Good morning, Writers. Ever suddenly needed a filler character for a scene that should have required about a minute’s thought at most and then ended up spending an entire weekend obsessing over this character’s look and backstory to the point where you’ve bought a book on Amazon for the sole purpose of getting a character who’s in the book for about 500 words at most ‘right’?
Well, obviously I have, or I wouldn’t be writing a post about it, would I?
Well, it would have been a Shyamalan-esque twist if I hadn’t been, I suppose.
Also, I was dead all along.
(Wait, I already did that joke weeks ago…)
Anyway, I spent the last hour and a half doing this drawing–which as you can see is not even finished–of a character who I just made up over the weekend in the course of re-writing ‘The Ritual of DUELS’, who basically serves the function of letting one of my main characters in to see his grandmother so she can deliver plot points to him.
I mean, once I get that book that’s going to give me more information about the legendary creature this character is meant to be based off of, I might need to drastically alter her, or hell, cut her from the book entirely, but I don’t know. I was just so excited coming up with the idea behind her that I wanted to draw a picture of her, and I even looked up some stock poses on Google Images so I could draw her passably well–which is more than I usually do.
(Seriously. Yesterday I streamed an episode of a TV series online–an episode I own on DVD–because I couldn’t be bothered to walk three feet to my bookshelf and take out my own copy. Now that’s laziness.)
All that aside, this is Taawahoya; a Native American Hopi Kachina spirit anthropomorphisation of a Victorian electrical battery. Enjoy being barely able to see her, as she’s still in pencil!
And in case you really can’t see her; don’t worry! I’m going to finish her in pen and coloured-pencil hopefully soon, but for now you can enjoy the current text description as she appears in the book:
(For context; according to legend, the ‘Kachina’ who used to be close to the Hopi tribe either left for the spirit world after a falling out or were killed in battle with another tribe. In the book, other spirits (referred to collectively as ‘Shaedai’) appeared to take their place; some assuming specific identities of old Kachina, some like Taawahoya creating their own, and a lot of people in-book have mixed feelings about that.)
“His great-grandmother’s closest Kachina-confidante used to tell him the smoke was from a cauldron his great-grandmother cooked badly-behaved children in, with typical Shaedai morbid humour. Bordered on breaking the Pact now that he thought about it—the first rule of which being that Shaedai must not lie to Custodians, not that he’d have turned in Taawahoya for something like that.
She was a ‘new’ Kachina, meaning she hadn’t assumed the identity of one of the traditional spirits who had left or died. In fact, she was young even among her fellows, as she was meant to represent the concept of an electrical battery—an invention that hadn’t happened ’til the nineteenth century.
Taawahoya sat reading outside the cabin, perched on the sturdy wooden railing around the porch. Her head was encircled by a huge inverted copper cone that rested on the bridge of her nose; the rest of her face white on one side, black on the other—a division that continued on down her neck until it reached her blue over-cloak and reappeared one her long-fingered hands. More circles of alternating copper and zinc overlapped in a chain over her right shoulder; each one with a square of alternating zinc or copper on top of it; each square with a cable running from its centre, tied around her back. Her shoes, in the crow’s-foot shape of gravity cell electrodes kicked absently against the rails as she turned a page.”