Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble . . .

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Well, since the posts seem to be leaning toward rambling this week, I am going to fall in line and talk about TV and maybe post a bit of my work in progress.

There’s not a lot on TV that interests me anymore. But while I was flipping one night, I came across a comedy/drama called Castle, about a successful mystery writer, Richard Castle, who apparently helps/shadows the police. The show starts out with the intro, “There are two kinds of folks that sit around thinking about how to kill people---psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better. Who am I? Castle.”

He started shadowing/helping them when he is asked to help on a case of a copycat killer who is acting out one of his novels. Of course after he meets detective Kate Beckett, he decides to base his next series on her. She is his inspiration so to speak. Using his contacts with the mayor, he gets permission to shadow her on all of her cases. There is some really witty dialogue, lots of tension, and it actually has mysteries that aren’t predictable. Last week, they were going to arrest someone and everyone got out of the car with the navy blue jackets that have POLICE emblazoned on them, and Castle gets out with WRITER emblazoned on his. I mean, it’s the little things, but they’re funny.

Like when one of the murder victims had “your out of time,” written on them at the murder scene and while the detectives are talking about what this means, Castle talks about how “your” is spelled wrong, that it should be “you’re.” The detectives are looking at him like he has two heads and then he says, “I’m just saying, whoever killed her also murdered the English language,” and he goes on talking about how your and you’re aren’t even one of the hard ones like who and whom. It was funny in a macabre way. Anyway, from what I’ve seen so far, this is a great new series and I want to see if Hulu or somewhere else has last season’s shows so I can catch up. (I just checked. Hulu has some but not all. Don’t you love Hulu though?) I’ll keep looking.

The other show I watch is Dancing With the Stars. I know, I know, but I can’t help myself. I like watching the range of people, especially people that you think would be coordinated and really aren’t. I’m loving Donny Osmond so far and the guy from Iron Chef, Mark DeCascos. I’ve never watched Iron Chef, but this guy has some moves!

I went to the UVU Book Academy conference last week and taught about jazzing up your book club, did a book signing, and also taught a self-editing and revision class. The rest of the weekend was busy with a birthday party for my son and my father’s visit, and I couldn’t write, so in my limited down time, I read H.B. Moore’s new book “Alma.” Honestly, I haven’t met another writer who can weave a story with that much suspense when we all know how it turns out anyway. I’m going to review it here soon, so I won’t give too much away, but it was a great way to motivate myself to write again.

I’ve been working on my new book and I have one character that is . . . well, maybe I’ll post a part of his introduction and let you tell me what you think he is all about.

Ethan Barak stood at the edge of the grave, the gaping hole in the earth waiting for its spoils. Ethan stared at the dirt, not lifting his head as the rain started to fall, as if even heaven itself wanted to hurry the process of burial. The rain coursed down his face, making the paths of tears where there were none. He felt nothing. No grief. No anger. Just an empty void, as empty as the grave in front of him.

He could hear stirrings from the church and knew the funeral was probably over and the procession bearing the coffin would soon be here. The grave would be satisfied, the gaping mouth covered over and closed once it was full. Ethan wouldn’t stay for that. He shoved the piece of paper deeper into his pocket and started to move away from the gravesite. His father had been murdered, there was no doubt of that. Someone was trying to send a message to him---whether his undercover work for MI-6 had been discovered or if it was retaliation for his part in stopping al-Qaeda’s attempts to attack Paris, he couldn’t be sure. But Ethan had received the message and was about to send one of his own. He was going to find the person who’d done it and make them feel the pain he couldn’t.

For some reason it makes me nervous to post this when it’s my work in progress. But even from that small snippet, do you get a sense of who he is? You can tell me.

I’m really enjoying this character and how he’s shaping up in the book. Like I said, it’s just the beginning of his introduction, but if you have an opinion to share, let me know. Remember, though, work-in-progress.

Well, I think my rambling is over. Can you believe it’s October already? I heard there’s only 84 more shopping days until Christmas. Gives us something to think about, doesn’t it?


At 10/01/2009 2:40 PM, Blogger Meredith said...

I've read this before, but I will say again how much I love it! Ethan has such amazing depth, and I can't wait to see how this story explores it!

At 10/01/2009 2:51 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

I love DWS. I used to be a dancer, I have even taught ballroom before so this is one of my favorite shows. My kids are no longer amazed when I tell them what the judges are going to say and the scores they are going to give before they do it.

