The "Brit a Day" series

What does a months-long parade of attractive British men have to do with fiction, you might well ask? These gentlemen have inspired some lovely scenes, part of the life I live in my head. Over time, some of these scenes reach out to one another and begin to form a story. For the present, each one of these pictures provides a writing prompt for me, a way to keep me writing with a sense of passion and narrative, even when the stories are not yet fully formed.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Brit a Day [#24]

Eddie Argos: I don't want anyone to forget for a minute how much I adore this man. His first album with Dyan Valdes of 'The Blood Arm' just came out in the US. I just ordered it last night--it's called "Fixin'the Charts, Vol.1".

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Brit a Day [#23]

Jason Isaacs: If eyes are the windows to the soul.....

He has 2 young daughters named Lily and Ruby. Ruby is also my mother's name, and little Ruby Isaacs and my mom have the same birthday.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Brit a Day [#22]

Davy Jones: an equal-opportunity animal lover. Seems to prefer being photographed with cats over dogs. In reality, he's wild about horses and raises racehorses.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Brit a Day [#21]

Here's two for the price of one. And I DON'T collect photos of Robert Pattinson. Love the myopic one's hair when it's over his collar. Movie HP4 was my favorite look for Daniel Radcliffe.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Brit a Day [#20]

James Blunt: What's he up to these days? When I first discovered him he was dating a Victoria's Secret supermodel. At the time I thought, "How.....expected." But then I learned that she had been on the beach in Indonesia the day of the earth-stopping tsunami--this was before they met--and she had barely survived; her fiance was killed. James Blunt was a Captain in the British Army in his Before Time, and I understand that he saw a lot of suffering in Kosovo, a lot of suffering that he couldn't do much about. I imagine that she--I'm sorry, but I can't remember her name--saw a lot of the same while she was recovering in Indonesia. I guess when they met, they realized that they had a lot in common that other people simply wouldn't understand.

A Brit a Day [#19]

Alex Turner: He's soooo young in this picture, but he was already a legend.

Calling Guest Readers

In support of a forum post I made at another site today, and in preparation for Read Across America, an event that takes place at my kids' schools each year at the beginning of March, I'm going to give you my list of Scots who I would like to have read bedtime stories to me--
1] Henry Ian Cusick--top honors, of course
2] Prime Minister Gordon Brown
3] Billy Connelly--as in 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'
4] Graham Nash--ok, I know he's not Scottish, but I have an ulterior motive for listing his name here
5] Craig Ferguson--he's a little scary, so I might not let him sit on the bed.
6] Ewan MacGregor
7] Professor Angus MacIntyre, my senior-year math advisor from college

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Brit a Day [#18]

'A Brit a Day' will be one month old tomorrow, and I've only had 18 posts. We're still a bit behind, but we can always do with more Alan Rickman. This photograph is from his days directing 'The Winter Guest' with Emma Thompson and her mother playing characters who are mother and daughter. It was filmed in Scotland, and Alan makes a small appearance in it as sort of homage to Alfred Hitchcock. It's a lovely film.

A Brit a Day [#17]

Christian Bale. I've always liked men in dusters and long overcoats. I realized that I could take that fixation to an extreme when I found myself paying particular attention to those fearmongering horsemen of the apocolypse in the first 'Lord of the Rings'---I can't possibly spell it right--I've always called them the Nose Drool. The costume designer for the film talks about those long, wicked, flowing black robes they wore in a featurette. She refers to them as having, with undisguised awe, "thuhty metahs [thirty metres] of black fabric" in each Nose Drool's costume. Now overcoats [see above and on Tommy Lee Jones in 'The Fugitive'], capes [Prof. Snape], dusters [the Keach brothers in 'The Long Riders']--it's all become wrapped up--no pun intended--in that single phrase for me, uttered with a sigh, 30 metres....

A Brit a Day [#16]

Eddie Argos of Art Brut as well as a number of other bands, most recently Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now. He's Scottish on his mother's side, English on his dad's.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Brit a Day [#15]

Henry Ian Cusick. He's amazing, he reminds me of my late father, and he's wearing a very cool shirt. Hopefully, he will be in tomorrow night's episode of 'Lost.'

A Brit a Day [#14]

We're behind; we need more gorgeous men--and I have oodles of them to post.
Professor Snape just about gives away the ending (of the 7th book) with this look.

A Brit a Day [#13]

Daniel Radcliffe from around his 16th birthday. I once had this picture stuck in my head like a pop song.

Like AC/DC, I'm Back in Black

Look at me! I'm a PC and I have Windows 7 and it only took me a week to figure out how to get on the internet.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Brit a Day [#12]

Davy Jones was my first crush, but Graham Nash was my first crush with ideas know...what we might do while we were lying on the Victorian couch in our big house in Laurel Canyon. I've already talked about this photographer here in my blog, Henry Diltz. Henry Diltz's pictures shaped my adolescence and my dreams. He took this one on the road to Big Bear for a photo shoot. Joni Mitchell was Graham's girlfriend at the time. Talk about a power couple.

