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December 12th, 2005

Meeting Old Friends/Characters

This afternoon, I was reading THE SOLOMON SISTERS WISE UP, a Red Dress book by Melissa Senate. In one chapter, there's a "throw-away character" - a minor character with the given name "Cara."

Reading that name, I was suddenly thrown back into seventh grade. When I was twelve years old, my best friend and I decided to write a sequel to the Lord of the Rings (over our spring break, no less!) We each created characters to be ourselves in the new story - hers was a noble soldier named Ilian. Mine was a shadowy, tormented slip of a girl, a poor child who had been cast out by her family to live upon the streets, making her living (tragically, in case you couldn't tell) as a "lady of the night." Yes, that's how I referred to her. Yes, that was my romantic daydream of a character.

And her name was Cara.

(You don't think that fits into Lord of the Rings? What's wrong with you, anyway?!?)

Ultimately (well before the end of ninth grade), the sequel got set aside. When I was in law school, I dug it out again, and it underwent a complete transformation, coming out of Middle Earth and into my own imaginary land, Maelgyn. The characters changed substantially; new ones were added, many of the originals were taken away.

Ilian became "Damien", a young duke, new at court and lost among the plotting politicians. Cara became Kaira/Karida, a commoner who was elevated to the priestess-cult (and who, ultimately, proves to be the reincarnation of the Goddess, at the very center of Maelgyn's religion.)

The novel lives in my trunk - which means that all of you are safe. :-) And I had forgotten poor Kaira/Karida's past, as a tragically romantic whore with a Latinate name. Until chicklit brought her back to me :-)

Mindy, not certain she *wants* to connect that last set of dots, between whores and chicklit!

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