THE St. Louis Speakeasy
It is currently Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:01 am GMT

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message

That motherfumbler!
 Post subject: Florence Liu
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:19 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:40 pm GMT
Posts: 50080
Location: Betelgeuse Five
Custom Title: That motherfumbler!
Name: Liu Ju-shi
Aliases: Florence Liu (she’s only Ju-shi to her family), The Little Lotus of St. Louis
Nicknames: Flo
Birthdate: February 14th (yes, Valentine’s Day)
Age: 25
Height: 5'5"
Build: Short, boyish, very flapperesque
Origin: St. Louis, though her parents are from a village outside Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province
Languages: English, Mandarin (Jin dialect)
Occupation: Student, artist
Ethnicity: Chinese

Eye Color: Dark brown, nearly black
Hair Color: Dark brown naturally, dyes it black
Scars: None noticeable
Attire: Day-to-day, Florence dresses very well, at the peak of fashion. She prefers the feminine, although she has been known to wear trousers if she thinks it’ll make a stronger statement. For artistic presentations, she takes full advantage of Orientalist fascination. She has a good store of form-fitting modern qipaos that she busts out to really highlight her supposed ‘exoticism.’ Nevermind that she was born in America and has never set foot in her motherland.
Accessories: She has a fondness for costume jewelry and modern hats.
WOC: An acid tongue. And she can punch pretty hard, for her size.
Appearance: In her neighborhood, Florence is actually considered plain. She has a round face, large eyes, far too many freckles to be a porcelain beauty, a small pointed chin and a flat nose. The entire face looks a bit heart-shaped as a result, though her cheeks are a bit too pudgy for it to be perfect. Her lower lip is rather thicker than her top, giving her a perpetual pout. Bodywise she’s pretty flat, though her hips are just a bit too wide and her thighs too muscular for the IDEAL flapper figure. It’s a near thing, though. Her hair is dyed ink-black and styled in an adapted bob. Her bangs are cut in a straight line across her forehead, with the rest cut at her jaw with the front bits curled up to touch her cheeks. Overall, it looks like this. Florence is not afraid to use makeup to cover her imperfections, however. She is generous with kohl to shape her eyes, is a master of using foundation to trick the eye regarding her face shape, and very careful in her use of lipstick to fill her upper lip. She’s a painter, after all. Her face is just another canvas. She carries herself with an almost ferocious confidence, though while at rest she maintains a heavily-practiced languid stance. She wants very much to appear worldly and unconcerned, and manages most of the time.

