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jessica prescott
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This is literally the greatest thing I've seen in weeks. Absolutely fantastic. Go ahead and watch it, friends . . . and DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR SHOT. ;-)

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Hey, guys! 
Another "Beautiful People" monthly link-up from the awesome and amazing blog, Paper Fury! 
Today, I'm answering these questions for another one of my novel's main characters:  Dirk van Manen, a 25-year-old Dutch Resistance fighter. 
Here are the questions, plus my answers: 
1.  Does he want to get married and/or have children?  Why or why not?  Yes, he does.  He wouldn’t admit it to anyone, because he doesn’t like to talk about “warm and fuzzy” subjects like that; but deep down inside, he has a pretty strong longing for a family of his own—a family he can love and protect and look after.  (Plus, he adores kids; but again, don’t ask him to admit that out loud, because he won’t.)
2.  What is his weapon of choice?  A pistol.  He’s very good at fighting with his fists, etc.; but he prefers the pistol because it’s more effective and thus enables him to more easily defend himself and his comrades and anybody else he’s supposed to be defending.  (Yes, he takes his job very seriously . . . why do you ask?) 
3.  What’s the nicest thing he ever did for someone else, and why did he do it?  Well, the nicest thing he ever did for someone else is . . . #spoilers ; so I can’t tell you about it here.  I can tell you it involved his Resistance work; and also had something to do with his favorite hobby of protecting others  :-) 
4.  Has he ever been physically violent with someone; and what instigated it?  Well, what he does with the Resistance involves quite a bit of physical violence; so yeah.  Besides that, he was well-known during his schooldays for his fondness for challenging bullies to single combat and subsequently beating them up. 
5.  Is he a rule-follower or a rebel?  He’s kind of a “cautious rebel,” if that makes sense.  What I mean is, he’s extremely willing, even happy, to break the rules and challenge authority and all that—but first, he needs to have a solid reason why he should do so.  If there’s no good reason behind it, he won’t do it. 
6.  Is he organized or messy?  He’s pretty organized; he likes to have a place and a system for everything, because he can operate more efficiently that way. 
7.  What makes him feel loved, and who was the last person to make him feel that way?  Mmmmmmm . . . I guess it would be when somebody does something nice for him; or—equally important—when somebody he cares about allows him to do something nice for them.  (Because he really likes doing things for people.  If we were talking in terms of “love language,” then “acts of service” would definitely be pretty high on his list.)  The last person to make him feel that way was his younger sister, Emilie. 
8.  What does he eat for breakfast?  Ummmmmmm . . . well, he’s Dutch; so I expect he would eat some sort of bread-with-cold-cuts-or-butter-or-something, plus coffee.  (He doesn’t really mind what he eats for breakfast, as long as there’s plenty of it.)
9.  Has he ever lost someone close to him?  What happened?  Yes; he had a good friend in the Resistance who was captured by the Nazis and killed.  He’s never lost a family member—yet—although it’s something he worries about almost constantly.  (Without telling anyone.) 
10.  What’s his treat of choice?  (Or, if not food, how does he reward himself?)  Cake.  He loves cake.  All kinds.  He also adores chocolate, but with the war on it’s really hard to get chocolate, so that’s not really his “treat of choice” right now. 

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Hey, guys! 
So, this is the "Beautiful People:  Childhood Edition" link-up from Cait's awesome blog, Paper Fury! 
I chose to answer these questions for the protagonist of my current novel, Tammi Herschlag. Tammi is a 14-year-old German Jewish girl who's forced to leave her home for the Netherlands after the event of Kristallnacht. 
Without further ado--here are the questions, and my answers! 
1.  What is her first childhood memory?  Climbing on a chair in her family’s Berlin apartment in order to see out the window, when she was about 2 years old.  (She’s always been curious, and she likes to see the outdoors.)   
2.  Best and worst childhood experiences?  Tammi’s best childhood experience was being given a box of watercolor paints on her 6th birthday; because she’d always wanted to paint.  Her worst childhood experience was being hospitalized for a month with influenza complications at age 10; which was very unpleasant, for Obvious Reasons. 
3.  What was her childhood home like?  Tammi lived with her parents and grandmother in a (slightly cramped) set of rooms above/behind the clothing store they owned in Berlin-Mitte.  It wasn’t very spacious or elegant, but it was clean and relatively comfortable. 
4.  What was something that scared her as a child?  Going to the doctor.  She was in relatively poor health as a little girl; and from her point of view, the doctor was always the “enemy” because he seemed to be constantly delivering bad news and telling her what she couldn’t do. 
5.  Who did she look up to the most?  Her grandmother; who was bedridden due to failing health but was always kind, optimistic, and understanding. 
6.  Favorite and least favorite childhood foods?  Tammi’s favorite childhood foods were Hamentaschen and lentil soup.  Her least favorite food was probably . . . ehhhhhhhh . . . cod-liver oil? 
7.  If she had her childhood again, would she change anything?  Yes; she would make herself healthier. 
8.  What kind of child was she?  Tammi was a reserved, introverted child; generally quiet and well-behaved, but outspoken/stubborn on occasion.  Her favorite activities were reading books and painting pictures. 
9.  What was her relationship with her parents/siblings like?  Her relationship with both her parents was basically a healthy, affectionate one.  She loved her mom very much, but also tended to clash with her a bit because their personalities were so similar (quietly strong-willed and stubborn).  Her dad, by contrast, was a gentle, amiable soul and Tammi adored him—but at the same time, he couldn’t make her do anything she didn’t want to do.  As for siblings . . . she didn’t have any siblings. 
10.  What did she want to be when she grew up, and what did she actually become?  Tammi always wanted to be a famous artist when she grew up.  But . . . I can’t tell you if she actually BECOMES that; because at the beginning of the story, she’s only 14 and still a schoolgirl.  So I’m not telling you what happens to her when she grows up because that would mean . . . #spoilers . 

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"Like a bird without wings . . . that longs to be flying . . ."  

We miss you, George Donaldson.   

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February 1, 1968--March 12, 2014.  Rest in peace, George. 

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Y'all need to watch this.  It'll fix all your problems.  Guaranteed.  (Okay . . . so that was an exaggeration.  A slight one.) 

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Check it out, guys.  The recording quality isn't perfect--but boy, oh boy, is her voice phenomenal or what? 

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Check this video out, guys.  It's mind-blowing. 

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I love this song. 

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Behold.  It's my favorite Jack Kelly of all time and my favorite Crutchie of all time and, basically, my favorite musical of all time.   Enjoy. 
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