Character-Bulding Exercise Blog: Sadie Tellus’ Survey

[I found a survey that I used to help me find Sadie’s voice and a few details about her. Here’s what happened. I’ll share what I knew before I started writing and after at the bottom.]

What’s your name backwards?

Sullet Eidas. Wow, I sound like a French Greek. I doubt I would’ve had much to myself a few thousand years ago. I wouldn’t have been French! I would’ve been Gallic Greek. Oh, now I sound like salad dressing.

What did you do last night?

I vacuumed my apartment. Tomorrow, I start interviewing roommates. They have to impress me, and I don’t wanna get off on the wrong foot by having a month-old tortilla chip stab ’em in theirs. Is that how long it’s been since I bought that bag? Ew. And one more for luck: Ew.

The last thing you downloaded on your computer?

The cover of one of Queen’s albums. I bought their discography earlier this week and my media player couldn’t find decent cover art. So much for the computer uprising. Unless they’re just homophobic. I guess the ATMs of Boystown are safe. Oh dear, I just went to a dark place. Fuck you, brain.

Have you ever licked a 9v battery?

You didn’t get this hair by right! Just funnin’ you. No, I haven’t licked a battery. Licked my elbow once. No, really. Really! No, I didn’t.

Last time you swam in a pool?

I live in Andilana Park. If there’s a pool, you don’t wanna be in it. Besides, even in the prettiest pool, I’m only showing the skin that shows through a wetsuit and I’ve been told… many times… that wetsuits aren’t chic.

What are you wearing?

A Rob Zombie t-shirt and pajama pants. With little skulls. I call… that one “Horace”. Ah fuck, another hole?

How many cars have you owned?

Just one. Even after winning the lottery. A 1992 Toyota Paseo. I’ll drive it until I have to put it down with a 12-gauge.

Type of music you dislike the most?

That rap-rock fusion bullshit. Turntables and power chords don’t mix.

Are you registered to vote?

Do women have an equal say in politics?

Do you have cable?

I have a cable modem. I’m fine with Netflix and waiting for DVDs. Comcast loves trying to change my mind, but they’ll have a better chance trying to get Avenged Sevenfold to turn into a Kylie Minogue cover band.

What kind of computer do you use?

A laptop that can’t hold a charge anymore. I can buy a battery today! Is it cold? I don’t want wind shooting through a hole and– Sadie. Quit being dirty and lazy and change your pants.

Ever made a prank call?

No… but I feel like it every time I call a guy back after a date. Fuckers. If they were fuckers, they’d fuck this her instead of fucking her over. Losers. That’s better.

You like anyone right now?

Love is dead to me. I’m focused on doing a little good with the few bucks I won. Yeah, I think about being a good person. Some of us survived Reaganomics. Being good doesn’t involve being a necromancer, though.

Would you go bungie jumping or sky-diving?

How about… neither? Or I could pay someone to drop a watermelon out of a plane. I wonder if it’d set on fire as it fell. Would it put itself out since it’s a watermelon? Or turn into jerky? “Watermelon jerky”? Sadie: get help.

Farthest you’ve ever traveled?

Is Nebraska or New Mexico closer? I’m being serious.

What’s your favorite comic strip?

“Beakman’s World”. You can never get enough science, not even when it’s dumbed-down for children.

Do you know all the words to the National Anthem?

Jimi Hendrix didn’t say any words while he played it, so I won’t either.

Shower, morning or night?

Whenever the mood hits me.

Best movie you’ve seen in the past month?

I rewatched “Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years”. The lengths some people will go… So the devil horns hand thing. It’s an Italian gesture to ward away evil spirits. Ronnie James Dio introduced it to the masses to make fun of Reagan. Some bitch said that it was the mark of the beast and tried to shoe-horn three sixes into it. Bitch. And people believed her!

Favorite pizza topping?

Pepperoni and spinach.

Chips or popcorn?

Kettlecorn!

What cell phone provider do you have?

Cricket, but I wish I didn’t. I don’t have anything against Cricket, I just don’t like cell phones. I’d rather have a rotary phone, but no company recognized them anymore.

Have you ever smoked peanut shells?

I said I lived in Andilana Park, Illinois: not Gary, Indiana.

Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?

Nope. They don’t want gingers and I don’t want bulimia.

Orange juice or apple?

Appy juice. Except before bed. It’ll give you some fucked-up dreams. Fucked. Up.

Who were the last people you sat at lunch with?

It wasn’t lunch but Derek and I went to IHOP yesterday morning. It was fun, when he wasn’t checking out men. Oh, that gay of mine…

Favorite chocolate bar?

I’d knife a bitch for a Nestle Cookies n’ Cream.

Who’s your longest friend and for how long?

Derek and… 11 years? Yeah.

Last time you ate a homegrown tomato?

…you can grow those at home?

Have you ever won a trophy?

My one-gal band, Soda Pop Moon, did a few times.

Favorite arcade game?

“Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix”. What? Just because I’m a metalhead doesn’t mean I don’t like the dance dance pad. The dance dance pad doesn’t like me, though. When I wear my boots. One time, I was at a Wright’s Barnyard and thought I broke a pad. I didn’t go back to see if I was wrong. Maybe next year.

Ever ordered from an infomercial?

No, but I did get a brochure from a snowmobile place when I was five. The first thing I ever got in the mail.

Sprite or 7-Up?

Canada Dry. Blessed be.

Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work?

Yeah, black pants and a yellow polo. I fuckin’ hate polos. They’re like what happens when a shirt and t-shirt fuck and one forgets to pull out.

Last thing you bought at Walgreens?

Mouthwash. On. Sale. Hey, I didn’t win as much as you think.

Ever thrown up in public?

What kind of metalhead would I be if I didn’t?

Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love?

Well, I won a chunk of change and I’ve thrown away love so I guess that choice has been made for me.

Do you believe in love at first sight.

Blind.

Spongebob or Jimmy Neutron?

Dethklok.

Did you have long hair as a kid?

No, but you grow into it.

What message is on your voicemail?

Still haven’t recorded one.

Where would you like to go right now?

Metallica’s first “S&M” concert so I could’ve been one of the first to hear “No Leaf Clover”.

What’s the name of your pet?

Don’t have one. If I did, I’d call it… “Hot for Teacher”.

What kind of backpack do you have, and what’s in it?

None and nothing. Whatever doesn’t fit in the pockets gets left behind.

What do you think about the most?

Lately? How to help the world in my own way.

[The only things I knew about Sadie Tellus (besides her name) before I started were that she was a ginger, a Wicca, owns a copy of “Decline of Western Civilization II”, is a metalhead, drives a Paseo, won a lottery, wants to do something with the money, has a gay friend named Derek, wants a roommate, has a band named Soda Pop Moon, that she’s been to Nebraska and New Mexico, that she lives in Andilana Park, IL, and has been scorned by love. Everything else came organically as I filled out questions. So I fully endorse surveys for character-building.]

Read the first four chapters of the novel I wrote before finding this clever trick. It’s about four women who go on vacation to help one of their own through a life-changing decision. If you like what you read, you can pick up “Lie” for only $1.99 wherever eBooks are sold. Thanks for reading.

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