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Guest Blogger: Catherine Paulssen
Monday, January 21st, 2013

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 or Twitter: @CatePaulssen

5 comments to “Guest Blogger: Catherine Paulssen”

  1. Belinda Baker
    · January 21st, 2013 at 11:00 am · Link

    Catherine, you were inspiring! Makes me want to write, but I don’t have the patience or need any more. 🙂

  2. ronnie cornett
    · January 21st, 2013 at 1:20 pm · Link

    I’m in the middle of writing a short story that will go with a novella I’m writing…hoping to get published…Delilah’s books inspire me alot…plus other authors, movies. tv shows, etc…some days I write alot , others a few pages. Catherine, thanks for your helped me get started today!!! ❗

  3. sharon chalk
    · January 21st, 2013 at 9:25 pm · Link

    I just wanted to say kudo’s to you for keeping with the struggle to write,because you are correct,unless your are someone like Stephen King who’s books support him,you have to have a day job and I don’t know too many people who work,that can afford a cook and a maid etc., so it is hard to find to write,I know because I used to try and write but being a single parent with all its attendant problems it became more fustrating to try and do both,but the stories are still alive in my mind,so I figure that when life slows down as it inevitebly does,then I shall write these stories and people will think to themselves…hm wonder how such an old lady has such a vivid steamy imagination or they will wonder wow,what a fife she must have led!!!! Lol but its so good for me to see other writers out there who struggle to accomplish everything and still write,I think thats great and can’t wait to read your story!!

  4. ronnie cornett
    · January 22nd, 2013 at 11:52 am · Link

    Thanks Sharon…I feel better now and encouraged ❗

  5. ELF
    · January 22nd, 2013 at 2:33 pm · Link

    It’s always fascinating to get an insight into the methods that authors use to inspire themselves. Thanks for sharing and may you always have plenty of movies to inspire you!

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