The Beautiful Books #23: March 2017

Image Description: The Beautiful People for Writers - Writing Goals

Welcome to another installment of The Beautiful Books, where I bather on about my current WIP Novel Project, which would be Orion – Volume II in the Pushing Boundaries series (yeah, I know, it says Scorpius is the title of Volume II on the Pushing Boundaries link page, clearly I need to change that, Scorpius will be the title of Volume III instead), however, there have been some complications with the plotting and outlining process.

I’m supposed to have a finished outline for Volume II by the end of March so I can use it for Camp NaNoWriMo in April, but right now it’s just super hard to sit down and think about what I want to happen in Volume II, let alone write it down. One of the numerous problems is that currently I don’t know what’s going on with Beth and James, so for the mean-time, I’m just going to focus on Mac and Cassie and, hopefully, that’ll work out instead. On with the post!

What’s their favourite book/movie/play/etc.?
Mac: Mac enjoys Marvel and DC Comics (the whole Marvel/DC rivalry doesn’t make any sense to him), so he’s enthusiastic/passionate about Comic-to-Movie adaptation, he likes being able to explain the adaptation differences and domino affect it would have on the plot-line.

Cassie: Cassie enjoys cheesy romantic-comedies but her favorite movie would be The Notebook

Is there anything they regret doing?
Mac got Cassie pregnant when she was seventeen and he was twenty and, while they don’t regret getting pregnant per say, they regret the circumstances and events that happened around the two of them at that time (so it’s more of a “guilt by association” type thing).

Mac: When Cassie first told him that she was pregnant, Mac went to James for assistance and James and Justine offered to help discreetly arrange an abortion for Cassie, which is something they both objected to (Cassie didn’t want to get abortion and Mac was supportive of her choice, he was willing to provide whatever Cassie needed), however, Cassie’s family eventually realised that she was pregnant and organised to have Cassie “sent off to a relative” when her pregnancy became more noticeable and for parents to adopt the child. Mac objected to this attempted to (for lack of a better word) rescue Cassie from this arrangement (Cassie was pretty much being forced into giving up the child, but she have a small say on who the adoptive parents could be, Mac didn’t get a say at all). James found out about this and, with Justine’s help, tracked Mac and Cassie down and brought Cassie back to her parents.

Cassie: Cassie doesn’t regret going through with the pregnancy, but sometimes she does wonder if she should have had an abortion (would it have spared Mac all that turmoil and stress?), Cassie also regrets not being able to talk to Mac about the situation, Mac just assumed that they would be a continue to be couple and they would automatically become a family, Cassie wanted to be Mac and she loves him very much, but she realizes now that she didn’t want to be a mother at that point in her life and she’s afraid of saying anything about it because she doesn’t want to sound like she doesn’t care about Mac or the daughter they have. So Yeah… A lot of angst there.

If they were sick or wounded, who would take care of them and how?
Mac: Emilia is a little precious with Mac with when Mac is sick

Cassie: Cassie normally just takes care of herself (depending on how bad it is, usually she’s not that bad), her mum checks on her but her mum is more the aloof/distant type.

Is there an object they can’t bear to part with and why?
Mac: Mac has sonograms of his unborn daughter tucked away safely, but he also has a copy of them on his phone, for obvious reasons.

Cassie: Cassie wishes she had sonograms (her mother took her copies from her to give to the adoptive parents), I’m planning on writing a depressing/touching scene (depending on my writing skills and reader’s perspective) where Cassie finds them on his phone.

What are 5 ways to win their heart (or friendship)?
Both Mac and Cassie have a strong sense of loyalty to their friends (it does manifest in different ways, Mac is more aggressive and willing to pick a fight, where are Cassie is more passive and willing to do stuff on another person’s behalf). Beth manages to win them both over being nice to them and cooking them food.
Mac: Mac is more of a common interest type person, Duncan and him have been mates since secondary school and while they both have an interest in drawing, Duncan no longer has time to pursue it (busy with work and a girlfriend), Beth has more of an interest in manga than comics but she knows enough of a general overview of Marvel and DC so that she had keep up with Mac. Beth also has a list of Marvel movies and TV shows she’s been meaning to catch up on.

Cassie: Cassie is pretty tolerant of people, but she won’t accept homophobia and, even though she’s rather timid when it comes to defending herself from her brother Mark or Donoghue, she is quick and sharp to call Mark and Donoghue out on their bullshit. Cassie can be a little clingy, although she doesn’t always realise it, Seamus sometimes has to remind her when she’s being too clingy with Beth.

Describe a typical outfit for them from top to bottom.
Mac: work boots, flannel shirt (usually in a shade of blue with a navy blue singlet underneath) and jeans.

