I have a good friend I'd like you all to meet. Her name is Rosandra Seams, and actually she is a character in a book I'm writing with my (real life) good friend Violet. I asked her some questions about herself the other day, and I really got to know a lot more about her character. I thought you might enjoy getting to know her better. My questions are in bold, and her answers are underneath. (Note: please read this post if you aren't familiar with the story).
So, Rosandra, tell me about yourself. What's the most interesting thing about you?
Interesting? Well... [fidgets with hair], I'm not that interesting of a person, actually. I think I've lived a fairly normal life... at least up until now.
What has changed to make your life different?
Well... Diana moving in to our home has certainly been... a challenge. It's been hard for me to adjust to her and all her... needs. But please, let's not talk about her; I'm sure you have other questions for me.
Of course. Tell me a little bit about your family. What's special about each of them and how to you relate to them?
My brothers Kevin and Titus are typical boys, as most boys go. They're quite nice, actually, though I don't spend a whole lot of time with them. They're usually off together doing some boyish thing. My mom - she's special because she's so sweet. She always looks for the good in others. She's my treasure-bank of advice for all the tasks I have to do or the proper etiquette for a certain place. And she's very forebearing and long-suffering. Though she is not very strong, she always has a smile and a kind word. And my dad is special because he spends time with us. In the evenings, we all sit around the fire with him and he reads stories or the Bible or tells us about his day. I'm glad we are as close as we are.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Well, I usually rise early and help get breakfast on the table. I have various duties throughout the day (mostly supervising or directing the servants), as well as lessons. My mother is teaching me different skills such as needlework, knitting, sewing, and art. I also have a tutor once a week who drills me in different subjects in the humanities. It's not often that I have spare time during the day, but I don't mind it that much.
Do you have any hobbies?
Oh, I do love to go horseback riding when I can get the chance, and I enjoy composing small verses or pieces of prose.
What are your spiritual beliefs?
You mean what religion am I? My family and I are Christians, naturally. We go to church every Sunday, and often have devotions in the evening.
What is one thing you wish for more than anything else?
That's rather a strange question... I don't think I'm very dissatisfied with my life where it's at. [pauses] Well... I guess with Diana coming and all, I do wish that she wouldn't be so cold to me - that maybe we could be good friends like we had been before.
Would you still consider Diana to be a good friend?
Well of course. Though she's not the same as before, she still is my friend. I can see that she's hurting, and may take a long time to heal from the death of her family. So I'm just trying to do my part to support her in this process, as best I can. I really do care about her, deeply! It's just hard - because she doesn't seem to want to talk to me anymore.
So there's no hard feelings between you?
Of course not! I just don't understand her... and I try to overlook any hurt she might unintentionally cause.
Alright, let's get back to talking about you.
Can you remember a time when you felt extremely happy? Can you describe that time?
Extremely happy? I.. I can't really recall any extreme happiness. My life has been a blessed one, it's true, but there have been few extremes.
So no low points then, either?
None that I can recall. I try to take things in stride, regardless.
What are your dreams and goals for your future?
I am being prepared to be a wife and mother, to be able to run my own household someday. I don't have much of a prospect with drawing, sewing or the like, for I am only adequate in those areas. I do love to write, though... perhaps one day I shall write a full-fledged novel, or have my poetry published. [pauses] As for dreams... I've sometimes wished my life was a little more adventurous - tinged with mystery and romance like the novels I love to read. But of course that's just a wish, and a silly one at that.
What character qualities do you most admire, and wish to have?
I admire those who are carefree and confident, who know what they want to do or say, and do it. I can be decisive when I'm deciding what to make for dinner, of course, but it's harder when I'm trying to relate to people. I often wish to have more boldness to show how I really care about others.
How do you think others view you? Do you care what their opinion is of you?
I'm more reserved when I'm out and about, especially at balls and parties and such. So they probably see me as the homebody, the shy wallflower. And I guess... I'm pretty comfortable with that.
What is your greatest achievement?
Well, like I said before, there's not a whole lot that's gone on in my life.
[I interjected here: surely there's something, though!] Well... it was a big achievement to take over the running of the household. Especially since I was only 13 at the time. It was a rather scary time for me, as I had to take things over without exactly knowing how they ran. My mother was such a help to me, though she was ill herself.
What is your greatest regret?
My greatest regret? I regret so many things... I wish I was bolder so I could say the things I really want to say to people. Each time I don't, I regret it.
What has been the most important event of your life (so far)?
[sighs exasperatedly] I keep telling you - my life hasn't been that interesting!
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
This is always so hard... I guess I would say: hardworking, caring, loyal.
What about three words to describe Diana?
I don't know. Right now I feel like I don't know anything about her, so I would only be able to describe her as mysterious and withdrawn.
What part of your life is the most enjoyable to you - gives you the most fulfillment?
Um, let me think on this one... [pauses] Well, it's always fulfilling to go to bed knowing everything ran smoothly and the jobs were all well-done. It's a good feeling being able to live up to the standard that's set before me. But I do often wonder if there's something more.
So you enjoy having people depending on you?
Well, yes. I really do love to help, and to know that I am a help to others. I've always had that feeling when people come to me with their problems that I've got to solve them somehow. And I've always worried that there will come a time when I won't be needed... that there will be no one who depends on me.
But I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now with all the obligations to all these different people I'm having to fulfill. Maybe it's just all the unknown, unmet expectations with Diana that's got me on edge. I'm sure it will blow over, though. Things will go back to normal. They always do.
Well, there you have it. What do you think of Rosandra? How would you describe her character, based on the replies she gave me? Do you think there's anything she's not telling me? Would you like her if you met her?
If you would like to read Rosandra & Diana's story (which is still in progress), Violet and I have it up on a private blog. Send me a comment with your email address (which I won't post), and I will invite you to read the blog.