My favorite line from Castle from last season, I think the 2nd or 3rd show? Beckett to Castle "We can't all live on page 6 now can we?"

At 10/01/2009 4:24 PM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

I've heard other good things about Castle, and I've loved Nathan Fillion since Firefly, but since I can't access Hulu from outside of the United States, I'm going to have to wait for the DVD to become available here.

I hate waiting.

Ethan ... why doesn't he feel anything at the death of his father? Has something happened in his past that numbed him so completely? He obviously feels something, perhaps a sense of obligation, otherwise, he wouldn't have come to the empty grave, but this complete lack of emotion is much too intense. I don't think it can be explained away by him simply being estranged from his father. But if he never knew his father and therefore felt nothing for him, then why did somebody try to send him a message by murdering the man? Some other target might have been more effective. I'm intrigued to find out, and to see what Ethan does to Mister Dad-Destroyer, but I guess I have to wait until the book comes out.

And as I said before, I hate waiting.

At 10/01/2009 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so totally freaky. My son texted me this morning and asked me if I watched Castle. Since I didn’t recognize the name, I quickly said no. He sent a text back giving me a micro-synopsis. When I got home I logged onto Hulu and within a single episode I was hooked. I recognized Castle’s face but couldn’t place him. Thank you, Melanie. I’ve seen every episode of Firefly, but it’s been a while. I now have my son on a hunt for the first few episodes of Castle, and also the premier that can’t be seen on Hulu. I’d really rather watch them in sequential order. I know that a lot of character building goes on in the first season, just like in a good book, and I rather not see them out of order. I wonder how Rob, or is it Jeff, got a hold of five whole seasons of Lost?


At 10/01/2009 7:11 PM, Blogger J Scott Savage said...


Al 5 seasons of lost are on hulu

At 10/01/2009 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang it! That's not fair.


At 10/01/2009 8:54 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

Those bits about Castle were hilarious. I just may have to netflix that sucker.

Ethan seems a very intense sort of person for me. You already get a feel for his code of honor and personal sense of retribution. I'm eager to learn more about his dad's shadowy past. =]

At 10/01/2009 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

Nathan Fillion also did a TV/movie online only episode called "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog". Funny stuff. Neil Patrick Harris is in it too. You can watch it on Hulu.

After watching that and then hearing he was in a show called Castle, I watched an episode. I usually don't like crime shows, but this one seems to be a lot more tame compared to a lot of those types of shows.

At 10/01/2009 9:50 PM, Blogger One Cluttered Brain said...

Does Ethan feel nothing because he did not have a good relationship with his dad? At first I though Ethan might have murdered the person going into the ground but then you find out in second paragraph it is his dad getting buried. He has to find out who wanted his father dead..he has some clues...Oooo looks like this could be quite an intriguing novel. Good luck!

At 10/01/2009 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear, dear son just bought the first season of Castle for me and placed it next to my computer. I will now get to see the series from the beginning. Whoo hoo!


At 10/01/2009 10:34 PM, Blogger Paige's Pages said...

I absolutely cant wait to read this new novel of yours! :) Of course I will have to wait, and even longer than i used to as I gave up long time job at Seagull to be a Nanny in New York. At any rate I cant wait to explore the characters in your new book!

At 10/02/2009 1:35 AM, Blogger Stephanie Humphreys said...

You just had to slip in the comment about how close Christmas is. Now I'm not going to sleep too night - too much to do!

Castle sounds interesting. I'll have to see if I can get it here.

At 10/02/2009 12:06 PM, Blogger Melanie J said...

Castle is stinkin' hilarious. We stumbled across it right at the beginning and Nathan Fillion's character just kills me.

As for Ethan, I'd say I have a very clear picture of who he is. I like the line about making the killers feel the pain he can't. It says a whole lot with very little. Nicely done!

At 10/02/2009 12:30 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Thank you for the feedback on Ethan everyone! It's nice to hear what resonates and helpful to hear what doesn't.

Paige you moved to New York? Wow! Are you loving it?

Deb, I want to get the first season on DVD, too. Glad to hear it's out.

Thanks again, everyone!

At 10/02/2009 12:32 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10/02/2009 6:17 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I definitely need to check out Castle. And I really liked your portrait of Ethan so far--he's different, and that makes him intriguing.

At 10/04/2009 11:16 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

I love Castle. It's my new favorite show.

So your new book...are there going to be any aliens in this one?


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