The Making of “On Our Own”

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During the year of 1985, I started creating the characters from my story, “We’re Finally On Our Own”.   I was in 6th grade, and I was so ready to leave my elementary school.  I was ready to start my writing career.  One night, I was listening to the song, “On My Own” sung by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald.  The characters Sandra-Sue and Robbie appeared in my head.  First, I saw their looks, and eventually their personalities were coming to life.  Sandra-Sue constantly wore red dresses, and Robbie was slim, but rough…a gangster wanna-be…

More and more songs from the 1980s were creating more characters into my head.  I was also seeing their personalities.  Erik O’Donnell was Robbie’s sidekick.  He was well built with curly auburn hair.  He was stronger than Robbie.  Now, he needs a woman on his side, and I was seeing a red headed feisty young woman, Sarah…  She had a mind of her own and stubborn.  She was also into the performing arts.

Since those four characters were serious and protective of themselves, I wanted a comical character, and the young lady in yellow popped into my head.  Her skin was dark with long spiral black hair.  Rhoda was also a beauty…

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Now, I felt like Robbie should have an enemy…someone who is the opposite from him.  William came about, and he was dark and smart.  To also have him linked to the comic relief character, Rhoda, I made William shorter than her.  She would follow him everywhere.

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Months later, I was seeing a younger kid wearing a lot of  blue constantly following the characters.  Steve was created.  He became a true follower and a dreamer.

Weeks after that, Sandra-Sue’s younger sister, Cindy, appeared in my head.  Instead of having blue eyes, she had brown eyes.  She was also enjoying living in a homeless life more so than Sandra-Sue.

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I couldn’t believe that a 12 Utah girl would come up with strong minded characters, and an urban type story.  I wanted to get the story published, but I didn’t know how.  Take note – this happened before The internet became a thing…  I found publishing companies that would allow me to self-publish, but I didn’t have that kind of money.  I would also have to sell the books myself.  I didn’t know how to do that…  I was too young, and I wasn’t a very good salesperson at the time.

Publishing

For two decades, I kept the manuscript in a storage box.  As I was getting old, I was experiencing life more, and I was able to make the plot of the story stronger.  The personalities of the characters were getting stronger:  Robbie was becoming more violent, Sarah and the Starburg sisters were getting more strong minded.  Cindy became more stubborn.  Erik was becoming smarter.  I felt that keeping the manuscript from being published right away was a good idea.  The storyline was also growing…

I was learning more about writing and publishing.  I wrote more stories and scripts.  During the late 1990s, I got involved into the internet, and found publishing companies and literary agents.  I was encouraged to write more stories, but when Amazon came about and allowed free self-publishing, I took up that advantage.  I was so happy to have my first story published and out in the public.

The Colors

While taking college classes, I learned about the meaning of colors, so I couldn’t help myself but think about those characters.  I learned that the meanings of the colors represented the personalities of each character.  I guess I subconsciously knew that when I was young.

Sandra-Sue (red):  the leader.

William (orange):  success and encouragement.

Rhoda (yellow):  full of energy.

Erik (green):  safety and hope.

Cindy (aqua):  emotional healing.

Steve (blue):  calming and sincerity.

Sarah (purple):  ambition, independence, and creativity.

Bethany (white):  innocent and purity.

Robbie (black):  strength and authority.

This story is available through the Amazon website.

 

 

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