Sunday, January 13, 2008

PS I love the way you look at me

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.


  1. Great post. I still want to see the movie P.S. I love you in spite of what my DH says. I never listen to the critics.

    I think it is time to tell your brother you want Gerard Butler. He got you the last guy you asked for. ;-)

  2. Sometimes, you just need to step back, as a writer, peg your story on the clothesline and let it sway in the breeze. You can tell it's Monday. Wash day. Snerk.

    I'm so intrigued by what you've said about Gerard Butler that I'm going to have to see some of his other films. See if I can SEE that look.

    It was a grand day, Miss Keziah.

    Excellent post.

  3. Anonymous12:52 AM

    I totally agree with you about the way Gerry looks at Hillary Swank in PS. Brilliant. I went with a girlfriend and came out telling her I want a guy to look at me the way he looks at her in that film!

  4. Anonymous6:53 PM

    The look is very very pronounced by Butler in the Phantom of the Opera. His eyes say he adores Christine with every cell in his body. It's the most romantic portrayal I've ever seen in a movie. Ymmmm.

  5. I totally agree with your comments about "the look". You said it perfectly. He can speak volumns with his eyes. (Sorry about the subtext!!) The look he give Lizzie before he kisses her in "Dear Frankie" is amazing...He won me over at that moment.
    I have enjoyed reading your have a wonderful gift! I wish you much success in the future.

  6. By the by...My friends and I are in complete agreement with you that they need to leave the OUTLANDER series alone and NEVER make it into a movie!! You don't mess with success...

  7. zingera - thank you for the lovely compliment. I appreciate the good wishes.

    I watched Beowulf and Grendel last night. He had similar look in that. I think it's the wealth and depth of emotion he manages to convey. He's a very talented actor - who happens to be yummy at the same time :-)