Okay, I guess I should be writing about something writerly, like how to put a story together or find the right tone for a character's voice, but today I was thinking about spouses, in particular MY spouse. That's him on the left. We've been married for over 35 years, so I figure I know him fairly well--or I thought I did. Then, last week, he turned everything upside down. Doug got hired as an extra for a movie. Now you have to realize, in this family, I'M the one always seeking the spotlight. Not my husband. But he recently retired and saw an ad in the local paper for a casting company looking for vintage vehicles for a movie that takes place in 1975. As the proud owner of a 1972 BMW motorcycle, Doug thought his bike would be perfect. He sent in a photo, was asked to show up, and in the early morning hours made the perilous trip down the mountain to the movie set. The casting director took one look at the bike, and more looks at Doug and hired him on the spot. I imagine his long hair and beard had something to do with it, but suddenly my fairly quiet spouse was an extra in the movie Bottle Shock, a film about the beginning of the modern wine industry in the Napa Valley. He was wearing blue jeans. He needed bell bottoms. They were short...REAL short, but he said later that he recalled his pants were always short back in the early seventies. Of course, the fact that he's REAL tall might have had something to do with it! Anyway, his one day of "stardom" turned into two, and then more. He got called back with instructions to dress as a "biker dude." Anyone want to guess what the kids and I are calling him now? Needless to say, I couldn't wait for Biker Dude to get home at night to hear the stories from the front--he had me laughing so hard I almost had a wreck! (I know...TMI) I found myself looking forward to his tales of Hollywood--there are some notable actors in the movie, including Alan Rickman (Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies) and a young heartthrob I've never heard of named Chris Pine. (No, I don't ever go to movies. Sorry, so if he's your favorite, I apologize!) I found myself seeing my husband through new eyes and wondering how the camera saw him. I hope his scenes don't all end up on the cutting room floor. I hope I get to see him playing pool in the background of the bar scene, or walking up to Alan Rickman in the street scene. I want to see him in the fantasy that is a Hollywood production, because I realized that his experience mimics, in many ways, what I do every day. He was a part of fiction, of fantasy, a character in someone's image of a certain point in time, playing a role determined by the scriptwriter, the director, the other actors. I create fantasy every day with my stories. My characters are all fictional creatures who arise from some well of experience in my mind, and my husband obviously, is part of that experience. He's a little bit Stefan, a lot of Anton, a smidge of Baylor and even a touch of Luc, because he's so much a part of my experience. I can't wait to see what he's like on screen...a part of another writer's imagination. I hope they don't mind, though, that I'll continue to pull parts of his personality, of his humor and his appeal, and use it when I write my books. You know what they say...we write what we know.