Color Wheel of Love.

Here’s a good quiz for all the romance writers out there… although it can apply to everyone, of course.

In the early 1970s, the psychologist John Alan Lee developed a way of explaining 6 primary and secondary “love styles” in terms of the color wheel. Frankly, I don’t really understand the color wheel part, but hey.

Essentially, the part that I do understand is that the six love styles have Greek names; the primary styles being called Eros, Ludus, and Storge; and the secondary styles Mania, Agape, and Pragma.

The quick breakdown of each style is this:

  • Eros lovers are the “love at first sight” types. The passionate and hopeless romantics who place a lot of importance on physical attraction.
  • Ludus lovers are the players. No really, it’s that simple.
  • Storge lovers are the ones who fall for their friends. Attraction develops after mutual interests are discovered, and commitment is of primary importance.
  • Manic lovers are the obsessive, possessive lovers. They want to believe the object of their affection is a god on earth, and they need constant attention and affection, or else they will be easily overwhelmed by anxiety and jealousy.
  • Agape lovers are the selfless ones, who truly believe their lover’s happiness is more important than their own. They will gladly sacrifice themselves for their partners. They tend to be generous, but can also lean toward martyrdom.
  • Pragma lovers are the practical ones, who are more interested in the convenience of a relationship than the wildness of hormones. They tend to size up possible partners, judging them based on whether or not they share compatible traits and goals. They are very certain of their “type,” and won’t consider anybody who doesn’t match their requirements.

So those are the basics. It can be useful to know what your character’s primary style is, so that you don’t have them falling wildly and desperately in love with a stranger if they’re more likely to take a step back and consider whether or not they check off enough of their bullet-points.

It’s an interesting quiz to take for yourself, as well. For instance, while I was doing my research for this post, I discovered that I am primarily a Storge lover (hence my love for Jane Austen’s Emma, and longstanding crush on Mr. Knightley), but Eros came in a VERY close second. Meaning, I suppose, that my best plans for relationships will be to make friends with hot guys. But I digress…

Anyhow, today’s game plan is as follows:

  1. Take your character through this quiz.
  2. Read a much clearer and more detailed explanation of each love style here.
  3. Satisfy my ‘satiable curiosity by telling me what kind of lover your character is down in the comments. Or graffiti it on the side of a building somewhere. Whatever.

Now it’s time to drag my faithful Nate through it. I’m pretty apprehensive about this one, frankly, because he’s seventeen and has never actually been in love. But he’s in the process of falling for a girl, so we’ll see if he can use his imagination…

Well, I certainly underestimated Nate. He flew through the questions, and to be quite honest, I have absolutely no idea what I will find when I click the button to get his results…

Oof, Nate is an Eros lover, with a strong side of Agape. Sounds like a pretty nice combo, to me. Good job, kid.

Shakespeare Still Lives.

Well, as you may have noticed if you Googled anything last Saturday, the world and all of its geeks were celebrating Shakespeare’s 452nd birthday/4ooth deathday. Slightly morbid of us, but you know. It was a big deal.

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I was partying hard all day (internally, as I went about my usual business in the world), and I haven’t stopped yet. So today you get a little round-up of my top 5 favorite Shakespearean… things.

First off, the ever lovely “Shakespeare Sundays” hosted on Twitter by the ever more lovely Hollow Crown Fans.  Basically, every Sunday they give nerds like me the chance to spew out all my favorite Bard quotes on a given theme. It’s magnificent.

Secondarily, there is Good Tickle Brain, possibly the only Shakespearean Stick-Figure Webcomic in existance. Be sure to check out her Coriolanus and Shakespeare World Cup. Sheer gold. (Oh, just check out everything. I have aggressively clicked every single link on her site several times, I’m sure.)

Sixth and lastly, the Globe Player. This super easy to use website allows you to rent or download amazing performances from Shakespeare’s Globe, including many foreign-language versions, which is totally epic. I downloaded Twelfth Night to celebrate this weekend, and so far I’ve watched it 3 times. #NoRegrets. The website also features amazing free content from Shakespeare Lives and the Sonnet Project, as well as full interviews from Muse of Fire. (Yes, I’ve sneaked in an extra. It’s not cheating, it’s bonus material.)

Thirdly, there is Zounds, Alack, and By My Troth, another webcomic. This one features the Dark Lady herself, making for some pretty adorable stuff like this.

And, to conclude, this. THIS, ladies and gentlemen. It is a First Folio. From the wondrous Folger Shakespeare Library. I cried real tears the first time I was able to read the glorious line,

Gods peace, I would not loofe fo great an Honor,
As one man more me thinkes would fhare from me,
For the beft hope I haue. O, doe not wifh one more:

-Shakefpeare, The Life of Henry the Fift.

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Oh, and a big shout-out to you if you happened to catch the Dogberry reference. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to throw that one in.

