Christmas Character Tag: Teague & Meridian & Co.

The awesome Sarah @ Dreams & Dragons tagged me for her original The Christmas Character Tag waaaay back when, and I didn’t get around to it at the time. But I figured, what better time to do it than now? 😉 Thanks so much for the tag, Sarah! ❤

I’m featuring the characters from my WIP The Other Half of Everything: Teague and Meridian, and Teague’s siblings (Ivan and Lulin). Because I’ve been focusing on my steampunk book and Tare lately, and these characters were feeling left out. 😉

And because I’ll take any excuse to let Teague and Meridian take over my blog. 😛 Though this time Ivan and Lulin are joining in the fun.

The first several answers are the characters answering the questions directly, and later it moves on to something more like impromptu scenes I wrote just for this post’s questions.

Consider it kind of like my little Christmas present just for you, my dear bloglings! 🙂



1. Acknowledge the person who tagged you. Thanking them is nice, but not necessary. You can be annoyed at them if you like. (Though, if you’re annoyed, why are you doing the tag anyway?)
2. Pick your characters. I advise having several, though not too many. They can all be from the same story, or they can be from different stories. If they’re from different stories, make sure to specify who’s from the same story.
3. Answer the questions. This should be self-explanatory.
4. Tag people. If you want. Don’t tag more people than you have characters in the tag. If you don’t want to tag anyone, you can do that too.
5. Listen to your favorite Christmas song. Because putting the effort in to write a post deserves a reward, my friend!

About the Characters

For those joining us new or who need a quick refresher:

Teague Aurelius: 23. An extremely absentminded author of fantasy who lives in the top floor of a huge old house, where all his rooms are filled with books. May or may not travel to the worlds he writes about.

Meridian Brownley: 17. Narrator of the book The Other Half of Everything (and slightly unreliable, at that) that I’m writing. Housekeeper for Teague. Plays violin and cooks. Doesn’t care about reading. Can’t stand writers. Or fantasy. (Awkward.)

Ivan Aurelius: 21. Black sheep of the family. Doesn’t get along with Teague. Has spiky blond hair and wears black leather and spikes.

Lulin Aurelius: 19. Sometimes playful and seems younger. Other times seems far older than her age and is carrying a secret. Peace-maker between her brothers. Her hair is a white pixie-cut, because of course.

Onward to the…!


1. If any of your characters are from Earth: what are some of their Christmas traditions? If your characters aren’t from Earth: does their world have an equivalent to Christmas, and if so, how do they celebrate it?

Teague: What an interesting question. What if we do both?

Ivan: We haven’t done a lot with it here in awhile. And that’s… just fine with me. >.>

Lulin: Oh, stop pretending! Anyway, we used to do decorations and all the usual stuff. And in the other worlds there would sometimes be a sort of midwinter feast if we were there around that time — so that was nice. ^_^

Meridian: I usually bake. With Gran. But not really any traditions.

2. Which of your characters gets the most into Christmas? The least? Who gets annoyed at the commercialization, and who doesn’t care because it’s CHRISTMAS?

Lulin: CHRISTMASSSSS!!! *dances around and puts up garlands and gives everyone Christmas sweaters*

Meridian: Hmph. Commercialization. And… yeah. I’m not the hugest Christmas person. The only thing that’s the best about it is the baking.

Ivan: *folds arms and coolly pretends not to care* It’s okay. I guess. *surreptitiously steals cookies*

Teague: *reading* *bewildered* Christmas? What were we talking about? Are there books involved?

3. All the characters try to decorate a Christmas tree together. What happens?

Lulin: More tinsel!

Teague: We could build a tree out of books instead.

Ivan: Guess who can put the most ornaments on the fastest without breaking any.

Meridian: Everyone! Stop! I’m doing it. It has to be perfect.

Everyone: But you don’t care about Christmas!

Meridian: It still has to be perfect!

(Dear reader, we draw a veil over the remainder of this scene and leave you to imagine it, because the chaos is immeasurable.)

4. What’s each character’s favorite Christmas song?

Teague: Silent Night.

Meridian: Any of them that are pretty but played just instrumental so I can hear the melodies.

Teague: Oh. Yes. The musician. You would be like that, I suppose.

Meridian: *wrinkles her nose* At least I didn’t say “none of them.”

Lulin: Carol of the Bells! And Drummer Boy! And… All of them!

