Category Archives: characters

Jekyll

Sometimes, when we are stuck and can’t get a move on, we need blast in the back, so to say, to get us going. Or at least that’s what it felt like to roam through the old files on my harddrive and happen on a short series called Jekyll!

If you’re familiar with James Nesbitt’s other works (Bofur in Hobbit, Hans M. Prince in Cinderella, Murphy in Murphy’s Law) you can be sure that you’re up for a good show. Just look at that face – isn’t that what you’d like to see in space of… Actually, now that I think of it, that is the last face I’d like to see when I hear something sniffing in the dark and put the lights on. It’s not without reason this series has 8,3 in IMDB!

I first came upon this series accidentally some years back, when shuffling through TV channels in search for something to watch. I clicked past it at first, but when I was about six channels away I realized I’d seen something that I couldn’t quite point down. So I went back and saw the last quarter of minutes of the third episode and it left me sitting baffled.

Took me exactly a week – because I pinpointed down at what time whatever that was was supposed to be on tv – and went back on that channel exactly at that time only to find out the name of it so I could search it out. All because the tv channels have this curious habit of deleting the name of the show the moment it is over. But back I was and back I sat and stared at it again.

I like The strange case of Jekyll and Hyde, because to me it is a fantastic twisted metamorphosis of my favorite Beauty and the Beast stories. I know the two aren’t any way possible to put in one sentence, ever, but I just love the hybrid monster/man fight going on here. Odd is, despite liking adaptations of Jekyll and Hyde and even accepting some of the skinwalker stories (that in core actually do go in the same line here), I don’t tolerate much vampires and their “lost my soul – got it back because of you” stories. Taming beasts are for virgins – women embrace the beast and wish he’d never change. Or they demonstrate the beast really sitting inside them. Which doesn’t quite explain Spike… Ok, next thing to search out while I’m on net.

Well, back to Jekyll. As I’m currently deeply invested in character study (that is, despite giving up on writing about 8 times a day right now, I still find myself trying to solve that math puzzle called Character), this is like sweetest honey on dried lips. Perfection that makes you purr!

I have seen some movie adaptations of  Jekyll and Hyde, but never something like that and I was glad I took it up and searched the rest of the series out too. The ending for example – stories like this do not get good endings. The guy dies – it’s bad, the guy lives – it’s bad too. There just isn’t a way to come clean out of this. Yet they managed it and I’m not gonna tell you how – you really need to look it up yourself. Just look at that grimace here – adorable! Worth the watch!

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Dracula: Untold

Decided to go to cinema yesterday. Out of the blue. Didn’t manage to get there then, but then decided to do it today instead.

There wasn’t anything quite anything that would go with my interest or with anything, but I did decide to go to see Dracula: Untold after some deliberation.

I’m not into vampires much – given, if the story is good or kicks something deep in me, any character will go – so I went to see it purely out of curiosity. I knew it wasn’t anything like the classic Dracula story it stated it would be based on. Lately, if you read that a movie is based on a book or the other way around, it really means “I took the names, but wrote my own idea behind it”. This was no exception. Strange is, if you search the book on Amazon, they actually sell the original Bram Stoker under his face.

However, I did not held it against it. Mostly, because I liked the main character and his reasons to take his actions were understandable to me (need to protect your own family is something I completely understand). I did found it disturbing though how many “I love you”s flew through the movie. Even the guys behind me started complaining about it about half way through the movie. As much as I understand this being some kind of staple in US, it is really weird to see in context of Europe – here, you say it you mean it. You don’t toss it everywhere as easy way to show love or as “good night.”. It looked as weird as it sounded. There were other such strange things running through which came through as strange, but in general I took it as it was – a fantasy story about a father and king trying to protect his beloved.

I guess the most critique from me would go to the group, who cut it together. There was a group of men behind me, who kept commenting on the movie throughout and although that does disturb, I kept fighting the urge of tossing my hand up and give them high five for there was a lot I agreed on. Mostly it was lovely – those mountains took me breathless and there were many lovely details and the light in the rooms were adorably warm and cozy. I would have cut the introduction from the son though. It had no good connection to the movie and didn’t add nice wrap up to it.

However, I did love the fact that there was a lot of nudity in the movie, but no sex scenes. As much as it would “add to the story” (yes, I am being sarcastic), in this movie it would have made it tackier and I was glad they kept it out.

