Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Character Sketch #2 - Verity

 Verity started hedging when she was fifteen years old. Her abilities – uncontrollable, and downright weird – freaked her fashionable parents out, and they were more than happy to abdicate their responsibility to the Hedge Council. By the time the Council assigned her to her first carer, she had withdrawn almost entirely into the Loam, and lost most of her ability to function in society.

Her first carer was not a success. His strange theories of hedging psychology made a fragile situation worse for all the hedgers under his care. Verity's worsening mental condition caused havoc in the Hedge, and drew the reluctant attention of the Hedge Council once again. However, the prosecution of the carer left Verity to her own increasingly unstable devices. By the time she met Flynn, several years of patchy care and emotional flux had erased most traces of Verity's personality.

Now, at the age of nineteen, she is well on the road to recovery. Her precarious mental health is a unavoidable by-product of her abilities, but her elemental mood swings have stabilised to manageable proportions. Her spirit tree, once formless and chaotic, has taken shape as an Acacia thorn tree, spindly in appearance but with an underlying toughness, and an ability to withstand years of drought.

Like the acacia tree, Verity is a creature of many contradictions. She has sorrow in her soul, but also a wicked sense of humour, and often laughs at herself. She blossoms under praise, but is quick to catch out the insincere. She loves passionately and quickly; but lets go just as freely. She is forgetful and untidy, but extremely observant. She bores easily, but needs constancy.

NaNoWriMo - Character Sketch #1 - Flynn

Flynn grew up in the slums of District Central. His mum was a washerwoman and died of TB when Flynn was twelve. After that, Flynn quit school to keep his dad company at work– an extra pair of small hands comes in useful in the field of “acquisitions”, especially when it’s preferable to acquire other people’s possessions with as little fuss as possible. With a bit of training, Flynn soon became an expert…well, thief. His dad wound up in jail before long, leaving Flynn to run the family business. He moved out of District Central soon afterwards – their association was far too well known. He drifted around the Circle for a few years, picking pockets to earn his keep, and generally staying out of trouble.

Flynn is a survivor. He’ll do what he needs to do in order to get from today into tomorrow. He is ruthlessly unsentimental, but secretly wishes he wasn’t. When he was offered a chance to slip out of the criminal world, he grabbed it with both hands – telling himself it was simply because the long term prospects were better. Truthfully, he was getting tired of dodging the law.

At this point, Flynn has been a “civilian” for over two years. He is twenty six years old, and still harbours a deep suspicion of authority. In fact, he harbours deep suspicions of most people, and always sleeps with one eye open.

Few people get a chance to know Flynn as more than a casual, forgettable acquaintance. He would rather remain clear of emotional ties, and deceives himself into thinking that he has succeeded. Where he feels attachment, he is prone to sudden, extravagant gestures of affection, which he will afterwards downplay in significance – to save himself and the recipient from embarrassment.

Flynn's loyalty may be difficult to earn, but it is well worth having. He still carries a kernel of guilt over abandoning his father in prison, and once you've earned his respect he works overtime to try and make up for his previous shortcomings.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Teacher Appreciation

Today our school governing body hosted a breakfast to let us know how much they appreciate the work we do. The morning started with a horse ride to the breakfast venue (I didn't get a picture, sadly - was too busy enjoying myself)! The breakfast that followed was sumptuous! They even provided little pebbles on the table for me to play with, and a goodie bag to take home.

The theme was survivor, so we had lanterns and brown paper bags, and fynbos decorations. Thank you SGB!!