Ivan: Last Christmas.

Lulin: What??

Ivan: I’m kidding. I hate that one too. Jingle Bell Rock.


Ivan: But with real rock.

Meridian: Why am I not surprised.

5. Can your characters agree on a Christmas movie to watch together? What happens if they try?

Lulin: Elf! Or It’s A Wonderful Life…

Meridian: I don’t really care. Maybe there’s some good cheesy Hallmark movies. Or… not.

Ivan: *groans* Spare us. I’ll be watching Die Hard.

Teague: *mildly* That’s not a Christmas movie.

Ivan: It is so!

Teague: I don’t see why anyone would watch a movie when they could be reading instead… *pulls out long list of Christmas books he intends to read*

The list unfurls and rolls across the floor. Everyone stares at it.

Meridian: Bye. I’ll be baking.

Lulin: *looks at Ivan* Muppet Christmas Carol?

Ivan: You wish.

Teague curls up on the couch to read.

Lulin turns on the Christmas Carol movie.

Ivan pretends he’s not watching but really is.

Delicious smells start wafting from the kitchen…

6. Your characters are going to a White Elephant Gift Exchange; what kind of gift does each one bring? (Or, because I had a different question here originally and forgot to change it before it started circulating, if you prefer you can answer: “Speaking of which, who cries at Christmas movies?”)

Meridian: I don’t care if the rules say not to bring food. I’m bringing stuff I bake. Or some music albums…

Lulin: Something pretty!

Ivan: What if yours goes to a guy?

Lulin: Honestly? I really don’t care. Something pretty.

Ivan: I’m not going so I’m definitely not giving anything.

Teague: There’s only one answer to this, as to most, questions: Books. Possibly one of the ones I wrote…

Ivan: *facepalms* Don’t inflict them with that.

Teague: *coolly* You already said you’re not going, so you don’t have a say in the matter.

(Alternate question “who cries at Christmas movies?” Everyone points at Lulin. She smiles weakly.)

7. What’s each character’s favorite Christmas treat?

Teague: I’m honestly not picky… But chocolate is probably the best, on general principles.

Lulin: Gingerbread! And peppermint hot cocoa.

Meridian: You’re honestly going to make me choose between foods?

Ivan: Candy-canes.

8. Who among your characters likes eggnog? Who thinks it’s disgusting?

Lulin: *wrinkles nose* Eggnog is weird.

Ivan: It’s awesome. Be quiet.

Teague: I haven’t the faintest idea how I feel about it. I’ve never noticed what it tastes like.

Meridian: How could you not notice? It’s gross!

Ivan: Fight me.

Meridian: I think I will.

Lulin: Um…

Teague: Children. Please.

Ivan: What did you just call me??

Lulin: *quickly* Who wants a candy-cane?

9. Who’s meeting who under the mistletoe? Who’s catching those people and teasing them about it forever?

Meridian eyes the mistletoe hanging in the doorway to the Teague’s living-room. “Who put that up there?”

Lulin’s innocent blue eyes stare out from her face framed in a white pixie-cut. “Nobody?”

Meridian grumbles under her breath something about plants belonging outdoors and returns a moment later lugging a ladder usually used to reach books. She pauses.

Teague leans in the doorway reading a book and apparently not paying attention to anyone.

Meridian sighs and leans it against a nearby bookcase. “Teague. Move,” she says. “I need to put a ladder there.”

“Mm?” Teague doesn’t look up.

Meridian waves a hand in his face.

Lulin walks casually behind her and “accidentally” knocks into her. Meridian crashes into Teague, who drops his book and catches her instead, looking down into her eyes.

“Oh, hello, Meridian,” he says with a smile. He looks up at the mistletoe above them and then back at her with laughter in his eyes that indicates he knew right where he was standing all along.

“No you didn’t — !” Meridian begins.

Ivan can be heard snickering around the corner and Lulin gives a peal of merry laughter.

“Fine,” Meridian relents. She pecks Teague’s cheek. “Merry Christmas. I guess.”

Somebody needs to stop being so mushy,” Ivan calls loudly.

“Oh, shut up,” Meridian says fiercely.

Teague smiles and leaves a kiss on her forehead, murmuring, “Merry Christmas, my Meri.”

10. Who makes all the Christmas cookies and other treats? Who eats all the Christmas cookies?

“I don’t trust anyone else to do the baking,” Meridian says firmly. “I’m doing all of it. Now shoo until I finish.”