Types of Smart.

Today has been a glorious, basking-around-in-shorts-on-the-back-deck sort of day, and I almost forgot to blog. But in the end, my heart couldn’t bear to let you down, you lovely people with lovely characters who we will continue to explore together.

It’s probably fairly well known by now that IQ isn’t everything. In fact, it’s not a lot. This interesting revolution was brought on by Dr. Howard Gardner, who developed the idea of “Multiple Intelligences” in 1983.

Basically, there are eight different kinds of smart: Kinaesthetic (body smart), Logical (number smart), Intrapersonal (self smart), Visual/Spatial (picture smart), Linguistic (word smart), Interpersonal (people smart), Musical (music smart), Naturalistic (nature smart).

I thought it would be fun to take our characters through a quiz, and find out what kind of smart they are. This could help you to see if your character is ever behaving in a way that wouldn’t be typical in their behavior if they, you know, ACTUALLY EXISTED.

Today’s gameplan:

  1. Take your character through this quiz.
  2. Read up on the types of intelligence here.
  3. Let me know what you’ve discovered about your character down in the comments, or via Twitter, or through telepathy, or however else you can think of.

Now, as usual, it’s time for me to take my faithful, long-suffering Nate through this process for your… entertainment? Edification?

Okay, maybe just for the heck of it.

Anyways, here’s what he got:

Oh, my. Nate, you scored highest in Logical Intelligence. As in, you’re good with numbers. Well, you’re on your own there, buddy. Can’t help ya. Maybe you could help me??? Puzzles, on the other hand… Those I can join in the fun with. I like those things. Just remind me never to try writing you into a math class. Nobody would be convinced.

Next comes Intrapersonal. Hardly surprising, since you’ve really had very little else to think about for 17 years… I was almost surprised you didn’t score highest in this, but then it occurred to me that really, who you are is pretty confusing for you, since you’re not sure where your original leaves off and your self begins… or if you begin at all!

Visual/Spatial takes third. Makes sense, since you love reading atlases (you nerd), and you’re going to grow up to be a photographer.

And then comes Linguistic and Interpersonal tying for fourth, and Naturalistic, Musical, and Kinaesthetic. But those ones hardly even make it on to the graph, to be quite honest. Again, hardly surprising, given your upbringing.

So, overall, I will have to make sure I keep you logical, self-aware, and good with visual matters, and I won’t all of a sudden launch you into gymnastics and turn you into a star. Pretty straight forward, thanks man.

 


Yes, I’m totally aware that I spent that last section talking to my imaginary friend, and yes, I’m weird.

Deal with it, people.

What You Thought You Came For.

Last night I decided it was high time for me to read the Four Quartets, and I’m glad I did. They are, of course, massively quotable; but this is what really jumped out at me:

“…And what you thought you came for
Is only a shell, a husk of meaning
From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled…”

-T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding” (Four Quartets)

Isn’t that nice? It’s so easy, when we’re caught up in the middle of life, to get discouraged when things don’t seem to be going the way we expect them to. In those times, it’s good to be reminded that honestly, our grand goals and visions are only the tiny little exoskeletons of the true purpose and expanse of our lives, and we won’t ever know the full extent of our impact until the end. And, of course, “In my end is my beginning.”

Reading things like this make me so thankful for my God, who holds the full expanse of my life in his hand and in his heart; who guides me when I can’t see the meaning; so that in my new beginning I will be able to look back at my end and rejoice in fulfilled purpose.

Brain Sides.

For today’s get-to-know-your-characters-through-the-means-of-thorough-dissection post, I thought it would be fun to discover which side of their brain lords it over the rest of them. For people who might somehow be unfamiliar with the idea of dominant brain hemispheres, here’s my highly technical rundown:

Basically, our brains are split in two hemispheres; Right and Left. So far so simple. The right hemisphere tends to be more of an artsy, bohemian type, while the left hemisphere has always wanted to grow up to be Spock. Got that?

Both sides work together to run all of our systems. However, in most of us, one hemisphere tends to be more dominant. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule, myself included. We are the “Balanced Brainers.” Our hemispheres are equally dominant. Mine, I will have you know, is an exact 50/50 split. We usually end up being versatile geniuses or total train wrecks. Come to your own conclusions about my placement on this spectrum.

More to the point, is your character right or left brained? Today’s game plan is simple:

  1. Have your character take this test.
  2. Share the result with your ever-curious blogger friend. Meaning moi.

Here’s how my long-suffering guinea-pig Nate fared:

Right-brained, but not by much.

He got a 48%-52%  split.