Cassie: feminine method of fashion, pastel colors (pink and blue), likes to where knitted items of clothing and make her own items of clothing.

What’s their favorite type of weather?
Mac: Summer and spring, but mostly summer, Mac would love the idea of Australian summer, which generically speaking involves wearing shorts and thongs (the shoes in case that wasn’t clear), going to the beach and having a backyard barbecue

Cassie: Cassie likes spring, she loves the smell of roses and flowers in bloom, she also enjoys hiking and walking trails

What’s the worst fight they’ve ever been in?
I suppose it wasn’t a fight, but more the absence of a fight, the pressure of things left unsaid. When James and Justine came to collect Cassie from the caravan-park they were holed up in, James held Mac in a head-lock until he passed out (James made sure to get Justine to stay with him to prevent him from chasing after Cassie), so neither of them got a chance to say goodbye and get proper closure from the whole incident. The lack of closure affects them both, it just affects them in different ways, Mac gets drunk and lashes out, while Cassie takes to selling drugs so she can get away from her parents.

What names or nicknames have they been called throughout their life?
Mac: Mac doesn’t have any nicknames because he’s name is already so short, although Beth does develop the habit of calling Mac “Macca” (which she does to annoy him, although it annoys James more than it does Mac)

Cassie: Cassie’s full name is Cassandra, but she prefers Cassie

What makes their heart feel alive?
Mac: Being with Cassie

Cassie: Being with Mac

So Yeah… that’s about it thus far, now I just have to sit down, and figure out how to shove all of those past events into a 60 000 novella *manic and slightly panicky laughter.

The Beautiful Books #22: February 2017


Image Description: The Beautiful People for Writers - Writing Goals

Last year when I answered these questions, the couple I chose to focus on was Beth and James, however, this time around I’d like to focus on another couple. This time I’d like to focus on my side-characters, Mac and Cassie, this is because in an indirect way they’ve managed to spark the catalysts of my main plot and a couple of side-plots as well. I would also prefer to focus on Mac and Cassie at this point because (to be honest) they’re the only couple in my Pushing Boundaries series where I have a definitive answer for how I want to resolve their relationship problems and what kind of place (growth-wise) I want Mac and Cassie to be in by the end of Volume II.

How and why did they meet?
Mac and Cassie met at a mutual friend’s house party, Duncan, they did have a few drinks but they spent the whole night talking to each other about Comic Books and Comic Book Adaptations (movies and tv shows) and that was a new thing for Mac, despite the fact that Cassie was seventeen at the time and he was twenty.

What were their first impressions of each other?
Cassie was a little imitated by Mac and was uncertain of how to proceed (mostly because of how James and her older brother have a big feud). Cassie was expecting Mac to be hostile towards her because of the feud, but he wasn’t. Mac was expecting Cassie to be a snob or a malicious bitch because the Acker family have a history of being arseholes, Mac’s idea was that Cassie wasn’t worth the effort, so he pretty much ignored her until Seamus introduced them and mentioned that Cassie liked graphic novels and manga.

How would they prove their love for each other?
Mac’s the type of guy who doesn’t say he loves people with words but with actions, he’ll do something he doesn’t particularly like because it will make person X happy, he’s also the type to get into fights defending people (but in a way that’s more using someone else as an excuse to get into a fight).

Cassie is the type of person who is physically affectionate with a lover/paramour/partner but rather shy and reserved when it comes to talking about her feelings, in fact she tends to avoid those types of conversations (which is why Mac doesn’t know where he stands, he can’t tell if it was just some silly fling or a meaningful connection)

What would be an ideal date?
Mac: freshly shaved and nice clothing, most likely dinner and a movie kinda deal, but he’s also the type to want to go for a walk after dinner and explore the nearby area, maybe get dessert from a different place.
Cassie: Cassie the type to want a later dinner at a restaurant, that way there’s less people and it’s more intimate. But Cassie also likes group outings like dragging Mac along to a LARP situation (Cassie and Seamus are into LARP and Dungeons & Dragons). She likes her perspective partner to show an interest in her activities and being able to get along with her friends.

Is there something they emphatically disagree on?
Mac has a pretty black and white perspective on Cassie’s abusive family situation, he refuses to let Cassie “explain” away her parents behavior (“Dad is only like that when he’s drunk, he doesn’t mean it and he makes up for it later”). Beth helps Mac understand that the situation can be more complicated and that it is not always that simple because her father is a police officer.