“I can help,” Lulin protests mildly.

“You’re just covering for Ivan,” Meridian says, snagging his leather-clad wrist as he reaches toward the platter of cookies.

Ivan yelps. “I was just going to taste it!”

“You can taste it when I finish.” Meridian is remorseless and continues mixing batter.

Teague wanders through the kitchen with his face in a book, grabs a cup of tea and somehow drinks it without looking at it or spilling anything.

Meridian turns around from checking in the oven and sees an empty spot where a cookie had been a moment before. “Ivan!”

“It wasn’t me! So!”

“Then is there a cookie gremlin because something took it.”

Ivan points at Teague, who is retreating with his face still in a book and doesn’t appear to realize what’s going on around him.

Meridian looks to Lulin for confirmation, but she just blinks wide-eyed at her and won’t give up either of her brothers.

“He’s far too distracted to properly steal a cookie,” Meridian accuses, hands on hips.

“Mm?” Teague puts in as he disappears around the corner and calls back, “Delicious cookies, by the way. You’ve outdone yourself.”

Meridian blinks after him.

Ivan gives a told-you-so smirk, then sighs. “How come I can’t get away with stuff like that?”

Meridian gets a dangerous gleam in her eye and starts to follow Teague. “Who said anyone’s getting away with anything?”

Ivan snags a cookie from the plate and says through munches, “Teague being an unwitting accomplice is still the best thing ever.”

Lulin pulls more cookies out of the oven and smiles innocently. “Talking of best things ever, I’m going to enjoy watching Meridian go after you in a minute.”

Ivan gives her a shifty look and grabs another cookie. He slinks quickly out, to the accompaniment of Lulin’s chuckle and Meridian somewhere in the house going off loudly at Teague whose faint murmurs are difficult to hear.

11. Who stays (or used to stay) up late waiting for Santa?

Lulin and Ivan both point at Teague.

He blinks. “What? I didn’t.”

“You always stayed up all night Christmas Eve,” Ivan says.

“Reading,” Teague protests. “And I always do that. You just don’t want to admit that the two of you used to.”

“A lot of stranger things than Father Christmas are real,” Lulin says. “I’m only saying. What about you, Meridian?”

“Nope.” The answer was a little too quick to be strictly true.

“Grinch,” Ivan says haughtily.

“Speak for yourself!”

12. What would each character say Christmas isn’t Christmas without?

“Family,” Lulin says at once.

Teague hesitates, and doesn’t look at Ivan, but agrees. “Family.”

They look at Meridian.

She coughs. “I was going to say baking but now I sound like a shallow jerk.”

Lulin smiles. “Not at all.”

“I just don’t remember having a family. Other than Gran,” Meridian says.

“No siblings like these two terrors.” Lulin throws an arm each around her two brothers.

Ivan squirms and tries to escape the hug. “Candy-canes!” he says quickly, answering the question. “Aaugh. Leggo.”

Lulin just hangs on, laughing.

Teague smiles, one arm around his sister, and reaches out his other arm to pull Meridian into the group-hug. “Now you do,” he says softly.

And Meridian smiles back at him.

Thanks for reading! ^_^ I’m not tagging anyone but feel free to steal this for your blog if you like! Sorry I haven’t been around as much (I’m afraid NaNo more or less killed me and I’ve been recovering and busy. XD) — but I do have some fun posts planned after I finish relaxing this coming week. Merry Christmas! ❤

Invisible Barrier Follow-up: Teague & Meridian

Since my random writing-prompt snippet Invisible Barrier (that I’ve since decided is in some form going to make it into my as-of-yet-unstarted novel The Other Half of Everything) was received with such surprising enthusiasm, I thought I should share what I’ve written as a sort of follow-up.

I know the styles / “feels” of the two snippets feel kind of different, which I might have to work on, I don’t know… And some stuff clearly happened between the two but I don’t know what exactly yet because I don’t have plots figured out. But at least you can see that the guy wasn’t stuck in the invisible barrier forever! 😉

And you get a longer glimpse of Teague and Meridian. Because we all need some lighthearted humor in our lives.

I hope you’ll enjoy this snatch of The Other Half of Everything!


