This is Christina Courtenay's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Christina Courtenay's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Christina Courtenay
Recent Activity
Image
Christina here. Authors are by nature inquisitive – some people might even say nosey – but that is a very necessary trait. We observe the people around us to get inspiration for characters, we listen in on conversations in cafés and on trains and buses to help create good dialogue, and we try to absorb all the details of the world around us and store them in our memories. Because you never know when it will come in useful, or what will spark the beginning of a story. It could be any or all of the above that suddenly results... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2020 at Word Wenches
18
Image
Christina here and today I’ve got chocolate on my mind. Not just today, actually, but most days because I’m a complete chocoholic! But here’s the thing – I haven’t had a single piece for the last week. Not one tiny crumb! Unfortunately, this is necessary because my chocolate consumption had been going through the roof recently. What with being at home all the time during lockdown and not moving enough, drastic measures were called for. I did try cutting down at first, but found it was calling to me, and time after time I headed for the fridge without even... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2020 at Word Wenches
36
Image
Christina here and as Nicola was telling you the other day, we had a lovely day out at the ruins of Goodrich Castle recently. I had never visited before and it was a fascinating place. What was more, it had so much in common with my favourite castle ruin nearby – Raglan. Both were established in the 11th century, both held by the Royalists during the English Civil War, then fell to the Parliamentarians in 1646 and were subsequently destroyed. A sad fate for such lovely places! I hope you will indulge our obsession for castle ruins a second time... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2020 at Word Wenches
24
Image
Christina here – I was chatting to some of my writing friends via FaceTime the other day and for some reason we started reminiscing about our favourite childhood reads. We came up with one great title after another and I thought back to those exciting days when I would go off to the library to browse the children’s section – there was so much waiting for me to discover! What really struck me, however, was how similar my reading experiences and tastes had been to those of my two friends – all the Enid Blyton stories (especially the Famous Five... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2020 at Word Wenches
56
We all do things differently, don't we, and that makes it more interesting! I know some authors don't do descriptions of any kind, whereas others decribe their characters in minute detail. I think mine are somewhere in between, but I do like to emphasise the eyes. It probably also depends on the type of book/story, don't you think?
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Same here, Cindy, on both counts! Interesting that you feel they are changing colour now though - perhaps it depends on what you're wearing? (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Thank you Kareni and apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear, but now I've got both of yours! I didn't look into heterochromia but Binne mentioned it above - it does make for a very interesting look. You're so right about the dukes LOL - I will have to pay more attention to their eye colour from now on but there are definitely too many of them! There must be lots of green-eyed ones with very long eyelashes :-)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Thank you, Annette - yes, Elizabeth and Mary Jo mentioned genetic inheritance too, it's a fascinating subject! I'm pretty sure that we can inherit things from a couple of generations back so you just never know what colour eyes a child will have. It's interesting how our eyes can change colour depending on what we wear, isn't it? And things like eyeshadow can do that too. For some strange reason lilac seems to enhance the green in mine - no idea why! (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
That's exactly what I've been thinking, Margot, as I heard someone say it's much easier to only pretend to smile when people can only see your eyes above the face mask. Hopefully most people are sincere and really smile underneath as well. Good point about the eye details - you're right that you would only see things like that on very close inspection and not at first glance! (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
That does sound interesting, Binnie, and a great thing for a fictional hero to have. It would certainly make him stand out! I wonder how common that condition is? I believe you can have different coloured eyes after having an accident too. Definitely something to think about for a future hero/heroine - thank you! (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
There does seem to be an abundance of red-haired heroines, but it definitely makes them stand out and I think it's a beautiful colour! As I said, I do try to vary my character's eye colour and the heroine in the book I'm working on at the moment has amber eyes (like the girl in my second photo above). (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Oh, I know that feeling - my brother has much longer eyelashes than me and I always felt it was most unfair! Thank goodness for mascara! You're lucky to have really dark ones - I know it's possible to have them coloured but I would be too scared to attempt it. As for blue eyes, it really depends on the person's emotions I think - my daughter has blue eyes and when she's happy it's a very warm colour. (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Yes, but only some of them, or so I understand. I think eyes and eye contact must have been so much more important in times gone by when men and women weren't allowed to touch in any way unless they were married. You can say a lot with just one glance, can't you? Good point about the heritage!