List 3 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)
01. Mac is average at cooking, but there’s two meals he’s really good at which is scrambled eggs and pancakes. This is because James taught him how to cook them when he was younger.
02. Not sure if this is food related, but Cassie is a competent deer hunter because her dad likes to deer hunt as well, she also knows how to properly skin an animal and the basics of tanning.
03. Mac is more Sweets Orientated and Cassie is more Savory Orientated

What’s one thing they know about each other that no one else does?
Cassie knows that Mac is a good drawer and encouraged him to pursue it professionally. Mac knows that Cassie enjoys performing with the choir but hates performing solo pieces for the church, she feels that she’s getting the solo because her parent’s influence on the church council, not because she’s talented (she is reasonably talented though)

What’s one thing that they keep a secret from each other?
Over the two years, both of them have contemplated suicide, Cassie tends to be more inclined towards drinking and self-harming, however, both of them seem to be heading towards self-destructive burn-out, Beth is the one who notices this in both of them and both of them ask Beth not to mention it to the other (something Beth doesn’t approve of but understands).

How would their lives be different without each other?
That’s an interesting question. If Cassie and Mac hadn’t met, Cassie wouldn’t have gotten pregnant and Mac and Cassie wouldn’t be the parent to a daughter, but for Cassie, her life situation wouldn’t really be that much different, if anything her current situation is kind of unbearable because when she was Mac she realised what it was like to be truly happy and what it felt to break away from her family situation (even if it was just for a couple of hours or days). I like to think Mac would still feel as though he was without a purpose (he just wouldn’t know why), he felt as his relationship with Cassie gave him purpose, that he felt he was really was making a difference in someone else’s life. Mac would be less depressed but he would just as emotionally lost.

Where do they each see this relationship going?
Both of them don’t see it working out and that they’re better off without the other (naturally this isn’t true). Beth and Seamus think it could work out which is why they get involved as match-makers which mostly consists of getting Mac and Cassie in the same room and making them talk to each other (Beth and Seamus haven’t put much thought into plan), primarily at Justine’s shed as it’s kind of a more neutral zone (much to Justine’s annoyance).

So yeah… That’s my Beautiful Books post, if you want to talking about your latest WIP Novel project, feel free to leave a comment down the bottom. If you want to leave a link to your own Beautiful People post, please do so in the comment section down below, and if you’re interested in partaking in Camp NaNoWriMo in April, let me know in the comments section.


~Paper Fury: How I Get Ready To Write A Novel

The Beautiful Books #21: September

Beautiful Books - Writing Goals
It’s time for another installment of The Beautiful Books – September Edition. Unfortunately, the effort of trying to make sure Pushing Boundaries: Volume One is ready for publishing, I’ve been a bit slack with regards to blogging (sorry about that) so naturally I fell a bit behind and am now #LowKeyPanicking especially now that this year’s NaNoWriMo is fast approaching (I need a freaking Freeze Ray, time is going way too fast).

This On The Outside

This On The Outside

This On The Inside

This On The Inside

And all of my assignments are due on the same day, the last day of term, huzzah! Because I need that extra layer of stress (did I mention I’m attempting to Graduate this year from my degree? Whose foolish idea was that?). Anyway, I’ll stop bitching (I’m sure there are worse off people than myself) and I shall get on with the post.

How did you come up with this character?
James: While James is his own person, the two people I was inspired by to make James are similar to each other but neither of them are similar to James. I wanted James to be distinctively different from them.
The funny thing about James is that personality-wise, he and I more alike than the two people I loosely based him on, and by based on I took a personality trait I liked in others but lacked myself (like say blunt method of talking combined with a dry sense of humor) and added that to James.

Beth: There are elements of my sister in Beth, they’re both Auslan interpreters, they both wear more socially acceptable feminine style of clothing, they’re women who understand the idea behind feminism but aren’t interested in actively participating in it, they’re both mildly eccentric (but not too weird) and a little awkward with people they don’t know well. But there are elements of Beth that are more like me rather than my sister. Beth only wears make-up when she has to (I rarely wear make-up and usually only do so for a special occasion) and Beth is more introverted than my sister.

Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?
James: No, especially since James lives with his Scottish grandma, when he spends time with his Scottish extended family, they are constantly trying to get him to eat (James is a vegetarian with a high metabolism so he’s often underweight). However, James has felt “starving for attention” rather than food.

Beth: Beth does detox cleanses regularly or for a special occasion, something James thinks is pointless and super weird. Beth might also fit into the “starving for attention” category as well, but she’s not the type to say or do anything about it.

Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?
James: James and Robert have a mutual interest in Astronomy, James is very proud of the fact that he can point out constellations (with a good pair of binoculars) and he can show people planets with Robert’s telescope. Although James doesn’t know the Greek mythology behind those same constellations

Beth: While Beth has skills she’s proud of, like her domestic skills (cooking, cleaning, organizing), I think it’s her talent for dancing that’s a little more interesting (or it could just be me). Beth has a talent for dancing, but no interest in the sport or surrounding culture of it, where as Mary loves dancing but struggles with coordination because of her autism.

