"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Friday, December 5, 2008

"The Gardener's Wife" and Character Sketches

Each time I see Holly Robison, my story buddy for "The Gardener's Wife", I like to have goals in mind.

This time I wanted to figure out the character and personality of the Gardener's Wife, the one I transformed into the main character. I also wanted to explore how the Garden itself is a character.

On other days I may delve into the personalities of the other characters.

If I know people in real l
ife who are like the characters, then I have done a good job.

Holly asked questions and I responded to what I thought was the correct answer. Some questions required further understanding of the Colombian culture. I checked out all the books possible on the country--at least in Davis County!

Questions for the Gardener's Wife:
  • What is her house like? This says a lot about a person. I will need to research what is common in Colombia.
  • What is her favorite color? Bright blue or maroon.
  • What does she do in her spare time? She loves to go off into the mountains, walk among the ruins. From the plateau, she enjoys leaning against the pine and oak trees to see the view. (Yes, there are pine and oak trees in Colombia.)
  • What is her favorite plant? Squash, as it reminds her of a baby when seen a certain way. Her husband does not see it like that and only grows them because the king likes them.
  • What are her typical facial expressions or postures? She tends to cock her head, usually because she dreams of when she will have a real baby in her arms rather than an imaginary one. She uses both arms for most gestures with the palms up or cupping shape as if she is always giving. This is opposite of the three sisters in the story who are always taking.
Questions of the Garden:
  • What type of garden is it? There are almost all the plants of Colombia, especially as the queen says that it is only missing three things: the bird that speaks, the orange tree that dances, and the water that jumps and leaps.
  • How many types of plants are in it? There are about 4,000 species of plants. There are 3,000 orchid species.
  • How many kind of birds? There are 1,500 species of birds.
  • What are some examples of plants in the garden? Vanilla trees, ginger, castor beans, papayas, mangoes, melons, pineapple, passion fruit, bananas, coconut, and the list goes on.
  • Of what importance is the garden to the story? The garden causes the request from the queen. These turn into quests for the three youth. It is also believed that the condition of the environment is tied to politics, economics, and relations with the world.
Every session with Holly opens my eyes even more to how much I love this story.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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