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Many thanks, Constance! Yes, flashing eyes is perhaps a strange way of describing it - one of my friends hates that expression. For me it just means when the hero or heroine shoot you an angry or smouldering glance so that the light sort of bounces off the eyes. Not sure I'm putting it very well either! (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Thank you Elizabeth! Genetics is a fascinating subject, isn't it? My grandparents had three daughters, all with different coloured eyes: blue, hazel and brown. Grandpa's were blue, grandma's brown so I guess they sort of proved that theory. (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Thank you Mary, so glad you enjoyed it! That's so funny about the eyelashes - hopefully all those Mona Lisa's looked a lot better with long eyelashes or perhaps it just made them more enigmatic? Would love to see that! (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
That's very interesting, Margaret, I hadn't noticed that about tv personalities! I must admit I don't watch much tv these days but I will definitely look more closely next time. As for George Clooney - I'm glad your husband is so understanding! :-D (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Thank you, I'm glad you agree - and yes, smiling eyes are great! They can really mirror our emotions and I love when a hero's eyes twinkle with humour. It's true that the whole package is important though! (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
I agree, Fiona, eyes can change colour depending on emotions and of course things like light can make a difference too. Mine are definitely a clearer colour in sunlight! And my mother's are a bright blue but go very dark if she's angry :-) (Apologies for the late reply - something went wrong with the comments today and they didn't appear.)
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2020 on The Windows of the Soul at Word Wenches
1 reply
Image
“The eyes, like sentinels, occupy the highest place in the body.” “The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.” “The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.’ Marcus Tullius Cicero Christina here – the Roman Cicero seems to have had a lot to say about eyes, but I totally agree with him about their importance – they are “the windows of the soul” as someone said, no matter what colour they are. And we might not always notice other people’s eyes in real life, but when it comes... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2020 at Word Wenches
51
Image
Saint Christina by Carlo Dolci - Art UK, Wikimedia Commons Christina here – This week I will be celebrating my name day – a Swedish tradition that baffles a lot of my English friends, although I know other countries, like Spain, share this custom (there it’s called día de santo). It’s probably not as common in Sweden nowadays, but in my family we keep it up, mainly because it’s a great excuse for cake (if you need an excuse! - see my previous post here) and also because several of us share the same name so it gives us a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2020 at Word Wenches
43
Image
Christina here. Have you ever fallen completely and utterly in love … with a house? I have to admit I do this quite frequently. I love old houses, and usually the ones that appeal to me the most are grand aristocratic mansions, but more modest buildings that are quirky in some way also fascinate me. Whatever the type of building, me falling in love with it often leads to inspiration for a story, which is great and just what an author needs. My current “crush” is Tyntesfield, a Victorian Gothic Revival mansion near Bristol here in the UK. It’s a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2020 at Word Wenches
22
Image
Christina here. A friend of mine has her birthday today – happy birthday! – so naturally my thoughts turned to cake! Well, the two usually go together, don’t they? Birthdays are a great excuse for baking (and eating) cake and it wouldn’t be a special day without such a culinary treat, at least not to me. Cake can also cheer us up in these uncertain times, so why not indulge ourselves a litte? It made me wonder though – who first hit on the idea of making cake? Time to dive down a research rabbit hole … Attribution https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=128566 I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2020 at Word Wenches
32
Image
Christina here. I should have been in Norway right now on a research holiday, but for obvious reasons I’ve had to postpone. It’s a shame, as I was really looking forward to exploring that country, but hopefully I will get there next year. I had planned to tell you all about my journey too – hopefully with lots of wonderful photos – but I will have to take you along on last year’s trip to Denmark instead. As we’re all stuck at home, I hope you’ll enjoy a little bit of armchair travel! For an author, seeing or experiencing things... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2020 at Word Wenches
32
Image
Christina here and for today’s post I’m going Japanese! As you may have seen from Anne’s introduction of me (here), I was lucky enough to live in Japan for several years and I fell in love with everything about that country, including its beautiful traditional garments. So when the Victoria & Albert Museum in London put on an exhibition of kimono earlier this year, I just had to go and see it! It was glorious and as we’re now all stuck at home, I thought I’d give you a little taste of what was on display and tell you about... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2020 at Word Wenches
49