Pic of the day: You will never look at cats the same way again. Also the story will spell the end for the beloved phrase "Please, think of the kittens!"
NaNostory round 2
I've already mentioned that I think I've found a seed for this year's NaNoWriMo story. Through more conversations with the muse in my head, I have started to refine the characters and see a glimpse of a plot.
The main character is Kurt Wiik. It is a nice short name that is typical of Northern Europe, making the ethnicity clear at a glance. Also, I can't think of any Nordic names that in English actually sound like "Reclusive Indecisive"... so Curt Weak will have to do. He has two middle names (to distinguish him from any real-world Kurt Wiik): Amadeus Hannibal. Obviously these are never used in conversation. It's a good bet that his parents decided on one each. Feel free to guess who picked what. Kurt is blond, and a bit more slender than most Nordic males.
His mother, the New Age archaeologist, is now named Megan Wiik. Her original name was Magnhild, but she shortened it for her many international connections, who always got it wrong.
Kurt's father is named Renaud, I don't know his last name yet. He is a mad inventor living in an isolated underground lair in the wilderness. He and Megan met in an unspecified very romantic way and fell madly in love, but none of them could in the long run give up their lifestyle.
Kurt grew up with his mother and grandmother in a small house on the outskirts of the town. Even when he was in grade school his mother was often abroad for weeks or months, leaving Kurt with his grandmother. She no longer lives there, as of a couple years ago. She is not dead yet, but very nearly so, and has been fading for the last 5 years or so. For this reason Kurt, who is turning 19 as the story begins, is used to taking care of himself.
But try to explain that to his self-appointed best friend and former classmate from high school, Bodil. (The name is a shorter form of Norse Bodhild, but if it looks similar to "body" or "bodily", that's not a drawback either.) Bodil is down to earth, practical, strong, active, honest and assertive. Well, except with her own feelings. She has had a crush on Kurt since second year in high school, but she fears (probably correctly) that telling him would cause him to panic and end their close friendship. As it is, she visits him several times a week. She doubts his ability to survive alone and tends to bring food. (From her mother... her own cooking is nothing to write home about; Kurt is quite a bit better than her at cooking and baking or indeed any house-related task. Not that this says much.) Bodil is more sturdy, more muscular than fat but not extremely so. Probably brown hair and not tall.
Kurt's cat is called Pawprince (yes, as in paw-prints, it is a pun), commonly referred to as just Prince. To the best of my knowledge Prince is a common name for pet dogs, not cats, which fits the general impression of the household. Also, this would mean that when the cat transforms into a boy, he will be the boy formerly known as Prince. Eheh. Bad puns abound in this particular corner of the story, but I intend to keep them there. I'm not the next Piers Anthony. Oh wait, that's what I try to become. Just without the severely underdressed children. Instead, severely underdressed teenage cat. It can't be helped, the catboy is the engine of the story. The other characters, nice as they may be, simply don't have the explosive energy to shatter the status quo. Pawprince is probably black with some white, but in human form he is Caucasian, only his hair is jet black with white bangs.
Pawprince is always a cat if there are other people around. Other people would normally be Bodil. If alone with Kurt, he may randomly change from one form to another while napping, which he does a lot. In human form he can talk, but still retains part of his cat personality. He is highly affectionate and likes to sleep on Kurt or just rub against him.
When Bodil visits Kurt, she will find signs of strange goings-on, such as heaps of clothes lying on the floor or couch (in those lucky cases where Kurt has managed to get his cat dressed), and she will notice that Kurt now acts strangely toward the cat. After some pressure, Kurt will let her in on the secret. Bodil will be convinced that her friend is a very disturbed young man, and take it upon herself to improve his sanity. Which should be a very interesting development, I hope. (Hint: You have to be seriously crazy for your mental health to improve by her company.)
I plan for this to be a humor/romance story, and hopefully the two young people will find happiness together in the end. That's the plan, at least, not that I'm likely to reach the end if past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Kurt and his cat will definitely not end up as the happy couple... I think.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.