I’m not commenting on much more, for it is still a new movie. As a visual – breathtaking. As a story – classic and sweet, but doesn’t hold quite the edge it could have. As movie techniques –  could have some things done better, but in long term I don’t think I’d change anything. The satisfactory level? Despite some things that bothered, I got what I went for. There was love, character to identify with, beauty and story. Perhaps not for everybody’s taste, but as Vlad says in the movie: “Sometimes people don’t need a hero, they need a monster.” The ending – completely out of context and oh so freekin’ adorable, my heart actually jumped happily when I came home and read that there “might be” a sequel. I loved the ending , so shoot me. First vampire over long time that tickled my heart. Not enough to go nuts about, but actually good enough to leave you fulfilled for fantasy horror romance.

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Mandatory Beefcake

Or why our male characters have muscles larger than life?

As you can see I started off with a plan to do something productive in writing sense. I did one thing – bought a book diary (like they have in elementary school) with space for 11 books. Because I had this idea that I want to do it again. I am also searching music sheets to test out my patience on re-learning alto recorder. TMNT 2003

OK! 

That question! Why are so many leading male characters so beefed up? 

TMNT 2013My first question would be – define “beefed”. For example, in general I happen on this misconception that if you say man with muscles you mean that pretty boy on the cover of the romance books. Then there is this research that stated that you can tell by the man’s waist if he is body builder or the muscle is natural result of hard work. Then again there’s the anime muscle definitions.

I guess the only right answer to this is – I write them so, because I like men like that. And even then I can honestly say if the only description you read out of muscles is “the beefcake”, then you really are reading books that try to let you define your own fantasies. Because if I try to describe a man, I will usually define, what sort of muscle body I am looking at. 

You know there is theory that the reason why we’re getting more of lean male characters in the stories is because women hormones are working differently than half a century ago duo pills? That the reason why suddenly those twilight skinniness are so appealing to us is the fact that our hormones don’t react anymore so strongly on strength. 

So why is there still so many beefcakes?

TMNT 2014

I don’t know. Even with those meat mountains it is relative – I might like one character and completely dislike the other based on the description. I wrote about boobs some time ago, for the similar reason. Muscles is descriptive element, just as boobs describe the character you’re trying to present to the readers. How much muscle he has is just as important element in their description as is how much brain muscle they have.

Ha! Take TMNT for example! It has so many stages, I was completely blown by how different they can be! But my example would be  TMNT 2003 series, 2013 series and now what came out, the 2014. I don’t like the 2003 one much, because they are very bodybuilder type of built, yet I dislike the 2013 completely, because they are so slendered up it is comical at best, yet I love the 2014, because the body type they have there is tones in action. Does it make sense? And there are so many beefcakes in old romances, because that’s when there was demand for such manly men while nowadays… there is still need for beefcakes. Only a bit different in body type. 

Oh, and I grew up seeing the mandatory beefcake, so I am brainwashed. 

 

 

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Saul-Erik Reinger

Why I love this character so much, is because despite being an impact character, since I’ve created him some years back, he has grown a lot from being just a name to someone, who I can really relate to.

The name.  King Saul was distinguished for the greatness of his knowledge and for his great physique. He was king appointed by God, who his people didn’t recognize as worthy.  He wasn’t the best of the kings, but there are certain points in his life that remind me of, who Saul-Erik is.  Erik Thorvaldsson, the Norse king Erik the Red, was the one, who first created Norse settlement in Greenland.

Saul-Erik was born in summer 1969. His first years were spent in a family with power hungry father. He ran away, when he was just 9, but didn’t spend much time on the streets. He was found and picked up by Rasmus, his future mentor, who took the boy to his friend’s family, who already had a small boy, Oliver.  They grew up together and became inseparable, like brothers. They are very different in nature, Oliver being more closed up that he is, but they complement each other and they appreciate the critics and advice both offer. This can’t be said to Saul-Erik’s genetic family.

They travelled a lot, when he lived with them, often because the family belonged in a group that was experimented on in 1950s. The society fears them and the others like, because of the history. They are often scared off by locals after they find out, too blinded by fear, so in time, the group becomes more secluded than ever. This constant fear of being found out and the childhood fear of possibility of “caring citizens” taking him away from the family, is what thrives him to this day.  There was an incident, when one time it almost happened and that fear haunts him still. He might not share their blood, but he is forever thankful for their generosity for taking him in and offering him loving family.

While he is there, Rasmus, noticing his leadership abilities, starts training him. Rasmus is the previous leader of the group, before the group had to disintegrate over night. He hasn’t given up on the idea of bringing the group back together, but he knows he won’t be the one doing it. Saul-Erik, however, proves to be eager material for transformation and so he begins teaching him everything he knows in order to him one day make his plan come true.

