This is a sketch for Madeline Newbury, my heroine for JEDI IN OZ. Just a few facts. If she comes off too "Mary Sue" please let me know, and I'll tone it down. :-)
WHERE WAS SHE BORN & HOW OLD IS SHE?
Madeline Louise Newbury was born October 11, 1973 in Baton Rouge, LA. Her parents are Lavinia Marbile Henard and Robert Newbury. Madeline is an only child.
WHERE DID SHE LIVE AFTERWARDS?
Due to Robert's increasing cruelty, Lavinia was forced to move several times. First she and Maddie fled to Sedalia, MO where Charlie Lavigne's married sister lives. Then they moved to Nashville TN. These moves were while Maddie was still very young -- between age 2 and 4.
Lavinia, at last fled to Bloomington, IN where she settled with Maddie.
Maddie started school there and took up music at age 4. Lavinia was aware of her daughter's musical gifts, so she had Maddie start on piano, then the girl took up the cello at age 5. She still plays piano, but it's the cello at which she excels.
Maddie attended Bloomington North HS then Indiana Univ School of Music. At the opening of JEDI IN OZ, Madeline was touring, and she was working on her doctorate in music. She still loves to perform but would like to conduct an orchestra and concentrate on composing. As of the beginning of this story, Madeline has already recorded a few CD's and appeared on television.
FRIENDS, FAMILY, LOVE INTERESTS
Due to her socioeconomic circumstances, Maddie grew up without the finer things in life. She made very few friends while growing up, but two boys she met in middle school became her closest friends. They went all the way from 7th grade through college together, all studying music. Tony is a promising concert pianist (think along the lines of Andre Watts -- I modeled him after the Anthony character from Designing Women). Ron is a voice
student, a tenor of operatic proportions. This is the voice Baylene hears in her dreams in Ch. 5 of OWTF. Don't let the musical talents fool you. These guys actually work for a living -- Give private lessons, teach, have other jobs that keep food on the table, etc.
There was one close relationship with a girl Maddie knew since kindergarten. That friend died in a car crash.
Maddie has just her mother (till she died in 2002), her paternal cousin James Fairburn, and her godfather Charlie. Both James and Charlie helped Lavinia on the financial end. James helped pay Maddie's way through school. In the course of JinO, Maddie may pick up a few more family members she didn't know existed. This will be quite a shock and adjustment for her.
Love interests? What's that? There was one relationship while Maddie was in college. But something happened to the young man. Actually it was the young man's much older brother who Maddie fell for very hard. Both men mysteriously disappeared before Maddie earned her bachelors degree. She thinks they just moved away, but Charlie knows otherwise. Madeline resigned never to marry. She hasn't the time anyway. There is the ever consuming music career. Her music comes first, no matter what. She sometimes doesn't take time for much else, other than a few hobbies she likes to do.
LIVING SPACE -- WHAT'S IT LIKE?
She lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Bloomington, though she's seldom home. She's constantly in class, on the road, teaching, recording, etc. The apartment is nice but cramped. The decor is decidedly musical-themed. Posters and photos of anything musical are all over the walls. She has a few cheap art prints of great paintings. She wishes she had the real thing since she loves good art. Music scores are piled up everywhere. Loads of CD's stuffed in shelves. She saved enough to buy a secondhand spinet piano which she still plays but not as well as the cello.
She likes to cook but doesn't have the time. In her fridge at the time the story opens: half-pound of hamburger, quart of milk, few cups of yogurt, fruit, wine, salad stuff, Coke, cheese, leftover Chinese takeout, a week-old doggy bag from a local steakhouse, chocolate bars.
What hobbies? Seriously, the music is her hobby. It's her life's sole outlet. But when she's not resining up the bow, she's reading voraciously or doing cross-stitch. She likes to draw and paint but it's not very good, at least she thinks it's not very good. She likes gardening but hasn't the space, so she keeps a few potted plants in the apartment. When she gets really bored she'll dance. She took ballet and tap lessons a long time ago but broke her leg in a car wreck. There went another career she could fall back on...
She likes to go to galleries, the theatre, movies, shopping, beauty salons, dining out...That is when she has the time and money. That will change once she arrives in OZ.
PERSONALITY QUIRKS, ISSUES, HABITS, ETC.
Madeline is a smoker though she knows it's not good for her. She's also a drinker -- likes a good cocktail and wine. She drinks coffee and tea by the potfuls. She doesn't even try to eat healthy although she maintains her weight. Maddie is a sucker for sweets. Chocolate croissants are her passion. Heck, chocolate anything!
While friendly and open, Maddie has serious mental issues. She suffers from bouts of serious depression and will take to her bed for days on end. She is taking meds for this but doesn't like to. The meds mess with her concentration, therefore messes with her music. Once she gets to OZ she may no longer need the meds, but you never know.
She is fluent in French (her mom taught her), knows a bit of Latin, Italian and Spanish. Well, she is a musician, so she has to know certain words and phrases. In later episodes of JinO, Madeline will converse with Baylene and Grandma Longneck in French who oddly understand what the woman is saying. The Latin comes in handy when Maddie and friends lead the Herd to OZ. They can't get past the secret entrance without translating the inscription above the door.
MORE TO COME SOON!