Monday, April 26, 2010

Sometimes There's Magic

by Nancy

Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote, "Some enchanted evening, you will meet a stranger . . . across a crowded room." I think that song's popularity endures because it speaks to people--to the magic of that instant of connection that didn't exist before, to the "what if" that is the hope of finding true love, sometimes where we least expect it.

There are many kinds of magic in stories. There's the magic of an idea that springs forth, fully formed, in one of those fabulous, brain-buzzing, "aha" moments. It can be one that gives birth to a book or film or one that gives the plot a new and terrific twist or one that adds new depth to the characters. There's the magic of a hero and heroine who meet, whether or not for the first time, and realize life has changed forever. We'll come back to them after we look at other kinds of magic moments.

The bigger and harder the change, the more I love the story. I also love reading along and suddenly realizing, "Oooh. That's what that little, insignificant thing back there was setting up. Wow!" That kind of twist is magical to me, whether I'm creating it or reading or seeing it on a screen.

Then there's the magic of Merlin and his ilk, paranormal power that bursts through the world's regular rules and changes something for good or evil. Sort of magical "boom." Y'all know I have a weakness for the Arthurian legends, right? A major, serious weakness. I stood on the cliffs at Tintagel and heard the concussive thunder of the sea pounding the cave mouths below and imagined the tide out, the caves damp, the waves silver with moonlight, and Merlin waiting in the gloom for Uther to descend from the fortress above. Their joint deceit, at poor Ygraine's expense, brought forth England's greatest legend, one "brief, shining moment" that still calls to people across the centuries.

Standing on the crest of South Cadbury hill, looking through afternoon haze to Glastonbury Tor, I could almost see the landscape under moonlight, the hillside below me parting, and the Knights of the Round Table riding forth on midsummer night. To me, Camelot abounds with possibility, and therein lies both its magic and its power. The landscape evokes it, but the idea comes from books like The Once and Future King. Or the Lerner & Loewe musical Camelot.

Music has its own uniquely evocative power. I can't hear a Star Trek theme (original TV show or films) without feeling tingly, especially if I'm sitting in a theater and the lights are down. I get genuine goosebumps, as though the music, alone, were a call to adventure. When I hear "When the Saints Go Marching In," I'm back in the bleachers on a Friday night, tasting a clarinet reed and plastic mouthpiece as I play, sweating a bit in my wool uniform in the humid warmth of a Carolina August night. I can see the bugs rising from the football field illuminated by floodlights, can almost smell the chalk from the freshly lined field. The memory lasts only a moment, but a moment that's real and compelling. That's magic, too.

The summer I went to England, I traveled a lot with a particular group. This was before cars had CD players, but this one had a cassette player. Someone in the group had Janis Joplin's greatest hits and one of Linda Ronstadt's albums. We played them a lot. I can't hear "Bobby McGee" or "Love is a Rose" without flashing on that summer and those people, sitting for an instant of memory in a Ford Fiesta straight-drive on a narrow British road. It's sort of time travel, however fleeting.

When the boy was little, he loved Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee" and the water-skiing video that accompanied it on the old Nashville Network. I'll never again hear that song without thinking of the boy standing in the living room at age two, rocking his knees--the toddler equivalent of dancing--to that song or lying in my arms as a baby, almost, almost asleep, so close to dropping off after a bout of colic, only to have his eyes pop open as though the lids were spring-loaded when that video came on TV. That song lyric is a collection of memories, not really a narrative, but it feels like one.

Magic moments come along in life, in music, and in fiction. The meetings of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, of Frederica Merriville and the Marquis of Alverstoke, of Richard Castle and Kate Beckett, of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. The reunion of Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca.

Other moments than meetings can hold that magic, moments like turning points or payoffs. In Australia, Nicole Kidman looks up and sees Hugh Jackman standing in the doorway at the ball and knows she doesn't have to sell her land. In Music & Lyrics, Drew Barrymore is walking out of the concert but realizes Hugh Grant's song is directed at her, begging for her forgiveness from the stage. In Beauty & the Beast, Belle decides she'll stay with Beast. In Romancing the Stone, Kathleen Turner walks down the street to find Michael Douglas on his boat waiting for her. In The Mask of Zorro, Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones duel in the barn and exchange their hearts with their ripostes.

