The writing vacation was necessary. I was stuck and needed to give my subconscious some time to work things through. The Crayola(TM)bathtub crayons prevent me from losing the threads of ideas as they come to me. I know that when the time comes I'll be able to weave them into a beautiful tapestry because of the time off. The colours will pop, the pattern will be clear and I'll love the feel of the fabric beneath my fingers. I've just been too tired to appreciate any of it.
Many of my friends are writers. It's inevitable when we get together that our conversation will turn to the craft of writing. I spent a lovely evening with three talented women discussing the process. It's different for everyone, different for each book. None of them have an online presence but the minute they do, I'll link to them because they are each brilliant in their own right. I'm very blessed with the friends in my life. That night with strong women watching Shirley Valentine prepared me well for the next day with another brilliant writer.
I went to see my dear friend Elen. We spent a great deal of our afternoon discussing the industry of writing; blogging, websites, networking, workshops and conferences. We've both been mentored by some amazing and generous authors like JoAnn Ross, Maggie Shayne, Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. That conversation naturally segued into our personal fun reading. We both vehemently believe that the Outlander series should not be made into a movie. We have very definite ideas of what Jamie and Claire look like. And as much as I love him, Gerard Butler is not Jamie.
After we went to see P.S.I love you Elen asked me about my obsession with the incomparable Mr. Butler. I wasn't surprised by the question but I did have to think about it. Two writers in a dark theater watching some seriously sexy men led to some interesting conversation. Dialogue, costume, music, setting; they were all fodder for our discussion, but none more than casting. Hilary Swank didn't do it for Elen. I could agree with her assessment but I lived for Gerry's screen time. A slight exaggeration but he drove the movie for me. So of course we analyzed it because there's a paranormal brewing in my head about that fascination.
He's certainly an attractive man - dark hair, gorgeous eyes, sexy accent and a crooked smile. His grin lights his face and takes it over. You can't help but grin back. His character had a boundless enthusiasm for life. They usually do.
I've never been one for subtext. It usually sails over my head. I've struggled with it from the time I was a child. She read compassion mingled with love in his eyes always threw me for a loop. I was too literal and expected to see the letters crossing his eyes like words on a teleprompter. I still can't interpret The Look the manager gave me the other day.
But in every single movie, including 300, Gerard Butler looks at the heroine like she is the reason he breathes. It's never the same look. It's not like he lowers his lids, scrunches up his nose or lets his jaw go slack. I can't describe the look because it's not physical. Regardless of whether it's walking along the waterfront in Dear Frankie or in the hills of Ireland in P.S. I love you, the essence is the same. That is his appeal to me as a viewer. The day I nail that emotion in a scene is the day I'll know I am a writer of merit.
Thanks to two days of relaxed movie watching and hanging out with writing buddies, I've finally been able to understand the magic of that particular actor. I'm sure I'll be able to infuse my characters with a similar magic because the knowing only enhanced it. Thanks to modern technology, I'll always have Gerry to remind me.