Personality: The best words for Florence Liu are ambition and pride. She decided as a child that she would not allow anything other than personal failing to bring her down. Given that she was born Chinese-American, she had a bit of a handicap. For all America’s fascination with ‘Orientals,’ their ideas of what Chinese people were capable of tended to be...limited. So Florence used what she could and bulldozed over what held her back.
Her friends find her charming, stubborn, generous, and infinitely patient. She is very good at appearing kind, whether it is genuine or not. It typically is, but even her closest friends find it hard to tell the difference. She loves to laugh, and surrounds herself with funny people. Despite her Modern Woman lifestyle, she is straight-edge and refuses all alcohol or drugs, preferring to dance in the speakeasies she frequents. Though Florence has a ferocious temper, it is rarely seen. Her pragmatic side typically wins out. Heaven help the person who incurs her wrath, however. Florence is not one for yelling. She prefers precise, dart-like insinuations meant to shoot past the ribs and hit the heart. It is only once your self-esteem is destroyed that you realize you had never told her those insecurities. That is where Florence’s other strong personality trait comes into play.
Florence is very calculating. She is a skilled strategist when it comes to self-promotion. Her greatest strength is knowing who to challenge and who to satisfy. If she gains more by playing into stereotypes, she’ll do it. Her artistic career is based mostly on this. On the other hand, she is not afraid to play against type if it’ll help. She’ll play the dainty, spiritual Flower Maiden at one event, but the daring, modern New Chinese the next. Through it all she presents herself in a distinctly mystical light. She makes the white Americans feel that there is some facet to her that they could never understand. She makes many references to Chinese folklore, art, poetry and literature, citing inspiration from dynasties long-dead. What they don’t know is that her knowledge is all gained from books, not ancestral stories.
With a bare face and an empty apartment, Florence is an entirely different person. She is prone to fits of melancholy and creative pique. Sometimes she skips class and spends days painting in her apartment. Few of these works ever see the light of day. They’re too personal, too authentic. They’ll never make her any money. The salons want exotic, Oriental artwork without the bother of learning about China. That’s what Florence gives them. This is what depresses her. She has destroyed more honest paintings than she has created profitable ones. It eats at her, always.
Florence is equally as careful about her romantic relationships. She’ll date men without batting an eyelash, though it is never for love and she does not pretend it is. When she was poor she did it so men would buy her dinners she couldn’t afford. Measuring out what sexual favors she gave in return became a science. Now that she is comfortable she dates women exclusively, although not as openly. Mostly she has a succession of ‘good friends’ and ‘roommates’ she brings to her art shows. She is not ashamed of preferring the fairer sex. She is merely too calculating to risk seeming unattainable. Mostly she presents these pairings as romantic friendships, where her love for her friend transcends typical platonic intimacy. That they are sexual and passionate she omits.
Special skills: Brilliant mind for social strategy. Easy liar. Expert on altering her appearance for different situations. A good friend, however cold she may sound.
Weaknesses: Pride will be her downfall. Despite her practicality, she is a romantic at heart.
Fears: A plain, unremarkable gravestone and a name missing from history books.
Likes: Conversation. Home cooking. The color blue. Beautiful things. Her friends. Herself (oh, don’t look at her like that, it’s a healthy pride and she’ll go to her grave saying so). Spicy food. Thunderstorms. Photography. Her classes.
Dislikes: Alcohol. Cigarettes. Crime. Racists, although she tolerates them for the most part. Most of her professors.
Religion: She tells the art world that she is a Buddhist, though she is not honestly practicing. She went to a Christian-run school and still carries great respect for the faith.

History: Liu Ju-shi was born in St. Louis’ Chinatown, though the locals all called it Hop Alley. Her parents ran a local grocery store after immigrating from China two decades before. She was the youngest of seven siblings, with four sisters and two brothers. She was put to work at a young age, delivering groceries to the Chinatown residents. A plain child from an average family, it was thought that Ju-shi would eventually marry and continue the family tree. She herself believed this for several years. That ended, however, when she went to school.
It was a Christian establishment set up in the neighborhood, with the main goal of Americanizing the Chinese children. It was here that Ju-shi was given her new name by one of the sisters who taught there.
“You look like a Florence,” the woman said, and from then on, she was.
Florence graduated high school at the age of sixteen with an A average. It was time to marry her off. Her plans, however, were different. She had been drawing and painting for fun since her chubby child fingers had been able to drag a pen across paper. Over time, she had gained a reputation in her community for true artistic talent. Nostalgic neighbors paid her to paint as they waxed poetic about their homeland, then hung her idealized paintings in their kitchens to gaze at while they cooked. She continued working for her father and painting on the side until she reached age eighteen. In that year, her reputation eventually brought one Thomas Chen into her life.
Thomas was a businessman, more American than any Chinese person Florence knew. He took one look at her art and saw dollar signs. If there was one thing white Americans loved but didn’t understand, it was Chinese art. And here was a little prodigy, home-grown and harmless, ready to be made into a star. He set Florence up in a little apartment with plenty of supplies, bought her some lovely qipaos and started billing her as ‘The Little Lotus of St. Louis.’ For fierce, ambitious Florence this was an opportunity she couldn’t refuse. To keep Thomas on her side she even entered into a sexual relationship with him. This was when she realized she liked women.
Three years passed in this way. Florence had scratched out a niche for herself in the artistic community, though she would not reach the full flower of her fame for another few years. One day, she and Thomas had a flaming row that ended in him kicking her out of his apartment. Luckily, Florence had foreseen this and already signed the lease on an apartment of her own. She moved in, bought some new supplies with money she had stockpiled, and continued with her career as if Thomas had never even been a factor. In one fell swoop she had deprived Thomas of his biggest moneymaker, and proven to the naysayers that she had never needed him. Thomas Chen never recovered from this blow.
Now completely independent at age 21, Florence decided that she needed to think about her future. Who knew how long the ‘Oriental Artist’ trend would last? So, with some applied pressure from a few well-placed friends, she got herself into St. Louis University. She is currently studying anything and everything that catches her fancy, searching for a subject that she can feel passionate about AND make money off of. She’s an excellent student, and being among girls her age has been good for her. It’s been a few years and she doesn’t have a degree yet, but she’s in no hurry, really. Her art career is on the rise, she’s well-known (if not well-understood) among her peers, and she has a group of close friends she adores. For the first time in her life, her ambition has stalled a bit. It’s a stagnation that she won’t be content with for much longer.

