Monday, March 20, 2023

A Day in the Life of My Imaginary Friends, an Open Book Blog Hop post

Picture of a clock and a calendar with the Open Book Blog Hop logo


Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

Tell us about the day in the life of one of your characters.

Oooh. This one is fun. Who should we follow? I think I'll go with crowd favorite Leonel "Fuerte" Alvarez of the Menopausal Superheroes series. 

For those who haven't read the books, Leonel was a 48 year old Latina stay-at-home mother and grandmother until Dr. Liu's products transformed him into a man and gave him super strength, sending his life intro turmoil and paving the way for his reinvention as a superheor. Now, four books into the series, he works for the Unusual Cases Unit as Fuerte (the Spanish word for strong) alongside Jessica "Flygirl" Roark and Patricia "The Lizard Woman" O'Neill saving the city of Springfield.  

Let's follow him on a typical Saturday: 

7:00 a.m.: Leonel wakes at home in a quiet, older neighborhood in Springfield, the imaginary mid-size Southern city where the Menopausal Superheroes series takes place. His husband, David, is already up and he finds him cuddled up on the sofa with their grandson who spent the night last night, both with the same case of bedhead. 

Leonel shoos them to go get dressed and heads to the kitchen and starts pulling together breakfast. When the new puppy starts whining and stretching a paw under the refrigerator, Leonel pauses to pick it up for him and holds the refrigerator a foot or so off the ground allowing him to get the toy that had slid beneath. Sometimes, it's handy to have super strength. 

8:00 a.m.: The three Alvarezes gather in the kitchen to enjoy pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse with all the toppings, with bacon, and strawberries and mangos slice thin. (Leonel has always loved to cook). They've planned to drive out to the lake this morning and go fishing, and Carlitos is chattering nonstop. Leonel smiles, and pours more coffee into David's cup. 

9:00 a.m.: By 9:00, the three of them are at the lake. David and Carlitos have their fishing poles out, but Leonel is lying on his back staring up at the clear blue sky, enjoying listening to the birds and the soft laughter of his grandson. He drifts off, still tired from the adventures of the day's before, including stopping a tractor trailer from toppling off a bridge onto the highway below.  

almost 10:00 a.m.: Leonel wakes up when his grandson pounces on him, asking for a juicebox. Growling good-naturedly, he rolls over to pull one out of the cooler. He's still trying to shake his drowsiness when his work phone rings. Frowning apologetically, he walks down the shore to listen to the call. Suzie, the Director's assistant, apologizes for interrupting his day off and arrange for someone to pick him up. Leonel returns to his family and hands the truck keys to David, kissing them both good-bye and promising to be home for dinner. David reminds him to be careful and they wave as he makes his way to the parking lot. 

11:00: Leonel, now suited up as Fuerte, with his signature red shirt and golden sun mask, is flying across the city in the Dact, the air transport for the Unusual Cases Unit, alongside Flygirl and Patricia, the Lizard Woman of Springfield. 

Sally Ann Rogers, their team lead, tosses him a protein bar and a bottle of water while she debriefs him on the call. There's been a cave-in at the old mill on the edge of Springfield, and several homeless people who had sheltered there are trapped inside. Rescue workers can't get through. 

12:00: Leonel's afternoon is a flurry of activity, holding up walls, moving debris, calming survivors, translating sometimes, assisting in medical lifts. He's in his element and by the time the last survivor has been handed over to the medical team, he is filthy from head to toe, exhausted, starving, and glowing with positive energy. When Patricia flops down beside him and dumps a water bottle over his head, they laugh together, all their usual tension dissipated by working together. Jessica has already taken to the sky and returned home. 

6:00: Leonel finally returns home, clean and dressed in the clothes he'd worn for fishing. He's carrying a box from David's favorite pizzeria, and David meets him at the door, trading a cold beer for the pizza box. The two of them finish their evening in front of the television together, talking about the fishing trip and Leonel's afternoon adventures until Leonel falls asleep on the sofa. David wakes Leonel up to go to bed when the movie is over. They roll towards each other, clasping hands at the center of the bed. Within a few minutes both are snoring softly and Leonel dreams of a quiet Sunday at home. 

It's not easy, balancing family life and superheroic exploits, but Leonel is the person for the job--all heart and spirit of service. 

You can read one of his adventures in The Good Will Tour, a novella in which Fuerte and Flygirl work together to save the patients in a women's hospital from a vengeful woman with the ability to cause earthquakes. Or try out the entire series, starting with book 1: Going Through the Change

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  1. I think I need some of Dr Liu's potions to make my arms stronger. However, I prefer to stay female though!

    1. The gender change was quite a surprise to Leonel, too.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! They're a great deal of fun to write.

  3. Every time I hear the name 'Menopausal Superheroes' it makes me grin.

  4. Can I go over for breakfast - it sounds delicious!!!!

    1. Doesn't it? Leonel is such a good cook. I live out my kitchen fantasies through him.