One thing I cannot resist is a mystery show with quirky, lovable characters in which the relationships are just as important as the crime-solving, i.e. Bones, Castle and Veronica Mars. In fact, I can’t resist any show with quirky, lovable characters. Gilmore Girls, Office, West Wing, anything by Joss Whedon. I loves them all.
That was a long way of saying Castle is one of my favourite shows.
I mean, come on. Who can resist Nathan Fillion?
But more than Fillion’s quirky lovability, the character of Castle and I share some very similar qualities, beyond the crime-solver by day, writer by night life. (Unfortunately I am yet to solve any crimes working at a PI office, but I’m certain that day will come). (Although I will always remember the day my brother in law told me "you’re just like Castle!").
No, the reason Richard Castle and I are basically the same person (other than our liberal use of hyperbole) is that we both buy into the romance.
This may be the worst structured blog entry I’ve ever written, and I totally understand why you are confused. Let me step back for a moment.
As I’ve grown older I’ve begun to understand some fundamental truths about my personality, about what makes me tick. And I’ve found the more I understand myself, the more I can use that understanding to my advantage. One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I find my motivation in story.
I like to think of life as a series of grand social narratives that we all subscribe to, more or less. Narratives like ‘coming of age’, ‘high school milestones’, and ‘starving artist/student’. Now some people remove themselves from the narrative altogether, not liking being told how to feel. Think of the people who refuse to go to formals/the prom or celebrate Valentines Day. These people don’t like being manipulated, and I totally get it. But I like being manipulated in that way, because I recognise that I’m the one doing the manipulating by the very act of ‘buying into the romance’. I’ll get back to that.
Another thing I’ve learned about myself is that I need purpose. I cannot do something ‘just because’. I need a reason to go to work everyday, to study, to go for a walk. I was that annoying kid in school who whinged about having to take Maths because ‘when would I ever use that in the real world?’ (For the record, I stopped studying Maths after year 10, and while I value knowing the basics, like how to use a calculator, I in no way feel disadvantaged for not having studied Maths in year 11 and 12. But that’s just me.)
It can be very frustrating, because sometimes the answer to ‘why do I have to do that?’ is ‘just because’. Or the answer is incredibly mundane like – ‘you need to work so we can pay rent this week’. But in recent years I’ve learned that I can motivate myself to get through the annoying parts of life if I buy into the romance. And no, I’m not talking about the harlequin kind of romance, although that is definitely a grand social narrative I’ve chosen to buy into.
I’m talking about the romance of everyday social situations. For instance, as I’ve gone on and on about recently, a few months ago I got my first full-time job. Now, for someone who needs a purpose for everything she does, spending 40 hours a week in an office – time I could be writing, or studying, or adventuring, mind you – can be a little bit crazy-making. But I’m able to get through it by finding the story, the romance, of the situation. In my story, I’m the 20-something city girl climbing her way up the corporate ladder. In my story I’m the struggling artist, who spends all day at a hum-drum office job, in order to go home and spend a few hours on her art. In my story, I’m the private detective, solving crimes and making the world safe and just. Of course, none of these things are altogether TRUE but they each have elements of truth, and elements of romance, that I use to get through the boring parts of life.
I do this in every area of my life. It’s how I convince myself to stay up that extra hour to write a few hundred words. It’s how I keep my house tidy. It’s why I get so over-the-top excited about holidays like Christmas and New Years, and the seasons, and major life events like friends getting married and having babies. Because I choose to buy into the romance.
It makes life more fun.
You can see now why Castle is my character alter-ego. He, too, gets exited by everyday things. Remember the episode at the archaeological museum, in which Castle pretended he was Indiana Jones? He, too, uses the story to inform his experience of the world. Remember every single Castle episode ever, in which he’s certain that guy didn’t do it because ‘it wouldn’t make a good story’? Castle uses the story to enhance his enjoyment of life, just as I use his story to enhance my decidedly more mundane life.
Because in my imagination, this is me:
And this is me:
And this is me:
And this is me:
But I love the story. And I will always buy into the romance.
So how is my Easter Writing Marathon progressing, you ask? No so bad:
12402 / 70000 words. 18% done!
It may look like I didn’t achieve much but yesterday was probably my busiest day of the whole long weekend, what with church, doing the bulletin and THREE different groups of visitors over the course of the day. In the end I got a couple of hours and I finished chapter 5, so I’m doing a happy dance. It does mean I need to get about 1900 words written per day for the rest of the break, but I’m down with that.
I gots my tea and I gots my chocolate, the husband is out shooting paint bullets at his brothers, and I’m all set for a perfect writing day. I may even take a break later and go for a walk in the glorious sunshine we’ve got at the moment.
How’s your Easter going?