Character

I like men with character; if they also happen to look good, the universe gets a lolly.  Gargoyles and carbuncles have interesting features and histories, to some people, and ordinary men blend into backgrounds to create the foundations of that thing we call society. I always wanted a man who could do the backstroke and butterfly right through the sludge…the trouble with men like that is that they are fragile. All the men who captured my attention got broken and I had to leave, or die.

Little did I know that I was never meant for real men or real love in the real world. Fiction is the feast I should have stayed with instead of the battleground of insane relationships, but I’m glad I had all the sex, and added to the population. The wisdom I gained far outweighs that of the 50yr marriages – no, once is definitely not enough. Fantasy men, especially surgeons, US Marshals and wizards, are knocking on my window at all hours of the day and night…honest to God. And, I can read with my eyes shut. Yes, there are voices in my head – only because they’re part of an audio book, of course. The surgeons are mainly on TV so I have to make the effort there.

Last week, I realised that I’d fallen in love with Jim Butcher’s wizard Harry Dresden. Madly, and now I don’t know what I’m going to do until the next book comes out. Remember last year…when I fell in love with McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy?

Well, I’m right back in that armchair. Ah, life is but a dream. My head is full of James Marsters’ voice dragging poor old Harry through all those dangerous adventures and lashing out spells all over Chicago. I want to cry Fuego! And blast up a fire storm under the publishers, and Mr Butcher to get my book done. Meanwhile, I’ll just return to The Lord of the Rings for comfort and snuggle up with Strider, on video. I like the grubby character of the ranger rather than the clean and sweet-smelling king.

These people slip into my armour and become part of my obsessions and I will love them forever, re-watching, re-reading, and re-listening until I fall out of my rocking chair. Does this make me a character? Probably. I won’t be a bag-lady but I’ll never fit into the normal shape of an old woman. As long as I don’t slobber over young men in public I shouldn’t make anybody sick…but I can’t consciously think salacious thoughts about young men because my grandchildren are stretching into manhood and it doesn’t feel good. The men I want to hook my eyes and ears into are all over thirty – so that’s all right then, isn’t it? And don’t get me started on Timothy Olyphant from Justified. God, that man’s a god.

So, how do some characters bury themselves up to their armpits in your life and hundreds/thousands of others don’t? I need to know how almost every episode of Greys Anatomy makes me feel something, and how I’m drawn to Harry Dresden so I can write characters and build scenes like that. My characters are never going to be the standard of beauty or climb into one-size-fits-all lives but I want them to cast spells. I want people to feel them, to need them in their bags, on their tables and talking in their ears.

I’ve done a lot of thinking this past six months of not writing and now that it’s over I feel the words falling out of the air, dropping like bombs – a big one landed today and has changed my plans for tomorrow night. I’m alive after all. But, now I’m wondering what my Harry Dresden would look like.

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