Lots of writers like to make collages of their works in progress. Alison Kent, for instance, gets pics of her hero and heroine and makes a board (or a notebook — I can't remember). Over on Murder She Writes, Allison Brennan was imagining who would play her characters if her books were movies.

I once went through a phase where I cut out clothes from a catalog and pasted them into a notebook, but I never got any farther than that. I love the idea of the collage (or notebook or storyboard), but for me it breaks down at the pictures of my hero level.

I feel like Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone. Her Jessie is always portrayed as a shadow man precisely because she doesn't know who he is. He's a figment of her imagination, and the man she secretly wants to find. He doesn't get a face until Michael Douglas comes along, and even then you're never sure until the end that MD will be the man of her dreams after all.

So while I flip through catalogs and Google Images, I just can't land on a photo of my current hero. This one is too young, or too gay, or too square-jawed, or too pretty. They just don't match. Now, if we chop the heads off and just look at the bodies, I have NO problem finding the perfect body……

Ahem, where was I?
Oh yeah. Heroes. Lots of men are attractive to me. Hugh Jackman is yummy, but he's Hugh Jackman, not Matt from my book. The guy who played Superman recently was pretty fine, but he's Superman, not Matt.

Imagine my surprise, however, to run across two photos today that gave me a glimmering of Matt. And the thing is, the really truly surprising thing, is that it's Ricky Martin. Ricky-freaking-Martin! I'm not a teenage girl and I don't go gaga over the Rickster. Never have.

But, holy moly, these two photos do wonders for my imagination. The arms and chest could be a bit bigger, more ripped, but I like the military haircut (facial hair out of regs, but who cares?) and the bad boy tattoo thing.

I'm just going to pretend like it's not Ricky Martin, okay? It's not quite Matt either, but it's close. How about you? Do you make collages or find pics of your characters? Or do you have difficulty imagining anyone as your hero or heroine?

(I probably won't have a blog post for the next few days, due to hubby being home for the holiday weekend and tomorrow morning's book group meeting, so I've posted twice today. Sure would love to hear from the writers about their story collages…..)

PS Edited to remove photos, which may or may not be copyrighted.