S is for: Seneca (No, not the Greek Guy, the Alien.)

Technically, the A-Z challenge has closed, but I ask you, what alphabet is an alphabet without S-Z? (Especially since those letters have such a pleasant pseudo-symmetry.) So, here I am, blogging away again as if I were never gone, beginning with what may be my favorite letter.

There are many things, I must note, that S can stand for. Sit-ups (that I should be doing and am not.) Sentence structure (I am completely the wrong person to ask about that, however, just ask my beta readers. Or my Russian professor. Starbucks.

(That one was actually a contender.)

The S that features in my day to life, however, is Seneca. Day in and day out, in the music I listen to, in the plots I construct, in the other characters I develop, Seneca is either the center of attention or, at least, the cosmic background radiation through which everything else I produce must wade. When it comes to characters, there’s one of these in every family. Seneca is mine. So let’s all get acquainted:

Seneca is the male lead of both Redfeather and EnvoyLike a large percentage of my characters these days, he’s an alien, from a scaly, feathered species calling themselves Saeristi. (Look, more Ss! I told you all I loved this letter.) His counterpart in life, the universe, and everything, is Len from way back in “L is for,” though audiences first encounter him through Grey in Acceleration‘s prologue. He’s a feature of the story from there on out, serving as Operations officer, the head of one of the ship’s scientific departments, the crew’s resident pain-in-the-ass, and Grey’s best friend. He’s sarcastic, flippant, defensive, but surprisingly funny, with a sense of self preservation that intersects with honor and duty on a collision course bound to drag everyone else down with him when things hit the fan. He has a secret which could tear apart a planet’s system of government, and an aloofness that might lead one to believe he could care less. (Which isn’t true at all.) He is, in his heart, however, a protector of others–self sacrificing and patient–and his life story in full is full of enough twists, turns, and upheavals to justify a trilogy all its own.

Fun facts about Seneca:

– He finds tomatoes inexcusably repulsive

– “Could you not?” is the first thing he says in the book in his own language (at least in this draft)

– He despises flying, but lives on a spaceship

– He lives in a pop-culture vacuum and has, on multiple occasions, been accused of living under a rock

– His periodic tendency to use military slang in conversation–most of which is not considered appropriate for polite conversation–mortifies his captain. He sometimes does it on purpose

– He was once an excellent cook . . . before discovering the alien equivalent of takeout

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