Friday, March 28, 2008

My Greatest Inspiration

For Christmas one year, my best friend gave me the twentieth anniversary edition of Dirty Dancing, one of my favorite movies. Oh, wow! When Johnny Castle holds his hand out to Francis "Baby" Houseman and says, "Nobody puts baby in the corner", I just swoon! Admittedly, it's the corniest line in the whole movie, but it never fails to start my waterworks. And, seconds later, I'm jumping up and cheering for Baby's lift right along with everyone else at Kellerman's! I'm not ashamed to admit I know the whole dance routine by heart!

The whole purpose of baring the embarrassing details of my "Tom Cruise-shirt-underwear-socks" moment is Dirty Dancing never fails to inspire me. After the credits begin to roll and the soul-stirring tracks of "I've Had the Time of My Life" soar, so does my imagination. I dash right over to the computer and begin to write, write, write. The movie contains all the elements of the classic love stories I adore: Gawky girl from upper crust family attracts hot guy from the wrong side of the tracks. He introduces her to passion and her love helps him to finally believe in the goodness he never saw in himself. Family disapproval and interference. Misunderstandings resulting in temporary separation before love conquers all and (gasp!) the happy ending. Not to mention, an all too brief flash of Patrick Swayze's butt, but I digress...

After two hours with Johnny and Baby, I'm bursting with excitement to tell my own story about love, self-discovery, anguish and happily-ever-after. In a strange way, watching "Dirty Dancing" reminds me of why I've always wanted to write--to tell a story that makes people feel like they've just had the time of their life.

What movie, song, t.v. show or book inspires you or jump starts your creativity?


JoAnn said...

Even though I don't write historicals and have no desire to, a couple of scenes from "Last of the Mohicans" do it for me. Specifically when Hawkeye is leaving the infirmary and turns and gives Cora this *look*. And she says "What are you looking at, sir?" and he replies (all together now!) "I'm looking at you, miss."
Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And a couple of scenes later, they search for one another in the crowded fort courtyard, and you *know* when they spot each other. Oh. My. Gosh.

I know regular readers of this blog are going "What? Doesn't she watch ANY other movies? She always posts about those same two scenes! Enough already!"

Sorry. But that's what does it for me.

Off to watch LOTM. :-)

Diane Richmond said...

I love "Out of Arica". You have got to admire a woman who goes to an inhospital place, loves a man knowing it can never turn out ok, and goes ahead regardless. It inspires me to write novels so that they turn out the right way.
But, Naima, I have to tell you that I am with you on your choice of movies. In 1986 my new husband bought me a 4 foot poster of Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing and I put it up in a place of honor in my family room. A secret guilty pleasure of mine is watching the movie late at night when nothing else is on tv.


Carla Swafford said...

Like JoAnn, I've mentioned the song(s) that influence me in my recent writing, but when it comes to movies, DIRTY DANCING is certainly one of them. I even have the movie on my IPOD.



Carla Swafford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MaryF said...

The movies that inspired me are: "Ever After", "300", "Princess Bride","Practical Magic", "The Lord of the Rings-all 3", "Pride & Prejudice" (and the books that go with them as well!).

I could go on, but as you can see, I like a variety of eclectic things. I'm a sucker for books and movies with a theme of good vs. evil, and good wins. I am not a fan of horror(ug). My stories reflect that.