Theories That Build Your Character’s Personality

Art by D. Christopher
Art by D. Christopher

I vividly remember sitting in my high school science class and listening to the teacher talk about nature vs. nurture. The topic fascinated me because it suggested that even if you were stuck with some pretty rotten genes, you could still have a shot at bettering your predisposed make-up. As we already know, our DNA dictates many of our inherit characteristics. I look at my children and although different, they each carry a familiar quality that points back to us parents. One of them has my husband’s attention to detail; the other procrastination tendencies—compliments of me.

But while swimming in the inescapable gene pool, we’re bound to assimilate with the type of waters we bathe in. A few tidal waves can turn us leery of leaving the shore, or the plunge into a pristine river overlooked by a majestic waterfall can enlighten us into more tranquil beings.

I strongly believe that nurture, the way we are fostered by our environment, circumstances and people we meet, has a vital influence on the kind of individuals we turn out to be.   It is the abstract attributes that mostly affect the way we think and behave. Heredity is an attributing factor, but there are many variables which mold us into the people we become. This theory affects my writing in several ways. When crafting my characters I first determine the type of environment they’ve been exposed to. I use that as a starting point to lead me into their psyche. To do so, I ask these questions:

  • Who was the biggest influence in the character’s life? Is this person still around? If so, what do their encounters look like?
  • How does the character relate to his surroundings? Does he love his job? Why does he hate living with his mother? Does he really want to be with his girlfriend or is the relationship one of convenience?
  • What pivotal moment(s) shaped his inner beliefs, theories or opinions?


Once I’ve answered these basic questions, I start to get an idea of what my character feels like and what he hopes for, which in turn mold his entire personality. In order to weave this personality it’s important to envision my character as a multidimensional being. That means I need to look into his soul, read his heart, and understand the look in his eyes. I need to become the character and draw from my own life experience to recollect encounters that shaped me into the person I am today. […READ MORE]

Guest Blog by Artist Elisabeth Ladwig


My very  first artistic inspiration was a simple children’s book written in Italian, my native language, narrating the inception of the world and moving on to the cavemen, the invention of the chariot, and the Roman gladiators. Even now I remember my mother sitting next to me, turning the pages and reading the words out loud. Except, at the tender age of four, I wasn’t as captivated by the writing but mostly by the art. In my mind I began to weave an intricate story of my own, imagining the lives of the caveman holding sticks in his hands and a spark of fire glowing on the ground. The images before me leaped out of the book and immediately found a place in my heart.


Art has always held a special place in my life and has been the single motivator that inspires all of my stories, characters and worlds that exist in my imagination. Often those stories are created when I run across art that absorbs me into itself. Artist Elisabeth Ladwig is one of those artists whose work speaks volumes. I first came to view her work when working as a co-editor for Mind Key’s second anthology, Yin and Yang: The Duality of Balance. Her work caught my eye and spoke to my soul. I decided to check out her website, Elisabeth On Earth, and immediately realized how multidimensional and soulful her art is. Elisabeth lives in West Milford with her husband and finds that living in the New Jersey Highlands offers immense opportunities and inspiration for photographs. Outside one of her home windows stands a forty-foot pear tree, which local bears visit in August. That’s the location for her picture “Truce”.

As I aim to provide inspirational content that relates to art and writing, I knew I had to reach out to her. She accepted to feature on my blog and shared some of her philosophy on art, nature and finding magic in every aspect of life.

‘Elisabeth on Earth’-  Is there a special meaning to this chosen title/name? 

It actually started as an email address. I didn’t know I would use it professionally one day. What resonates most with me is that the name encompasses both the spiritual and the mundane. While I relate spiritually to Mother Nature and try to learn and grow from that path, I am also very aware that I live in the “real” world with the rest of humanity. 

"When Life Hands You Lemons"
                       “When Life Hands You Lemons”

Your ‘About Me’ page mentions your inspiration stems from elements of science, nature and magic.  This is beautifully depicted in all of your works.  How did you first discover this connection and how do you feel it plays out in everyday life?

I’m not sure what sparked my childhood fascination with the inexplicable. I was in the sixth grade when I announced to my parents that I wanted to do my science fair project on ESP, *laughs*. I can only imagine what they were thinking when I told them. My pitch was that, if ESP exists, then there must be a natural/scientific reason for it that we just don’t understand; otherwise, it wouldn’t happen. I watched the TV show “Little House on the Prairie” growing up, and explained that Laura Ingalls would have thought our televisions to be magic boxes. 

As an adult, I came to nearly equate the three – science, nature, and magic -and exploring their connections fueled my interest in learning about our true potential in our daily lives, about how we can manifest meaningful positive change, about perspective, awareness, and subjectivity. I return to these themes regularly when I get stuck in my own life, and they tend to appear in my work even when I haven’t planned it. 

Want to Read More?  Continue reading here…

Laura in The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength.


For the third and final installment of The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength, you are introduced to Laura (who, for the sake of her family’s privacy and safety, has chosen to omit her last name).

I’ve known Laura for fifteen years. I remember her as a spunky brown-eyed teen who told you exactly what she thought, and wore her heart on her sleeve. She had a way with words, an outlook that seemed to transcend her teenage years, and a tough attitude to go along with it. When I think of Laura I’m reminded of our youth, the way we were naïve, beautiful, crazy, vulnerable and with our entire future ahead.
Laura took charge of her future, and now that I know her as a woman and not a child, I believe that her story is subtly exceptional. She’s an everyday person with a meaningful story; an ordinary mother with exceptional love; and a typical military wife with deep courage. I believe she represents women as they really are: multi-dimensional, the backbone of their families, and finders of strength and courage even when times get rough.

