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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

Beautiful People: Blade

on the day you wake up needing somebody
and you've learned
it's okay to be afraid
but it will never be the same
- ellie goulding

i'm breaking in, shaping up
then checking out on the prison bus
this is it, the apocalypse
- imagine dragons

Today for Beautiful People I'm featuring Blade from my novel Petrichor, and just to forewarn you, I have a lot of FEELS about this character (as you can probably already tell by the angsty lyrics I quoted).

So, Blade. How do I find the words to sum up Blade?

He makes me very ... well, sad.

But also... happy.

And overall, he is just GREAT.

(Yes. That was an excuse to post all the Tyler Hoechlin pictures. I'm not even sorry. Okay, maybe a little. But not really.)

Now for the background: Blade was expected and unexpected all at once. Both Blade and Decker were ideas I wanted to include in Petrichor from the beginning, but never knew how to. In the first 4,000 word long failed draft, I had two characters named Blade and... Adam Levine. (Adam Levine's character became Decker and got an actual name, thank goodness.) Originally, they were side characters, and they were brothers. Now they're no longer related, but they still play a huge part in the current draft of Petrichor, and I am so grateful that they decided to take center stage. Blade was someone I wasn't expecting to become one of my main characters--or a point of view character at that--but I'm so glad he did, because I love him so much.

Blade is a tattoo artist living in Oakridge, and I really dig the legitness of his profession. ;) (Did that sound weird?) He's close friends with my main character, Cobie, and by extension, the rest of her friend group (Decker, Astrid, and Ryker) as well. He's quiet, passionate, and his introduction started off by him being told to stop taking hipster photos of his food. (With a real camera, no less!) 

Speaking of which, I also need to give him a ton of credit. At the beginning of NaNo, I stopped my 4,000 word long draft that I wasn't connecting with and decided to restart, due to the recommendation of my dad. I just began writing the scene that started off my book: the scene about Blade being a total dork and winning me over. (Because he was taking too many hipster pictures of his food.) Thanks to him, he took a lackluster story and kickstarted what became the amazing draft of Petrichor I'm working on today.

I love him so much.

And now that I've waxed on forever about how much I love this dude, let me answer some questions about him.

1) What does your character regret the most in their life?
Sometimes he regrets not getting out of this town sooner to see the rest of the world. It's his home, and he'll always be tied back to it. He just wishes he had left on a road trip when he didn't have friends, a job, and other commitments to stay for.

I feel like there is a bigger regret too, and I think that would be not telling people how he felt about them, and not living his life with more of an open hand. He's trying to, but it's hard for him.

2) What is your character's happiest memory? Most sorrowful memory?
His happiest memory, in recent years, is opening up his tattoo shop when he was just 18.

For his happiest memory as a child, he only has fragments--a sunlit memory of swinging on a swingset. Waffles with powdered sugar on Christmas morning. But his past isn't a good one. It's--*dramatic TV announcer voice*--very fraught with sorrow. I'm not sure what happened--whether his parents died, or left, or what, but he has no family left. I'm assuming they died, but I'm not sure? His most sorrowful memory is when they died, or when they left, though.

Overall, his entire past is a box he tries to keep tightly locked and shut. He tries to live in the present as much as he can.

3) What majorly gets on your character’s nerves?
Fake people and small talk. Cigarette smoke, as well. Something tells me that the smell of cigarettes ties into his Most Sorrowful Memory (which is officially now a mystery that I will, eventually, solve). When someone is smoking, it makes him freak out because it's so triggering.

4) Do they act differently when they're around people as opposed to being alone? If so, how?
In some ways, yes, in some ways, no. Blade is constantly calm, quiet, and laid-back, whether he's around his best friends, a ton of people, in a professional situation, or sitting at home in his quiet living room. The only difference is, when he's alone, that's when he has too much time to think, and that's dangerous. The past and emotions he tries to keep locked up don't stay away when he's alone. That's why he tries to distract himself with words (reading books), friends, sketching, and work as much as possible.

5) What are their beliefs and superstitions? (Examples: their religion or lack of one, conspiracy theories, throwing salt, fear of black cats.) 
Blade believes that life is worth something, but he isn't sure what. When he was little, around 9, he grew up going to the church just like all the other Oakridge kids; he'd comb his hair and wear a cute little suit. That stopped, when his parents went away, though, and he hasn't been back since. He's been burned by the people there, and he's never seen a need to go back--both for the memories and the lack of desire.

He would probably be an agnostic, and he's not very superstitious. He believes life has a meaning, but he's still trying to find out why and what.

6) What are their catchphrases, or things they say frequently? 
All variations of this phrase: "I'm not in love with Astrid!" "I am not!" "I'm not in love with her!" (He totally is.)

7) Would they be more prone to facing fears or running from them? 
Physically, when the threat of violence comes to Oakridge, Blade is pretty much made for this kind of situation, and to stand strong against these threats. He'll step up as much as he can and do anything needed.

But as for emotional fears, he runs from them absolutely. (Like the fact that he has Very Strong Feelings for Astrid but is too afraid to tell her.)

8) Do they have a good self image? 
I want to say somewhat, but he actually has a low view of himself and he doesn't really give himself enough credit.

9) Do they turn to people when they're upset, or do they isolate themselves? 
He isolates himself, definitely. He'll lock himself up in his house and read tons of theological and philosophical books. He'll binge on them for no discernable reason, except to keep his mind off his problems.

10) If they were standing next to you would it make you laugh or cry?

(But really though. I probably would.)

x x x

If you want to do Beautiful People, be my guest! The linky runs until the end of August, and then on September 5th we'll have even more fabulous questions. Join us!


  1. I loved reading this. (and it's okay to keep posting Tyler Hoechlin pictures).

    I like unexpected characters that grasp your heart and won't let go. :) Can't wait for you to figure out more of his back story. It sounds interesting.

  2. Wait, you're Sky, the one who started this? *flails happily*
    Blade sound like a really cool character. And yes, that backstory needs to be figured out.
    Random fact about Tyler Hoechlin: My parents know him, or at least his family. :)

  3. Blade sounds amazing! I am really curious about Petrichor now. He takes hipster photos of his food with a real camera. :) That is hilarious. I really like this guy.


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