Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.
Lately I’ve been expanding my character profiles for some of the supporting characters in my WIP, The Keeper’s Curse. One of those profiles is for Uncle Lusan, a minor character in TKC and the uncle of my protagonist Eva (and the husband of last month’s BP focus Aunt Maji). For some reason, I never felt like I knew him as well as I should, so I was hoping this month’s questions would help. (And also because June is the month for Father’s Day, and Lusan’s a father figure to Eva. *wink* ) Luckily, this month’s questionnaire was perfect for him – although it’s the Childhood Edition, so all of the questions are geared toward his childhood. (*lol*)
Regardless, here are some quick facts about Uncle Lusan: He’s a 45-year-old winged Feiri, with pale blue eyes and long, black hair with blonde streaks that are going gray. But, again, this post will focus on Lusan when he was a boy. Ready?
Notes about the collage, with all images found on Pinterest:
- Since the questions focus on Lusan’s childhood, I included two photos that (when combined) are close to what Lusan looked like as a boy.
- Yes, your eyes aren’t tricking you. When I picture Lusan as an adult, I see Lord Elrond / Hugo Weaving from the Lord of the Rings films – except wearing much simpler, plainer clothing and no “crown.” 😉
1. What is Lusan’s first childhood memory?
This isn’t Lusan’s first childhood memory… but it’s definitely his strongest.
When Lusan was 4 years old, he visited his father’s shop. (His father was a fletcher / arrowmaker.) He had gone there with his mother when he was younger, but this particular visit is the one he remembers most. Lusan was fascinated by the array of bird feathers, the smells of cut wood, and the bowls of paint on one table. He didn’t touch anything, though. He knew better than to upset his father or hurt himself with the sharp tools and flintheads. But his curiosity showed in his eyes and overall expression as he looked around the shop. This memory stuck with Lusan as he got older and sparked his passion for his craft.
2. What was one of Lusan’s best childhood experiences? And one of his worst?
Lusan doesn’t have one “best” moment of his childhood. He’d say that he’s grateful for a number of experiences and memories from that time in his life. Some of the brightest moments would be his arrow-making lessons with his father, and teaching his twin younger brothers Lakutsigo and Devirseko to hunt.
As for his worst childhood moments, Lusan was saddened by the loss of his grandparents and found the first liersiva (a Fei memorial ceremony) he attended to be overwhelming. (Lusan doesn’t show a lot of emotion, and feels uncomfortable around overly emotional people.) He also remembers the first time he cut his hand during his fletcher training, and he criticized himself for not being more cautious with his tools. His father, however, was more understanding of Lusan’s mistake.
3. What was Lusan’s childhood home like?
Lusan lived in a kagende, a traditional “split-level” Fei home with a treetop level for bedrooms and an underground level for cooking, eating, and entertaining. (Click here to read more about a Fei kagende.) There wasn’t anything distinct or unique to Lusan’s family’s house compared to others; and despite there being three boys, the treetop level was big enough to accommodate rooms for all of the fledglings. And Lusan was very thankful about that, since he liked having his own room!
FYI – Lusan and his current family live in a different kagende today. In Fei culture, the youngest child is expected to care for their aging parents, then inherit the home once the mother and father have passed on. So, Lusan built his family’s kagende while Devirseko, the youngest of Lusan’s twin brothers, inherited the home where he and Lusan had grown up.
4. What was something that scared Lusan when he was a boy?
Heights. Or rather, heights when climbing trees. It sounds like a strange thing for a Feiri to be scared of, since Lusan could have fanned his wings and “caught himself” before he fell. But Lusan felt more in control of himself when he flew, and was a relatively cautious fledgling to begin with. So, tree-climbing was too adventurous for him.
On a fundamental level, Lusan was afraid of losing his parents, especially before he felt he would be ready to take over his father’s shop. This fear arose when his paternal grandfather passed away. It’s understandable, though. No child ever wants to lose their parents when they’re young.
5. Who did Lusan look up to the most?
His father. Their time together in the fletcher’s shop allowed them to grow closer, making them not just father and son, but also friends and business partners. Lusan also admired his father’s diligence in his craft, sense of professional integrity, and emphasis on family responsibility and following tradition. All this inspired Lusan to run his business the same way once it was his, and to ensure that everything he did was for his own family.
6. What was Lusan’s favorite childhood food? Least favorite?
As weird as it sounds, Lusan loved vegetables. (He still does now.) He especially liked beans and carrots. And his least favorite food? Bread. (*blinks*) I guess his nature-centric spirituality as a Fei influenced his food preferences when he was a boy!
7. If Lusan could go back to his childhood, would he do anything differently?
No. Lusan is happy with his childhood and how it has shaped him into the man he is now. He also didn’t experience much upheaval or turmoil when he was young, which might explain why he has “no regrets,” so to speak.
8. What kind of child was Lusan? How did he behave?
I’d love to say that Lusan was a troublemaker – but he wasn’t. 😉 He was a quiet, obedient, and hardworking child. And though he wasn’t one of the top students in his class, he received good marks and was often complimented on his diligence and his respectfulness toward peers and instructors. He was also reserved when meeting new people, but opened up once he got to know them better.
9. What were Lusan’s relationships with his parents and siblings like?
Out of his parents, Lusan was closest with his father. Question #5 addressed that pretty well. He loved his mother, too, and he was happy to help out at home if she needed him. But he didn’t feel the same attachment for her that he felt for his father.
As for his brothers, Lusan was and still is closest with Lakutsigo, the older twin. Both boys were practical and “hands-on,” so they spent time together hunting, fishing, and fixing or repairing things. They also balanced each other out; Lakut was more gregarious and reminded Lusan to have fun now and then, while Lusan kept Lakut grounded.
With Devirseko – not so much. His and Lusan’s personalities were and still are very different, since Devirseko is more easygoing and artistic. So, they didn’t have a lot in common when they were young, but Lusan learned to appreciate Devirseko more as they grew up.
10. What did Lusan want to be when he grew up? What did he become?
Lusan knew from an early age that, being his family’s firstborn son, he would be expected to take over his father’s shop one day. He didn’t rebel against this expectation – he simply accepted it, since that’s the kind of person he is. Plus, he was interested in arrow-making anyways (see Question #1), so he was happy to learn the trade. Today, he’s a fletcher and the owner of his family’s shop, so his ambitions turned out exactly as he had planned.
That’s a wrap on this month’s Beautiful People! What do you think of Uncle Lusan now that you know him better? Do you have any other questions for / about him?