The horns of Rohan echo off Mt. Mindolluin's sides just when the inhabitants of Minas Tirith think all is lost. Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and sets his feet on the path of "might for right." Luke Skywalker risks everything on his untried use of the Force and blows up the Death Star, saving the rebellion.

All these moments are magic to me. What's magic to you? What romance fiction or movie couple do you think has the most powerful magical moment, and why? What other moments in books or films or life are magic to you? Is there music involved? Does a particular place evoke something for you?

60 comments:

Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

Nancy what a great post and you are so right you can feel that pull between couples in books and movies and in the movies there is always music. And for me there are so many songs that bring back memories of days gone by and places that I have been or things happening that a song will make me think of.

I have read so many books and there have been some fantastic couples that you feel the magic moment when the tide turns too many to name or even think of while I post this my mind is a total blank at the moment LOL. As for movies again so many.

I will be thinking about this and be back

Have Fun
Helen

Christine Wells said...

Magical post, Nancy! I identified with so many of those moments. Especially the English ones. I remember being in the cloisters at Canterbury Cathedral where the knights chased down Thomas Beckett and it was so atmospheric, as the guide told the story I could see it happening. Shivers!

Great movie moment--in An Affair to Remember when Nicky realizes Terri can't walk, in Roman Holiday where the Gregory Peck character shows he's going to keep the Princess's secret.

I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's magic moments!

Congrats on the chookie, Helen!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Helen.

Hi Nancy,
There were many magical moments in "Last of the Mohicans," but one of these moments was quite sad. It's where Uncas dies while trying to save Alice and she jumps off the cliff. Some might not think this was a magical moment because they died, but I was happy that they were together in a way.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Thank you, Nancy, for an awesome post! I’d love to hear more about your trip to England, no matter how long ago!

I, too, was mesmerized by Tintagel Castle when we visited Cornwall three summers ago. We were staying in a farm B&B on the Tamar River (boundary between Devon and Cornwall). Just after we checked out, I spotted a historic marker on the building, stating it had owned by the 7th Duke of Bedford. It was magical to realize this connection as his wife, Anna Maria Russell, is an indirect reason why I promote romance reading (I’ve shared the story with Donna MacMeans, who wrote about a fictional Duke of Bedfoed in the Seduction of a Duke).

Gillian Layne said...

Nancy, this is such a beautifully powerful post!

Mary Balogh's A Summer to Remember has a scene where Lauren's grandfather tells her that her mother is actually alive, and sent many letter to her that she never saw. That scene reduces me to tears almost every time I read it.

In Anna's Tempt the Devil, when Olivia shares the truth about Leo and his birth, it's very powerful and intimate. Gave me those goosebumps you talked about. :)

I'm certain there are so many more, but I need to get to work. I'll look forward to reading what everyone else mentions.

And Nancy--the beginning strains of the Star Wars music when Luke is looking over the desert after his aunt and uncle's home has been burned, and he knows his world is changing forever? I get chills, every time.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Great post, Nancy. I can hear the horns of Rohan now. One of my favorite scenes is where all the hundreds of riders are lined up for the charge of the Rohirrim.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98MtWe2nCS4&feature=related

Also love the moment toward the end of Return of the King when the elves part and Aragorn sees Arwen. Ahh.

Wow, there are so many of these magical moments in favorite books and movies, and they are powerful and wonderful to read or watch.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Jane, I agree with you about the Uncas-Alice moment. They were such a tragic couple that never got a chance.

Nancy said...

Helen, glad you liked the post. Songs really do take me back. Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" (I've never figured out what that means!) takes me back to a party with my high school band buddies, which is where I first heard it. I've reconnected with some of them via Facebook, which has been nice.

I sympathize with the blank memory. That sometimes happens to me when I read a comment prompt, and then I have to sit and think.

Have fun with the rooster!

Anna Sugden said...

What a fabulous post, Nancy.

Some of my favourite magic moments in film are 'the look' - that moment when a hero and heroine look at each other and you know that this is it. Eg in Tombstone when Wyatt Earp first sees Josey or in Pride & Prejudice, when Darcy (Colin Firth)looks across the drawing room at Lizzy as she's turning the pages for his sister.

