August 2, 2012

Beautiful People - Sunshine

pinterest: sunshine & gossamer
It's August!  Who would have thought it?  July seemed at once very long and far too short, for now the summer is drawing to a close.  Eep!

Anyhow, I thought I would usher in the new month with a Beautiful People.  (Because my brain is such a cauldron of Tempus Regina ideas and White Sail's edits that it's not good for much else.  Oh dear.)  Last month, with Georgie and Sky's free-write edition, I did Regina; this month, still using the free-write, I decided to go with a much lighter subject: Sunshine, of my in-dabbling-progress story Sunshine & Gossamer.  This is the novel I relax with - a dash of whimsy and childhood and kitty whiskers - and while it is not properly "in progress," I thought it about time to introduce the main character.


1. How old is she?

I haven't been quite able to pin down Sunshine's age; in some ways she seems older than she really is, and in others she's very much a child.  I would say that, upon her arrival to Farrowdell, Wales, at the beginning of the story, she is ten or eleven.

2. What does she look like?  What color are her hair and eyes?

Sunshine's looks are fitting to her name: she has tawny-blonde hair that bobs in loose curls halfway down her shoulder-blades, long, darker eyelashes, and eyes that are typically blue with a lighter ring around the pupils.  She is naturally pale, but days spent outside give her some color; in the summer she freckles across her shoulders, but not on her face.  Sunshine is not tall, but she has long legs - good for scrambling up trees - and her frocks are always getting too short without her ever seeming to gain much height.

3. Where does she live?  Describe her surroundings.

Sunshine comes from the suburbs of London, where her mother and father owned a small home, but she now lives with her Aunt Katherine on a farm in Wales, Farrowdell.  (At least, that's how Sunshine pronounces it.)  Farrowdell sits on more land than Sunshine had seen in the first decade of her life, so that the house, a cottage surrounded by a wooden fence and a tangle of white roses, seems insignificant.  From the little courtyard, you can look between the fence-slats and see, straight ahead, a rise in the unpaved road that winds to the village; to the left, the "new" barn sitting atop a rise in the grass, and some of the pastures beyond it; and to the right, a tumble of unbroken grass and a stream. 

4. Does she own a pet?

Before he left to join the airforce, Sunshine's father gave her a little black kitten whom she named Gossamer.  However, he's not exactly a pet: he's a friend and a person, with a strong will of his own.  She does eventually have the responsibility of taking care of the chickens, and she considers those her "pets."  She tries to name them all, but they look so much alike that the names get mixed.

5. What is her absolute favorite book?

Treasure Island, by R.L. Stevenson.  She has a great longing to sail the Spanish Main (without quite knowing where or what it is) and engage Barbecue in a naval battle worthy of the history books.  She would defeat him, of course, but she thinks she would be merciful and not have him walk the plank.

6. What does she do on a sunny day?  A rainy day?

There are more things to do at Farrowdell than time in any one day to do them.  On sunny days she might float boats in the pond, or carry an armload of books to the Reading Tree, or tag along behind Aiden, the young man who runs Farrowdell.  On a rainy day she might play in the courtyard and get good and sopping wet, or race down to the Reading Tree because she just recalled she left something important there, or she might go up and play with Gossamer in her room.

7. Is there something of which she is particularly afraid?

The mail.  On the days when she is around to see the mail delivered, she is always afraid that it will have a letter or telegram announcing her father's death.  Depending on her mood, she can also be afraid of thunderstorms.  And wasps.

8. Where is her favorite place to be?

She is very fond of her bedroom, though it isn't anything special; she hauled an empty crate up to the window and can now sit and look out over Farrowdell.  This is how she likes to watch the sunrise, when she can crawl out of bed early enough to see it.  She also enjoys being at the stream or the pond.

9. What are her favourite clothes?

Sunshine does not often pay much attention to her clothes, but she does enjoy a shopping excursion to the village.  Currently she has a grey Sunday dress and three every-day dresses: dark grey, brown, and apple-green-and-cream.  I very much fear that the apple green won't last her long.  Besides these, Sunshine is awfully fond of her black wellies.

