Beautiful People - Anthea
"And though she be but little, she is fierce."
Some of you may remember with a chuckle the rather idiotic post one of my Crown of Life characters wrote on my blog a while back. This character has been a bit of a puzzle to figure out, hone in on and work with, but on the whole she's given me very little trouble and has become a spunky, if not vain close little friend of mine. Sometimes I've thought her to be very much like me. At times I think she is nothing like me at all. Sometimes I love her something fierce and at times I hate her to a loathing, but at all times I feel for her, sympathize with her and seem to understand her and her deepest thoughts, fancies and dreams like she really is me. This is a supreme blessing for any writer because I know I could easily have had a lot of trouble with a character like her! And since she keeps popping up in my story every other chapter, I thought I may as well do a proper Beautiful People for her. What say you? So, my dear folks, let me introduce you to Valerius' little sister...
1. What does she look like?
Anthea is not tall (a reality she bemoans), has a curly cascade of hair, inky black in colour, that always falls in dark ringlets across her cheeks and brow. Her eyes are sea-grey with flecks of copper in them, but when they burn with an intensity (usually of anger) her irises can sparkle almost emerald in hue.
2. What is her favourite type of shoes?
She prizes her beaded sandals dearly, as the normal leather tongs that the Romans wear are too plain for her tastes. But if she were living in modern times, she'd mostly definitely wear shoes with high heels and of bright, tawny colours varying from shades of orange, yellow, pink, or silver...
3. How old is she?
The story begins in A.D. 59, when Anthea is fourteen
4. What kind of personality does she have? Introverted or extroverted? Cheerful or morose?
Anthea would be described as extroverted, with interesting streaks in her that don't fit quite in the box; she has the capability of being extremely cheerful, fun-loving and frolicsome, but as a down side she is of a temperamental nature and can get into horribly morose, sulky moods and fierce tempers on a whim. She is a ray of golden sunshine when pleased and a grey thundercloud of storm when displeased. However, she is very sociable, loves hanging out with her friends and is on most terms a jolly little daisy of a maiden.
6. Is she married or does she have a sweetheart?
Upon meeting Anthea at the story's start, you find her a precocious girl of nearly fifteen summers tied by a family betrothal to a man almost a dozen years older then her, and who perhaps is not all she dreams of in a man: Flavius Apicius. However, she does love him fiercely and looks up to him with something akin between respect and fear. She's often torn between her dreams, fancies and the memories of her childhood, parents and brother, and her duty as his betrothed wife and the love she bears for him.
7. Does she journal?
Goodness, what?! In normal circumstances, Anthea's vibrant, vivacious personality and way of life has no place for quiet contemplation. She thinks it altogether silly that her brother chronicles his thoughts on parchment with such scrupulous care, "like a mother hen brooding over her little eggs", she'd joke; the meditative medium of journaling is one of many things that Anthea considers "positively boring". But it is often that what we think to be of no importance becomes centre-stage in our lives. So it is with Anthea, when through a storm of internal as well as outward trouble, she is forced to pen her sea of emotions and the events of her life on paper.
8. What’s her favorite animal?
It is without doubt her brother's white Prussian cat, Martina, who happens to be the sorest trial of Valerius at home besides the pestering of his sister, but to Anthea is pure delight.
9. What does her average day look like? Night owl or morning person?
Perhaps you'd be surprised that Anthea is an early bird. Except for her father, and occasionally Valerius, she is usually the first to get out of bed in the morning at dawn to watch the sun rise over the Palatine Hills as she plans her day. It is probably the only time ever where she can afford a measure of solitude and quiet, but that is limited and her brain remains an active beehive. But after a 'light' breakfast consisting of salted bread, milk, a cluster of dried fruit, two eggs and a slice of cheese, she becomes so sleepy she goes back to bed and wakes up at about noon when her day really starts. She first has a midday meal and then goes off and lounges either in the peristyle or in her bedroom chambers with her personal slave following closely at her heels. She does at this time nothing in particular except pathetically strum her little harp, breeze through a literary classic, or spend some time with her mother in lethargic chit-chat. By late afternoon, she then takes to her comfortable chair and gets her personal slave to attend to her luxuriant, thick black hair and general makeup. After that, she takes about half an hour selecting her outfit for the evening and afterwards her slave helps her into it. Sometimes, on occasion she rides out with one of her friends to the Baths, the markets or to the theater for a few hours of recreation and entertainment. It is then, a light supper and off to the main entertainment of the day (generally a social banquet or a party with some of her girlfriends). And then it is off to bed.
10. Does she have a sweet tooth?
In as much as she loves honey cakes, sugar dates, plums, figs and anything sugary, how can she not have a sweet tooth?
11. What colors are her bedroom?
The colours denominating her bedroom chamber vary on occasion but usually are lilac lavenders, gentle pinks and/or creamy whites
12. Can she cook?
She has never tried but even if it were befitting her social status, she'd not have the energy or desire. She is a pathetically lazy creature when it comes to practical domestic affairs.
13. What is her favorite household chore?
It is to Anthea's great advantage that women of the social ranking she belongs to, do not lift a finger in household chores, except to do the most dignified and easy tasks, such as needlework, taking care that the household runs efficiently etc. But it would be ordering the slaves about their duties that would be Anthea's favourite... and no, she is so sweet and charming (most times anyhow) that the servants hardly hold any grudge against their young mistress.
Two songs, one is "To Believe" by Jackie Evancho and the other "May it Be" by Enya. Below are snippets of the lyrics from both songs that especially are suited to Anthea and her life's journey, from a flighty little maiden, to a burdened young woman with a charge and call she's not sure she is ready to accept. And if you are left curious by that last remark, I will annoy you further by saying I will not divulge any more specifics ;).