There's also that moment in You've Got Mail when Meg Ryan sees Tom Hanks in the garden and she starts to cry because she'd really wanted it to be him.

All of which reminds me of Sliding Doors - a wonderful film about how things can change in a moment.

There is a different magic moment when you're reading a book and you suddenly see how cleverly the author has crafted the story and how the threads have all come together. I remember reading Lisa Gardner's The Neighbour and being gobsmacked by the twists.

You'll probably all laugh, but one of my magical moments was when I was researching my hockey hunks books and got to go 'behind the scenes' at the arena where my favourite team play. The arena manager let me stand at centre ice, where the teams drop the puck - and that was an amazing moment. The air was energised and electric, amost as if filled with the adrenaline of all those players and I was so aware of all my senses - the chilled air, the muffled sounds, the smell of popcorn.

Nancy said...

Christine, thanks1 You know, I've never seen An Affair to Remember, but I have seen Roman Holiday. Hated the ending, but I know what you mean about that moment.

Gregory Peck was just fabulous at playing upright, decent men.

Nancy said...

Hi, Jane--I agree that there's a strong preference for happy endings, but just look at Romeo and Juliet. That unhappy ending has been around for going on 500 years!

There's a moment in Fantasy in Death where the characters talk about dying together--I don't want to spoil it by giving away too much--that was very powerful the way Nora handled it.

You know, I saw Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe. Parts of it were filmed in NC. It's a gritty movie, but I liked it a lot.

Nancy said...

Kim, thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, as people say around here, and with strenuous knocking on wood, we are going back to England in June, and I'll definitely blog about it.

I bought a cartoon-y medieval jigsaw puzzle in the gift shop at Tintagel (conveniently located at the base of the jillion and ten steps up to the castle itself, the climbing of which demonstrated that my knees really were not what they once had been), and the boy, who was in his Arthurian knights phase, at age 7, bought a cheap little surcoat that had a very Plantagenet look to it. I still work that puzzle on occasion.

I'd been to Tintagel before, as a college student, and the guidebook said it had no associations with nobility, that it had been a monastery in the 6th century. Well, between then and my return with my family, a lightning strike started a fire on the headland, burning off much of the top layer of peat. And guess what they discovered? The remains of a Dark Ages warlord's stronghold, complete with artifacts indicating commerce with distant lands. How way cool is that? Sometimes, the historical record really does change!

Thanks for sharing the story about the Duke of Bedford. I love little details about history!

Nancy said...

Trish, I love that scene in the movie, too. I admit I'm disappointed that they didn't let us see the moment, so movingly depicted in the book, when dawn is about to break and Gandalf and Merry, bracing for death in the citadel, hear those horns and know help is at hand.

In the boom department, the charge of the Rohirrim, starting at a walk, accelerating, and finally crashing into the orc lines at full gallop, is pretty awesome, too.

There are so many "wow" moments in LOTR that it's hard to pick, though that's my favorite. That moment with Aragorn and Arwen is a fabulous payoff, I agree.

I also like the confrontation between Eowyn and the Nazgul King, when he tells her no man can kill him, and she jerks off her helmet and informs him she is no man. Yay! You go, girl!

Sort of reminiscent of the bit in Macbeth when he tells Malcolm "no man born of woman" can kill him and Malcolm informs him (oh, eew, and skating way close to TMI) that he was "ripped from [my] mother's womb," not born, then proceeds to slay him. On the whole, I prefer the Tolkien approach.

And I love the bit where the orcs are by the quay, expecting pirates, then Aragorn leaps over the side of the ship with Legolas and Gimli behind him.

Nancy said...

Anna, glad you liked it. I admit I haven't seen that version of P&P, though everyone says it's fabulous, or that version of Wyatt Earp. Must check those out.

I agree about You've Got Mail, and I loved Sliding Doors. It didn't get a lot of press, but it's a wonderful character study/What If film combined.

Your reference to P&P reminded me of the moment in Gaudy Night when Harriet and Peter are on the river, and he's dozing (I think--haven't read it in a while), and we get a description of him from her point of view, and it's so obvious she's deeply in love with him, though the word is never used. Masterful writing, that!

Cannot wait to see you this summer!

Nancy said...

Just realized that in my spaciness last night, I gave the wrong writing team credit for Camelot, a musical I truly love and even own not only the original cast recording but the sheet music for! Must go fix that, so the blog will be down for a few seconds.

p226 said...

