Planet - Verlin (VER lin)
Blond – Jacob Gaillard – Coby (JAY kub – ko BEE) (GAY lard)
Dark – Anthony – Andy (AN thun ee – AN dee)
Galactic Governor – Johnpaul Gaillard (jon PAHL) (GAY lard)
Lieutenant – Rayburn (RAY burn)
Foster Father – Darnell (DARN ell)
Foster brother – Brayden (BRAY den)
Scout – Kaelan (KAY lahn)
Best school – Paxton (PAKS tun)
Andy’s dad – Melden (MEL dun)
Andy’s mom – Ella (EL a)
I've also never written a story around a picture before.
I looked over the picture and tried to determine who the characters were and what they were doing. Right away I knew the two knew each other, but had been apart for years. Rebels came to mind. At first the blod was a soldier and Dark was a rebel who in the midst of battle stole the laser cannon, but he has no other weapons and is wearing funky gloves, so the big weapon was always his. The ground is white, so it has to be chalk (I love the Tiffany Aching stories by Terry Pratchett), but there are also tree. How did they get there? Then there's the fact that the boys are dresses nearly alike, but Blond's hair is significantly longer.
I had so many personal things get in the way (summer, vacations, birthday parties) and I was writing two other stories at the same time (Summer Snapshots and Are You Together?) I didn't finish until twelve days before the deadline. When I wrote Gatateus I finished two months early, so I had time for revision instead of just time to fix spelling mistakes.
The hot shower thing was from hearing about the school Prince Charles attended. It had the richest, most blue blooded boys in all Britain, but all the showers were cold. The taking over rural planets and having bogus elections is from colonial rule in Africa, etc. and all the coverage of the Iranian election (I've always been interested in history and politics, but they didn't enter stories that I published until these last few months).
Things I wanted to add but didn't have the time:
- Verlin was originally the name of the village, but the governor sent men out to interview the locals to see what they call the planet (rather than the letter-number designation given by the federation). When the guards asked "Where are we?" the villagers said Verlin and that's what the name was logged as. The planet was called different things in different places, but they were all forms of earth and dirt.
- At Paxton only the best fighters got hot food. Everyone else's was lukewarm. Coby was partial to warm water, warm food, a room to himself, etc., so he became the best at everything.
- Anthony was Andy because Coby couldn't pronounce th's when he was little.
- The girl seducing the guard was Anthony's sister or cousin. She didn't end up getting anything about the blond out of the guard because the guard was called away and she had to leave before Coby returned otherwise she would have recognized him.
Well, I've got the idea for the next story and lyrics are floating through my head, "All to hell we must sail for the shores of sweet Barbados..."