Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How Do I Follow That?

Another Wednesday has arrived, which means another blog to write. As I sit tapping my fingers together, I wonder what I could possibly say that would shed any ounce of credit to my race. Jean and Cheryl have provided witty blogs this week. How do I to follow? I’m actually at an impasse. ~sigh~

Mulling… Mulling… Ah yes! Thanksgiving is over and the holiday tide has turned an expectant eye toward Christmas, giving me a daily glimpse into what makes people tick as the clock tocks down the days and hours until Christmas Eve. This week, Jean has discussed holiday prep and Cheryl shared her experiences as how NOT to be forced to celebrate in jail. (Pirate!)

Sadly, I cannot boast anything so daring. I'm always in a state of flux. I've got my mother's boxes to go through. I’m behind getting my decorations pulled out of the closet and displayed. Two neighbors across the street have already transformed their humble abodes into Griswald palaces making me feel like a chump. The incandescent glare is hard to ignore. Christmas ambiance! Bright. Flamboyant. Joyous to behold! Yet another reason for me to feel trumped. I have this nagging fear that I won’t be able to drag my derriere fast enough to keep up with the Joneses. I am, however, ahead of the game in other areas. I’ve made most of my purchases and those gifts need only to be wrapped. So why so glum, why pressure myself? Well, the answer is simple. I’ve been sick for a week and I'm behind on just about everything. I’m fighting off what started out as an allergy thing but even so, it’s been hard to get energized about anything this past week, to include thinking, let alone decorating.

So do you think this is the wrong time to start a new book? Well I did, thanks to some really fantastic brainstorming from Jean to get the old noggin’s juices flowing. And I do believe, if I say so myself, that I’m onto something great! (Thanks for steering me in the right direction, Poppet!)

Anyone who knows me knows I must have pictures of my hero/heroine. In the past, I’ve storyboarded to exhibit the characters and get a feel for story flow. As a visual writer, I need that boost. It gives me peace of mind. This past week, I wavered back and forth as to whom to model my hero after. First thoughts lead me to Carl Urban. He’s ruggedly good-looking, tall, and capable of embodying my hero's quiet charm. But Ian Somerhalder from the Vampire Diaries begs to be noticed. His electric blue eyes scream hero material, wounded pride, and dutiful adoration. Then there is Nathan Fillion. Oh, the choices! The world is wildly populated by dashing, tall, dark, and handsomes. But none have quite enamored me as much as the one I found today. Countless historical authors have long discussed this actor’s merits and now I fully understand why. Today, while hunkering down in my chair with a cup of hot tea and a fuzzy blanket when I should’ve been writing, I watched North & South, a BBC production with the one… the only Richard Armitage!
This mini-series has been on my required watching list for years. Well, I finally got a copy and spent the afternoon watching all four episodes. Before I could say “Tea and Crumpets,” I had fallen in love with Richard’s character John Thornton, a stern, wounded soul who owns and operates a cotton mill amid the turmoil of rising industry in the Victorian age.

Oh, to be able to write something as poignant and lasting as what Elizabeth Gaskell created. Every word of dialogue, every scene segue led to another pivotal scene or revelation. Aha! Yes! This is what every writer lives for, what I strive for. To touch a reader in such a way as to have that reader truly believe the characters’ motives and desires, and to feel such an attachment to them that one finds herself saying, “I have found my stiff-backed, prideful, devoted Duke!” Long may his character wave!

So I'm back to twiddling my fingers. Tap. Tap. Tap. It's Wednesday, My sinuses are still a wreck, my brain is muddled, holiday duties await, and all I want to do is watch North & South again.

Where did you find your tall, dark, and handsome? And if you could pick your tall, dark, and handsome out of a book or movie, which one would you choose?


  1. Hey, Kathy! I have had the hardest time getting a handle on my new hero. I've gone back and changed him, hopefully for the last time, this week. I actually was inspired by a real-life person, who hopefully will never know it!

    I needed a young hero, only 20 years old. He just wasn't coming together in my mind. But now I think I've got it. He's a defiant, somewhat wounded younger brother whose older brother is "perfect" and never does anything wrong. He, on the other hand, isn't so perfect, but he wants to prove that he isn't just the irresponsible little brother anymore. So now I have my man! He's the perfect hero for my tough-girl heroine, who has her own deep dark issues, after growing up being abused and mistreated and fighting for her survival. They should complement each other, and grow up together, very well...

