Ryan and Essie’s relationship has always been deep, the central focus of a surprisingly scary story. But it’s possible I didn’t realize until after the book was done just how funny they are. Nobody wants to be thrown into an adventure together less than these two.
Although Essie claims to be friendly, few of us have enough self-insight to get an analysis of ourselves right. That’s one of the reasons we need other people. A little perspective never hurt anyone. And a ten-year-old girl is certainly not going to have that level of insight about herself.
Essie isn’t trying to reach out to Ryan. She thinks he should be corrected. But Ryan absolutely won’t allow that. He’s not going to be corrected by her. Quite the opposite, he thinks Essie is rude, hopeless, a little annoying, and dead wrong about everything. (Especially about him.) Ryan thinks he is perceptive about things that require intelligence and education. Whereas all Essie does is drift around getting herself—and him—into endless trouble . . .
It can be funny how little we understand ourselves. Adults as well as children. We can get so worked up about why our relationship to some other person is a close one, but we don’t accurately describe what’s going on. Since children have even less of an objective view on themselves than adults do, Ryan and Essie emphasize a human character quality that isn’t at all diminished with age or experience.
We may try to hide it, but sometimes we’re as silly as they are. And as human.
And there will be more updates.
After doing numerous posts on characters, I’ve never done one on Karl Kallai from Halogen Crossing. I guess Karl can get overlooked. It’s hard to understand at first quite what drives him and why he’s so focused on something everyone else finds boring (namely, finding the ancestral roots of his people.) And his relationship with his cousin Cassie is central to what makes him tick.
Karl doesn’t know this himself. He isn’t aware how vital a part of his life Cassie really is. Brynea, a complete stranger who is assigned to spend time with him during his visit to a foreign city, sees this at once. She also spends a large part of the story dropping clues in his direction and prodding him to pay more attention to his cousin. But Brynea has a lot of preoccupations and loyalties of her own that make her reluctant to just out with it. So Karl tunes her out.
In the end, Karl recognizes the close bond he has to his cousin. Though neither of them knows what this means yet—the story ends with Cassie thinking there’s more to come—that is why they’re so meaningful to each other. And I think that’s a part of life, actually, something we’ve all encountered. Sometimes things or people come into our lives and we aren’t consciously aware of them like we are about other situations around us at the time. That’s because those moments are the real deal. They take up a quiet residence in our lives and then this flash of insight comes when we look at it (or at him or her) and realize this is the truth. This is what really matters to us.
And there will be more updates.
I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.