Thanks, Delilah, for inviting me to be a guest blogger. I hope you’ll feel better soon!
Even the most vivid imagination needs a little push…
“Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness,” American author Julia Cameron once said. For me, that darkness is the darkness in a movie theatre before the lights begin to shine on the silver screen…
Let’s face it – it’s hard to set the mood sometimes. Especially when a deadline is looming. There are those writers who observe professional, strict writing rules. They start their day early in the morning, have coffee, and sit down, have more coffee, write for a few hours straight, have a break, then continue writing.
While I admire such discipline, it never was for me. How to have a lunch break when you character is just in the middle of breaking up their relationship? Or what if inspiration doesn’t care one bit about the schedule you set? If all you can think about is unpaid bills, dirty dishes in the kitchen and the visit of the in-laws tomorrow?
Besides, most of us have day jobs, so time to write erotica and romance is spare and needs to be used as it comes.
How do you get into the writing mood? What inspires you most?
For me, it’s the movies. Especially on grey and chilly January days like these, I need sweeping movie melodies to spark my creativity, and a look out of Robert Redford’s blues eyes. Or Isabella Rossellini’s green ones. I need sentences like “Am I K in your book? I think I must be,” from The English Patient, or universal truths like “I don’t mind making a fool of myself over you”, which Maggie the Cat says to the man she loves in Cat On The Hot Tin Roof.
It’s those sentences that are so magical in their simplicity that touch me most, and make my mind wander, such as when Rocky said to his future brother-in-law about love of his life, Adrian: “I dunno, she’s got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.” Sentences that tell a whole world: “I think I wrote that stupid book, in a way, to try to find you,” and utterly sad and beautiful ones, also said by Ethan Hawke’s character in Before Sunset: “I feel like if someone were to touch me, I’d dissolve into molecules.”
Gone is the writer’s block, the dirty dishes are forgotten, and the unpaid bills remain unpaid a bit longer, or to say it with Bruce Willis: “Yippie-kai-yay, motherfucker.”
Before writing Her Hero for Delilah’s upcoming anthology Smokin’ Hot Firemen, I watched Backdraft (for the umpteenth time). I wonder why there are such few movies about fire fighters, compared to the importance of their work, the sacrifices they make, and the stories they could tell, and compared to movies about other professions. Anyway, I hope you’ll find the passion and bravery and longing that the movie portrays reflected in my story.
To sort of quote Cora Blu, who wrote on this blog a week ago: Now you know the movie buff in me.
More on movies and the stories they inspired on www.catherinepaulssen.com or Twitter: @CatePaulssen