Small Inspirations

A famous sci-fi author visited my college writing class and revealed something I never forgot: He got an idea for a book series by reading the back of a can of household cleanser.

Since then I've looked for inspirations in small places rather than large. Here are a few things that have played a part in inspiring the "Wilfair" series.

-- That moment in the 2005 "Pride & Prejudice" when Bingley furtively touches the back of Jane's dress. I'd look up the exact time but I think it comes about ten minutes into the film, at a party. It lasts for all of a second. It fills my head with glitter.

-- The middle part of Pete Yorn's "Life on a Chain." The chorus goes "I was waiting over here for life to begin. I was looking for the new thing and you were the sunshine in my frontline. I was alone and you were just around the corner from me."

-- The smell of tar and methane around the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

--  "Something" by the Beatles. George Harrison, my favorite Beatle, makes me think of Gomery. Gomery looks quite different, in my mind, but when I see photos of George Harrison from the late '60s I sometimes think of a fictional motel employee. Maybe it is in how the musician stands or his love of corduroy. George Harrison's hands, too, playing guitar. Please. :)

-- The way an orange hangs heavily on a branch.

-- This kiss from "The General." I'm a huge silent film fan and the moment Buster Keaton plants one on his ladyfriend, while they're trying to stop a runaway train, made me think a lot about runaway trains, couples, and how sometimes you need to stop, despite the imminent danger, and plant one, hard.

This kiss is pretty hot for 1926.

Well, film kiss, I should say. People in 1926 kissed just like we do today.


Erika said...

One of my favorite parts of the new P&P is when Darcy hands Lizzy into the carriage and then has to shake it off as he returns to his party! Shivers!!

bess said...

Oh I love that moment too, Erika. Have you seen the 1995 version of Persuasion? There's this great scene where Anne unexpectedly sees Capt. Wenworth for the first time in years, she's standing there, trying to hold it together and we see her hand behind her back slowly gripping the top of a chair hard. It's wonderful, I love the little details like that.

Erika said...

I've almost seen them all! Haha! Persuasion is my favorite and it's a tie between the 1995 and the 2007 films for me.

What I love about the 1995 one is that Anne looks older :)... And Mary. Always Mary :)

Erika said...

Also I love people who talk Jane Austen to me... So not to be to forward, but I love you :)

bess said...

I've seen them all too (even Northanger Abbey) and will talk about them anywhere, anytime and don't get enough chances to. Love returned!

bess said...

Persuasion is my favorite as well, definitely the 1995 version. :)

Erika said...

Northanger Abbey is always so bizarre but so fun to read. It's like you can hear Jane Austen laughing at herself and everybody else :)

How do you like Mansfield Park and Emma? I think I like Mansfield Park the least but I still love it.

bess said...

I agree about Northanger Abbey, I think it's underrated because it's funny but not in the way you'd expect. The movie is pretty delightful too.

Emma and Mansfield are my least favorite of the bunch. Emma, I liked a lot more when I was younger but it hasn't really grown on me. Mansfield Park, I've probably read the least number of times. It's not bad, it's just that Fanny is a little bit of a drag compared to Austen's other heroines. I also think Fanny would have been a better match for Henry Crawford than Edmond, the book even kind of admits that she would have been happy with him.

Wilfair Book said...

Ladies! I love this discussion so very much I created a tribute post to this comments section; check out the top of the blog.

Me? I'm: 1. Sense and Sensibility 2. Pride and Prejudice 3. Mansfield Park

Uh-oh. If I even type the words "Sense and Sensibility" I usually have to go read "Sense and Sensibility." Again. For the 456th time.

Erika said...

I completely agree on the Henry Craword point. I have always felt that she was kid of a booby prize to Edmond.

Erika said...

Haha! I feel that way about Persuasion! I actually have it sitting on the top of my desk right now. It's calling to me!

My list 1. Persuasion 2. Sense and Sensibility 3. P&P

I have found that over the years that Sense and Sensibilty has passed up P&P which was not always the case :)

bess said...

My list: 1. Persuasion 2. P&P 3. Sense & Sensibility (my sister and I have a very Elinor/Marianne relationship) 4. Northanger

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