There is magic everywhere. Most of us have just forgotten how to see it. You ever just sit down in the grass and start examining what you find there? Ever just stop and observe the random, yet symmetric patterns in various leaves? Ever take the time to see the magic as a caterpillar crawls up a wall, heading off to do whatever it is he does? Do you ever just pick up a rock, and examine the crystalline patterns, and ponder its age?

Ever watch a child's eyes, and their pride in an achievement, any achievement, and the wonder at their own abilities? Ever see that magic in the pride and the confidence it builds?

Do we ever stop to observe the magical patterns in the clouds, as our mind's eye performs its own magic by trying to observe recognizable shapes out of the truly random?

There is magic everywhere. When we were kids, we knew it. But now we're trained to examine that magic with a clinical eye and explain it away. Sometimes, just for a few minutes, it can do you some real good to just stop. Stop. Look at the wood patterns on your desk. Look around you. Look at the people. The objects. Observe the magic. It's always there.

Nancy said...

p226 wrote: There is magic everywhere. When we were kids, we knew it. But now we're trained to examine that magic with a clinical eye and explain it away. Sometimes, just for a few minutes, it can do you some real good to just stop.

Too true. I remember an afternoon when the boy and I were out walking. He was about three, and he suddenly stopped, did that spraddle-legged squat little kids do so easily, and peered at ants going in and out of their hill on a crack in the sidewalk. I hadn't even noticed them, but he was content to stay there and observe. I let him watch for a few minutes before we went on, and he was totally absorbed.

Donna MacMeans said...

Nancy -

What a fun post! You know the amazing thing in those romantic movies and books...you know the ending - heck if it's a movie, I've watched it again and again - but it still elicits that moment of magic. For me in LOTM, it was Daniel Day Lewis saying "I will come for you!" with the waterfall as a backdrop.
I remember when we went to England decades ago, I remember touching the beams in Shakespeare's house and thinking his hand probably touched there as well - that was magical.

Standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon - that was magical (and a little scary as there's no rail).

Standing outside on a clear night and looking up at the stars - that still feels magical to me. Maybe because there's so few clear nights in Columbus (grin).

The birth of an idea - whether it's an idea for a new book, or the unanticipated "tying together of ends" in a manuscript - it's magic. No other way to describe it. It's one of the reasons I love that we are blessed to experience the magic in the course of our calling.

Waving at Kim - Yes, I remember that story. I suppose that we connected in that way -- that's magic too!

MsHellion said...

One of the most magical scenes for me is in Braveheart, when Wallace takes Murron "courting" and they're sitting on the hillside and he's telling her about her travels--and then he speaks to her in French and says that nothing he's ever seen on his travels are as beautiful as her. And when she asks what he said, he says, "Beautiful." My heart MELTS.

The train station scene in Gaskell's North & South. Richard Armitage kissing whatever her name was. (Does anyone know? I don't think anyone cares. I think every woman is holding her breath, imagining themselves in that scene. It's wonderful.)

There are a lot of magic scenes, I think, in The Young Victoria.

And I'm a Team Jacob fan, so in New Moon, there are a few scenes that absolutely make me want to shred the couch in rage because I want them to kiss so badly. *LOL* When she tells Jacob, "You're sort of beautiful" and he pauses and asks, "How hard did you hit your head?" *LOL* Magic.

And I know it's not a movie (or it didn't play like this in the movie) but in the 6th book of Harry Potter, when Harry finally kisses Ginny--that was a MAGICAL moment.

p226 said...

Too true. I remember an afternoon when the boy and I were out walking. He was about three, and he suddenly stopped, did that spraddle-legged squat little kids do so easily, and peered at ants going in and out of their hill on a crack in the sidewalk. I hadn't even noticed them, but he was content to stay there and observe.

We would all do well to stop and watch the ants for a few minutes.

Nancy said...

Donna, thanks. I like that scene in LOTM, too.

I would never stand at the rim of the Grand Canyon, though I don't doubt it's magnificent. I'm afraid of heights.

There's something about being somewhere that's called to your imagination. Years ago, on a visit to Hillsborough, NC, I saw a plaque commemorating Daniel Boone's departure from there for the Cumberland Gap. I remember watching Daniel Boone on TV. I got this "Oh, way cool!" buzz for just a moment.

