Saturday, May 17, 2008

What are your characters wearing?

I’ve always enjoyed fashion, even when I didn’t like what was in style. From the mid-calf bohemian-style skirt to the micro-mini, women have defined their fashion sensibilities since they started wearing clothes. As a writer, I try to incorporate fashion into my books to add an extra dimension to my characters. Here are some high fashion concepts I’ve noticed for this season:

Fabrics, colors, and prints: Go for color and interesting prints with as much natural fiber in your fabric as you can manage (consider dry cleaning, laundering, and need for ironing). Bright primary and secondary colors as well as earthy tribal prints will give your wardrobe a boost. Florals, ombre and muted metallics are hot this season. Yellows, blues, and all shades of purple rule.

Silhouettes: More volume in skirts and dresses will give you the oomph you might be looking for, but if you have the figure for it, you can still rock the pencil skirt.

Handbags: Clutch, frame, and metallics are all buzzwords for this season’s bags. Look for saturated color that makes a standalone statement. Purple, yellow, silvertone, goldtone, bronze, and lots of beads! Oh, and don’t forget about metal mesh!

Footwear: Flip-flops aside, what better way to show off a great pedicure than with some strappy wedge sandals? From the gladiator and tribal ankle strap to the cork wedge, stepping out has never been so cool. Platforms, cone heels, and cutout wedges make the statement that you know exactly where you’re going. And what shoe-loving woman doesn’t have at least one pair of peep-toes in her footwear lineup? For a full-on color statement, let your shoes show off your favorite pattern, print, ombre, or bright color!

Jewelry: Whether custom-made or mass-produced, every woman needs at least one signature bracelet and lots of necklaces for extra fashion dimension--layered or worn solo. What better way to draw attention to your pretty wrists than with bangles, cuffs, and charms! Although it’s fine to have a standard watch that goes with everything, jump out of your comfort zone and sport a timepiece with lots of zing. Whether longing for drops of glistening gemstones or manmade knockoffs, why wait for someone to give you that perfect necklace? Don’t hesitate to decorate your neck in the perfect face-framing piece of jewelry that will turn an otherwise ordinary outfit into the talk of the party.

How do you dress your characters? Are they in or out of step with current fashion trends?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What flavor of ice cream are you?

Janet Spaeth made a comment that maybe we'd have ice cream flavors named after us one of these days, and I started thinking about that. Hmm. So I asked my pals to name an ice cream after themselves, and here are the flavors they came up with:

Janet Spaeth, Barbour Books and Heartsong Presents author: Anyone who orders a Janet will get coffee ice cream streaked with hot fudge! Yum!

Sandie Bricker, Summerside Press and Avalon Books author: She’s always been called Red because of her hair, and red velvet cake is one of her faves. So the Sandie would be lots of pieces of red velvet cake mixed into smooth vanilla ice cream. Sounds out of this world and very pretty!

Tina Russo, Woman’s World fiction author and blogger: Vanilla. The Tina Vanilla. Why mess with a good thing? You can dress it up, you can dress it down. It can go anywhere with panache. Vanilla is a classic, like pearls and denim. They aren’t showy; they don’t worry about trends. They don’t have to. They never go out of style.

Rhonda Gibson, Barbour Books and Heartsong Presents author: She loves chocolate but not alone. Nope! Rocky road is her choice, and if it’s a DQ treat, she wants the Chocolate Extreme to be renamed the Rhonda!

Carrie Henderson, Home Shopping Network PI Writer: Smooth vanilla (for the color of her skin), chunks of pineapple (rays of sunshine), and chopped nuts (which she says is self-explanatory ) all in one scoop will be the Carrie.

Margaret Daley, Steeple Hill author: She loves cookie dough, so the Margaret flavored ice cream would have to be chocolate chip cookie dough. Unfortunately, she'd have to ban it from her house because she could eat the whole gallon in a few sessions. It's strictly a special-occasion treat for this gal!

Gail Gaymer Martin, Steeple Hill and Barbour author: Mix some large hunks of peanut butter and peanuts, swirl them with chocolate in some vanilla ice cream, and add some dark chocolate syrup running through the mix for the Gail. Similar to moose tracks only better! Delicious!

Me: I’ve always liked layering, so natural double vanilla with toffee crunch for flavor and swirls of caramel for tone-on-tone color would be my choice for the Debby. Lots of texture and flavor. Plop a strawberry on top for that perfect splash of color.