This is her story in her own words: […READ MORE]

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Danielle Rose in “The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength.”

faerie bio small

As I brainstormed ideas for “The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength”, it was no surprise that Danielle Rose came to mind. A writer, herbalist, and intuitive reader—not to mention a mother with a journalism career, she is able to do it all. As someone close to me for many years, I’ve been privileged to see her growth, not only as a writer and artist, but also as a woman. Danielle has been through her share of challenges and obstacles, but managed to retain a very magical, abstract, and beautifully grounded outlook in life. This energetic attitude enabled her to write her novel, Chimera, and to create an online business and community of artists, educators and healers.

This is her story in her own words:

Instinct and magic is always a transitional process.  We all have it, but it’s a matter of recognizing and understanding it—even those with extraordinary abilities undergo this process.  However, that’s not to say that there aren’t moments that act as milestones.  Sometimes it’s difficult to notice them right away.  

Travel has always been important to me. For many of the obvious reasons—experiencing different cultures and traditions, learning new things, seeing the world—but also because I think it represented a freedom which, coming from a sheltered and abusive childhood, I never had.  


My dream was to backpack Europe upon graduating high school. However, I was deeply discouraged from this adventure by my mother and guidance counselor, and encouraged to go to college first (I had planned on going after). They convinced me I would be able to travel in college and in my 20s. However, during my first year of college I was forced to live on my own, and needed to work to support myself and my education. After college, I had a full time job, was still in an apartment, and was determined to save diligently to buy a home and get out of the rent-rut.  After purchasing my home, I became engaged, was married, had children… you get the idea.  I did travel at points with my husband, but due to work and financial restrictions the amazing adventure I had always wanted, and which would have offered invaluable life lessons, never truly materialized.

My point here is that no time is ever the right time.  As the years passed I realized in my gut that […READ MORE]

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For her feature guest blog, she talks about being in touch with her instincts, how she’s learned to recognized her own strength, and what her life journey has been about.

This is her story in her own words:

Amy Oestreicher in “The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength.”

gutless and grateful

For the first installment of The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength”, I’ve selected someone with an incredible life story. I first learned about Amy Oestreicher when I wrote The Connection Between Art and WritingAmy is very familiar with the power of art, as her own life journey has been healed and inspired by it. Amy’s story is extraordinary. Having gone through twenty-seven surgeries, a coma, sexual abuse and a decade of medical trauma, she has been able to persevere through it all. On her personal website, Amy says, “Every twist and turn has made me who I am today—a bold, resilient woman with a deeper purpose.”  […READ MORE]

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The Writing Cup Is Always Full



So much to write, so little time…

Lately I find myself stuck in a wonderful, crazy, amazingly time consuming writing fit.  I love it.

I always welcome collaboration with other writers and now I have the opportunity to do with so many projects.

For all my NaNoWriMo’s (where you at?!), we can connect and inspire each other easily.  Just follow my regular NaNoWriMo blog updates.  And get this…you’ll get to feature in my blogs as the amazing, beautiful writers you are.  Click here to connect with me for NaNoWrimo 2015.

For those beautiful minds out there that love Science Fiction, I went a little crazy with a simple writing prompts.  From my insane imagination, I’ve created The Inceptor, followed by Hiding in the Mountains.  But my Science Fiction creativity is limited.  That’s where you come in.  Want to collaborate with me and continue this short story?  Contact me at

Lastly, because my mind is always running wild to the next project and inspiration, I’m presenting the first themed blog “The Age of Bold” Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength.” This is for all of the women who’ve struggled to find their place in the world and have finally learned to follow their instincts, learn about their worth, and share their strength with others.  Three guest bloggers will feature their journey this week, the first one being Amy Oestreicher, whose life journey is the most inspirational I’ve ever heard.

So what are you waiting for?  Connect now!

Intro-“The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength.”


It wasn’t until I turned thirty that I’ve posed myself a question I should’ve asked a long time before.

What makes me happy?

As I thought of an answer I was both shocked and relieved. It was a simple question but for the first time in my life I was at a loss for words, maybe because I never allowed myself to follow true happiness. Not in the way I should’ve, at least.   For years I walked on paths that should’ve been right but were clearly based on how others perceived me, or what they expected of me. Maybe it was about what I expected out of myself and that expectation itself was skewed severely. So I thought about the true person that lived behind the roles I needed to play in my everyday life. That’s when I felt relieved, too. For the first time I allowed myself to consider what made me happy—and that felt great. […READ MORE]

NaNoWriMo 2015 Kick Off


It’s happening, guys. NaNoWriMo 2015 officially begins today. No more excuses, no more planning…just participate!

If you followed my blog for a while you already know how I feel about NaNoWriMo. It’s a deliciously frantic race to cram as much writing in one month as possible. It reminds me to stop caring about grammar, stop worrying about plot logistics, and stop listening to that nasty inner critic who keeps demolishing my confidence.   Novels are written (and sometimes published) because of NaNoWriMo! Don’t believe me? Check out my guest blogger post on Marissa Meyer, author of The Lunar Chronicles. She participated. She wrote. And she published. Not only did she just publish Cinder but went ahead and published several other books in the series.

But you’ll never publish if you start out thinking that this writing gig is just a way to get noticed and earn a living. At least, that’s not the reason why I write. It would be nice to be a published author, sure, but I do it because more than the aspiration of money or fame, I need this in order to survive. Writing has been the air I breathe, the creativity that saves me from reality, a spiritual and emotional experience that helps me cope.

I’m not alone. You’re on the same journey. Here’s what you can expect moving forward…[READ MORE]