I also love looking at the stars. I used to buy Astronomy magazine every month for the star chart, then go out into the parking lot of my apartment building, which wasn't as brightly lit as it might've been because there was nothing on the other side of the street except woods, and finding the constellations.

Nancy said...

Ms.Hellion, these are all great moments. I love that bit in Harry Potter, too. The buildup to it took so long, and Rowling didn't disappoint.

It's terrible when there's a big buildup to something, and then it just skips by, like the author or director cares more about the buildup than the payoff it's supposed to set up.

Nancy said...

p226, I did more ant watching, and similar activities, when the boy was little. I miss that freshness of perspective sometimes. Little tots take the world as they see it. They don't know, for example, that falling leaves are making way for new ones in the spring. They just know the leaves are falling, and they study them intently.

Of course, by way of study, they sometimes put things like squiggly pecan tree droppings in their mouths. :-/

p226 said...

Of course, by way of study, they sometimes put things like squiggly pecan tree droppings in their mouths. :-/

Bahahah, you mean we're not supposed to do that?!

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, that was a fantastic post. I loved it. I do love that moment in a book when 'magic' happens. And when an author gets it right, bring out the tissues.

I can't think of any other right now. Most likely because I've had a very disjointed day and I'm thinking about the next thing on my to do list -- run to the library and return the books before they're overdue tomorrow.

So I'm off!

Nancy said...

p226, if you did much of this experimentation, it's a wonder you reached adulthood. :-)

At least I now know, via the nice lady at the hospital Poison Center hotline and by observation, that the pecan tree things are not poisonous. If the kid eats just one--and really, what must it have tasted like, that he didn't spit it right out?

Blech.

Nancy said...

Christie, thanks. Sorry your day has been disjointed, but I'm glad you stopped by.

Anything good in that library stack?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy, someone else said it perfectly, "AWESOME post!"

Oh, the magic in books, movies, the imagination! I LOVE when it happens. There are so many great moments in my favorite stories. Like you, I find so many of those moments in LOTR, but Eowyn's confrontation with the leader of the Nazgul is right up there at the top! And later, when Eowyn and Faramir are in the Houses of Healing and she tells him she is unconsolably sad because her window doesn't face East...

There are so many historical sights I've visited where I could feel that magic... When I looked out across a landscape and thought about how many others before me look out at the same sight. Those are all major magical moments.

Thanx again for reminding me and letting me revisit them for a moment.

AC
P.S. Congrats on the chook, Helen! Put him to work today. I think he was a slacker all weekend!

jo robertson said...

Such an evocative post, Nancy. It brought back the memory of many magical moments for me.

Yay, Helen. What do you have planned for the chook today. You've been quite the quick one lately.

Ah, magical moments, there are so many for me, but the first one that comes to mind is when Richard Gere climbs up on the fire escape to reach his "Pretty Woman." That's such a giddy moment for me!

jo robertson said...

Nancy, I love the Arthurian legends too. When I was teaching I read the four major chroniclers of the legend and I still get chills when a young Arthur pulls the sword from the stone. Each of the major writers of the Arthur legnd adds a different layer to the story, depending on the era from which he wrote, and I find all of it very fascinating.

jo robertson said...

Ah, Nancy, that's just plain wrong. You must watch An Affair to Remember. It's classically beautiful. I don't think a viewer can really understand Sleepless in Seattle without knowing The Dirty Dozen and An Affair.

Sleepless has that timeless moment in it too when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan finally connect for real.

jo robertson said...

How true, P226, most of us do lose that awe of the magical in the world around us as we grow older.

It's sad.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, have fun with him!

Nancy, what an incredibly evocative post. I've been to Tintagel and your wonderful description took me right back there. That's magic too! I've been twice and each time it was stormy weather - SOOO atmospheric. If a little scary when you looked at how BIG those waves were. Ended up retiring to the local pub for a Lancelot Burger. Or perhaps it was a Galahad Hot Dog - that's magic too in a cheesy (oh, no, a pun!) way. And the first time I went, I had a craze on a song called a Good Heart by Feargal Sharkey that was played all over the place. I didn't have a TV in my tiny mold-ridden flat with plastic wrap on the bathroom window. So the Lancelot Burger pub was the first time I saw Feargal S sing that song on a video. Oh, dear, I'm going to crying into my Guinebeer any moment now. I should stop...

