Janette Kenny

Making noise

My hero whistles.

It came as a surprise to me. Yes, I don’t do extensive characters sketches–my characters evolve as I write. And this isn’t the first time one of my heroes whistled.

So why did my current hero Trent’s trait surprise me this time?

It’s not the fact he whistled, but how he whistles.

Cord, my cowboy hero from COMMON BOND, whistled ballads and whistled when he was herding cattle. He created a soothing tone, almost a wistful quality.

Not so for Trent. He can let out a piercing whistle, a reverberation that’ll make your ears pop. It’ll carry a mile. He doesn’t whistled tunes, but he can also perfectly mimic birdcalls.

My dad could do the same, though he did whistle songs on occassion. His unique loud whistle clearly remains in my memory, even though my dad died when I was a teenager. I’ve never heard anyone else whistle like him, so to have my hero do it startled me. I could probably do some psychobabble here and find other traits of my dad in Trent, but I don’t wanna play that game.

Back to whistling. I so envied my dad’s ability. I begged him to teach me how, much to my mom’s annoyance. Not that she had to worry about her tomboy daughter grasping the talent.

He showed me how he made the sounds, the curl of his tongue, how he set his mouth. He guided me through the process step by step.

I tried so hard to whistle like him. But all I produced was a weak squeak and a lot of spit.

That was years ago, but occasionally I try to whistle like Dad. Nada. Ain’t gonna happen for me, but as least I can teach a character the finer points.

As for the writing, I’ve got an eighth of HC behind me now. Hopefully I can pick up the pace and get this baby drafted!

4 comments to “Making noise”

  1. Edie
    January 28th, 2006 at 7:19 pm · Link

    Jan, I love it that your hero whistles–and that your dad whistled too. The hell with the pyschobabble.

    Writing an eighth of a book is pretty damn good. 🙂

  2. Jan
    January 29th, 2006 at 8:14 am · Link

    Feels good to have that much behind me, Edie. It should come a bit faster now (she said with fingers crossed!). 🙂

  3. Jordan
    January 30th, 2006 at 9:26 am · Link

    Congrats on the progress. That’s very cool about your hero’s traits coming from your dad. I had a girlfriend in high school who could let out a piercing whistle like that. It took me much of the year to learn how to do it. I’m still not consistent like her, but I can do it. As for the bird calls, I can only do a bobwhite and a ‘whipperwill’ (sp) and pathetic ones at that. *ggg*

  4. Jan
    January 30th, 2006 at 10:32 am · Link

    Ooo, color me green, Jordan! I did a fair job on the bobwhite–not even close to what Dad could do, but passable. Last year I sorta learned to mimic a redbird. Again not perfect, but they’ll get curious and perch on the patio fence. Probably wondering where the sick redbird is, lol.

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