Wings: You can’t live with them and you can’t cut them off

As a paranormal author, I’ve encountered several situations involving wings. I thought I’d share a few of the issues I’ve encountered when writing characters with wings and how I’ve gone about trying to make those unwieldy appendages more comfortable.
First off, the biggest problem, especially when the winged character is a romantic lead: how the hell do you get a shirt on them? I’ve gone with a couple of solutions. One involves a complicated garment that has flaps to wrap around the wings. This works all right and can even add to the sexiness of the man unwrapping himself like a present. But I got tired with having to explain the intricacies of a piece of clothing. Such long descriptions can take away from the story. So, my second solution was the lazy one. Most of the characters I develop with wings have the ability to “magic” those wings away. I hypothesized that if they magic them back in place after pulling on a shirt with strategic wing holes, the juncture of the wings would form within those holes. In reality, though, the holes would have to be held in the precise position for this to work. But hey, it’s fiction, and I’m allowed some leeway.
Second problem with wings: how do you sleep next to a man with wings? I’m assuming that a winged man—like a bird—would have no problem with resting on his wings. They would simply be another set of limbs. With that in mind, he’d likely be okay with another person sleeping on them as well; such as a woman, tucked into his side and laying on a wing. But how truly comfortable would that woman be? A feathered wing is not like a feather pillow. It would be sleek and crinkly and have bones to jab you. If it’s a leathery wing, it would be the same minus the crinkle factor and with less loft. Would she put a pillow over the wing? And what about if one of them tosses and turns in the night? I sleep like that and have often imagined how difficult it would be for both the winged man and myself to get a good night’s rest next to each other. No one wants to wake up with a face full of feathers. To get around wonky sleeping arrangements, I either have the character magic the wings away or just let his partner be uncomfortable and hope the readers don’t think too long on it. But I do… it haunts me.
And that leads me to my third issue: sex. Okay, maybe this isn’t such a big issue. Wings provide for all sorts of unique ways to make love. They can give the Mile High Club a new twist. And, as I mentioned before, the wings should be strong enough to withstand the man lying on them so that shouldn’t limit a couple’s positional options either. But you do have to be careful about bed size and surrounding furniture. One wild sessions could wreak havoc on a girl’s boudoir.
Speaking of surrounding furniture, let’s get to the fourth, and more annoying, issue: how do you maneuver around a living environment with wings? In most cases, my winged characters have specially adapted homes with larger doorways and furniture that will accommodate wings; such as backless chairs. But what about when they visit their girlfriends? I’m limited by where I can place them in a room, or where I can sit them, and always have to mention how they draw in their wings to get through doorways and such. This again is a situation where magically disappearing wings come in handy, but there are times when a character needs to have his or her wings out. That’s when navigating them around a scene can become tricky. “Oops, was that a priceless vase? Sorry ’bout that.”
Those are just a handful of issues that arise involving wings. Every time I write a story with a winged character, I come across new ones. For instance, the character of Malik in the Spectra Series has leathery wings in his alternate form. The wings are a part of that form and cannot be magicked away when he is shifted. On top of that, he’s an alien so he must navigate spaceships. Things can get complicated with Mal but, honestly, all of these issues add to the fun of developing him as a character and inserting his quirks into the story. And that goes for all winged characters; they can be damn fun to play with. But I wanted to share with you some of the thoughts that run through my mind when I work with them and I hope you enjoyed this peek into my creative process.

Check out Mal in the Spectra Series:

The Psychology and Physical Effects of Colors

The Psychology and Physical Effects of Colors

When I researched my Spectra Series, I discovered all sorts of interesting tidbits about colors. First, lets get into what colors are. What we think of as colors are wavelengths of light that bounce off things. Colors are determined first by frequency and then how those frequencies combine inside the eye. So, spectral power distributions exist in the physical world, but color exists only in the mind of the beholder. Now, let’s dive into the visible spectrum: ROYGBIV, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. At either end of this is spectrum are infrared (invisible long wavelengths) and ultraviolet (invisible short wavelengths). There you go; the basics of colors.

Humans have cones inside their eyes which are used to perceive colors. 64% of those cones respond strongly to red, 34% to green, and 2% to blue. Some birds and fish have four types of cones, enabling them to see ultraviolet light, and some insects also see ultraviolet light, which helps them see the patterns in flowers. The perception of these wavelengths has an effect on us mentally and physically. It seems as if colors, something we just view, shouldn’t affect us in any way, but when you think about them as wavelengths of light and then consider all the ways light can affect us, it begins to make more sense.

I’ve condensed my research for you below. In my books, I assign specific results (stopping breath, putting people to sleep, etc.) to individual shades but that’s artistic license. Here, I’ll give you the psychology of colors and the ways or parts of the body they can affect.

Blue:

Interestingly enough, only 2% of the cones in our eyes respond to the color blue. Despite that, it’s most people’s favorite color. Perhaps that’s because blue is the peace bringer, it lowers blood pressure, and treats migraines. It can affect the throat, ears, and mouth. It prompts our bodies to produce calming chemicals and it also focuses the mind. Weight lifters can lift more weight in a blue room.

Black:

Black is the color of authority, stability, power and strength. It’s associated with intelligence but it’s also a somber color, a color of grieving. Finally, it is associated with evil. All in all, a serious color.

Yellow:

When yellow is intense, it can cause tempers to flare and babies to cry. Conversely, when it’s soft, it causes the brain to release serotonin, making people happy. Depending on the shade, it can speed the metabolism, destroy depression, and treat difficult digestion. It can affect the stomach, liver, and intestines.

Orange:

Orange is a color of creativity. It stimulates creative thought and helps people come up with new ideas. It’s also linked to breathing and, oddly enough, stimulates breast milk production.

Red:

Red boosts sexual desire; just seeing the color makes the heart beat faster. It also gives energy, combats muscle and joint stiffness, and can affect the kidneys, backbone, and sense of smell. It’s associated with attraction, energy, movement (red cars appear to go faster), and life.

Pink:

Pink is another calming color but to the point of making people submissive. A lot of psych wards used to have pink walls for this very purpose. It’s associated with love and is thought of as a gentle color.

Green:

Green boosts the immune system. It’s the strength provider, empowering muscles, bones, and tissues. It also stimulates the creation of growth hormones. It’s associated with fertility, money, nature, generosity, good luck, and envy.

Purple:

Purple is the color of royalty. It’s reduces emotional and mental stress and helps promote sleep. It can affect the nervous system and eyes. It decreases sexual desire and stimulates brain activity used in problem solving. Young girls are most likely to choose purple as their favorite color.

Brown:

In India, brown is a color of mourning, but most associate it with reliability, stability, and determination.

White:

White is not a lack of color but the compression of all colors. It’s associated with purity, safety, and neutrality.

I hope this has given you a little insight into the very real affect that colors have on our life and perhaps inspire you to use them more effectively. At the very least, it may help you pick your next wall paint.

Would you like to have Amy’s blog delivered right to your inbox? Subscribe to her newsletter and also get a free copy of Wild Wonderland! Subscribe to Amy’s Newsletter here

(#ad)