go about them as I had just done.

Hopefully this doesn’t bore some readers to death.
We did a little story writing in our Journalism class my senior year where we write 5 short stories. I wrote something about what inspires my works. I found it completely fascinating. The person who read it from another class (as was the case with all our assignments) said that s/he didn’t care what inspired me and found it all to be very dull and boring.

I find it interesting, okay?! That really felt like a low blow. But with nothing really building me up right now, I’ll take what opportunites I can get to cheer myself up.

Interesting fact:
I had to check out the track times for the Maroon 5 tracks I played yesterday. There was a note on the Wikipedia page quoting Adam Levine. He said that he was influenced by Stevie Wonder while writing Songs about Jane and he was listening to Prince and The Police while writing the second album “It won’t be soon before long.”

I had heard him say Prince had inspired some of his work.
Check out songs like “If I never see your face again” and “Makes me wonder.” The rhythm guitar in the latter is definitely Prince-esque.
I had also said the b-side “infatuation” reminded me of some of his Emancipation work.

Now that I think about it, the first album does have that Stevie Wonder edge to it. Interesting stuff.

I hope I’ll be able to get some work done with my novel tonight, but with animé at midnight and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian finally on cable TV, I’m gonna be pretty busy.

Can’t wait to see what else I can do with those final chapters.

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