Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When a Minor Character Becomes a Leading Lady

By Marilyn Morris

I typed “The End,” with a pang of regret. The Unexplored Heart was finished.
I then heard a rustle of long skirts. "You just think you're finished," Esther Wooster said as she swooped into my office.

"Yes, Esther?" I felt kind of foolish, talking to a figment of my imagination,

"I want my own book, where we go on another quest."
She studied me over her wire-rimmed spectacles and adjusted her portfolio. "I've grown restless and discontent without any sites to research. Charles is quite happy at having discovered Camelot, while I have been reading the Holy Bible, not for comfort, but for possible quests."

"Old Testament or New?"

"Both." She delved into her portfolio and produced several hand-written notes, which she began reading aloud. "The Ark."
"Ah, I think they have found the remnants of the Ark high atop Mt. Ararat."

She snorted, "I know where Noah's Ark is.  I'm speaking of The Ark of the Covenant. After the Temple was ransacked, it disappeared and was never mentioned again. Don't you find that interesting?  Well, I should like to find it. If not that sacred relic, then anything from The Old Testament. 

“If we go to Rimar, we should find something of value, shouldn't we? “ I heard her parting words echoing down the hallway: "I have every confidence in you, my dear. Just begin. I shall pop in every now and then to see how you progress."

And she has guided me on every character in each chapter, and correcting her portrayal. "I do not snort. Ladies do not snort." She asked about the title of her book.

I thought wildly, and said, "After Camelot."

"But that would be about my husband's discovery. Camelot, on Courtland property. You must have forgotten: I want my own book."

I thought for a moment, then inspiration struck: "After Camelot: Esther's Quest."

Then, like the Cheshire Cat, she vanished, leaving only her serene smile of satisfaction.

She’ll be back. 

I was born in Alpine, Texas in my grandfather's Southern Pacific Railroad section house.  The railroad company soon abandoned this part of the operations, so I was left without a "permanent" home. At the age of eight, I received my very own orders from The War Department to journey to Seoul, Korea, to join my father in the US Occupation Forces. We were isolated in a military compound with little to do, so I turned my attention to writing.  My next overseas assignment was for three years in Linz, Austria. Out of these experiences sprang my first novel, The Women of Camp Sobingo and  my autobiography,of sorts, Once a Brat, Always a Brat, described as part memoir, part therapy session. Other books quickly followed, as I retired from Corporate America, and at last I could do what I always felt I was born to do: Write. 
I am single, live in Fort Worth TX and have three grown children and five grands. 


Melissa Keir said...

Isn't it fun when the characters make so many demands? It sounds like she is a wonderful character and quite a treat! Now will she be happy with just one book! :)

Anonymous said...

Marilyn, I understand about characters w/minds of their own--love your humor!

Gail Kittleson

Janet K Brown said...

Thanks, Marilyn. Good post. I've had that happen that one character that you thought had a small part just keeps dancing thru your mind & won't leave you alone.

Victoria Adams said...

That's one feisty secondary character you have.

Donna B said...

Great post! I loved it!

charmainegordon author said...

I know how you feel, Marilyn. Those pesky characters won't leave us alone and guess what? It's wonderful. New stories rise to keep us off the streets. Thanks for another fun filled adventure about writing.