Friday, March 2, 2012

things I like (otherwise known as "fodder for the inspiration file")

I like this photograph and the backstory about a couple kissing on the ground during last year's hockey riots in Vancouver. Apparently, the kiss was the man's attempt to calm his girlfriend down after they were knocked to the ground by riot police, but, oh wow. Would love to write a scene around this story (I know, I know, too unrealistic).

Unlike the cool half of the internet, I saw this photograph for the first time this year, analyzed by my truly amazing high school classmate Allen Murabayashi in his "I Love Photography" rant on Photoshelter. I like his article, too.

I like--no, really, I love--this "It Gets Better" video featuring members of the SFPD. As in, humbled and moved to tears. Go SF!

I like MGMT's "Time to Pretend": I'm feeling rough, I'm feeling raw, I'm in the time of my life/ Let's make some music, make some money, find some models for wives... The models will have children, we'll get a divorce/ Find some new models, everything must run its course. Hilarious. On the "soundtrack" for writing Book Number Two (which, thankfully, I also like).

I like this story about The Washington Post's culture experiment from five years ago. Joshua Bell, described as one of the finest living violin players in the world, was asked to play at a most unusual venue--a Metro station in Washington, D.C. The question was whether the context matters most--would rushed commuters mistake Bell for a typical metro performer and rush on by, or would his exceptional talent would actually be recognized.

I was less surprised than Weingarten, the author of the article, claimed to be that almost no one paid any attention at all to Bell's performance (Weingarten explores, in depth, the complicated web of reasons why--it's definitely is worth a read and I'm going to go ahead and link to it one more time). But what I really loved about the whole thing was the interviews with the people who'd walked by the performance. You have to read them because they are so varied, but they manage to be both compelling and moving.

In particular, I like the story of a former violinist who decided he wasn't good enough and so gave it up at age 18 to move into a different field. When Weingarten asks him if he regrets not pursuing music as a career (Presumably after seeing Bell? It was a leap for sure.), he responds that he doesn't:

"No. If you love something but choose not to do it professionally, it's not a waste. Because, you know, you still have it. You have it forever."

Hell, yeah.

I found the article through literary agent Jim McCarthy's blog meditation on manuscripts he has rejected (to see the part where Jim mentions the article, scroll through the first set of comments). It's about a specific field, sure, but it's really about the whole idea of missed chances and second guesses. I like it, too.

What do you like today?

4 comments:

  1. I like that my sister can write so well and inspires me to write more, myself, by setting an example.

    I like that my sister can crush it at yoga even though she popped out 3 kids.

    I like that my sister has opinions and isn't boring.

    I like that my sister cares about what she eats and by doing so has inspired me to care more about what I eat.

    I like that my sister is doing the family thing because I haven't been able to produce in that department.

    I like that there are 3 girls who will have tremendous guidance and leadership from a mother (and father) who will always be there for them, 3 girls who will no doubt become confident women as a result of a safe and stable childhood.

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  2. This was very helpful! Although perhaps also too tempting in the 11th hour...
    In particular, I like the story of a former violinist who decided he wasn't good enough and so gave it up at age 18 to move into a different field. When Weingarten asks him if he regrets not pursuing music as a career (Presumably after seeing Bell? It was a leap for sure.), he responds that he doesn't:

    "No. If you love something but choose not to do it professionally, it's not a waste. Because, you know, you still have it. You have it forever."

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  3. And moderately inspirational, although it did not move me to tears: last night I went with a friend to her Stacy Schiff read from her biography of Cleopatra. There were some problems with the text (namely the author embraced the tiresome idea that ancient Egypt was "unchanging") but Cleopatra herself was inspiring (at 21 I had no such chutzpah) and the author did a beautiful job of weaving. Another author, Tillar Mazzeo, was also there speaking about her book on the history of Chanel #5 and her forthcoming book on the history of the Ritz in Paris during WWII and what impressed me about her was that she elected no to read, but to speak without notes about how she came to these topics (via Frankenstein and the monster one creates that may go on to destroy you). She is also the author of the biography of the widow Clicquot (of Veuve Clicquot fame,) so as an author she has found her way to some lux topics!

    What is not inspiring me at this crucial moment: mosaic and anything I might have to say about it.

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes work comes from inspiration and sometimes there is some amount of slogging through. Sorry that right now is more the later BUT you can do it girl. You're almos there.

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thoughts?