Friday, 15 February 2013
'...Jane is so sweet and thoughtful and unselfish!'
As pertaining to life lately, I have within the caveats of my brain a plethora of information varying between learning of the last Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's 'reform' policies of glasnot and perestroika, reading bits and pieces about the Berlin Wall and the breaking up of Yugoslavia into so many republics, and realizing my history textbook is as ancient as myself (shocking); fiddling about with the techniques of a delightful ‘Spanish Tanz’ on the violin; snatching rare moments on long-car-drives to read in the beautiful ‘Silmarillion’, soaking up precious moments with my dear parents and sisters and learning from them all the time and finally, loving and constantly listening to three new songs Song of the Lonely Mountain (from The Hobbit... which is such a delightful tune!), You Raise me Up, (by Josh Groban—a beautiful, encouraging Christian song) and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (from the Les Miserables musical—though I have not watched the movie yet or seen the musical—I’ve been listening to the movie song-tracks as well as the original London cast tracks and have been just.loving.it.so.much. This song in particular makes me feel like tearing up every time I hear it); Last of all, those evenings writing/sobbing out my heart in my journal as I've been doing a lot of thinking, thinking, thinking on life, friendships, heartache, long-ago history, my writing and God’s plan for each one of us and the battle and the struggle of every Christian every day... just silently crying ‘why, God, why?’... and realizing that He Himself cried the same thing on that old, dreaded Cross because of His love for me.
As pertaining to writing, I have been doing —despite the lack actual writing material to boast of-- some mental work on ‘A Love that Never Fails’, especially on Jane which has proved both helpful and slightly bemusing and exhausting. So far all my main characters have been such hard nuts to crack, people like Valerius or Claudia, and now Jane, who simply dislike being put on the spotlight and fired at with prying questions. So unlike my secondary characters (i.e. Anthea or Flavius) who would simply beg the chance to spill out their deep-dark secrets and hopes and pains and fears to me any day! Not so with my heroes and heroines. Though they respond meekly (on most occasions) to life as they live it on the page, doing a Beautiful People for them is always a bit of a mental strain for me... asking life and death questions of them frighten them to silence. This is in a nutshell why it has taken me a while to post up a Beautiful People for the main character of A Love that Never Fails, Jane Wilson. The questions are not as in-depth as some, and neither are the answers, as I am still very much discovering who this precocious, unselfish and sweet young girl really is. I hope, nonetheless, that you enjoy this round of character exploration!
Jehovah has been gracious
the meaning behind Jane's name
What is her full name?
Jane Priscilla Wilson
Does she think inside herself more than she talks out loud to her friends? (more importantly, does she actually have friends?)
Jane is not a talkative-chatter-box. She is a quiet and thoughtful person, but she is also sociable and enjoys spending time with people. She would share her heart with those she loves, and at times even with those who're not her friends, who just need her. She loves being friends with all whom she meets, and making them happy and putting a smile on their face. She is wonderful at listening to others. However, I think she thinks inside herself even more being disposed to the art of writing and the creative use of her imagination.
Is there something she is afraid of?
A thing that Jane is deeply afraid of is ever receiving a small yellow telegram from the army, informing her that her father might be dead or injured. Oh, and she is mortally terrified of crawling insects, particularly spiders.
Does she write, dream, dance, sing, or photograph?
Since she was a wee little thing huddled by her Pappa's chair near the fireplace, Jane used to scribble fantastical stories--half formed ideas and a wide imagination spun from the adventurous tales she played with her rag dolly, Polka Noel, and the books she ravenously read. Now at fourteen, Jane has written several short-stories and a little collection of poems, and is constantly working on her novel-in-progress whenever she can. And because her imaginations are so wild, she day-dreams herself into the stories she creates and writes as well--all of them archaic, emotional and dramatic. As to singing, dancing and or photographing, Jane would like to think she can sing beautifully because she loves to hum and sing a song any day, but her singing voice is not really that fabulous, just mellow and quiet. She and her parents never owned a camera and she has scarce few photos of herself or her family save one photo of her father and mother and herself taken by a friend when she was just a little toddler. That photo becomes one of her most favored possessions tucked inside her Grandmother's Bible.