Excerpt from The Other Half of Everything



The invisible nothing vanished—I know that sounds odd but it’s what happened—and Teague flickered into sight. For an instant I could see how he must have been slumped half sitting, half leaning against the invisible side of the barrier. But now it was gone and was no longer holding him up.

Teague slumped sideways into the wet grass.

I ran to him and dropped to my knees beside his limp form, ignoring the damp.

“Teague!” I said.

His eyes were closed and I wasn’t sure if he was breathing, but at the sound of my voice he stirred. I sat and pulled his head into my lap, looking down into his face. His breath began to come evenly.

“Teague,” I whispered. “Wake up at once, do you hear? This is not the proper time for taking a nap.”

“Is it ever?” he murmured. His eyes opened and looked up at me. They focused. A slow smile appeared on his face like a sunbeam in clouds. “Hello, Meridian,” he said.

“Hello you annoying author.” I was happier than I had any right to be, considering I was sitting in a very damp patch of grass in another world with a very out-of-it Teague not showing any sign of getting up or moving his head from my lap.

“Mmm.” Teague closed his eyes and breathed for awhile.

“What happened?” I asked him, meaning “how did you end up locked in an invisible enchanted prison-thing?”



“I made a Wind Chaser angry.”

“And how on earth did you go about doing that?”

“Would you stop saying that—we’re not on Earth. And I don’t know, exactly.” Then he smiled a little. “It must have been my charming personality.” He coughed. And went on coughing for awhile until I became alarmed.

“Are you okay?”

“Of course. I’m just remembering how to breathe air again. There wasn’t any in there, you know.”

“Well I call that nasty! How did that happen?”

“There was air at first, naturally. I just used it up. Foolish of me, I know.” He coughed again. “Breathing is a bad habit of mine. It’s also impossible to break.”

“Believe me, its one of your few good habits.”

“Thank you. I didn’t know I had any.” He tried to get up. “The grass is wet,” he observed.

“Thanks for that, Mr. Obvious.”

He frowned a little. “Well. It is.”

“Did it work?” a voice called.



We both glanced over. Lulin was running across the field toward us, her short white hair flying up and down with the wind of her speed.

“Teague!” she said.

“I don’t know what ‘it’ is, but evidently it did,” Teague said as she came up. Then, “Hello, Lulin.”

Lulin looked down at him with a cheery smile. “Hello obnoxious descendant of the human race.”

“Same to you, sister of mine.” Teague sat up this time.

Lulin’s smile took a vacation. She dropped next to him and assaulted him with an enormous clinging hug. “Don’t you dare ever ever do that again,” her muffled voice said into his shoulder.

“Believe me, I have no intention of it.”

“Why do you never listen to my advice?” I said.

“I would if you had anything useful to offer,” Teague said.

“You mean if I said something you already planned to do,” I translated.

He smiled. “Exactly. By the way, Lulin, I was very much enjoying getting to breathe again and you’re kind of defeating that just now,” he added.

She let her tight hug go and pulled back.

“Thank you. Very considerate.”

“I learn from the best,” Lulin said with a mischievous grin, suddenly cheery again.

Teague laughed. “I know—I am.”

Beautiful People: The Aurelius Siblings


I’m linking up with Beautiful People, a questionnaire for characters, hosted by Sky @ Further-up-and-Further-in and Cait @ PaperFury, for their Sibling Edition! If you’d like to join up for the writerly goodness, head on over to either of their blogs and sign up with the linky!

For these questions, today I’ve chosen to feature three siblings from my latest attack-plot-bunny that I’ve mentioned a couple times

I’d better tell the title now as well since it’s rather hard to talk about something when it’s still “the mystery book that Deborah is obsessed with but won’t tell us about”. 😉


The Other Half of Everything

May I introduce the Aurelius siblings from my latest attack-plot-bunny, “The Other Half of Everything”: Teague, Ivan, and Lulin.

(pictures from pinterest)

Teague Aurelius

Ivan Aurelius

Lulin Aurelius

I thought about having the characters answer the questions themselves, since that’s always very fun. But Teague and Ivan refused to be in the same room… facing the same direction… answering questions… about each other. And Lulin saw no reason why the burden should fall on her to answer for her stubbornly thickheaded older brothers. So I’m afraid I’ll have to do the answering today…

The Aurelius Siblings

1. What is the first memory they have of each other?

Teague remembers Ivan’s laugh when as a baby he crawled the vast reaches of the kitchen floor; and soon after Lulin was born, her first smile lighting up a world that did not know what it had been missing. Ivan remembers Teague breaking his fall when he fell off a particularly high and frightening bed; and Lulin in pink trying to master the art of crawling up stairs. Lulin remembers her and Ivan drawing on each other with pens; and Teague holding her up to a looking glass to see the tiara on her head.

