Was watching an old episode of NCIS the other night — one of my favorites, where Special Agent Timothy McGee (a novelist on the side) is being razzed by his co-workers for basing his characters on them. It’s what writers do. Especially novelists. We transform our experiences, and the people we know, into workable scenes. It’s so tempting right now because I work with a Savannah and a Cheyanne. I mean really! What great names! Two beautiful young girls who would make great characters at that! I don’t know Cheyanne’s boy friend, but Savannah’s guy–also at our workplace–is great. One of the characters I’ve been working on is so much like him already, it’s scary. Actually, everybody I work with is a character. It’s like having almost two dozen new little brothers. And there are four Chris’s there, too. Maybe I should put them all in John Victor’s second adventure. Chris could throttle Chrissy while Christy and Chris race to save the day. Not familiar with John Victor? He’s a treasure hunter based on my brother (John Victor) from Alaska. His first adventure, entitled “The SEED” was nominated by a college professor to be on a required reading list for incoming freshmen, (yes, really!) and it was a top-ten finalist in a national contest (as a work in progress long before it was published). Check it out at http://www.annrichduncan.com.
So the other day I was looking at a VanGogh. Well, not the real thing . . . some of his most famous works were in a how-to book about painting. I’ve never really been a fan, until I was told I should study the master’s brush strokes. And pit them against the subject matter. Huh? Well, after a lot of coaxing and coaching, I began to realize his paintings are like the human condition. The subjects? Usually quaint, harmless, peaceful things. The brush strokes? Almost violent—like so many people who seem easy going on the outside, but are quivering with so much on the inside, be it anger, love, excitement, or disappointment. Makes you want to look really close. But, when I look at my work — the writing I mean — I seem to have it in the opposite. Take John Victor’s adventures. Based on murder, greed and devious plots; but, as my hero muddles through the puzzles, you see humor, love, and faith . . . and even some enlightening facts (after all, I love to research the flora, fauna and history of the sites). Mostly typical (but fun) suspense stuff, though. Anyhow, I’m puzzling right now about my nephew Scotty’s trip to Alaska to visit the “real” John Victor. Beautiful scenery. Exciting gold hunting. Fun stuff. But Alaska? It’s quivering with extremes . . . and danger. Hmmm. I wonder what I can do to Scotty’s tales? Not familiar with John Victor? Check him out at my website: www.annrichduncan.com. Check out Johnny Vic while you’re at it! And stay tuned for Scotty’s Alaskan Adventures!
So, week one of the “factory type” job is almost done. No writing this week. Had two nights of overtime. Getting home at 1:30 AM doesn’t make the muse happy. Got some ideas for “work site scenes” though. The place is full of real characters! I had one of them (my trainer no less) laugh so hard he couldn’t stop and had to yell, “Retreat!” It’s a comedy scene that’ll keep my readers laughing for sure. Speaking of comedy scenes, if you haven’t read my novel of suspense, “The SEED”, you’ll get a kick out of Melvin. “The SEED” deals with the dangerous path we’re traveling on in regard to genetically modified foods. The hero is loosely based on my brother, a treasure hunter with a gold mine in Alaska. Here’s Mel in action . . . .
I ain’t involved in no kidnappin’, Melvin thought when he hung up the phone. “I gotta get away!” He collapsed onto his couch, slapped his palms together prayer fashion and tried to think. Sometimes, when he squeezed his eyes shut real tight, it helped.
He tried but no thoughts came.
“Okay, maybe I gotta move around a little. Was I movin’ the last time I got an idea?” He decided to give it a try. He lifted his corpulent torso off the couch and started to pace. With squinty eyes and bouncing belly he thumped back and forth across the room, hoping to come up with something. After several passes he was dizzy. “Nope. Nothing, darn it!”
Then he remembered, “Oh, yeah! I was eating! I think better when I eat!” He raced toward the kitchen, tugged at the refrigerator door and foraged behind two bottles and slimy lumps that once had been tomatoes. The only edible thing he could find was a chunk of cheese. he decided that it would be okay to eat it–as long as he avoided the fuzzy blue spots.
Melvin searched for the best angle to get a good bite and wondered if cheese was brain food. “Prob’ly not–mice ain’t too swift.” He carefully sunk his teeth into the good edge. “Gee, this ain’t too bad.” He decided it was worth the effort to stop and eat even if cheese was not brain food and reached for a beer to wash it down. After his hasty feast, Melvin was ready to try to think once again.
Want more? Check out “The SEED” at www.annrichduncan.com.
Well, it’s finally up and running! It’s our video, “Seed Baby,” that can be found on my website: www.annrichduncan.com. Just scroll down on the home page. Click onto it right there, or click the you tube button (to bring you directly to You Tube). Leave a comment!
The SEED is my novel of suspense–the first John Victor adventure–that features treasure hunter, John Victor. Did you know he’s based on my brother? A real treasure hunter who has traveled across the country in search of heirlooms, gemstones and all sorts of lost treasure. And, he has a gold mine, too! In Alaska.
Check out my archives for other posts that include recipes, art, pages from The SEED, famous quotes and more. Thanks for reading this far.