Beautiful People: Delilah Jane Houston

I love writing. It’s frustrating, impossible, irritating, and often painful, and the end product is never actually completed. It’s great. I’ve been working on a few stories (with plots that form as they go), but for some reason today my brain refuses to get into the writing mode. Enter beautiful people:

This monthly event hosted by the lovely Sky and Cait helps you get to know your characters better. So I’m hoping that going through this will get me in the mood to continue writing. (And I’m also hoping to actually make this a monthly thing, because characters are my favorite part of writing and I need to blog more often.)

(Note: This link-up is from nearly a year ago, so I’m not going to link it. But having this sitting half-finished in my drafts was driving me crazy. It’s apparently not going to be a monthly thing. Ah well.)

Today’s star is Delilah Jane Houston (radio personality name: DJ Houston) from a yet untitled piece that I have high hopes for involving a frat house, a vampire, and elemental magicians.

Do they want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?

Eventually she does. At the moment, she’s just focusing on getting through grad school without losing her sanity. A boyfriend isn’t quite her last priority, but it’s somewhere down there. She’s always been a fan of crossing bridges when she comes to them.

What is their weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)

Her weapon of choice is the knowledge that comes from being well-read. She works hard and has spent her life and college career reading and, thanks to that, always has a smart (though not always incredibly witty or sassy) response to everything.

What’s the nicest thing they’ve done for someone else, and why did they do it?

Delilah loves the downtrodden. She’s the first to offer a hand to someone who has fallen, to hold the door for the person behind her. It’s probably not the nicest thing she’s ever done, but the one she remembers most is when she was about 13. She was running through the park near her house (she runs when she’s overwhelmed) and she saw a kid drop his ice cream cone. He started to cry. His mother couldn’t come up with enough money for another, so she offered to buy one, spur of the moment. She hated to see anyone cry, especially over an accident. It was all the money she had with her, and it felt great.

Have they ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?

She has two younger brothers, so she learned early how to throw a punch. While words are her preferred method of sparring, she’s pretty good at judging when to use them and : when to not bother. She kick-boxes for exercise, though it’s not a regular thing. The story currently starts with her accidentally punching a frat boy in the face.

Are they a rule-follower or a rebel?

She’s generally a rule-follower, mainly because it’s just easier. If she follows the rules, she can stay under the radar and do what she wants. She likes to think she has it in her to be a rebel, that if she really wanted to she could break every rule, but mostly she’ll just try to do what’s best for the most people. And that, she’s found, usually means following the rules.

Are they organized or messy?

Her notes are organized, but her house is a mess. There’s order to the chaos, though. She knows where most things are, and there are certain things–like her books and her medicine cabinet and her night stand–that are usually neat and organized, but there are always one or two things that are forgotten or given up on when she goes out. Like her pens. That’s why she buys them in bulk. She’s currently writing a thesis, and there are at least a few pieces of research that have just disappeared. She swears they walked away of their own accord.

What makes them feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?

Delilah just likes knowing she’s being thought about. Not in an obsessive or even intense way, just a “hey, this made me think of you” way. When her friends text her about a song, or her little brothers call to talk to her about problems they think she can fix. The last jane fonda: person before the story starts was probably her mother, calling to chat about a story she heard on the morning radio.

What do they eat for breakfast? 

Cereal or oatmeal and some fruit, if she has time. If she doesn’t have time–which is more often the case–she eats whatever she can find quickly. Frequently just a cup of coffee.

Have they ever lost someone close to them? What happened?

The family dog–a happy brown mutt they called Frodo (her dad named him)–was put down her first year of undergrad because of old age, but other than that, she’s led a fairly easy life. It was a rough couple of weeks, but the new puppy her parents got (named Samwise, of course) and the distraction of school made it a little easier.

What’s their treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else do they reward themselves?)

Coffee, of course. How could it be anything else? But since that’s kind of a necessity in her life now, when she really wants to reward herself, she’ll buy a pint of ice cream and/or a full-price book or film. The good nights are when she gets both and curls up on her second-hand couch with a giant blanket.

So that’s Delilah Jane: She hosts a radio program, she’s writing a thesis on Jane Austen’s Emma, and she makes comebacks always just a few seconds too late. She’s one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written, and she’s not even the most interesting in this story. I can’t wait to feature others. So here’s my first beautiful people post, only 11 months after I started it. (Oops.)


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