06/01 Direct Link
Ellen has already met her biological father Leo. Ellen is creative like her parents and is a budding photographer. She finished high school but didn’t want to go to college. Her mother, Nora, is highly educated but Ellen is more like her father, Leo, who is self-taught and uninterested in trendy contemporary art. In high school Ellen visits SF art studios with her art class and meets Leo – they feel a natural connection. They keep in contact and eventually, Ellen visits Leo in his studio in Aldhaven. Leo knows Ellen is his daughter, but Ellen doesn’t know he’s her father.
06/02 Direct Link
Nora is Jewish and Leo is the son of a beautiful black model. Ellen is dark, too, with black hair and hazel eyes. In fact, she has taken after her pretty paternal grandmother and is tall and stunning. Her biological father, Leo is tall and athletic with soft and shaggy hair in grey to dark tones, with almond-shaped eyes of walnut color, a chiseled jaw, and a smile as contagious as his mother. Ove, the father Ellen grew up with and loves dearly, is also tall, athletic and chiseled but quite Nordic: a true blond with blue eyes and beard.
06/03 Direct Link
Ove is a Nordic (Danish) man who knows how to sell and make money on art. He has never delved in art himself but considers art works objects of investment and considers his job as an art dealer and art consultant equal to an investment banker. He has clients all over the world and galleries in Copenhagen, New York, and San Francisco. BENTSEN GALLERY. His education is in business and he obtained an MBA at the Copenhagen Business School. He’s ten years older than Nora and is establishing his SF Gallery when they meet. He’s attracted to Nora’s outgoing personality.
06/04 Direct Link
Ove is a Nordic (Danish) man who knows how to sell and make money on art. He has never delved in art himself but considers art works objects of investment and considers his job as an art dealer and art consultant equal to an investment banker. He has clients all over the world and galleries in Copenhagen, New York, and San Francisco. BENTSEN GALLERY. His education is in business and he obtained an MBA at the Copenhagen Business School. He’s ten years older than Nora and is establishing his SF Gallery when they meet. He’s attracted to Nora’s outgoing personality.
06/05 Direct Link
Avery is from a mixed marriage (black and white), of average height, short hair, and loves colorful clothes and loves kids. Her twins are more important to her than her husband. She is smitten by the exuberance of life that children are able to show effortlessly and she is involved with her twins’ school up until they graduate from high school. She writes children’s books and happily enters the world of her characters, where she feels good. An only child of teacher parents she grew up in Santa Cruz. A strong mother figure admired by adults and loved by kids.
06/06 Direct Link
Avery needs to exercise to avoid putting on too much weight and works out with Danny. Because she is a mother figure who thinks of children ahead of her, she enjoys the time with Danny who takes care of her. She likes the fact that someone is concerned about her and her health and how she feels, although Danny is paid for these services. She realizes that she and her husband, Martin, are drifting apart and spends more and more time with the Sheinfelds. When Nora shows extraordinary interest in Ezra, Avery gets jealous and wants to protect her mentor.
06/07 Direct Link
Ezra Sheinfeld is a big man (as his wife is a big woman) and not only in stature but also in personality. Born to polish immigrants who settled in New York, he grows up with music, storytelling and art. He loves to write and becomes a journalist. He ends up becoming the Fashion and Design journalist for the New York Times, and when he covers a fashion show he meets Leo’s mother. They fall in love, are married, and Leo is born. She wants to go back to the San Francisco Bay Area and takes Ezra and Leo with her.
06/08 Direct Link
Here, Ezra eventually meets Esther, who is also a writer and they fall in love. Esther is from an old world San Francisco family and Ezra enjoys that. They have a lot in common: big heart, culture, the arts (including culinary) and are well liked by many. Upon retirement they move full time to Aldhaven and open up an antique store. Because their daughter, Sarah, lives in Mozambique, they are happy to be in a small community where friends come easily. Avery becomes their ‘adopted’ daughter and they spoil her twins like they were their own grandchildren. Who is Nora?
06/09 Direct Link
Martin Andersen, Avery’s husband, is a lawyer and invests in small wineries. He loves to work and also, finds it important to work to finance his family. He is of average height like Avery, somewhat stocky, with dirty blond hair. He’s the type that blends in because of lack of charisma. He’s friendly and genuine with people he likes but can be hardcore and merciless with everybody else. He grew up in Santa Cruz and his parents were hippies. He needs an orderly life to feel good. He loves Avery exactly because she is motherly and takes care of things.
06/10 Direct Link
I have changed my mind. Martin is not a lawyer: he’s the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. And he is the Mayor. He is basically in charge of the small town. Yes, his parents were hippies and he grew up in Santa Cruz. He is Avery’s high school sweetheart. They still went off to different colleges: Avery graduated in English and Martin in Business. Martin still likes order and that Avery takes care of the home front. Martin always carries a small bell with him. He likes to have sex in the morning. Refreshed, he faces the day.