Mary loves Dancing, so she’s willing to try harder and put up with the shitty attitudes that she can encounter in the Dancing industry, however Beth isn’t willing to do that. When Mary and Beth were kids and teenagers, Beth was made to feel as though she had to go along with it so Mary could be included.

List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.
James: Bigotry (particularly Ableism, Racism and Homophobia), people parking in the disability car-park without a disability sticker and his triggers such as Lavender and Witch-hazel.

Beth: Family/Emotional abuse, Ableism (especially towards Mary or Deaf people) and people saying ignorant/stupid things about Homeless people, mental health and Alcoholism.

What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?
James: James has a high cold tolerance which means he can’t stand the heat (which always makes Beth laugh as she’s from Australia).
Beth: Autumn, it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold and the Autumn leaves piling everywhere just so she can kick them.

What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?
James: Hogwarts House: Slytherin MBTI: ISTJ
Beth: Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff MBTI: ISIP

Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?
James: Both, sometimes they combine together
Beth: More likely to focus on current problem

What is their favourite thing to drink?
James: Tea, it’s calming and ritualistic
Beth: Hot chocolate with the wafer-chocolate stick things in them (they come in tins)

What is their favourite color? Least favorite?
James: Navy Blue or Cobalt Blue
Beth: Robin’s Egg Blue or Green (various shades)

What is a book that changed their life?
James: I’m not sure if changed his life is appropriate, but James’s favorite book is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, he has it in multiple formats (special edition hardback and audio book), as well as a DON’T PANIC poster on the back of his door.

And, in a strange kind of way, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. James has read the books but didn’t purchase them (James refuses to purchase a copy, so he took his mother’s copy of the trilogy and then returned them with post-it notes through out them, as in “Màthair, this is terrible grammar, I can’t believe this is in a published book, how can you defend this?”) The fact that E.L. James could publish badly written BDSM pornography and make money out of it gave James the idea that if she can write it and make good money out of it, he could do the same thing.

Beth: As Beth has experienced Family Abuse/Emotional Abuse from her mother (who is a high functioning alcoholic), she tends to find books that deal with those particular issues to be in the “hit or a miss” category. The Child Called It by Dave Pelzer is very triggering for her. However, she often reads fiction as a form of escapism (Beth will read from most genres but her predominant genre would be romance)

The Beautiful Books #20: August

the beautiful people - august
Welcome to another installment of The Beautiful Books, this one focuses on appearance and description, so this installment will probably be a little more lackluster than usual, I’m certain I have mentioned short and tall far too many times. I know what my strengths are and description is not one of them, however perhaps I could use this as an opportunity to improve. On with the post!

Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)
James: James is taller than average, blue eyes, black hair (about waist length, his build is thin but athletic.

Beth: petite and curvy, long dark brown hair, green eyes, short.

Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.
I don’t have much description in Pushing Boundaries, but this is a description of James from Robert’s (James’s step-father) point of view when James was twelve.
James: “Up close he was skinny wee thing, tall though, with long black hair that fell across his face. He must be older than Robert had assumed, but if he didn’t know better, he’d have thought the boy was a girl”

This description of Beth is from James’s perspective.
Beth: “Sitting on the bed behind him was a young woman in a purple dress with a pleated skirt and short sleeves (he noticed on the right sleeve the tail end of a tattoo, but he was unable to figure out what the tattoo was as a whole).
She was also wearing black and purple tights with wide horizontal stripes. The young woman had the same dark brown hair as Detective Smith and the same almond-shaped green eyes that both he and Mary-Anne possessed. James assumed this was Beth.”

What is the first thing people might notice about them?
James: When out in public, James has a tendency to dress overly-formal.

Beth: Beth can be a little slob-like, one of the things James’s notices about her is her seemingly endless supply of grandpa golf sweaters.

What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)
James: James’s long black hair (it’s roughly waist-length)

Beth: Beth’s height (she’s five-one)

How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)
James: Athletic with a slender/skinny build at seven feet and five inches

Beth: Petite and curvy at five feet and one inches

What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?
James: A hunched in the shoulders

Beth: When not sitting at a computer, Beth has excellent posture, straight back and shoulders, but tends to hunch her shoulders when using a computer or her laptop.

Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

James: James seems to dress in two extremes, when out in public, he’s rather formal, but at home he tends to dress in track-pants, sweaters and slippers

Beth: usually she’s bundled up in bed in either pj’s or track-pants and moccasins

Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?
James: James usually has his hair in a pony-tail and he occasionally plays with it when he’s nervous. He generally wears a tie to work, he does have a couple of bright colored ties and a Dr Who TARDIS tie, but he mostly wears shades of blue.

