Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In Their Own Words -- Genna


Hi. My name's Genna. But you probably knew that already didn't you. This is so strange having to talk about myself but I guess there are still some things that have to be said.

I know everyone else has pretty much told you my story. My sad little story. It's not how I imaginged my life to be that's for sure. I had a pretty normal childhood. Piano, ballet, little league. Mommy would take me down to the beach all the time. Mommy loved the beach. Even in winter. She said it soothed her soul. Especially after talking to Nana. Nana didn't want Mommy to marry my father. She said he wasn't good enough and let Mommy know it every chance she could. Nana can be a jerk sometimes.

Pappi was a baker. He worked for a bread company in Fall River. He liked it I guess but I know he always dreamed about him and Uncle Sally opening up a bigger restaurant, where Uncle would cook and Pappi would make the desserts. I guess that's why I always wanted to be a chef. So I could follow in my father's footsteps.

Pappi was so handsome. And Mommy was beautiful. I look like her but I have Pappi's nose. Oh God, I miss them so much sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love my aunt and uncle more than anything in the world, but my parents were my parents. After they died, well, I learned to look at life a lot differently.

It sucks. I mean, I've gotten used to it, but it still sucks. I feel like an orphan, and I have more relatives than I can even count. I have more love in my life than I know what to do with. But you know, sometimes I feel so alone. Which is why I guess I've been in therapy for the last fifteen years.

I think this is also why I'm such a workaholic. I want to prove to them, my parents, that I can do things. I don't want to wallow in self-pity and depression. It could eat me alive. Tony taught me that.

I know, I know, Tony is a sleaze. You all think so. Everybody thinks so. And that's where my head and my heart get all messed up. I know Tony, deep down. He loves me. Really loves me. No one else can see that, but I know Tony. He's just screwed up that's all. His parents did it to him. His father was a raging alcoholic, his mother, a bitter old bitch. But Tony worked it out. He had me. And after my parents died, I had him.

We had a good thing for awhile. But then he married Debbie. I guess if I look back on it now, with a clear head, I can see where the money would have been the deciding factor. That's one thing I can say about Tony, he always had ambition. His problem was he never wanted to wait for anything. Totally into instant gratification. And when Debbie offered him the money, well, I can see where that would be tempting. I was in Italy, what could I do? I was trying to learn all there was to know about real Italian food, yeah, so we could use it in the restaurant.

And when I came back he realized just what he did. His instant gratification killed him. And us.

And now, here we are. We had a long talk, said all the things we wanted to say. I've forgiven him the past. He says he wants a future. He says he wants to try again. And with Nana's money we could open that restaurant we always dreamed of. It would be so easy to fall right back into his arms. So easy. Well, you know, I already did. But it wasn't right somehow. It felt cheap. Like I was trying too hard to get back the past. I don't know, does that make any sense? But I don't think we can go back. We have to move forward. Can I move forward with Tony? Do I take that chance?

And now there's Pete. Oh God, Pete. Have you met him? Madre di Dio, is he a hottie or what? He's soooo great! And funny, smart, and real nice. Did I tell you he sent me flowers the other day. Isn't that the sweetest thing? Men don't send flowers anymore. Any girl would give her right arm to snag him. I know I really want to. He kisses like a dream. And you should see him in his uniform.

I'm leaving to go back to Delaware in ten days. I don't want to lead Pete on, I don't want him to think there's a future for us if there's not. And what kind of future would it be? Long distance relationships never work out. I'm working, he's working. And what about Tony? I've been in love with him my whole life. We have a history. We could have a future. It would be so easy.

What am I going to do?

23 comments:

Christine Danek said...

Great to get to know your character. I love doing this too. This is how I pictured her.

Matthew Rush said...

It's so strange to imagine writing one of these, I'm not sure I could do it, breaking down the fourth wall like that, but I will say it is awesome to read yours. Well done Anne!

Piedmont Writer said...

Christine -- I'm glad you liked her. This was the only picture I found that really connected with me.

Matthew -- Thanks. You could do it, you just have to know why you're doing it.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I love Mini Driver! Great choice! She suits your character well!

Are you a writer? Then you MUST enter this CONTEST!

Summer Ross said...

I think the picture suits your character well. If she had a best friend maybe her friend would tell her a little more like how Tony might just be money hungry, after all that seems to be what he does, and it doesn't matter who he hurts in the process.

Stephen Tremp said...

I'm glad Genna doesn't want to lead Pete on. People shouldn't do that. Just not right. I don't care to see or read about people doing this. And instant gratification is a relational killer for sure. Gotta look long term and be prepared to go together trhough trials and tribulations that build character. Those are relational builders.

Stephen Tremp

Summer said...

Love the new Genna picture! Really love it.
This exercise has been so fun, and now I'm really dying for you to get this story on the shelf!! :)

Amie B said...

isn't it fun to find pictures of celebrities that resemble the characters we've created?

Terry Towery said...

You. Minnie Driver. Same thing! ;)

Great stuff, Anne. I'll bet it's helped you climb into the characters' heads. I should do this. (Of course, I'm too lazy ...)

Ed Pilolla said...

i love how genna wants to heal tony, how she sees the good in him. that is so real and so beautiful, and of course so foolish. very well done with genna.

E. Elle said...

I really like the beginning when she's remembering her parents. That sets us up to see her vulnerability mixed with her strength.

I also like how Pete sent her flowers. Did he decide to do that because all the girls who commented on his post told him to? ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that's a good choice. I like Mini Driver, too.

Tahereh said...

wow, awesome! so interesting :D

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing your character with us--you're so brave! And I love Minnie Driver for the template :-)

The Words Crafter said...

I liked how she's real-sweet and good, but not perfect or full of herself. Tony is familiar and easy, whereas Pete is new and uncertain. One has to wonder if she's afraid of losing him like she lost her parents....

Deniz Bevan said...

You're on a roll with these character voices! What a great idea for getting into deep 1st person pov - I wonder if I'm brave enough to try it?

DJ Kirkby said...

Wow. This is my first visit here....I'll be back for sure and I like what you've done with this post. It might be just what I need to do with the people in one of my WIPs.

Crimey said...

Great pick for Genna (Mini Driver).

My favorite lines "...I have more relatives than I can even count. I have more love in my life than I know what to do with. But you know, sometimes I feel so alone." Gosh, Ann, that's brillant.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Genna is the perfect main character, the perfect heroine. She's smart but confused, strong but vulnerable, and she has a dilemma with Tony that any woman can sympathize with. She's great, Anne. Readers will really get behind her and cheer her on to the end. She's real -- I think of her as a real person.

Bravo!

Lola Sharp said...

I agree w/ Nicole...she is very relatable. I really enjoyed this series.

Liza said...

This has been terrific! You obviously put a lot of work into getting to know your characters, which bodes well for the final product. Good for you!

Paul C said...

There is so much realistic emotional turmoil here. Skillful writing.

notesfromnadir said...

Cool that you chose Minnie Driver. I never realized how Italian she looked til I saw this picture.

There's so much to like about this character. In a word she's refreshing. Great job that you did on this w/ all your highlighted characters. It's an excellent teaching tool for other writers no matter how experienced they are. Bravo!