Looking at these photos from my birthday trip on the Maloolaba River, it struck me that my Poppet has started looking like one of my characters.
This wouldn't be so odd, if it weren't that I wrote the character ten years before my Poppet was born, in a fantasy book called The Language of Birds.*
Character wise, they could not be more different.
Jenny is reserved, almost shy, reflective, otherworldly and deeply nature oriented. My Poppet is outgoing, highly social, chatty and very of-this-world and, although she'll happily pick up a skink or pet a parrot, immersed in consumerism rather than nature.
Now I think of it, my Poppet's exuberance and friendliness is a lot more like Jenny's friend, Jack, although it's possibly a trifle immodest of me to compare my kidlet to a young godling. (Although she is fairly amazing. In my completely unbiased opinion.)
However, in these photos, my Poppet has a bit of Jenny to her, brought out by the nautical setting, as I do always see Jenny by the sea, and especially on boats. Jenny first appears in my story on a yacht on the edge of the world, at the very limit of the outermost outer hebrides of Scotland, the scene of her parents' murder.
Obviously, nothing like that has, or, God willing, ever will, happen to my Poppet.
But these photos of Poppet bring to mind the girl-of-my-fiction. The girl who is happiest walking the seashore alone, the girl who runs barefoot through the machair and knows the names and ways of all the seabirds.
The girl who finds the magical chalice that gifts her with the language of birds…
Child of my flesh and child of my imagination reflecting back at each other and both children of my heart. It is a strangely unsettling feeling…
(And yes. The white dress did get covered in tomato sauce. Of course.)
*Presently residing in a manuscript in a remote folder on my desktop while I mull upon it. I believe it probably needs another few years of rumination and three or four - or a heap more - drafts… Sigh. But it's no hardship spending more time with my characters.)