Beth: Beth has a stimming bracelet that she gives to James at the beginning of the novel, she and Mary have a matching set (James keeps telling himself he needs to give it back but he doesn’t get around to doing so). Beth typically has her hair in a braid or pony-tail braid. Beth typically wears more neutral colours like yellow and green (mostly pastels) but does enjoy pink and purple.

Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!
James: James has experienced bullying and insensitive comments about his lack of facial expressions and monotone. However, James is usually very good with hygiene but also good at not wearing a lot of cologne or body spray.

Beth: Being curvy or perhaps being considered as being on the heavier end of the weight spectrum, Beth has experienced body-weight issues and body weight bullying, and while she’s got her own insecurities, those tend to be more mental insecurities, rather than physical and sexual insecurities.

Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?
James: James has a slender build and he would want to put on more weight and muscle mass, however as he’s vegetarian and has a fast metabolism, he does struggle to put on weight.

Beth: Beth is relatively fine with how she looks, she feel the pressure occasionally to lose weight, body-shaming issues are something she struggles with (especially when it comes to clothing choices), but she does possess the awareness that loosing five or ten kilos won’t really change much in the grand scheme of things.


~Further Up and Further In: Beautiful People: August Edition

The Beautiful Books 19: July

Beautiful Books - Writing Goals
Hey there, Camp NaNoWriMo wasn’t a success but it wasn’t a failure either (in the strictest sense). I had a super amazing writing friend beta read what I had written so far and Kim did a brilliant job pointing out some problems, so if you need to hire an editor, talk to Kim.

I am definitely Not Worthy

I am definitely Not Worthy

I meant to make this post in July, but I was busy working on my project, so readers will have to have two Beautiful Books posts this month (so too bad if you’re already sick and tired of me talking about Pushing Boundaries). Unfortunately, because of some realizations I’ve made about my project, I haven’t finished the first draft, at this point I’m not really sure how I could possibly get to the end point at this stage in the story and I can’t continue finishing the story until I’ve made these edits.

Do they want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?
James: James doesn’t want to get married, he honestly thinks it’s a meaningless and therefore worthless ritual that society forces upon people for capitalist reasons, which will be funny later on when James is asked to be the Best-Man at a wedding (or at least it’ll be funny to me).
However, if James was emotionally invested enough into a romantic relationship for marriage to be considered an option, James would be the type of guy to suggest eloping instead of traditional white wedding. James wouldn’t be the type to have kids, he’s just not interested in having children.

Beth: Beth would definitely want to get married, marriage is something that’s surprisingly important to her, but kids she’s a bit unsure of. She’s not in a stable relationship or in a stable employment situation right now and Beth would prefer to have a stable job and home situation figured out first before even discussing the possibility of children.

What is their weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)
James: Computers and technology. Most people aren’t very good with computers or passwords, so James will use that lack of experience or knowledge to his advantage in a hostile situation or when he’s trying to research someone or something. This can sometimes backfire.

Beth: Frying Pan or words, Beth is very much the type of person who uses humor to cover up how she feels, so she’s most likely to make a joke out of serious situation (which can cause problems).

What’s the nicest thing they’ve done for someone else, and why did they do it?
The problem here is that James and Beth don’t consider these actions “nice” in the strictest sense, they consider the following actions to be like standard behavior.
James: After Justine lost her foot, Justine went to live with her ex-girlfriend Virginia, the situation wasn’t working out because Virginia’s mother Ines was diagnosed with cancer at about the same time, so James had Justine live with him and Rosemary until Justine felt she could be comfortably independent. Virginia and Ines live in Paris, James also financially supported Justine being able to visit Virginia and helped with transport. Unfortunately Virginia’s mother Ines ended up passing away an Justine’s relationship with Virginia fell apart

Beth: Beth has been supportive of her friend Jack coming out as a Lesbian to her South Korean and Chinese parents and for the last year or so Beth has been helping Mary get through the trauma of a domestic violence situation with an ex-boyfriend and the subsequent legal proceedings.

Have they ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?
James: The Hammer Incident – James was being bullied by kids at the local primary school, he took a hammer to school and knocked one of the kids out, the incident has repercussions later on. However, James does participate in karate, so while I wouldn’t consider it violent, he has sustained shoulder injuries from it.

Beth: Beth has the tendency to contain something, until she snaps and the reaction seems out of proportion to the current event. There was a big incident with her mother, where her mother escalated from verbal and emotional abuse to physical abuse (which is one of the reasons she left home and no longer speaks to her mother).
Beth defended herself, but may have gone too far. However, the context of that situation involved verbal abuse and emotional abuse from her mother over a long period of time. Then there was a social worker who was attacked by a crystal meth addict and Beth beat him up with a fold up chair.