Magic couples? So many! Dain and Jessica in Lord of Scoundrels. Jane Eyre and Rochester - love the meeting when he rides up out of the fog like something Satan's minion. Cora and Hawkeye in the Last of the Mohicans. Sigh...

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, see we're on the same page with TLOTM. Actually a magic couple are Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia! Wow, a girl didn't know where to look for the best view!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I get chill bumps over all kinds of music, something patriotic will do it to me every time.
I have read so many books that have "those" moments but I cannot bring even one title to mind right now. Not that it wasn't memorable, I just don't have the brain cells I used to have and CRS has set in big time.

Gannon Carr said...

Fantastic post, Nancy! I agree with several of the movies posted: LOTR has many magical scenes, but I definitely sighed and cried when Aragorn sees Arwen. *sigh*


Last of the Mohicans--oh man, where do I start. The music gives me chills always, and the scene behind the waterfall....definitely.

I love the P&P with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle when their eyes meet across the drawing room and he has that subtle smile on his face. The P&P with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen really gets me when he comes striding toward her, through the mist as the sun is rising. Magical!

Shooting stars, a full moon rising through the trees, a summer night with fireflies flashing all around....we are surrounded by magical moments. We just have to take the time to notice.

Nancy said...

AC, you've been watching the extended edition of The Return of the King! I need to watch that, too.

Glad you liked the post.

One of the things I like about visiting historical sites is just what you mentioned, thinking of the people who stood where I'm standing and saw a view something like the one I'm looking at--though I realize landscapes change a lot in one century, let alone four or five.

The dh and I vowed to visit Gettysburg before the boy left for college. We're running out of time on that one.

Nancy said...

Jo, thank you. One of my favorite Arthurians--very grand but also very sad--is John Boorman's Excalibur. It's very lush and atmospheric and features a young Helen Mirren as Morgan Le Fay.

Nancy said...

PS to Jo--I know I need to watch An Affair to Remember. Next semester, I'm not teaching a new class for the first time in a while. I hope to have more time then for catching up on this sort of thing. Also for writing faster.

Nancy said...

Anna, I've never had a Lancelot Burger or a Galahad Hot Dog, but I do not doubt some place in Tintagel still serves them. Tintagel and its Arthur tie-ins remind me a lot of Stratford's ominipresent Shakespearen references and the Beatrix Potter industry in the Lake District.

When I was at Tintagel before, the tide was out, so I didn't hear the waves slamming into the cliff caves. They really did remind me of tympani. However, there was a stairway down to the beach, and we actually did go into "Merlin's" cave.

Alas, my camera was not digital in those days of yore, so I won't be sharing those pictures until I get around to scanning them. Which won't be until I get around to setting up the scanner. Which I did at least buy.

Nice group of couples, there. Is that bit from Jane Eyre out of the book or a movie version?

Nancy said...

Dianna, I sympathize with the blankout. It often happens to me when I have to answer a question asking for examples.

Nancy said...

Gannnon, thanks! I love that scene behind the waterfall, too, but I have to confess it's partly because I always wanted a secret hideaway like that.

I like that sunrise moment in the Keira Knightley P&P also. When it's on at bedtime, the dh knows we're going to have the TV on a little longer so I can watch it.

Speaking of Matthew McFadyen, the first season of MI-5 is on the suggestions list for my upcoming birthday. My guys went shopping yesterday, so we'll see.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, definitely the book, the original and the best! Gannon, I love that scene too although I wish he'd KISSED HER!!!! Sheesh!

Nancy said...

Anna, I'll have to check out the book. Haven't read it in years--possibly not in decades.

Louisa Cornell said...

Phenomenal post, Nancy! Great to read on a day when the magic is hiding.