When he is 17, in his stepfather’s urging to make amends with his family, he returns to home, but only stays there until he turns 18 and then rejoins Oliver’s family. He doesn’t get along with his father still after all the years.

Meanwhile, Rasmus takes care that Saul knows, who he is preparing to be and gets educated accordingly. He masters economics and real-estate. He knows all the time, that he will one day be set with responsibility over the group and he takes this responsibility very seriously. His mission is simple, but hard to accomplish. Create a haven to those, who are hunted by the society for belonging in the human experiment group, plus few others. A place where they could just sit outside, walk to a shop or walk their dogs without being brought out to be problematic creatures that they were. The idea was simple, the theory doubtful, but the creating was beyond anything he planned to have.

He grows up to be 5’8 tall and medium built. His dolomite grey eyes and light hair often diminish any argument and give others impression that he means business. The only scar he bares, is the one running across his right hand wrist. It was bicycle accident from when he was 14, but because everybody joked about it “that’s a way to try to meet his maker”, on benigh fooling, he had a bracelet tattoo. His stepfather gifted him a silver bracelet to mark the foolishness of his and now he wears a tattoo around his right hand wrist with a silver bracelet. It gives impression of cover-up and those, who don’t know the story think he attempted suicide and lived. He lets them believe to certain level.

By personality he is considered to be well-honed in diplomacy and he is very honest. He indeed knows diplomacy, but he can’t second the latter. Since 1998, when he began his mission to bring the group back together and started his business of buying and then resettling the bought houses with “his kin”, he has been anything but honest to outsiders. To his own people, he is young and full of potential and he tries to stay honest with them as much as possible, but to outsiders he has fixed a reputation to keep them away. It has brought him in attention of the police, but having been observed throughout his life by the “caring society”, he knows well how to play that game.

His plus would be his strength and passion hi puts in his mission. His strength seems to spread around in the room, when he walks in. On the other hand it makes him obsessed with control. He is very cautious, who he lets in the group and how big risks he allows his kin to take. He doesn’t always hold them back, but they know the last look he sends after them, when they leave, is filled with worry. That sometimes makes others question if the man is prepared to take tough decisions if needed, but because he has proven otherwise in several occasions in the past, they, as for now, look past that, never facing up to him with it. However, he is aware of it and that makes him insecure sometimes. He turns out to be very arrogant sometimes; often blunt and very open about what he wants.

He is an impact character. So, he is impact character to Evelyn. Evelyn is a woman, who travels in his town to find her father. He learns of her from Mykola, when the man comes searching for a new hiding place, because his previous cover has been blown. While he is staying in the house next door, he tells him stories of her and his own search for normality and how she nearly completed his quest, offering it to him. Saul-Erik realizes, listening him, that he does not want to sacrifice his own happiness for the group. He has already dedicated his entire life to them, but he doesn’t wish to end up alone because of that. His own created paradise has turned into personal emotionless prison. But he loves listening Mykola’s stories and he secretly falls in love with that ideal woman, who offered normality for abnormal. After a while, Mykola leaves and he is left with longing for something he knows could jeopardize his mission.

But then Evelyn calls in his firm and asks to rent a house. Learning, who she is, he makes the one uncalculated decision and selfishly gives her the house next door to his. An outsider deep inside the group territory. Two days later his rational thinking returns and he deeply regrets it, especially when he learns that she might be a bounty hunter. He knows that people like that can be bought and this creates him problems – if he lets her follow her trail, she might find information that will be harmful for the entire group should she ever think selling it. On the other hand he is fascinated of the woman he has heard so much about and that creates a problem of his own, the sort Rasmus can’t help him with.

What happens next you can read in the book next year ;) .

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Khan

As we are talking about characters… mm! And I love talking about them, with all the power in me – John Harrison!

Oh yes, fandoms love to love and hate him. And I chose to love him. Not because he is a villain and all the goodygood girls are supposed to have save-the-bad-guy syndrome. I seem to have the opposite – let them sink and drown. But in that character I saw something I have been missing so much – a strong motive!

While there are so many characters that pass our lives, the best ones I care the most for are still those, who have a motive that counts. Plus it does help when the character is played by a very charismatic Benedict Cumberbatch. What a tongue twister, but I seriously hope he won’t change his name, because of it.

Back to the character.

When Uhura says in the movie “You care about the honor. This man has none” as response to Klingon’s question, I felt she was dead wrong. John Harrison had honor, more than most and he stayed stern. Compared with the rest of the cast, it was as if someone planted an oak on board of Enterprise. I can’t speak of some quotes I would like to, because that would give away the plot, but I can say this – this man is probably one of the best villains I have seen in years! His deep voice mixed together with reason that not one can doubt and charismatic intelligence – that is combination to kill.