Are they a rule-follower or a rebel?
James: James is willing to make an exception for or justify actions for Operation Nightshade and while I like to think of James as a rule-follower, this novel is about how he’s being pushed to a breaking point and is sort of sliding into being willing to break the rules and do some arsehole-like things in order to close the case.

Beth: Beth is both, depending on the situation, Beth strives to know the rules as well as possible so she can bend them later or present plausible deniability (like acting dumb). In some ways, Beth is more rebellious than rule-following, but is simply better at hiding it and putting on a Stepford Smile

Are they organized or messy?
James: James is super organised
Beth: Beth is rather messy but she tries really hard to be organised

What makes them feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?
The worst part about this question is that it’s taken me ages to give an answer for this and I still don’t really have a definitive answer. So I’m just going to say how James and Beth express affection. James and Beth and both the type of person to show affection through action, they are more likely to do things for the other or put up with a bad situation because of how they feel about the person in question, and that’s an across-the-board type of thing.

However, while James is the type of person to think the action should speak for itself, Beth is the type of person who wants the other person to say it or tell her she’s loved. Neither of them are big on physical affection in public, but in private James can be rather affectionate, where as Beth can be considered distant or cold with regards to physical affection.

What do they eat for breakfast?
James: James has a strict eating routine, he has a smoothie or a protein shake for breakfast during the week, but Saturday is an egg based dish (like poached eggs, but he does like scrambled eggs) and pancakes on Sunday (if he’s in a good mood).

Beth: cereal or what’s on offer, she loves a full continental breakfast

Have they ever lost someone close to them? What happened?
James: I suppose you count the absence of James’s biological father, though currently James does not think of it as a loss, however when James’s biological father stopped visiting (after James’s received his Autism diagnosis), it did hurt him and that same fear of rejection is mostly the reason for his hedgehog mannerism.

Beth: I suppose you could count Beth’s mother Claire, but she doesn’t consider it a loss, for Beth it’s more a relief that she is no longer obligated to deal with Claire, but occasionally has indirect contact with Claire via Mary.

What’s their treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else do they reward themselves?)
James: James and his family are rather partial to sweets and desserts, dessert is mandatory, not optional, for all meals.

Beth: Beth is more of a savory type of person, Beth has a great weakness for cheese, and while she does like chocolate, she prefers dark chocolate (the 75% cocoa stuff).

Hopefully, I’ll be updating The Beautiful Books 20: August by the end of the day, because I need to do a journal entry as apart of my University assignment. Hopefully the train won’t be packed so I’ll be able to do some writing/editing on the way home.


~Further Up and Further In: The Beautiful People 19 – July Edition

The Beautiful Books 18: June

the beautiful people 17
Welcome to another installment of The Beautiful Books, hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In and this edition is about Childhood. However, before I begin, there are a couple of things I need to clarify, I’ve had to change the names of a few of my characters, one of them being my main character from Olivia to Beth (short for Elizabeth), mostly because my sister decided to name her new-born daughter Olivia, and while I don’t want to give my niece a complex, I also don’t want my sister thinking I think she’s a terrible mother, in fact sister is a great mother (so far), and while it still weirds me out a little to realise my younger sister has a tiny human in her custody, I am looking forward to teaching my niece the ways of Feminism and the ways of the Nerd (Mwuahahahah).

The Questions:
What are their first childhood memory?
James: James’s earliest childhood memory is sitting/standing in the living room of his Seanmhair (grandmother) and Màthair’s (mother) small house in Glasgow, he had a set of large Lego blocks and he would build a large tower (as high as his blocks would allow) and then when he finished, he would push the tower over. James would do this over and over. It’s not that he didn’t have other toys to play with (his mother would try to encourage him to play with the other toys), he just loved the blocks best.

Beth: Beth’s earliest memories are building a pillow fort in the living room with her sister Mary, waiting for parents to come home (though mostly her father), while her Aunt Charlotte looked after them at night when her mother was doing shift work and her father was working late hours. Beth and Mary both share a great love of Disney and Pixar movies, something they both still enjoy but for different reasons. Mary enjoys Disney movies in a way to help calm her down and soothe her, where as Beth enjoys them in a more job-orientated way (like “would this be good class material?), so I suppose it’s harder for Beth to enjoy kids movies now than previously because of her job.

