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Creating Characters

December 28, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

How do you create characters for your stories?

This question is for the writers who read my blog. What do you do when you create your characters? At the end of this blog post you’ll find a character chart that I use to help me to create my people. I have no idea where this chart originated. I believe I gleaned some of it from a Writers’ Digest book about creating characters. It’s also possible that I got some of the questions from another author. I’m creating a novel now, and I had to pull this out to create the people that go along with my story.

What method do you use for creating characters? Leave a comment!


~Cecelia Dowdy~

Questions that should be answered when creating characters for novels:

Character Name:




Physical Characteristics:


Best Feature:


Feelings about their own looks:




Ethnic Background:




Neighborhood of Youth:




Church affiliation:


What they believe about God:


Parent’s Attitudes about:


Money/Getting Ahead:


Discipline received:










Attitude about:


Money/Getting Ahead:






Favorite Foods:


Favorite Music:


Favorite Movie/Book:










Strong Points:




Pet Peeves:




A character question: Does your character MAKE things happen or REACT to what happens?


What is the most significant/emotional things that have happened in your character’s life?

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Merry Christmas, everyone! How will you be spending your holiday – both Christmas and New Year’s? Leave a comment!


~Cecelia Dowdy~

Luke 2:1-20
Luke 2
Christ Born of Mary
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Christmas Belles Of Georgia

December 23, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

This is a nice novella collection to read over the holidays. You can purchase Christmas Belles of Georgia from Amazon for only $1.99! Download it onto your Kindle!

From the backcover:

They were sisters once—identical quadruplets—given up for adoption at birth. Now each receives a letter advising her to claim her inheritance and the family she never knew. . .at Christmas. Holly feels betrayed when she learns she’s adopted, while Carol prays for a loving family. Starr thinks it’s all a hoax, and Noelle needs a break from a hopeless situation. There are more surprises in store as each young woman gets just the gift she wants—and needs. You’ll be warmed by love in these interwoven tales of the ultimate Christmas gift. . . .

~Cecelia Dowdy~


Family Christmas Traditions – From The Blog Archives!

December 21, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Christmas Traditions should be kept fun and simple.

To celebrate Christmas with my family each year, we bake several kinds of cookies. Every weekend, I make a different type. Last weekend it was chocolate chip. This coming weekend with be peanut butter. The weekend after that will probably be oatmeal raisin and rolled sugar cookies. I’ve always loved baking and I have a major sweet tooth, so doing these activities with my son is fun, relaxing, soothing, and delicious!

As the years go by, we’ll probably add more to our Christmas traditions. For example, my son is now five, and this is the first year he’s asked for a Christmas tree. I was raised in a religion that didn’t allow Christmas celebrations, and as an adult, I’ve never felt compelled to purchase a tree for my home. My husband never really wanted a tree either. When we went shopping for a fake tree at Kmart last Saturday, I suddenly felt overwhelmed from the crowds, long lines, and tall trees – trees that I did not want to bring into my home. The trees just seemed so big to me! So, we rushed home and I ordered a small 4 1/2 foot tree online. The tree even comes with lights! The tree arrived in the mail yesterday, and we’ll assemble it within the next few days. I’m sure this will become another yearly Christmas tradition in our home – putting up the tree!

What are your favorite family Christmas traditions? Do you add traditions as the years go by? As you get older, do you stop certain Christmas traditions?

Merry Christmas! 🙂

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Bible Prophecy! From The Blog Archives!

December 20, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Please note that this is a repeat from my January 7, 2010 blog post.


Has a prophet ever told you something that became true later?

I’ll admit that although I read my Bible regularly, I’m not an expert about the subject of Bible prophecy. Let me tell you why I decided to blog about this topic today.

On Sunday night, I was watching the History Channel, and they had a special on about the Mayans and their calendar. Supposedly, the Mayans predicted that the year 2012 (December 21st) would be the end of time and that is when their calendar stopped? This is going from my sketchy memory, and I didn’t even watch the entire show because I got tired and went to bed.

Anyway, seeing that show made me think about the subject of Bible prophecy (Just wanted to point out that the Mayan prediction had nothing to do with the Bible). I do recall reading that the Apostle Paul told the early Christians that prophecy was an important spiritual gift.

