Cait is one of my best blogging friends, and is hysterical. Every single post she writes makes me laugh. She makes an effort to respond to every comment she gets, which I always appreciate in a blogger, and her comments are the best. She is responsible for getting me obsessed with "Supernatural," one of my favorite TV shows, and is always up for some fangirling. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have read The Lunar Chronicles, Throne of Glass, or These Broken Stars (all five-star books, too. Our tastes are super similar). Also, she's the Queen of Gifs. No one dares challenge her unless they're ready to face defeat. You can find her at "Paper Fury," where she's working hard, and succeeding, at turning her blog readers into faithful minions for when she takes over the world.
Aside from Sam and Dean, Cas and Charlie are two of my all-time favorite characters on television. You can't help but love them.
Cas is an angel. Literally. Though he's had his ups and downs, Cas ultimately uses his divine powers for good and doesn't hesitate to stand up to his own kind if it means protecting Sam and Dean (especially Dean). But he also has lots of human qualities about him that make him endearing and hilarious. He doesn't always understand social cues, the importance of personal space, or how to use voicemail. But he does love texting. And emoticons.
And Charlie! Charlie is the best. If you've ever seen Felicia Day in anything else (especially "The Guild," which is so funny and highly recommended), you'll know that she's basically playing herself. Charlie is quirky, socially-awkward in the best way, and a total geek. She's a lover of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, LARPing, and more. She makes me laugh and cry in each episode she's in and she has a fantastic relationship with the Winchesters. I keep hoping they'll make her a regular, but no such luck yet. Oh, and she's a lesbian, but a well-written one that's not thrown in just for the sake of making the show diverse. I've seen some poorly written gay characters in books that are clearly there to shake up the cast of characters a little. Charlie's not like that at all. She's awesome. I want to be friends with her and fangirl over books together.
What would a story be without characters? Characters drive the plot. Characters make a story come alive. Readers fall in love with them, laugh with them, cry with them, and sometimes hate them. Some of the best people are fictional, especially if they're written well. They can feel like family.
And since I have some fascination with names beginning with "c" that I only noticed while writing this post, here are a few shout-outs to characters of my own creation.
Cassandra Day/Cornelia Moonstone/Clara Day/Cricket Moonstone from my MG fantasy trilogy, Fantasya. Cassandra and Cornelia were the main characters of the first book A Giant Problem, which I wrote when I was ten. They were the first characters that I wrote and completely fell in love with. I felt like they were my friends, I wanted to hang out with them, I could picture them clearly in my mind. I wanted to live in Fantasya and meet everyone there. Clara and Cricket were the children of Cassandra and Cornelia and the main characters of the sequel The Trouble With Trolls. I loved them just as much, if not more, than Cassandra and Cornelia, and I think the sequel is much better than the first one I wrote. Writing the characters of Fantasya is like wrapping myself up with a warm blanket.
Cosmo Moonshine and Celeste Smitherson from my YA contemporary, Cosmo, would totally be people I'd be friends with if they were real. I think my favorite thing about writing the two of them is the dialogue. Cosmo's witty. Celeste is quirky. I love the friendship that they have. (Also? I love Celeste's dads. I feel like there aren't a lot of parents in YA fiction that are present in the story, especially dads, and I wanted to change that.)
Chippy from my chapter book, The Adventure That Started With Nuts, was the chocolate to Nutty's peanut butter (har har). Chippy was a chipmunk, and her best friend was a squirrel named Nutty. Chippy was the cautious one in their adventures, always the voice of reason, but Nutty helped her to break out of her shell several times (apparently I'm full of puns today).
Christina Michaels! She's a character from my YA dystopian novel, Flightless Birds, who shows up about halfway through the story. She's spunky, tough, and independent, but sometimes she can be a little blunt. Rude, even. Raven, the main character, helps to soften her a bit, though she remains kickbutt as ever.
Charley Echoes, from my WIP, a YA fantasy called Sing a Song of Raindrops, is a bit like Christina. But where Christina tries to avoid too much attachment (at first) for the sake of being independent, Charley is insanely protective of her family. She would do, and does, anything for them, no matter the cost. She's also a fan of alternative music, the color blue, and peanut M&M's.
Christine Hawthorne is a character I loved to hate. She's a secondary character in my YA contemporary romance, Beneath the Moon and Stars and the mother of one of the main characters, Lane. She's rich, haughty, and has a serious grudge against Kya, the other main character. She's all smiles and compliments when she's face-to-face with a person, but once that person turns her back, she's catty and mean. In the name of keeping up appearances, she does everything she can to keep Kya and Lane away from each other. I couldn't stand her, but I loved writing her.
Calvin & Hobbes
Calvin & Hobbes gives me the warm-fuzzies. :) I've stayed up late into the night--and sometimes the morning--reading it by the light of a flashlight since I was five. I got a beautiful treasury set when I was six for Christmas and still pull it out to read to this day. It's imaginative, funny, adorable, and sweet. Calvin and Hobbes continue to be some of my favorite characters in books. It's definitely my favorite comic, probably even more so since my brother and I used to have adventures with our stuffed animals all the time. I've also had a stuffed cat named Menedy (no clue why) for almost twelve years now. She's definitely well-loved. She used to be white, fluffy, and able to hold her head up on her own. Now she's gray, her fur's matted down, and floppy. I was so worried that Scout would tear her apart when we first got her, but Scout loves her and sometimes snuggles up next to her. It's so cute.
The Civil Wars
Ever since I heard them featured on "Safe and Sound" by Taylor Swift, I've been obsessed with their music. They're country, but not a super twangy kind. They're haunting and unique and perfect writing music when I'm writing something especially dark. I was so sad to hear that they split up not too long ago. Some of my favorite songs by them are "Kingdom Come," "Poison & Wine," and "Falling."
Hands down, my favorite dessert! Soft or crunchy, chocolate chip or chocolate peanut butter, homemade or store-bought, Chips Ahoy! or Oreos, I love them all. (Except for snickerdoodles. I've never liked those for some reason.) I will never complain if you randomly show up at my house with a plate of them. (Hint, hint.)
"Carry On My Wayward Son"/"Counting Stars"/"Cups"
Three awesome songs with great memories associated with them. I will never be able to hear "Carry On My Wayward Son" without thinking about "Supernatural" from now on (not that I'm complaining). But I do tear up every time I hear it now. I always have to brace myself for the season finales, because I know I'm going to break down once the intro starts to play.
"Counting Stars" offered lots of inspiration when I was writing Flightless Birds for NaNoWriMo in 2013. I always think about Raven and Flynn when I hear it now. Plus, it's by OneRepublic, whose songs frequently rock.
"Cups" is super catchy and makes me think about summer when I hear it, because I taught myself the cup routine in mid-July, and then I taught my friends. We all sat on the front porch with plastic cups for the longest time. It was so much fun.
Capture the Flag
My friends and I play this at the park every summer when our homeschool group has our Park Days on Fridays. We'll play it for hours on end. Sometimes the games are short, sometimes they last a couple hours. But they're always massive and tons of fun.
Since my mom's 100% Portuguese, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. We'll make a nice dinner and then open all of our presents that night. We'll stay up until one or two in the morning opening and playing with them, then sleep in the next day and make a big breakfast. We try not to go anywhere during the week between Christmas and New Year's so we can just relax and hang out at home as a family.
What's on your "C" list?