What is her favourite book? (or genre of books)
One thing that becomes obvious to anyone who spends less than ten minutes with Jane is that she is a dedicated reader and lover of literature Her love of books, inherited from her professor father, is fierce and runs strong like fire in her blood. Jane will tell you it is quite impossible to choose her favourite book, because it would be like choosing your favourite child. But if she must choose a few favourites then she would pick: John Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' and 'The Holy War', 'The Hobbit' (published by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1937 a few years before the start of all of Jane's adventures and a most treasured and dog-worn copy does she own), 'Ben Hur', 'A Tale of Two Cities', 'and Milton's 'Paradise Lost' just to name a few. Her most beloved and treasured book however is the Holy Bible.
Who is her favorite author and/or someone that inspires her?
Jane's favourite author would probably be J.R.R. Tolkien. Jane looks up highly to Tolkien as a writer who lived and wrote during her growing up years and is an avid fan of his works as he writes them. She also has been greatly inspired by Charles Dickens and John Milton as other great authors. Those who inspire and encourage her the most though are her grandmother and father. Their life example, firm but gentle love and spiritual mentoring are a great part of what shape and mold Jane's heart and personality within the first dozen or so years of her life. The memory of her late mother, Abigail Wilson, is something of a great inspiration and memory for her as well.
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Ice-cream is a very rare treat for Jane during the War Years, but if she could have a scoop of ice-cream a favourite flavor of hers would be strawberry and vanilla.
Favorite season of the year?
The golden light and warmth of summer happens to be Jane's most beloved season. She somewhat changes her opinion upon coming to Australia. In Australia, the crisp cold sky-blue and sunny weather of winter and the rain-filled, fresh days of spring are more in mood with her than the hot, stormy days of summer. However, she loves all of the seasons and finds a thing of joy and beauty in each differing season: summer, autumn, winter, spring...
How old is she?
Jane is both mature and young for her age all at once, and it would be hard to pin-point how old she really is. When you first meet her in 'A Love that Never Fails', you get to know her as a precocious fourteen year old, emerging out of her childhood into the realm of youth with all the responsibilities and mind-set of a young lady. However, she is still very much a child at heart, delighting in simple happy things as much as in the big and serious.
Does she see the big picture or live in the moment?
Jane is a contended girl, happy with the passing of each moment and treasuring them as they pass. However, she likes to see the big picture from time to time and rather impatiently longs to see what the years ahead for her will bring.
Is she a perfectionist?
Not very. Jane is very diligent and efficient and sets out to do her best in whatever task she undertakes, but she is rather unaffected about the domestic aspects of perfectionism (makeup, fashion, etc). Her perfectionism comes in with her duties and chores, her school-work and in her writing, but rarely in the vanity of company or social etiquette.
What does her handwriting look like? (round, slanted, curly, skinny, sloppy, neat, decorative, etc.)
Jane has a lacy and round script and is pretty when she sets her mind to it. Her penmanship is not the best skill she possesses, but she works with an acute perseverance to better it. She is much better at using a type-writer.
Jane fell in love with the iconic koala bear and rainbow lorikeets (a species of Australasian parrots) as soon as she was first introduced to them upon arriving in Australia. Her favourite animals though would have to be sheep and horses.
Does she have any siblings? How many? Where does she fit in?
Jane has no siblings of her own, but she is taken in by a foster family who have about half-a-dozen children. I do not have a fixed answer to the exact number of kids, their names and ages, but so far as it goes, it is like this: the eldest is Amelia and she's around fifteen years old, then there is Dick who is twelve, Margret is seven, Jack and Jeremy are twins and are five years old and the youngest is Charlotte who is nearly a year old. Naturally, Jane fits in as the second-eldest, though her place in the family is not quite as 'fixed' as it sounds.