What were their best and worst childhood experiences?
James: The worst moment for James would be when he was sent away for psychiatric testing at a special needs school (which was like a boarding school), he hated it because it was away from his Seanmhair (grandmother) and Màthair (mother). However, when he was five and his mother told his biological father he’d been diagnosed with Autism stands out for him, mostly because his biological father ceased all contact afterwards. Best moment for James would be when he came back from special needs school and Robert took him to his first karate lesson (Robert stayed the whole time to watch him and make sure there wasn’t any problems), this is where James met Justine (he’s two years older than her), Justine’s always been direct and a little aggressive, which was something James didn’t have a problem with and Justine liked the fact that James wasn’t afraid of her and happy to give as much as he received, so they’ve been best friends ever since.

Beth: The worst moment for Beth would be when she had just finished year 11 in secondary school and her mother wanted her to repeat year 11 so that Beth would be in the same class as her sister Mary and Beth would be able help Mary with the school-work, her mother harassed her about it for weeks until Beth finally snapped and Claire and Beth had a massive fight about it, which resulted in Claire hitting Beth, and as this had happened previously, Beth wasn’t eager to stick around for it keep happening. As a result, Beth run away from home and move around from homeless shelters, youth shelters and camping sites. She didn’t go to her Aunt Charlotte’s place because she didn’t think Aunt Charlotte would believe her and would force her to go back home. While Beth was homeless, she was staying at a youth center and she was helping a social worker set up an early breakfast thing for homeless people when the social worker was attacked by an ice-addict, Beth was there and managed to beat the guy unconscious with a fold-up chair. Beth sort of blames herself, she thinks if she’d realised sooner, she could have prevented the attack from occurring. Her best moment was when Aunt Charlotte stood up for her against her mother and Aunt Charlotte went over to her mother’s place and collected the rest of Beth’s things so she could move in with Aunt Charlotte instead

What was their childhood home like?
James: James, his Seanmhair (grandmother) and Màthair (mother) all lived in a two bedroom flat in Glasgow, which was surrounded by other two bedroom flats but it was located in a rough neighborhood, however it was close to the local hospital which was good for James’s Màthair (who is a nurse). However, he moved to Kirkby Stephen with his Seanmhair (grandmother) and Màthair (mother) when he was 12 and his mother met Robert. Robert and his mother moved into Robert’s place and while James did try living with them, after a couple of days James insisted on living with Rosemary (grandmother), which ended up being better for him anyway.

Beth: Beth’s parent’s home was a three bedroom home in Taylor’s Lake, one bedroom was for Beth’s dad to use as an office, so Beth and Mary ended up sharing a room (and bed) most of the time. Aunt Charlotte lives in the same area, however her house is a little bigger (four bedroom).

What’s something that scared them as child?
James: Hair cuts, which is why he’s always had his hair long (though as an adult it’s more he doesn’t want to waste time at the hair-dressers), social interactions (he’s quite a high level of anxiety about general stuff but social anxiety is high on the list). As a child, James was often afraid of his biological father and didn’t like leaving his mother alone with him.

Beth: As a child, Beth was always scared her dad wouldn’t come home, Mary could pick up on stressful energy from her mother (while they waited for him to come home) but Mary couldn’t always figure out why Beth and her mother were stressed or worried. Beth was always scared of getting into a relationship with a police officer, this isn’t just because of the dangers involved in the job, but that occasionally the wives of police officers who were dealing with domestic violence issues would come around the house because Beth’s mother was a nurse, they would come over to the house if they needed a patch up or someone to talk to. Beth’s dad doesn’t drink and has never hit her mother, but Beth is aware that her father is an exception, so instead of it teaching her to trust the police, she learned from an early age that she couldn’t necessarily trust all police officers and that cops often get away with a lot.

Who did they look up to most?
James: James has a great respect for Tsubaki-sensei and her son Hiro (who is about the same age as James), however when it comes to approval I suppose James would be more leaning towards Robert and his mother, he wants them to value him just as much as they value Mac (both James and Mac think of the other as the prodigal son)

Beth: Beth is most likely to look up to her Aunt Charlotte, she’s a fully qualified councilor, doctor of psychology and translator. Aunt Charlotte is also the first person to take Beth’s side in an argument against her mother and to call her mother out on her narcissistic bullshit attitude.

Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?
James: James’s favourite childhood food is minestrone soup with a cheese toasty (cut into quarters). James’s least favourite food is meat (especially lamb) and is a vegetarian and has been so since he was five.

Beth: Beth’s favourite meal as a child wasn’t so much a specific meal but more eating in a particular place. Beth’s best friend Jack and her family run a Korean/Chinese restaurant, which was open until late, so Beth’s dad would often take Beth and Mary there when he had to work late on a case but Aunt Charlotte was unable to look after them and Claire was working shift-work/late hours. As a result, Beth knows a lot about Chinese an Korean food and can be rather picky about it. Beth’s Least favourite food would be Brussels sprouts

If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?
James: James would focus better on controlling his temper and possibly trying to get along with other kids at karate better, try to tell himself socializing isn’t as scary as he thinks it is

Beth: Beth would be more assertive, she’d fight harder for what she wanted rather than just going along with everything.