06/11 Direct Link
Avery is not of mixed marriage. She’s white like Martin with dirty blond hair. She’s has a sweeter disposition than Martin and loves to be a mother. When the twins are grown, though, she needs to do something with her life. She writes children’s books. She loves the Sheinfelds because they are kind people. As she develops into a stronger human being – by writing and from her fitness time with Danny – she dies her hair red. She wears bolder colors. She does deal with her weight issues. But she learns to accept who she is and learns to love herself.
06/12 Direct Link
Avery is on good terms with her teacher parents in Santa Cruz and she goes to visit them about once a week. However, the Sheinfelds are her adopted parents and she their adopted daughter, because they get along so well. It is important for Avery to have wise elders close to her as she figures herself out. Therefore, she is quite protective of them, and when Nora comes to town and wants to befriend the Sheinfelds, Avery becomes jealous. Naturally, Nora seeks family, too, with her parents gone, being newly divorced, and because Ezra is the grandfather of her daughter.
06/13 Direct Link
So far, I have set my characters up for the following conflicts: Nora versus Tess in regards to Leo. Nora versus Avery in regards to the Sheinfelds. Nora versus Immi. Nora versus Ove Bentsen. I want Nora to be at odds with other characters, because she is in town to change her life and thinks she can do that with force and manipulation. Therefore, she may be killed off. But perhaps, the reader will have empathy with her? She chose one direction when young over another direction and now, she tries to revive the direction she cut? Is that possible?
06/14 Direct Link
Nora worked with Immi at one point. Immi is an art consultant and art collector. He finds deals. He finds clients. He connects people. And he gets to know Ove and Nora through their galleries. Nora likes him because he’s Jewish like her – they see eye to eye. Immi never marries because like he says, he travels too much and stays in hotel rooms more than half of the year. But he likes Nora and knows she has moved to Aldhaven. He finally wants to buy a house and settles on Aldhaven. Nora is surprised to see him in town.
06/15 Direct Link
Immi is good-looking. Dark skinned, bald and a goatee. Muscular, fit. Fabulous smile. Charming. May seem superficial but his heart is in the right place and he wants to help Nora. He wants her to be successful. But Nora needs a time without men, a time, where she’s the boss and can run the show like she wants. She needs her bitterness to disappear. The many years she spent with Ove, supporting him in his success. She doesn’t want to consider a man in her life. Tess is excited about Immi and may lean towards him and his business connections.
06/16 Direct Link
Danny Rodriquez is Latino and the son of a vineyard manager who was the son of a vineyard worker, who came to the wine country from Mexico. Danny is supposed to be the wine maker. He doesn’t want to work with wine, as he’s witnessed what alcohol can do of harm. He turns to fitness instead. He works for the local resort and trains hotel guests plus members of the resort. Avery is one of his clients and he helps her lose weight. His dream is to have his own fitness center. Eventually, he will help overweight children in town.
06/17 Direct Link
Tony Rigby is the F&B Manager at the local resort. Leo is a server there. Danny works there. Tony is the person that always looks impeccable, slender, fit and dressed in Armani suits. Extremely professional and courteous, he is popular. But beneath his veneer façade lurks a bittersweet man with a chip on his shoulder. Passed by to become the GM of the resort, he chooses to stay in his current role. He doesn’t want to leave the area, because he’s become part of the community and he’s not the one to start over somewhere else. He’s a hollow man.
06/18 Direct Link
Tony is in love with Danny, but of course, Danny is not gay. When Immi comes to town Tony falls for him, and the question is whether Immi is gay. Because of his position as the F&B and restaurant manager at the finest restaurant in town, Tony overhears conversations, is trusted confidential news, and therefore, ends up with pieces of information that he doesn’t know what to do with. He ends up confiding in Immi, because he loves him. Tony is the type that will compromise himself and his good looks will fall short when the shit hits the fan.
06/19 Direct Link
The fact that Nora has come to town creates happenings, events, consequences, that no one saw coming. Everybody’s personal agenda is somehow screwed up. It’s like a house of cards built slowly and delicately by community members that comes tumbling down. Each character is intertwined with the other and when one falls, they all fall. The difference is how each character deals with the blow. Therefore, is it desirable to get rid of Nora, or is it too late? Will she redeem herself, will the town redeem itself? What are the real consequences? Is it possible to have an ending?
06/20 Direct Link
My question is whether Nora needs to be killed off? She definitely has enough un-friends. But I also want the story to be up beat and positive. We have too much negativity going on in the world right now! Can’t take it anymore! Why can’t we all just get along? Yes, I know, not that easy. Okay, that’s what my story is about. Good intentions, realistic expectations, grace delivered, but also, misunderstandings, protective attitudes, and fake ownership. A stranger in town like Nora will either shake things up in a positive direction or have people face their fears, or both.