Does she have a 'life verse' and if so what is it?
Throughout the seasons of her life, Jane treasures particular versus and passages in Scripture. But as a life verse, it has got to be 1 Corinthians 13: 8 'Love never fails.' It is as simple as that.
Where is she from?
Though the exact location is yet to be discovered by me, I know that Jane was born in the English countryside but grew up in a quiet, pleasant suburb of London for most of her growing up years. Her great grandfather on her father's side was Swedish and his mother had some Scottish blood in her. Jane's own mother was half-German, but the rest of the family are mostly from England.
Perhaps the greatest enemy of Jane is the War itself.
Does she play a musical instrument? If so, what?
Jane's mother, Abigail, was an accomplished and beautiful violinist. Before she died, she gave Jane as a special gift her old violin and wood-case. From the little she knows from her mother, Jane teaches herself the violin and it becomes one of her greatest joys to play upon its strings.
What colour are her eyes? Hair?
Jane has tawny golden hair, the colour of the inside of daises but not quite so yellow--more on the brown-flaxen shade. It is relatively straight and thick, but she brushes them into two plaits most of the time to keep them out of the way when she's doing her chores or writing. When she turns fifteen, her foster mother is pretty adamant that she lets it go loose and curls it like Amelia does, which is a bit of a pain to Jane who can't possibly be bothered with curling her hair every day. The shade of Jane's eyes are a soft-evening blue, what Amelia calls 'her one beauty'.
If she could change one thing in her world, what would it be?
I think it would be all the hate in the world around her, and the bitterness, and the fighting and wars, not just on a cosmic scale, but on the personal level between man and his fellow man.
If your character could be played by any actor, who would it be?
For long now, I've had an image of Jane Wilson within the fabric of my mind, based off two Pinterest pins, one shows Jane as a fourteen year old and another one when she's nineteen: here and here. However, if I were to cast her for a movie, a few actors come to mind. For looks, Kimberley Nixon (who played Sofie Hutton in Cranford) would play a pretty good rendition of an older Jane and/or Amanda Seyfried too though I am not so sure how well they'd both fit into the role in the sense of personality, being more reserved and so pretty (Jane's beauty is more of a muted, gentle one). Georgie Henley, though not possessing golden hair, would really be perfect for Jane in reference to her character. It is honestly a hard choice, but I think, Georgie Henley is best, despite slight differences in appearance (I mean, you can always dye brown hair to golden!).
Does your character have a specific theme song?
Love Never Fails by David Haas is one song that basically reflects the whole thrust of Jane's story. However, perhaps the most specific theme song for Jane is Jesus Love of my Soul by Charles Wesley.
'Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last...
'Jesus Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name,
Source of all true righteousness;
Thou art evermore the same,
Thou art full of truth and grace.'
Lovingly penned by Joy at 12:16 am
Saturday, 2 February 2013
My first inclination would be to blurt out a long apologetic explanation for why I have not been on Fullness of Joy in over a month. But that would make for a long and tedious post for my dear friends to read, and since we all know that abstaining from blogging usually means some great deal of busy-ness or lack of time, that's not what I am going to do. I will say though that you may expect that I will be a lot less active on blogger throughout the year than I was last year. When schoolwork beckons, all I can--and should- do is gird my loins and follow, even if it means that you won't see me here quite as often as I would like. All that saying, I do have quite a few post-ideas up my sleeves, and have been working on several posts within the last couple of weeks; alas that all of them, it seems, are determined to give me a hard time. I pray your pardon! Knowing you to be possessing the great virtue of patience, I can only hope I shall not tax that virtue beyond endurance and shall do my best to get them posted in the not-to-distant future.
