Character building websites

We went out of town for the weekend, so I’m a tad behind schedule on the novel writing program. I cannot tell a lie– it was great to come up for air. I got to people watch in a town whose inhabitants were unfazed by 8″ of snow on Groundhog Day. (That Punxatawny Phil is Phül of crap. It’s still snowing.)
Anyway, recapping week 3, it was a character building experience. I’m learning a lot about the people in my novel, and a bit about myself, too.
I take on the personality and mood of whomever I’m writing about. When I started sketching a stressed outcharacter with a weight problem, I ended up in the kitchen scarfing down several pieces of chocolate and a handful of potato chips. I never eat when stressed, but she does. So I did.
In addition to visiting another city, here are a few useful websites I went to this week:

www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/decades
Top 100 names of every decade since the 1880s. I found the perfect moniker for a bunch of people, from the retirement center escapee to the baby on the way. (No luck renaming Marnie. Yet.)

www.ourbabynames.co.uk

First names by nationality, with their meanings. Features a “Names to Avoid” list– helpful for naming losers.
Last names by nationality, with meanings.polyvore.com
Modern clothes– in sets. Entire outfits, complete with belts, shoes and in some cases undies to match.

Found a club and a couple of social events for my characters to join.
My story takes place near a lake. Houzz has photos of lakeside cottages and all kinds of other home styles, too. From kitchens to kids’ rooms,  couches to a cream pitcher shaped like a cow, it’s all here.
Next stop, Google earth. It’s time to build a town.
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