Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Speaking of Chuck....

Happy Wednesday! I like Wednesdays. Actually I like all the days of the week, even Mondays. Poor Monday gets so little love, but the days I like best are the days when there's little to distract me from writing. Mondays are good for that.

And speaking of writing, yesterday was the most prolific day I've had since my BC (before chemo) days. I usually write in the neighborhood of 500-1000 words a day. That's a respectable  amount of first drafting for me. Yesterday I clocked in at 3117 words. Those three or four scenes were high action, high emotion, high romance, and high pain. They left me wrung like a dish rag, but I love that. It's quite the ride to go along with my characters and be in the grip of their emotions. And I have to sustain it far longer than they would, were they real and really living out these scenes. Because I don't write at the speed of life, and I do draft after draft, even to get to the point of what I consider is a "first draft." And I wonder sometimes if this is what actors experience, television actors, for instance, doing take after take of the same scene, and say it's an emotional scene. Do they feel it every time? Some takes more than others? Does it utterly drain them by the end of the day like yesterday's 8-9 hours of writing drained me?

And speaking of television actors, I know I've been saying that my male MC from Willa (my WIP) looks a lot like Josh Groban, only with blue eyes, but Josh, as close as he is, was never exactly Neil MacGregor for me. Close, very close. But I've gone and found an actor who is even closer. His name is Zachary Levi. He plays Chuck, on NBC's Chuck. I've come late to discovering this show, and am working my way through seasons 1 and 2 and soon 3 when it's released, because season 4 will be starting up this fall. One thing that instantly endeared me to this character of Chuck Bartowski is that he is Neil MacGregor, if Neil wasn't born in the 18th century--a sweet, big-hearted, caring, intelligent nerd of a guy who is one moment awkward, the next adorable as a puppy dog, still the next startlingly handsome, and only needs to be thrust into the right (or wrong?) circumstances to bring out the latent hero qualities he doesn't know he possesses, that have been buried deep due to a devastating loss and wound to his self-image that he just can't quite get over. That's Chuck. That's also Neil. If only he had blue eyes (and thank you to Kaye Dacus for providing even that for me).

And speaking of Wednesdays and Chuck, tonight at my church (Applegate Christian Fellowship) we are hosting Pastor Chuck Smith from Costa Mesa, CA, and the band Lovesong. Flash from the past (a little Chuck humor for your day)! If you'd like to tune in you can, via the KAPL link over in my sidebar. Service starts at 7pm, left coast time. Can't wait to finally see this wonderful Bible teacher in person, a man who was instrumental in the 1970's Jesus Movement, and who I've been listening to on the radio for over twenty years.

But first, speaking of the past, that's where I'm headed now. New York, 1784.


  1. It's so much fun when you finally find your character. You search and search and then you just see him (or her) someday and say, "there you are!" I found my hero like that. He was a picture on some guy's website when he was a young man at a reenactment museum and a photographer actually took a tintype of him so it looks authentic. I emailed the man and asked if I could use his photo and he was tickled.

    My heroine came from a real 19th century photograph. They make such an adorable couple. It makes me think of a time travel story. Oh,oh, those wheels are starting to turn again.
    I might have to blog about how I found my characters, too.

    I'm so glad to hear that you got so much accomplished. And new words!!! You are doing such a fantastic job. Sometimes I cry and through a scene I write. It seems a little strange since it comes from my own imagination, but I guess the emotions are what is so real.

    I'm so looking forward to reading your books!

  2. Carla, Oh, you should have seen me yesterday. Bawling my eyes out off and on for eight hours. And then laughing at myself. Then crying some more. It has to be similar to acting, inhabiting a character like that. We just do it with words.

    That's so cool how you found your characters. Having them in tintype, even cooler. I suppose I'd have to have portraits of mine, since not even tintype existed in the 1700s.

  3. Oh, dear. Sounds like you need a hug.{{ hug!}}

    Sometimes I search for people at or look for master painters portraits. Even if you don't find your character you can get lots of ideas. And waste time, too!

  4. Carla, it's all part of the fun. I wouldn't do it it if I didn't love it.

    And oh the many ways for wasting time on line., huh? Portraits from the late 18th century are great research sources.