10. Besides Gossamer, is she fond of animals?

Very much so.  She enjoys looking at the cows, though she finds them a little daunting; she stays clear of the bull.  The chickens are so fat and fluffy that she frequently gives in to the desire to cuddle them, for which she gets thoroughly pecked.  Farrowdell also has one old sow (very cranky and ugly: she's got warts) and two mice behind the "old" barn who appear but rarely, and seem to use it as a sort of country-home.  There is a spider who lives outside of Sunshine's window, and she's even fond of it (as long as it stays there, on the outside). 


  1. Ah, Abigail - Sunshine and Gossamer sounds so wonderful! I just love the sound of it; your writing is perfectly charming. Sunshine seems like a very fun, interesting character, and her story appears uplifting.

    Thank you for this post - I enjoyed reading it!

    Best wishes for your writing,


  2. I very much look forward to this story. I already like Sunshine. I love how you described her. Anyway, I did a Beautiful People post on my blog if you want to check it out.

  3. Sunshine and Gossamer sounds like such a sweet, whimsical book. And I lovelovelove books like that. :)

  4. "It's a wasp! It'sawaspit'sawaspit'sawasp...!"

    I wish I were Sunshine. I love Sunshine. I love this story. I wish I were Sunshine. Everything is so cute and sweet and serious and light and Dew On the Grass and I WISH I were Sunshine too!

  5. Jenny you took what I was going to say! Don't we all wish we were someone like that? Living in farmland is wonderful. I spent the time from 3 to 12 living in farm country. I'll never get open fields and huge skies out of my blood.

  6. Oh, goodness. I love Sunshine. I do hope you get this book published someday, even though you are only dabbling in it at the moment. It sounds so lovely! :) And as Jenny said; I wish I were Sunshine too! Though perhaps not so much Sunshine, but more to be where she is: the countryside, sunrises... ah, how beautiful!

  7. Aw, I'm glad you gals like her so much! She's really a blast to write; her story comes so easily. It has been good to be able to take a break from the more difficult work of hammering out a plot like The White Sail's Shaking, and just dabble in something light and beautiful. I don't suppose I'll finish it any time soon, but that's alright by me!

  8. I loved reading about Sunshine! Just like everybody said, I love her character already, and reading this evokes a wistful longing for green meadows, sunbeams and dandelions and the glorious simplicity and beauty of the countryside!!

    Perhaps my favourite question was what she was afraid of. I am sure it must be tough on the poor girl... to get something in the mail is normally joy for any young person, but during those times... it was not so! And wasps... of course :D.

  9. I thought you would like her, Joy! And Sunshine and Gossamer has a connection with your A Love that Never Dies, as both are set during World War II and deal with the evacuation of London. (Sunshine was chased by a swarm of wasps on her second day at Farrowdell. It was a most traumatic experience.)

  10. I did, I did, Abigail!! She just cheered me so, reading about her joyful, bright spirit :).

    You know, I thought the same thing too (I just did not want to guess wrong :p), but you mentioning the 'mail' reminded me so much with my own story as well, with Jane's dread of receiving a telegram. And the evacuation of London//World War 2 make up a great if not sad story-setting! Hmm... my interest has positively been piqued :).

    By the way, while I was writing 'A Love that Never Fails', and trying to do 'research', a friend of mine gave me a link to some black-and-white video footage of children being evacuated from London during the London Blitz... they fueled my imagination so much and helped me imagine the emotions and loss of those children. So, maybe you will like to look it up too:

    Ugh! Poor Sunshine... I positively hate wasps myself, and after such a traumatic experience I would not blame the poor dear!!!

  11. Thank you for the link! I was very interested when you mentioned, I believe in an email, that you had watched footage of the evacuation. That will be helpful for research, and I will definitely check it out. Contemporary material is always the best.

    Wasps have an evil countenance. True fact.


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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