Orientation: Lesbian, though she will date men if she thinks she’ll benefit
Love Interest: She’s between paramours at the moment
Quotes:
“As you can see, I added a lotus here to represent-”
“This reminds me of a story my mother used to tell me, passed down from our ancestors…”
“Don’t confuse my attentiveness with interest.”
“You look beautiful, dearest. I mean it.”

_________________
My Various Characters

"I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying."
--Woody Allen


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Florence Liu
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:28 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
Oh heyyyy, well she's awesome. And complex, and historically situated. It's so difficult to write female characters, especially non-white ones, who have enough mobility and independence to be interesting protagonists while staying true to the times, but I think you've struck a nice balance here. I adore her penchant for costume jewelry.

Also, can I just say, Izzy (also a college student) is probably besotted with her.

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

That motherfumbler!
 Post subject: Re: Florence Liu
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:08 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:40 pm GMT
Posts: 50080
Location: Betelgeuse Five
Custom Title: That motherfumbler!
Haha, thanks dude! I'll admit in olden days I sometimes played fast and loose with historical context for the sake of character >_> not too terrible but not subtly for sure. I went into making Florence because I read a book about Asian-Americans in the Jazz Age and another about the history of lesbian relationships in America and she kinda just...started whispering in my ear a bit. So I decided to go the full mile and be as accurate as possible. I knew I would need reasons for her to be independent, so I did my best. She has some money (though she pretends to have way more for Image's sake) but she still has to live with two other girls to stay in her nice apartment. That and she obeys most rules of propriety, since she is a somewhat public figure. Basically I did a bunch of research and it didn't make creating her any less fun, which is a good sign!

And oh gosh I love Izzy, always have. Florence would no doubt be utterly charmed by him, and regarding besottment..
Fotecp wrote:
Love Interest: Many girls enjoy spending time with him, though they never seem to “think of him that way.”

Florence: Ahaha...yes, well.

_________________
My Various Characters

"I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying."
--Woody Allen


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Florence Liu
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:00 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
We've all been there--playing fast and loose with history, that is. But the research definitely shines through here, and it sounds like it was a fascinating read!

Izzy: *prostrates himself on the sidewalk* JUST LET ME WORSHIP YOU

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

That motherfumbler!
 Post subject: Re: Florence Liu
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:44 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:40 pm GMT
Posts: 50080
Location: Betelgeuse Five
Custom Title: That motherfumbler!
Florence: *loving it* Isidore, dearest, you really are too much. Won't you get up off that dirty sidewalk? You'll do my peace of mind ever so much good.

_________________
My Various Characters

"I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying."
--Woody Allen


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Florence Liu
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:19 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
Isidore: *peeling his face off the concrete* Your wish is my command, Lady Flo.

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Florence Liu
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:36 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Posts: 56525
Location: proper tea is theft
Custom Title: Ahoy!
She's glorious! Almost makes me wish Oliver were still alive.

_________________
Image
"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


Top
 Profile  
 

That motherfumbler!
 Post subject: Re: Florence Liu
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:18 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:40 pm GMT
Posts: 50080
Location: Betelgeuse Five
Custom Title: That motherfumbler!
Florence: *preening* You flatter me, dearest.

@Dvorak - Haha, thanks! Man, I miss Oliver. I have no doubt he and Florence would have had a ball using each other.

_________________
My Various Characters

"I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying."
--Woody Allen


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group