Another reason I felt like blogging about this is because I wanted to tell about my limited experience with Biblical prophets/prophecy (or those claiming to be so). I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness until I was twelve. At that age, my dad stopped me from going to the Kingdom Hall (that’s what JW’s call their church). Since the JW teaching was all that I really knew, I thought what they said was “The Truth.” (That’s what JWs call their teaching.)

Fast forward six years, I’m in college, and I decide to hook up with JWs again since I thought they told “The Truth.” While studying with them, my eyes started getting glassy and my head started spinning when they taught me that the generation of 1914 would not pass away before the real return of Christ (or the end of times), also, Christ came invisibly/spiritually to earth in 1914….

That’s around the time they started “losing” me, also, the fact that they used these years to predict things didn’t seem right to me. When a JW came to my door last winter, I asked about their prediction of the generation of 1914 not passing away before the end of times. He said they didn’t believe that anymore, and I thought to myself…”Hmmm, false prophets.”

I feel uneasy when someone predicts something in the name of God and then changes their mind or it turns out it’s not true.

My other experience with prophecy happened back in 2002, back when my first book, Promises To Keep, was released via Crossings and Black Expressions book clubs. I’d received an email from a Washington D.C. librarian, stating that she was having a 50th birthday party for her sister, and they wanted an author to attend this event. Eager to promote my novel, I agreed to come.

I went to the party located in an upscale neighborhood in Maryland. While I spoke, people asked me questions. Somebody asked me about sending my book to Oprah. I replied that I’d sent the novel to Oprah, but got no response. The birthday woman/guest of honor, touched her head quickly and looked at me and said, “You’re going to be on Oprah one day.” Then she turned and resumed her conversation with the person she’d been talking to.

Later, one of the guests said to me, “Did you hear what she said about your being on Oprah? She’s an ordained prophet, so you should listen to her.”

I thought. “Hmm. She’s an ordained prophet. What, exactly, makes someone an ordained prophet?”

What’s the point of this post? I’m not sure! I’d be interested in hearing if any of you have had any experience with Bible prophecy. Has a prophet ever told you something that became true later?

I’d think if a person is prophesying something in the name of Jesus, then, ultimately, it will come true. I don’t think they would change their mind later and say, “I didn’t prophecy that right. This is what God’s telling me now!”


~Cecelia Dowdy~

Sunday Brunch – Why Does God Allow Certain Evil Things To Happen?

December 17, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Why does God allow evil things to happen?

Yes, I know it’s not Sunday, but, I felt that I had to do this blog post today. Just like most of the nation, the Connecticut shootings have been heavy on my mind. I wonder how God could allow a man to gun down so many innocent children? I’ve been teary-eyed, trying to make sense of this tragedy – trying to understand why this couldn’t be stopped.

I wondered, when the shooter had arrived at the school in his vehicle, about to exit his car to go into the school to do this horrific deed… why couldn’t God have sent his angels to surround the car? The angels could’ve blocked the shooter, not allowing him to exit the car and shoot those innocent children?

As most of my blog readers know, I’m a Christian, but, sometimes, especially times like now, my faith is weak. Yes, I have weak faith, about as much faith as a mustard seed as I struggle to understand the happenings in the cold, cruel world.

In the Bible, there were times when innocent children were put to death. In Exodus, Chapter One, the new king was concerned that the Hebrews were multiplying so fast that they would soon gain power over the Egyptians – possibly overpowering them in the event of war:

Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”

When I first read about this as a child, I thought, sadly, about all of those babies that had been thrown into the Nile to drown! How could God allow such things to happen?

Also in the New Testament, King Herod ordered the death of all male children who were two and under in Bethlehem, attempting to destroy Jesus:

Matthew 2:16-18

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”

I think about all of those babies…dead. Why didn’t the Lord do something to save them?

So, why do you think God lets evil things happen on this earth? This is a rhetorical question. I doubt anybody could answer this question in a way that would make those suffering to feel better. I suppose, some of the questions we have for Jesus won’t be answered until we meet Him in heaven.

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Connecticut Shooting

December 17, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

My heart breaks for all the children and adults killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I can’t watch it on TV for very long, I always get teared up. I can’t sleep. It’s giving me nightmares. I keep imagining somebody holding a gun to the head of my seven-year-old and shooting him! 🙁

Please remember to keep all the victim’s families as well as the surviving students and teachers of Sandy Hook in your prayers. Lord, please let your Holy Spirit rain upon all of those affected by this tragedy, please comfort them and help them heal. Amen.