    Now I just have to get to writing!!!

  2. I have a couple websites with models where I look for photos for heroes. Or sometimes someone will appear on a TV show and I'll be frantically searching the credits to find out who he is. My current WIP's hero looks just like Lucky Vanous - you know, the guy in that old Diet Coke commercial where the women in the office took a break each day to watch him take off his shirt and guzzle a Diet Coke.


  3. Melanie, I know how you feel. I've been grappling with the heroine's brother of book two in my pirate series. He's important because he has his own story in book three. I've gone back and forth, unable to settle on a choice. But I think I may have narrowed the field down a bit. ;)

    Get to writing, girl! You create such great characters. I can't wait to see how this one turns out. :D

    Marilyn, I remember Lucky Vanous. What a hunk! He should make a very fine hero.

  4. Heroes are so important to me because they come to me first, fully-formed, but to locate a photo or a model of what I know they look like is the tricky part. I'll never forget watching Wolverine, X-Men Origins, only to find my hero James Butler in the guise of Taylor Kitsch as Gambit. Now that was an AHA! moment.

  5. Glad you are loving it.

    I am in a mess here. Stuff out of the attic and it's every where. Yesterday, my cat got out and gave my computer a virus because I was too curious about something. The cat came back and my computer might be mended but I have to run the scan again.

    I find my heroes in Vanity Fair magazine--almost every time. This time it was a Bath and Body Works ad.

    Got to log off and scan again. Maybe I'll get some housework done!

  6. So sorry you're still having computer problems, Jean. :(

    I'll have to check out Vanity Fair. I haven't read that magazine in ages. ;)

  7. Jean is the visual one in our partnership so she always finds the pictures then I make the movie in my head.

    I am afraid that if it was left up to me all my heros would look like Sam Elliot. I like that tall drink of water look.

  8. My heroes are generally just in my head. I don't use visuals - just a conglomerate of men. But...I do love Sam Elliot and Adrian Paul!!

  9. You see movies in your head too, Stephanie? And isn't Sam Elliot the bomb? He's aged so well and not only that, his voice is iconic. ;)

    Adrian Paul and Sam Elliot too? Oh, Cheryl! You know how to melt my heart. I like how you combine men in general to create the hero in your books. I do that too, as some of the models I choose for my hero don't have the right color eyes, etc... That's what imagination is for, right?

  10. I thought I came back and made a second comment about how gorgeous Richard Armitage is and how I just discovered North and South myself a few months ago, but it looks like it didn't stick. Anyway, I just loved him in that. I had to re-watch the last half of it just to see that kiss at the end. Mm, mm, mmmmmm

    And thank you, Kathy. :-)
    And I have a seeee-cret!!! I will tell you at the Christmas party next week!!!!!! Mwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!
    Actually, I kind of spilled the beans already, on Facebook, but don't tell my agent because she would have a cow!

  11. Melanie! That tender moment was phenomenal. You felt every ounce of love John had held within him and the hope he'd lost blosom with each touch. ~sigh~ What a glorious scene!

    And, I just found out Richard Armitage is in the new Robin Hood series. Woot!

    Secrets!!! Do tell. I love a secret and I'm very, very good about keeping them. (Hint! ;) So I shall be very patient and sidle up to you at the party. Soon very soon you vil tell all!

  12. One more thing ... I watched Captain Blood yesterday. Oh, Kathy, if you haven't seen that movie you HAVE to watch it! I know it's an old black and white one, but it's fabulous. Errol Flynn is absolutely gorgeous in it.

    Since you love pirates, I know you MUST have seen it already. Have you read Rafael Sabatini's pirate novels? Oh, they are awesome. The Sea Hawk is my favorite.

  13. Oh! Captain Blood and The Black Swan are my favorites! I have The Black Swan but don't think I have Blood yet. (Make a note to self.)

    I haven't heard of Rafael Sabatini's books. I must away to ye old book hatchery to obscond with a copy. Thanks for the heads up, Melanie! ;)

  14. Actually, you HAVE heard of Rafael Sabatini's books, Kathy. He wrote Captain Blood AND The Black Swan! And Scaramouche and The Sea Hawk (my favorite).

  15. LOL! That makes complete sense, Melanie! I'm quite humbled. I've apparently never paid attention to who wrote the stories, just who was in the films. I have Scaramouche! (I love Stewart Granger!) I must check on The Sea Hawk. Thanks for the tip. ;)