What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?
James: quiet but devious (definitely one of those kids you would apply the phrase “it’s quiet, too quiet…”), he liked to play pranks on his mother when he was little, like waiting for her to come home from school or work and jumping out and scaring her, which was later replaced with shooting his mother with his Nerf gun. But also the type of child who would ask lots of questions. However, James was also the type of kid who liked to watch documentaries (wasn’t a big Disney fan) and would watch them repeatedly.

Beth: Beth was quiet, especially in comparison to Mary (who was noisy and hyperactive, despite being non-verbal) but she got into the habit of watching people and noticing things. Beth and Mary enjoy Disney and Pixar movies but also enjoyed books.

What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?
James: James’s relationship with his mother is strained and complicated, because his mother had him at fifteen-sixteen, James was more raised by his grandmother, which has caused his mother to feel insecure in his relationship with James. However James in turn feels insecure and resentful in his relationship with his mother because he sort of feels as though as soon as she married Robert and had Mac, she didn’t want him around (she had her “real” son to take care of). it caused problems with Robert’s family later on (though Robert doesn’t care about that kind of thing). I suppose this resentment does affect his relationship with Mac in a way (though James and Mac did get along well when Mac was very young, Mac would follow him around constantly). However, as James is the eldest, he does see it as his responsibility to keep tabs on his younger siblings (he can definitely be overprotective).

James does get along well with his younger sisters and, up until recent events, James and Callum used to get along really well (especially since they have a lot in common). Callum is currently dating a guy whose a lot older than him and James doesn’t approve of the situation (he thinks Callum is being taken advantage of and is worried Callum will get into an abusive relationship and won’t be able to get out of it). James doesn’t want to admit that maybe the situation with Callum is a little triggering for him as he was abused while he was forced to stay at the special needs school for psychiatric evaluation. James was also in an emotionally abusive relationship recently, Justine helped him get out of it, so he understands what it’s like to fall into a similar trap and not realise it.

Beth: Beth and her dad are very similar, where as her sister Mary and her mother Claire are very similar, Beth tends to get along with her dad better than her mum, whom she no longer speaks to and has no contact with at all. Previously, before the big fall-out with her mother, Beth would help Mary with social interactions, help translate for her and sometimes that meant that Beth got shunted to the side or wasn’t a priority (currently in Australia, siblings of kids diagnosed with Autism are granted access to counselling as well but counselling and access to therapy can have limitations). When Beth finally snapped under the pressure and stress of the situation, she decided she’d rather be homeless than go back. Her dad is in a weird position of trying to keep the peace between the different factions and trying to help Mary with her Autism, which puts Olivia in a weird/resentful position as well, Beth feels like her parents were perfectly capable of handling Mary, they just didn’t do it until Beth was no longer in the picture.

This situation did put Beth and Mary’s relationship in a strained position, they have recovered from this with counselling and Beth enforcing personally boundaries (though this is something she does occasionally struggle with). Mary, in a way, knew the situation between her and Beth was at times unbalanced (while Beth resented the situation because it seemed like Mary had all the power, Mary thought that Beth was the one with the ultimate power, as most of the time Beth was often verbally translating for her and sometimes speaking on her behalf). With the help of counselling, Mary and Beth were able to find a better social balance and they were able to repair their relationship. This is the major difference between Mary and her mother Claire, Claire was not willing to acknowledge there was something wrong with the situation and Claire wasn’t willing to compromise at all.

What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
James: For the first twelve years of James’s life, he was pretty much an only child and due to the social stigma of being a child on an underage mother and having autism, he didn’t have many play-mates. However, he did develop a fondness for role-playing games and as his mother was fifteen-sixteen, she still had things like dolls so he and Rosemary would occasionally do crime show reenactments (Midsomer Murders is one his major guilty pleasure). So James really enjoyed the idea of being an actor, but due to his autism (lack of facial features and monotone voice), he felt he’d never be good enough.

Beth: Beth and Mary would often play cops and robbers type pretend game (Beth being the copper and Mary being the robber), but she never wanted to become a police officer or a nurse, Beth was tempted to become a social worker or a translator but was put off by the working conditions. For a long time, Beth didn’t know what she wanted as most of time she was focusing her energies on Mary. But when she got a job as an Auslan interpreter, she realised that she wanted to get more involved in the education sector.

Wow, I’ve just realised just how depressing Beth and James’s childhoods are, I need to get back to writing so they get the H.E.A they deserve

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