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Saturday Matinee! – Meet Joe Black

December 15, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

What would you do if Death came to claim you? How would you spend your last days – right before your 65th birthday?

That’s the premise of the movie, Meet Joe Black. “Joe” aka “Death” has come to claim the life Bill Parrish, a millionaire business tycoon. During Bill’s last days, he struggles to come to terms with his imminent death while spending more time with his family.

“Joe” “takes” the body of a man who was recently hit by an automobile. Before this man was killed by an automobile, he meets Susan, Bill Parrish’s daughter. Susan is quite taken with the young man, but, they make NO plans to meet again before this stranger is killed by an automobile (unbeknownst to Susan).

When she meets the stranger again, at her father’s dinner table, she’s confused because she doesn’t realize that the stranger is no longer himself, but, that Death has taken on the body of the deceased stranger.

I thought the chemistry between Joe and Susan was amazing and very deep. I enjoyed this movie, but, since it was a fantasy (and I’m not a big fan of fantasies), I was a bit confused at the end.




If you’ve seen this movie, maybe you could clear something up for me. What happens at the end? Joe takes Bill Parrish away, but, then he reappears as the deceased stranger we saw in the coffee shop at the beginning of the movie? Does Death have the ability to grant the coffee-shop guy his life again? Is one person’s life exchanged for another?

So, what would you do if Death came to claim you? How would you spend your last days – right before your 65th birthday? Leave a comment!

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Why Do You Want To Get Published?

December 6, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Why do you want to get published?

This question popped into my mind recently. I’ve noticed over the last eighteen years, since I’ve been congregating with other writers, that there’s a desire, a deep desire, for most of us to attain publication. Why?

I know for me, when I first caught the writing bug at the age of about twenty-eight, I felt enthralled to finally discover an occupation that I enjoyed! I’d been reading books my entire life, and the mere thought of sharing shelf space among authors whom I’d enjoyed reading gave me an unexplainable sense of joy and euphoria! Whenever I met new people, the first thing I proclaimed about myself was that I was a writer!

I’m not as vocal about my writing as I used to be, but, the joy of writing is still within me. I still long to see my books in a bookstore again.

So how about you? Why do you want to get published? Leave a comment!

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Yuletide Stalker By Irene Brand – From The Blog Archives

December 3, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy


Yuletide Stalker – Love Inspired Suspense
Published by: Steeple Hill Books
ISBN: 978-0-373-87401-9
Publication Date: 2006

I really enjoyed this book. The author does an awesome job of describing the scenery in Hawaii. I was in Hawaii for my honeymoon a little over three years ago, so I was able to compare her descriptions to what I saw while on vacation. I felt as if I was right back on the island!

Maddie Horton is invited to visit Linc Carey in Hawaii for Christmas. Linc is a military man who gave emotional support to Maddie and her mother after her father’s ‘accidental death’ ten years ago. Once Maddie arrives in Hawaii, she discovers her father did not die accidentally, but was murdered, and the murderers have escaped from prison. The murderers’ family have their sight set on Maddie because they want to seek revenge against her father since they feel he’s responsible for the deaths of their kinsmen. Maddie is stalked by someone, and she wonders if she’s losing her mind.

Linc vows to protect Maddie, and Maddie feels animosity toward Linc since he treats her like a child. Due to their eleven-year age difference, it is hard for Linc to accept that Maddie has grown into a beautiful woman. When Maddie realizes she loves Linc, she hesitates about revealing her feelings because she’s not sure if Linc loves her as a woman, or as a ‘daughter’ because of their age difference.

When she is abducted, you hope and pray she makes it out alive.

This book was suspenseful, but not too suspenseful. I also noticed that the author had a twenty-year-old woman as her heroine and a thirty-one-year-old man as her hero. I don’t see this much in contemporary romance novels nowadays. The heroine is usually older than twenty. However, I believe the author did a good job in making the romance believable despite the age difference. She made it believable because Maddie was so mature for her age. She lost both of her parents before she reached adulthood, which forced her to grow up quickly.


~Cecelia Dowdy~