Colour Contributions

When a character grabs me by the scruff of the neck and says “Write me damn it,” the first thing I do is look them in the eyes. What do their eyes tell me about their personality? Hmmm. How do I find that right shade of blue, green, grey, brown or mauve?

If you are as nuts as I am about getting the right colour without it being clichéd then you already know to look at magazines, look to nature, paint palettes and to study the people you deal with every day. My children are always asking me, “Why are you staring at me like that?” It’s nothing creepy. No matter how rude they are, naughty they are being or pulling the I hate you right now glare, their big brown eyes still have a warm glow about them. I know I’m getting a cuddle afterwards.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I have three other ways of researching and finding a unique eye colour.

1)      Try a book about crystals and gems. The books that not only give you the physical attributes but the spiritual and healing powers as well. Subtext, gotta love it.

2)      Makeup. You heard me. Don’t use it much myself but they do come out with interesting names. Look at the names of eye shadows, lipsticks and my favourite, nail polishes. (Found the perfect name for a character because of a hue of a nail polish. What a pity I don’t have a story for her yet.)

3)      Go to your local hardware store or house paint supplier and pick colour sample sheets, the paper ones. Just don’t tell them the real reason you’re there, they might think you’re weird or something. Just looking to paint your living room, that’s all. Just looking. Can’t make up your mind whether you want Torrent Blueberry or Beagle Brown for the feature wall. (I just made those colours up, but they do sound good.)

This has been a tasty morsel by,

E. J. McLaughlin

P.S. Don’t let the non-writer in the family find your stash of colour charts. You might have to start your collection all over again. Or worse still, you’ve inspired them to repaint the house. Damn it!

I just know when the sales assistant sees me coming towards the front door of their paint shop they’re thinking, not that nutbag again. But as a writer, I’ll do just about anything to get my character’s eyes right. At least it gets those pesky characters you’re not ready to write yet off your case—for a little while.


Hocus, Pocus, Focus

O’ Where o’ where has my poor Focus gone? I really wish I knew.

More importantly what have I done to send you far, far away?

Come back baby. I promise I’ll make it worthwhile if you come back. I didn’t mean whatever it was that made you leave. Would me going to relationship counseling bring you back to my awaiting psyche? I’ll do whatever it takes. Please. I’m begging you! COME BACK.

Dear Focus,
E. J. is beside herself with grief and frustration. You have left her feeling vulnerable all because of your own selfish need to have a holiday. Or are you such a wimp that as soon as things got tough you ran away. You should be ashamed of yourself for leaving the one person who truly loves and respects you.

Mrs. Angry Writer.

Dear Focus,
Don’t listen to her. I know she’s angry but let’s concentrate on getting you home. What do you need? A holiday? Money? Frame work? Come home, where you belong. There is no threat of demotion. You are an important member of the team. Reply soon or we’ll have to open the position to other members of the writing community.

From the Administration Section of E. J. Incorporated.

Dear …
I’m missing you so much.

I don’t know what to do sweetie. I respected you. I did what you wanted to do and as soon as I applied a little restriction on our work ethic you bailed on me. I know life got a little, well more than a little, frustrating but that’s life. That’s no reason to bailout now is it? I hope that when you come back, you will be confident enough to tell me where you went. I miss you terribly. By the way why couldn’t you take me on a holiday? I need one too!

E. J.


E. J. McLaughlin’s Focus.

Her Focus has been lost since the 10th of January 2012. If you know the whereabouts of this most treasured member of the family please don’t hesitate to call …

She is a member of an elite writing group with great administration skills. She organizes and remains loyal to one project at a time. Should you spot this lost soul please, please ring me anytime of the day.

A reward is being offered. $100.00

(Sorry about the reward being so low but without Focus there’s no cash coming in.)

But until Focus returns, I must still ponder … O’ where o’ where has my poor Focus gone …

Please hurry home, writing’s been pretty dull without you.

I miss you.

Signing out in frustration,

E. J. McLaughlin