If you’ve read the blog before, you know I have fondness for different versions of the same TV series or movies. It is fascinating to see the original first version and what they have changed, resulting in something better or, sometimes worse.

With this movie I had the opportunity, thanks to local TV channel, to also see the original story version from 1982. The stories are very different from each other, but have similarities in some story lines. I have no fears of spoiling that one – Spock gets killed. In new movie, thankfully not, because he makes a mighty adversary to Khan – both intellectually and physically equal. I love when intelligence shines like diamond! It is one to see men use weapons and fists, but the intelligence is what makes things really interesting. Like Buliwyf says in 13th Warrior – “now he has to consider what he can’t see”.

I find myself often fascinated by Star Trek characters – both new and old. Yes, they are simple, but those, who go through the entire season, it’s amazing how much they actually hide in themselves. They have interesting balance between them – intelligent friend is paired with emotion lead character, skeptical with easy going… I love it. Perhaps too typical for some, but I like it that way. In today’s show I would prefer it slightly more hidden (hmm! Sherlock comes to mind), but I seem to prefer such where these pairs are there.

But now I should go and do some more work. It’s been hell of two weeks. I’ve been mostly working and sleeping, haven’t even cooked or done anything else. Except finish the motifs for  the blanket. Now all I need to do is crochet it all together. Oh, and then I carved nalbinding needle. Should shape it a bit more thinner, but I kinda like how it turned out. I should make a gallery post of all the stuff I’ve been doing and how far I am with them.

Cheer up! The summer is here! You know, free time to do all what you wanted! Well, I still have work, but oddly also the energy to do it all again. I can’t promise regular posts this summer, because I am literally swamped with work and few goals that I will do this summer. That’s a lot of work.

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My favorite character part II: Saul-Erik

I wrote about what kind of characters I like. I didn’t write about my favorite one.

Why I love this character so much, is because despite being an impact character, since I’ve created him some years back, he has grown a lot from being just a name to someone, who I can really relate to.

The name.  King Saul was distinguished for the greatness of his knowledge and for his great physique. He was king appointed by God, who his people didn’t recognize as worthy.  He wasn’t the best of the kings, but there are certain points in his life that remind me of, who Saul-Erik is.  Erik Thorvaldsson, the Norse king Erik the Red, was the one, who first created Norse settlement in Greenland.

Saul-Erik was born in summer 1969. His first years were spent in a family with power hungry father. He ran away, when he was just 9, but didn’t spend much time on the streets. He was found and picked up by Rasmus, his future mentor, who took the boy to his friend’s family, who already had a small boy, Oliver.  They grew up together and became inseparable, like brothers. They are very different in nature, Oliver being more closed up that he is, but they complement each other and they appreciate the critics and advice both offer. This can’t be said to Saul-Erik’s genetic family.

They travelled a lot, when he lived with them, often because the family belonged in a group that was experimented on in 1950s. The society fears them and the others like, because of the history. They are often scared off by locals after they find out, too blinded by fear, so in time, the group becomes more secluded than ever. This constant fear of being found out and the childhood fear of possibility of “caring citizens” taking him away from the family, is what thrives him to this day.  There was an incident, when one time it almost happened and that fear haunts him still. He might not share their blood, but he is forever thankful for their generosity for taking him in and offering him loving family.

While he is there, Rasmus, noticing his leadership abilities, starts training him. Rasmus is the previous leader of the group, before the group had to disintegrate over night. He hasn’t given up on the idea of bringing the group back together, but he knows he won’t be the one doing it. Saul-Erik, however, proves to be eager material for transformation and so he begins teaching him everything he knows in order to him one day make his plan come true.

When he is 17, in his stepfather’s urging to make amends with his family, he returns to home, but only stays there until he turns 18 and then rejoins Oliver’s family. He doesn’t get along with his father still after all the years.

Meanwhile, Rasmus takes care that Saul knows, who he is preparing to be and gets educated accordingly. He masters economics and real-estate. He knows all the time, that he will one day be set with responsibility over the group and he takes this responsibility very seriously. His mission is simple, but hard to accomplish. Create a haven to those, who are hunted by the society for belonging in the human experiment group, plus few others. A place where they could just sit outside, walk to a shop or walk their dogs without being brought out to be problematic creatures that they were. The idea was simple, the theory doubtful, but the creating was beyond anything he planned to have.