06/21 Direct Link
Who are weak and who are strong? Who think they are strong but are not when the shit hits the fan, and who know they are weak but stand up to the shit when it matters? Nora is manipulative. Tess is weak (sensitive) but shows teeth to sell art. Selma is my hero, I really like her, because she knows what being human means, she knows all the complications. Avery is good hearted and the mother figure, so I like her, too, but she shows insecurity. Her husband, Martin, is straight and squeaky clean and wants common good to happen.
06/22 Direct Link
Ove, Nora’s ex-husband, is a typical Nordic man: silent, emotionally repressed, all business, righteous, empirical, and doesn’t understand Nora’s wish for divorce. Leo, the sculptor and server, is a Buddhist and lives with Zen. I like him. I like men who can be non-macho and who knows women and what they desire. He’s probably my favorite male character. He’s compassionate and loves his daughter, Ellen, but doesn’t put demands on her; in fact, he doesn’t tell her that he’s her biological father. He’s the type of person that everyone falls for but that most people will disown at some point.
06/23 Direct Link
Ellen, the daughter of Nora and Leo, who grew up with Ove as her father, is fragile on the outside but strong on the inside. She grew up with a demanding mother and a father, always engaged with his work and really, she never saw the two in an intimate situation, showing love for each other. They each showed love for her, and she became the object of love for both of them. Love for her is risky and dangerous, because how much do you give of yourself? She likes Leo very much, because she feels relaxed in his company.
06/24 Direct Link
The Sheinfeld family is cool. Caring and compassionate for the ways of the world. Ezra and Esther love each other! Sarah, their daughter, is a love child. They coached her through school and she became a medical doctor. They are proud of Sarah. But she chose to go with Doctors without Borders and basically disappeared from their lives. It hurt, but really, they prepared her. And Sarah wants to do good. In retirement, they open up an antique store and shower their love on objects and art. Still, they have more love to share. Avery takes the place of Sarah.
06/25 Direct Link
When Nora comes to town she brings history, secrets, and lies that need to be dealt with. Ezra knows he has a son (Leo) and paid his alimony but never wanted to see him, but Esther has no idea. Leo knows Ezra is in town and does Ezra know Leo is in town? Does Ezra know how Leo looks like? He’s not the most savvy on computers. No, Ezra does not know. Nora is the one to open up this old history, not Leo. Ezra is not happy, but Esther is intrigued, because she is awesome and interested in kin.
06/26 Direct Link
It will be difficult for Nora to break the news to Ezra. When she finds out Leo has never broken the news to his dad that he’s in town, Nora hesitates. Perhaps, she needs to convince Leo first? Of course, Nora doesn’t know that Leo and Ellen know each other, and when she does find out, around the holidays, she opts for bringing Leo in on her plans. A complicated time, for sure, over the holidays. Nora invites Leo to celebrate a Danish Christmas with her and Ellen. Ellen is surprised: is that her mom’s new boyfriend? She thinks not.
06/27 Direct Link
Who will find out first how this all is connected? How people are connected from the past? Is Ellen passionate about it, because it affects her directly? Is Selma the sleuth, because she wants to protect Tess? I put my money on Selma, as she is smart and experienced in how people behave. Ellen may have her suspicions and so does Tess. Avery is plainly pissed off, mostly because she has her own issues. Esther will also know as one of the first ones; she’s smart, too. The fact is the different characters each possess a piece of the puzzle.
06/28 Direct Link
Danny knows something from Avery, who likes to chat to Danny about her thoughts and feelings. Ezra has hinted at something while Avery was present. Danny may relay that to Selma. Tony Rigby knows something about Leo, as they work together and have had drinks together after work. Leo talks about his life in SF and about Ellen, whom he adores. Tony likes Leo’s work and doesn’t understand why Nora doesn’t want him in her stable. When Tony and Immi hook up he chats to Immi about this and Immi talks to Tess about it: what’s between Nora and Leo?
06/29 Direct Link
Tony falls for men, like Leo, Danny and Immi. Only Immi returns his affections. Immi also knows Nora from before. They used to work together in the art business. They got along well; in fact, Ove was jealous. Immi respects Nora’s eye for art and vice versa. They are a better team than Ove and Nora. But Nora doesn’t want to break up her marriage because of Ellen. Not until Ellen is twenty. So, she lets Immi go as a potential business partner to pacify her husband. Immi is bi-sexual but has never been married. His aesthetic sense is superior.
06/30 Direct Link
How do we choose our relationships? Is that what my novel is about? How are we drawn to some but not to others and then still, we choose the ones that seem to be of most advantage to us? How selfish are we? What are our expectations? Do we at all think about that in the heat of the moment? To fall in love: is that an aesthetic experience or purely physical? When is love part of it? When does forgiveness enter the picture? Empathy? Compassion? What are the lessons we learn? How to compare feelings for Love and Art?