See though, the interesting part of this is that there were a few questions that I sort of felt him balking on, as if there was a big part of him that wanted to answer differently. Most of those were the ones on which he answered more classically left-brained. I wonder if, given a different type of upbringing, Nate might have been even more right-dominant? And perhaps, given more time to explore his independence, he will lose some of his more orderly and uptight modes of being. Who knows? An interesting notion to play around with, to be sure.

Street Art.

Today we get some visuals to break up the monotony of all the wordiness. As you people might know if you’ve been following me for a while, I’m a visual artist as well as a writer, so today I thought it would be fun to talk about street art.

I love it.

Not only because it is fun, surprising, and often beautiful, but also because of all the stories that go along with it. Not only the story of how it came to be there, whether commissioned or furtively sprayed on in the middle of the night, but the story of the artist who put it there. Who are they? What inspired them to create this piece? Does it have a message, and if so, why was it important to the artist to share it?

And so on and so forth.

So that’s enough talking… Now I’ll share a few of my favorite pieces with you. I’ll give the artist attribution if I can.

First… Is it totally cliche of me to say that I adore Banksy? I mean, there’s a reason why everybody loves him, right? He’s good.

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This is quite possibly my favorite.

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I mean, this one is a classic, but really. It’s so wonderful.

And then there are these ones by Victor Ash.

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These lovely crowd scenes from Escif.

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And of course there’s Swoon, who works mainly in wheatpaste (basically wallpaper), so the art weathers and tears beautifully.

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…Now here’s a few miscellaneous pieces that I have discovered on my random forays into Internet Land. I have no idea who the artists are, I just know I like them.

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Apparently, there is an entire novel written on the walls of this abandoned house.

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I mean, come on. It’s Le Petit Prince.

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I do. I like all you lovely people.

So yeah. These are a few of my favorites. I could go on, there are so many pieces that I love, but I’ll spare you.

But if by any stretch of the imagination, you like seeing stuff like this, I’d be more than happy to show you more of my favorite art! Just let me know.

The 5 Love Languages: Not Just for Lovers.

For today’s character development exercise, we’re going to look at “The Five Love Languages,” developed by Gary Chapman. Basically, there are 5 different ways people express and receive love:

  1. Words of Affirmation: Pretty much what it sounds like. Compliments are huge for these people. They love hearing the words “I love you,” and why. Insults are devastating.
  2. Acts of Service: These people feel valued when others do things for them, and they will constantly seek out ways to help other people. Laziness and broken promises tell these people that they don’t matter.
  3. Receiving Gifts: Not the same thing as materialism. These people love picking out gifts for other people, and put a lot of thought into them, and they feel most loved when they can tell that somebody else did the same for them. Thoughtless gifts or missed birthdays/anniversaries are heartbreakers for these people.
  4. Quality Time: These people feel most loved when they are given undivided time and attention, and are likely to express love by trying to spend time with the other person. Postponing activities or being distracted during conversations is particularly hurtful.
  5. Another pretty obvious one. Hugs, kisses, back rubs, a casual touch on the arm as somebody passes… That’s what these people thrive on. Abuse is, obviously, intolerable and unforgivable for these people.

You might be able to identify your character’s (and your own!) primary love language just from reading my summaries, but here’s the official website, where you can get more in-depth info on each language, and… ta-dah! TAKE A QUIZ!

Here’s our plan of campaign for today:

  1. Download the PDF version of the Love Languages test.
  2. Answer all the questions for your character.
  3. Again, please please let me know what your character’s results were! Or your own, if you take it for yourself.

I suggest downloading the PDF if you’re going through this for your characters, since otherwise they want a name and email and such… which could make it awkward for a fictional character! But if you want to take the test for yourself (and I highly recommend it), feel free to give them your info.

Oh, and if you get really interested, there’s a whole series of books based on the Love Languages, geared towards specific groups of people such as Singles, Kids and Military. You can find all of them in the Resources tab on the main website.


 

Now I’ll go through it with my guinea pig, Nate…

For him, since he is a 17-year-old boy, I chose to take the test made for teens…

Ugh, this was actually really difficult, with a lot of confusion and hesitating. Hardly surprising, I guess, since Nate hasn’t had much experience with love in his life…

He came out with three different languages being really close together, which again I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by. I guess he just loves love! His top three were Words of Affirmation, coming in at 9, and Physical Touch and Quality Time both at 8. Service and Gifts were both really low for him.

Okay, honestly, my heart is breaking for him a little bit… I can’t imagine that in his lab-rat life, he was complimented very often, and physical touch was most likely limited to testing. And quality time? Not highly bloody likely either.

Music for Flying.

New month, new movie score from Adam Young!

This one is called “The Spirit of St. Louis”, and as you can probably guess (or maybe it’s just me because I have a history nerd brother), it’s based on Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight.

It’s super triumphant and happy, but there are some lovely dreamy tracks in the middle… check it out at the official website here, where you can find links to download it from iTunes or just listen on Spotify right down below.