I have a friend who was a gorilla keeper at the Birmingham Zoo. I went up to visit her and she took me on a sort of behind the scenes tour of the zoo. I volunteered at the zoo in Montgomery so I had a bit of experience handling animals. At the beginning of her day before the zoo opens she used to take Babec, the senior silverback biscuits and gravy for breakfast. ( Shh. Don't tell anyone!) He was sitting in his sleeping quarters eating when he came over to the bars where I sat watching him. He really was a magnificent old man up close. He stuck his hand out. I looked at my friend and she nodded. I put my hand in his and he curled his hand around mine and for several minutes we just sat there, two creatures enjoying each others company. There was such wisdom in his face and such sweetness. He patted my hand like a grandfather before he left to enter his habitat. It was one of the most magical moments of my life. Babec passed away not long ago, peacefully and after a long life. I admit I cried because that great soul had left the earth. The circle of life was diminished by his passing and my life was enriched from having known him.

Nancy said...

Hi, Louisa--I'm sorry the magic is hiding today. Maybe it'll be back tomorrow.

That's such a wonderful story. A different kind of connection than we've been discussing, but it fits beautifully.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Louisa, that story gave me goosebumps. How lucky you were to have that moment. You've had an amazing life, my friend!

BertR25596 said...
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EilisFlynn said...

Nancy, this is such a great post. It's that magic moment that sucks us into the story, isn't it, and why so many of us decide to write romance!

Nancy said...

Eilis, thanks. I do think that magic moment in the payoff is what draws us down the trail to get there, in romance especially but in other genres, too.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Nancy! Great post...dare I say...magical? Grins. I'm glad I finally got to post! :> been trying for a while. I kept expecting to ginally get in and see five identical posts from me. Instead...nothing. Grins.

Helen, I hope he's been "good" today.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

As to magical moments, the best, most consistent one, is that moment when you're halfway through the first page or three of a book and you realizeit's going to be one of THOSE reads..the good ones that just suck you in. LOVE that.

Movies - I'm with Anna on Sliding Doors. Fabulous movie.

So many magic moments in movies. LOTR, LotM, Excalibur, Knight's Tale. So many moments. Another favorite, in the Val Kilmer Batman when he goes to Kim Basinger...yum. Oh, and in Sabrina (the new one), when she gets to Paris and there he is, in the doorway across the street...ohhhh, yeahhhhh

Nancy said...

Jeanne, thanks. I'm sorry you had trouble posting. So did I, for a while. Blogger kept giving me an error message. Grr.

I totally agree on the getting sucked in thing. Especially when I've been reading, look up, and realize a LOT of time has gone by!

Magical, indeed.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: Especially when I've been reading, look up, and realize a LOT of time has gone by!


Ohhh, yeah. Books or movies, when you just don't realize how much time has passed, you've been just engrossed. That's magic.

Avatar, talk about engrossing.

The movie we saw this weekend was totally fun and engrossing too, but I didn't realize I was so involved until it was over. How to Train Your Dragon. Just delightful.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I haven't seen Avatar yet. The boy claims we should wait for the super-duper DVD edition. He saw the movie in the theater and thought it was great.

I see no need to make Sam Worthington blue. Just sayin' . . .

PJ said...

What a wonderful blog, Nancy! I've enjoyed reading about everyone's magical moments. I'm having trouble thinking of movie/book moments that haven't already been mentioned. My brain's a little fried from spending the weekend bouncing back and forth between home, Spartanburg, Charlotte, back to Spartanburg and, finally, home again. Between dance competitions and First Communions it was a very busy two days!

Two songs that always take me back to a specific time and place are "Light My Fire" by the Doors and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli. They both take me straight back to the summer of 1967 and my first love. ::Sigh::

Nancy said...

Thanks, PJ. Sounds as though you've been very busy!

Oh, first loves and music! You know, I was never in a relationship that had an "our" song. That's a convoluted sentence, sort of, but I hope you know what I mean. The dh and I went to folk concerts together, and he does like Celtic music if the bagpipes aren't too (in his view) strident. We went to a couple of those concerts. But there's no one song special to us.

PJ said...

Nancy, my husband and I never had an "our song" either. In fact, the Frankie Valli song was the only "our song" I've ever had.

Yes, a very busy couple days but, with five kids in the mix, things sometimes fall on the same weekend. I'm just glad I was able to be present for all the special events and still make it home safely. By Sunday evening, I was pretty much on auto-pilot. lol

Nancy said...

PJ, I find that travel takes me down more than it used to. Sounds like you had a very special weekend, though, even with all the running to and fro.