2. Describe their relationship in 3 words.

Lulin’s toward both brothers: loving, lost, heartbroken. The two brothers’ relationship toward Lulin: caring, playful, distracted. Teague and Ivan’s relationship: strained, broken, angry.

3. What kind of things do they like to do together?

They used to walk the worlds together… Until their other brother died. Now Ivan and Teague actively avoid each other, and if they end up in the same room the only things likely to occur are a) ignoring, and b) arguing. Ivan and Lulin take walks or see movies together, if he’s in a good mood and if she’s on speaking terms with him that particular day. Lulin and Teague will sit and talk, or read to each other, or she’ll play her cello while he writes.

4. What was their biggest fight?

Lulin still fights both of them a tiny bit sometimes and Teague and Ivan used to fight all the time back when they lived together… But their biggest three-way fight was the one they had after their other brother’s death, and was the fight that tore them apart and ended in them all leaving and going separate ways, to each be broken on their own.

5. How far would they go to save each other?

Teague and Ivan would go to the ends of the worlds and back for their little sister, and Lulin would do the same for them. Teague says he’s washed his hands of Ivan… but if push came to shove he’d do anything to save his brother, even if he won’t admit it right now. It’s never occurred to Ivan that his older brother might need saving someday — if it did, he’d say he hates Teague and it serves him right; but the next second he might step in recklessly and do whatever he had to… if he was in the mood…

6. What are their pet peeves about each other?

Ivan’s recklessness, rebellious streak, and recent inclination toward drinking. Lulin’s lightheartedness, tendency to distract herself with pretty things, and how she keeps trying to get them to reconcile. Teague’s habit of putting on an absentminded front, burying himself under a vague emotionlessness, and how he disappears into his writing, and takes a position of leadership without consulting them about it. And all of them are annoyed at each other’s stubbornness…

7. What are their favorite things about each other?

Both brothers like Lulin’s playfulness and alternating spunk and sweetness, the way she always has the right thing to say to make them smile… or used to; and the way everything is somehow almost okay when she’s around. Lulin and Ivan both like how unshakable Teague is, his quiet strength and intelligence… though Ivan would never admit it these days. Lulin likes how Ivan will pay attention to her and share in her playfulness at times. And Teague liked Ivan’s previous openness and boyish ability to live life to the fullest, which is a much-needed reminder for Teague, who can forget such things when he’s busy being the leader with others, or the writer on his own. Right now though, Teague’s and Ivan’s favorite things about each other are on hold… they secretly miss each other, but the rift runs too deep to be bridged, or for them to admit it even to themselves.

8. What traits do they share? Mannerisms, clothing, quirks, looks, etc?

They have fair hair — but of varying shades (Teague’s sandy-brown, Ivan’s yellow-blond and spiky, and Lulin’s a startling white), and each have the same indecisively colored eyes, grey-blue-green. They’re extremely stubborn. And they have a pull toward adventure that none of them can ignore for too long.

9. Who has the strongest personality?

Each of the three has similarly strong personalities, although quite different from each other’s; Teague’s might be the strongest, though often hidden behind his absent front. But perhaps the personality stronger than any of theirs was their other brother’s before his death, who was a heroic, charismatic, head-on, all-around outgoing person, with a touch of Teague’s leadership, Ivan’s recklessness, and Lulin’s playfulness. Without him, each of their personalities seem to be missing something… to have a hole that is taking a long time healing.

10. How does their relationship change throughout your story?

I can’t really say yet, since the story is still in its fledgling stages… I do hope that they will come to accept each other… That they will realize they’re broken on their own and need each other… That the brothers will again look after Lulin as they used to… That she will learn it is not entirely up to her to look after them… And especially that Ivan and Teague will be reconciled, and learn to look after each other and be brothers again.

That’s what I hope, anyway. But we’ll have to see.

Because with such stubbornness in the Aurelius family, who can say what will happen when this fledgling story grows its feathers, takes wing, and soars from the nest of this writer’s mind to the ever-waiting paper…?