As I was sitting down to write this evening, I came across a character development outline that I received in my Children's writers critique group. I thought about filling it in with ideas for Larry Bear, but I changed my mind and started to do it for myself. I mean, who do I know better? And better yet, who can I draw from the easiest when actually developing my characters? I didn't do it as an ego building exercise, but as more of an inner examination. I am often asked to explain who I am, where I came from and what I am trying to achieve with this life. I figured it would be beneficial to do a reexamination of just that. So, here are a few of the things that I re-learned about myself:
1) I'm a Navy brat, born in Meridian, Mississippi, moved to: Jacksonville, FL., Corpus Christie, TX., Key West, FL., San Diego, CA., and Kansas City, MO. all before I was 12 years old. I moved a lot. I saw a lot. I met a lot of people. I still communicate with a lot of them. I loved every part of it. I left home at 18, destined to return to San Diego. I studied journalism at Mesa College, studied abroad in Spain during the summer of 2001 and finished my BA in creative writing at Cal State University Northridge in 2005. I lived in OB (Ocean Beach), San Diego, for most of my CA years and have a California license plate that says "MSPANDA."
2) My nickname since I was 8 years old is Amanda Panda, simply because it rhymed. The ensuing chacter traits, such as playful and cuddly, sort of just fused themselves into me. I have an extreme amount of playful, creative energy and am always on the lookout for an outlet to plug into. I also love to hug. My dad always made me squeeze him as hard as I could when I was a kid. I kinda became a pro-hugger.
I LOVE TO CUDDLE. It comes out in many ways, like leaning my head on your shoulder, walking into your path as we walk side by side together, and pretty much just invading your space without any reservation, whenever, wherever. People who know me well, or have spent a considerable amount of time with me will agree with this.
3) In astrology, I am a Pisces-Monkey-Ocelot, which pretty much says that I am deeply ruled by my emotions -- am intelligent, but I get confused easily -- and I have the ability to heal human relationships, or at least figure them out fully. My numerology is a 3, which reinforces my enthusiastic nature, ability to inspire others and the fact that I am a born communicator.
4) I love to communicate. I love people. I love learning. Everyone that crosses my path has something to teach me. I listen and share. I love traveling and seeing new cultures and hearing other languages and accents. I love words, like serendipity and copacetic and epiphany. Some of my common expressions are: Love. Just be. :). ((((HUG)))). I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm very sensitive to other people's energy and cannot tolerate liars, people with crazy big egos and obnoxious noises. I like to spend time with like minded life enthusiasts, because there is true value in the company we choose to keep for it creates our reality, good or bad.
5) I need attention. I like to be a charismatic leader and do great things, but I have a hard time doing it alone, or if no one else is there to recognize it. However, when I am recognized for my work, I shine even brighter! Positive recognition adds fuel to my fire. Recognition can be as great as a tangible award, or as simple as a high five! As long as it comes, I am a happy panda. As far as drawing attention to myself, I've always liked to challenge trends and choose my expression of style without fear of acceptance. I wear what feels right for daily events and I am usually met with queries of interest and/or nods of approval. I definitely have my own panda style.
6) The thing I would most like to change about myself is my dependence upon others. I always feel the need to have someone to lean on as a crutch, so that I can feel a sense of confidence. It is my goal to become more self reliant by facing my fears that I am not adequate or worthy enough to be a published author and to educate myself in the areas that I wish to achieve success. Currently those areas are publishing eBooks and writing using HTML, as well as attending venues to practice my spoken word and be my own master of rhythym and flow of language. Then I wish to use that language while reworking/editing my stories, marketing them upon completion and teaching others about my cause, which is to leave this planet better than I found it.
7) Ms. Panda is easy to approach, friendly, generous, honest, positively infectuous, loving, warm, full of good energy and always smiling. Some people are annoyed by it, because they aren't happy as easily as she is, but some accept her as she is and love and honor that special being in her. She always wants to help and save the day by using the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction to receive the gifts that life will give when you live this way. She is always there for others in need and will do anything she can to help them out. If there is a crisis, Ms. Panda wants to fix it!
Hmmm...I smell a character coming on ;)
Ms. Panda the bear
a reporter with blonde hair
Ms. Panda believes
in helping others in need
and doing good deeds.
She goes overseas
to save creatures from disease
and man-made forces.
From there she reports
Situations of all sorts
And hugs to comfort.
Stay tuned for more... ;)