Like me, you may have noticed the fuzzy shoe crazy this past spring/summer. My inner Celia Hephner (protagonist – Inflatable Men) wouldn’t let me resist the fun. My birthday splurge had a pair of hot pink fu-fu happiness arrive at my door. While cushy and fabulous, I thought they looked like slippers. Even as I wiggled my toes in the luxury, another protagonist Claire Garrison (Trapped in Epitome) insisted, “Wear them around the house, not in public.”
Then my left foot introduced me to the concept of plantar fasciitis.
One evening after I walked my huskies for their four-mile jaunt, my husband wanted to stop at Home Depot. I just couldn’t shed the haute couture comfort. “It’s a quick trip, no one will notice,” I told myself. (And Claire.)
The cashier’s expression as we entered the garden center made me feel like I’d hit my head. At that point I had a choice: run for the car, or shop for plants.
I bought six perennials.
The experience reminded me that as a writer I have to push my characters to where they don’t want to go. Sometimes that results in a face-off on the cliffs of Big Sur, but it can also mean a character changing her behavior in a subtle (or fu-fu) way. Both indicate she’s growing as a person. Both are important when you’re writing about fully realized people. Claire would rather die than be caught dead at Home Depot in fuzzy shoes, while Celia would embrace the chance. What about the people in between? They’re all different if I do the work and write them as such. Or what about visualizing one of my antagonists strutting around in pair?
Try as I might though, I couldn’t get my husband to even try them on. 😉