In the meantime, I have little by way of report concerning A Love that Never Fails since in the weeks and now months since the finish of National November Writing Month, I have hardly done any writing at all. Of course, one can easily contribute it to the Christmas Advent and rush of holiday festivities which have only now finally worn off. That in and of itself has been discouraging to me, because I really, really want to write this story! Yet I have to admit that alongside with the natural struggle to find the plot, choosing the right POV and determining other important facets to A Love that Never Fails, I have lately gone through struggles and doubts with this story. A Love that Never Fails as a novel has not attacked me with that same flaming love as The Crown of Life has done to me in the past. Perhaps I am being nostalgic, and like an old woman reminiscing about old times, can only recall the thrilling/exciting memories of starting out a new novel, and not the bad ones. Starting out a new novel that is not written on the whim of sudden inspiration is a painful, agonizing job to be sure! And frankly, quite terrifying. I realize though, that my current lack of plot and outline for i.e. which I have been bewailing rather fiercely is not the biggest personal obstacle to getting into this story and writing it. It has rather been the apparent simplicity and straightforwardness of the tale and absence of deep themes and intriguing paradoxes in the events and characters that have been the subjects to haunt my faith in this story, making me believe the story is not really that touching or inspiring as it could be. For a while, it has seemed to me that the theme has stopped touching me as it used to when I wrote the short story a year back, the characters seem a lot simpler and not really built on the struggles I'm currently going through at this time of my life. It is, to be sure, amazing how the struggles of life can affect one's writing and vision for the task at hand!
But then, as I was thinking/praying and writing in my journal about it this morning, I realized something really quite exciting about this 'simple' story, A Love that Never Fails and in the whole idea of "simple things". The thing is this. Those great themes and depth of emotions in stories that inspire our hearts so, are not built on the foundation of intrigue, epic battles, villainous characters and heart-wrenching romance etc, etc. If it were so, then for sure more than half the novels written in the world would be the sort worth reading! But in truth, a great deal of the time, the things of depth and beauty and real inspiration in life and in stories can be found just as much (if not more so) through the simple aspects and things of life. Often we stare at the majestic and powerful stuff, and think they are the big deal, when in reality what is REALLY important will be found in the disguise of small, simple things, events and people and in the faithfulness and loving service of those who are not in the world's point-of-view great and wise and strong. There's that scene in The Hobbit movie wherein Gandalf speaks with Lady Galadriel, and in speaking about Bilbo, he says this:
"Saruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf
'Small acts of kindness and love'. Perhaps, in a way, that's what A Love that Never Fails is really all about. True, unconditional love that shines quietly in the simple, every day things of life, softly touching hearts and lives and changing them forever. Just because this story is not made up of sword-fights, catastrophes, exiles, betrayals and arenas etc, etc, does not mean it does not have the power to touch and inspire; on the contrary... these are perhaps the real things after all. When one thinks on it, the themes of faith and true love, in the throws of a horrific world war that was shattering people's lives and hopes and dreams, is by no means that simple! Yes, to write a good novel, one needs drama and action--and with God's help I hope to explore and find those aspects in A Love that Never Fails. Nevertheless, I think what the Lord is trying to show me and teach me through this journey of writing this new book, is not to despise simple things and simple beginnings, and to remember always that love never fails.
Through this lens, I am starting to realize just how much the characters and themes in this story can be and are relevant and real to the things I am going through in my life and hopefully in other people's lives too. Besides the initial obstacles of beginning a novel, I am now really excited to see where A Love that Never Fails will go and see this 'simple' story come alive! And as I seek the Lord with this story--in fact in all stories-- I long with all my heart that I would not rely on my wisdom or ideas or notions, but in Him and in the things He wants me to impart into what I write. Because in His Hand, our childish scrawls, these broken earthen vessels... the stories of our hearts, will become something infinitely beautiful and precious, and I pray, be for His glory.
Lovingly penned by Joy at 9:55 pm