He grows up to be 5’8 tall and medium built. His dolomite grey eyes and light hair often diminish any argument and give others impression that he means business. The only scar he bares, is the one running across his right hand wrist. It was bicycle accident from when he was 14, but because everybody joked about it “that’s a way to try to meet his maker”, on benigh fooling, he had a bracelet tattoo. His stepfather gifted him a silver bracelet to mark the foolishness of his and now he wears a tattoo around his right hand wrist with a silver bracelet. It gives impression of cover-up and those, who don’t know the story think he attempted suicide and lived. He lets them believe to certain level.

By personality he is considered to be well-honed in diplomacy and he is very honest. He indeed knows diplomacy, but he can’t second the latter. Since 1998, when he began his mission to bring the group back together and started his business of buying and then resettling the bought houses with “his kin”, he has been anything but honest to outsiders. To his own people, he is young and full of potential and he tries to stay honest with them as much as possible, but to outsiders he has fixed a reputation to keep them away. It has brought him in attention of the police, but having been observed throughout his life by the “caring society”, he knows well how to play that game.

His plus would be his strength and passion hi puts in his mission. His strength seems to spread around in the room, when he walks in. On the other hand it makes him obsessed with control. He is very cautious, who he lets in the group and how big risks he allows his kin to take. He doesn’t always hold them back, but they know the last look he sends after them, when they leave, is filled with worry. That sometimes makes others question if the man is prepared to take tough decisions if needed, but because he has proven otherwise in several occasions in the past, they, as for now, look past that, never facing up to him with it. However, he is aware of it and that makes him insecure sometimes. He turns out to be very arrogant sometimes; often blunt and very open about what he wants.

He is an impact character. So, he is impact character to Evelyn. Evelyn is a woman, who travels in his town to find her father. He learns of her from Mykola, when the man comes searching for a new hiding place, because his previous cover has been blown. While he is staying in the house next door, he tells him stories of her and his own search for normality and how she nearly completed his quest, offering it to him. Saul-Erik realizes, listening him, that he does not want to sacrifice his own happiness for the group. He has already dedicated his entire life to them, but he doesn’t wish to end up alone because of that. His own created paradise has turned into personal emotionless prison. But he loves listening Mykola’s stories and he secretly falls in love with that ideal woman, who offered normality for abnormal. After a while, Mykola leaves and he is left with longing for something he knows could jeopardize his mission.

But then Evelyn calls in his firm and asks to rent a house. Learning, who she is, he makes the one uncalculated decision and selfishly gives her the house next door to his. An outsider deep inside the group territory. Two days later his rational thinking returns and he deeply regrets it, especially when he learns that she might be a bounty hunter. He knows that people like that can be bought and this creates him problems – if he lets her follow her trail, she might find information that will be harmful for the entire group should she ever think selling it. On the other hand he is fascinated of the woman he has heard so much about and that creates a problem of his own, the sort Rasmus can’t help him with.

What happens next you can read in the book next year ;).

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Priorities in life

After three weeks of crocheting the blanket, which isn’t far from finish anymore, I began writing again. I’ve got mismatched brain – every time I think that this is the time, when I have reached that point in my life, where I need to let something go in order to make more room for work, that’s when it starts working again. That’s when it proves to me again that no matter what, writing is my second priority aside my family.

But it also means I have been writing :). 8 pages in 2 days. I actually have a goal – there’s a new magazine that starts coming out in September and is all about Estonian short stories. Everybody from Estonia are welcome to send in their stories and I want to send mine as well.  That’s when I hit a pickle. Apparently I have already published all the short stories I’ve written, the good and the bad… Well, my logic has always been that if it is ready, I set it up, no matter what account I had then or now. So… It seems I’m without a story to send there right now… But no worries, it isn’t unsolvable problem. I just need to get started :D. This story, however, isn’t that one, but it burned a hole in my heart and I somehow need to patch it up again.

Went to theatre today. To see Thriller. It was arranged by our workplace and always being a bit Jackson fan, it seemed like good opportunity.  It was. Until half an hour in the show the show hit a sudden pause and when we were called back in, they announced that duo technical problems, the show is canceled for now. Well, what do you do? I don’t hold it against them. I don’t think anybody did, because despite the difficulties it was very nice show and I’m sure the performers were just as disappointed as was the audience. So they still received a mighty well earned applause . 

I’m doing overwork, trying to choose a favorite character for the Merry Go Round blog tour. It’s like giving me a cherry bowl and say I must choose just one. Not fair, I tell you, not fair at all!

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