Diltz's years photographing Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were the same as my years of dreaming about Graham Nash and the big couch in the mansion in southern California, a place I would land in about 20 years. My couch isn't Victorian and my house is no mansion, but I got the most important part right--love, family, and a home in southern California.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Brit a Day [#11]

Christian Bale: I once posted my status on Facebook as "I'm having a Christian Bale film festival before the kids get home from school." My friend Lietza wrote back, "Alright, American Psycho at Jane's house!" It's true, I had to buy a copy of 'American Psycho' in order to see it. The rental copy had been stolen from every Blockbuster in San Diego. In the "Hip to Be Cool" axe murder scene, Christian Bale gives one of the most amazing and bizarre performances I've ever seen.

Hadrian's Wall--part 2

When I opened my eyes, I was lying on the floor and a doctor was kneeling beside me, looking purposefully into my eyes, one at a time. Between him and the nurse and another girl who wore a sweatshirt under her scrubs, they got my limbs untangled and began to assess the damage.

The doctor lifted me in his arms and put me on an exam table in the big room. "How's your head?" he asked.

"It's my arm," I said softly, and tried to extract my arm from the bloody pocket now resting on my stomach.

"Yes, I see," he said, "but I'm trying to see if you're concussed from the fall."

"My head doesn't hurt," I said. "I don't remember it ever hitting the floor."

The girl in scrubs brought over a tray, and they began cleaning my arm. The doctor said I needed some stitches and went to a cabinet across the room to get supplies. With his back to me, he asked me how I hurt my arm, and I told him. When he came back he asked, "When was your last tetanus shot?"

"I don't know. Childhood, I guess."

He looked to the nurse who had come in, but he spoke to me. "Let's get your name and we'll check your file."

"It won't be in there, " I said. "I didn't know the answer when I filled out my health form freshman year."

"Then let's just start with your name." He smiled. The nurse handed him a clipboard with forms on it.

"Opal Solomon." He wrote that on his clipboard. I asked, "What's your name?"

"Dr. Forester." He smiled again, a little awkwardly. "Ethan Forester." He had kind eyes. He was young and had that soft, empathic look that young doctors have. When he turned to give the clipboard to the nurse, I missed the eyes and their warmth immediately. be continued....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Brit a Day [#10]

Alex Turner is the lead singer and lyrical genius behind 'The Arctic Monkeys'. Upon hearing the AM's debut album 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not,' I told my husband that the English language just lays down at Alex's feet and does what ever he tells it too. Effortless rhymes in perfectly complex cadences. Alex was at most 18 when he wrote the songs on that first album. Like me, Sean became a huge fan, in fact we are a family of fans. We took my daughter to her first rock show last fall when the AM's were in town.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Brit a Day [#9]

AHA! it looks like I might be able to post a Brit today, at least until the laptop implodes. My laptop is seriously ill. We've been talking about what to do, and apparently you can re-set a computer to its set-up at some distinct point in the past--kind of like time travel for the downloadable portion of your life. In honor of time travel, I'll post a picture of everyone's favorite time-travelling Scotsman, Desmond Hume from 'Lost'. Notice I did not say 'favorite time-travelling Brit', as that would probably be Dr. Who.

And since it's Monday, and since "A Brit A Day" is sooo far behind, I thought we could use 360 degrees of Alan Rickman, too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hadrian's Wall--part 1

I was pretty sure I was overdue for a tetanus shot. And maybe I needed stitches.

It was amazing what medical services you could get for free at the university infirmary in 1983. The weekend before Christmas that year I was locked out of the dorm. I found a first-floor window unlocked and was hoisting myself in when i got a good sized gash on my forearm from a rusty nail in the window sill.

The cold New England air sure made my arm sting as I walked to Student Health. Most of the students were gone for the holiday, and so that evening seemed to fall particularly hard and fast with no lighted windows in the campus buildings to cushion the feeling of being completely on my own. I tucked my bleeding arm into the kangaroo pouch of my Yale sweatshirt, and by the time I walked through the glass doors of the infirmary, the blood had soaked through making the navy fabric turn glossy blue violet.

The infirmary was understaffed because of the break, I guessed, but there seemed to be no other patients either. No one was in the reception cubicle; then a nurse came out of the big common treatment room that lay behind the front desk. Her eyes widened. I think that's where I fainted.

to be continued.....

plan A--pictures; plan B--words

I had the best of intentions when I started 'A Brit A Day' that I would post every day. I certainly have the ammunition, hundreds of pictures of gorgeous British men. Then my computer crashed, my computer with my jpegs. Only through the courtesy of my 14-year-old daughter am I able to get online at all, using her laptop, and I promised her and myself that I wouldn't upload any files to her computer or download any stuff from the internet.
So without pictures, I suppose I'll have to write something. So here goes, my newest short story...