I met my new main character today.

No, strike that--I've known variations of him for six years. But I finally figured out the basic background of my new hero in the book I'm writing. He'll contain a big shot of Mehudin and other refugee kids I've met.

Mehudin is 8 years old and the only one in his rather large family who speaks English. It's had an interesting effect on him--sort of typical from what I've seen.

He's cocky as hell and thinks he's the smartest one in his family. Yet he's pretty sensitive to what other people say because he has to listen to both sides of every conversation carefully and make sure he has the words right in both languages. He gets dragged to many boring places and only gets to act like a kid now and then. The rest of the time he has to work at making sure everyone around them understands his parents and grandparents. His family's survival depends on it and he resents the job at the same time he's proud of his ability to do it. He's got an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. You wonder if he'll break free and be a JD later on, or if he'll turn into a brilliant scholar. He's a mix of funny, brash, sophisticated and insecure. In other words, he's an interesting character.

Okay, now I have to go again. I cut refugee time early because it's the last day of the kids' vacation. We'll celebrate today and then tomorrow I have to go take some more pathetic photos of some gorgeous rugs and drink gut-melting coffee.


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