Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jim Casselman--Guest Post

For those that don’t know me, I’m P. J. Casselman.  Jennifer and I met on Rachelle Gardner’s website through blog posts.  Since we’re both miscreants, as she would put it, we hit it off well.  I’m married to a beautiful woman from Denmark and am the father of two teenagers.  My day and night job is pastor of a small church in a tiny Kansas town.  The remaining time, I write.

If you’ve never seen the Dick Van Dyke Show, this blog entry will make little sense to you.   It’s all about America’s favorite team of writers in the 1960’s—Rob, Sally and Buddy.

Rob Petrie was an idea man with great physical comedy.  He was the head writer, but only the leader because the show was about him.  (More on that in a bit.)  Rob conceptualized the plot of sketches.  He’d begin with “What if…” statements and pull the other writers in.  Rob=Conceptualize.

Sally Rogers was the true leader of the crew.  When the boys couldn’t focus, she’d pull them back.  Although it may seem demeaning that she was the typist, it actually showed her leadership.  Notice what whenever she didn’t like something, she wouldn’t type and just glance at the person for something better.  Sally demanded their best.  If she had an off day, they couldn’t pull their act together.  Sally had some ideas and jokes, but her primary task was keeping on task.  Sally=Focus.

Buddy Sorrell was the one-man joke machine.  He had a ton of one-liners floating in his head and just needed an outlet.  He rarely had an idea for a sketch, but took Rob’s ideas and expanded them with his special brand of humor.  The man fleshed out outlines with dialogue and comebacks.  Buddy had a difficult time staying on track, yet his input was invaluable to the team.  Buddy=Dialogue.

When it comes to writing, each one of us has talent that leans in one direction or another.  I’ll admit it, I’m like Buddy.  Give me any scenario and I’ll give you zingers, one-liners or a heart wrenching confession, but outline and focus are my weaker areas.  Who do you more identify with—Rob, Sally or Buddy?


  1. Fun post! I think I'm like Sally--focused to an extreme sometimes! Though I do enjoy writing dialogue, as well.

  2. Sally's get a lot done, that's for sure. When I try to bring out my inner Sally, I usually wind up with Rob in a dress. :P

    1. Yuck...could have done without that mental image! ;-)

  3. I'd have to say I identify more with Rob. I'm pretty good at conceptualizing...the big-picture vision.

    I can do the details (Buddy), but it requires extreme focus (Sally) for me. Which is great...except it's hard to find the dedicated time for the required degree of focus... I procrastinate...or nibble at the edges a while until I'm ready to dive in...