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My Dirty Little Secret About Inspiration

A few weeks ago, my writing team at work was talking about inspiration—the whole idea of how we get inspired and what inspires us to write.

During that discussion, I came to realize (along with others on our team), that I don’t have a lot of the traditional, come to Jesus, “inspirational” moments. Don’t get me wrong, I get refreshed and maybe lightly inspired when I go running or sit by an ocean shore at sunset. I’m sure those moments fuel my writing in some way.

But I can’t say that I’m inspired by a lot of books, or movies, or images of sunsets with inspirational quotes. Maybe I am in small ways. I guess you could say a passage from a book might inspire one of my blog posts. But I don’t really have some sort of go-to source of inspiration.

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Next Up: Brideshead Revisited

Hello again, Evelyn Waugh.

I last read Mr. Waugh’s (yes, Evelyn is a guy) work when I tackled my 49th book from the list, A Handful of Dust, which is also currently ranked #19 in my rankings.

Now it’s time to dive into Brideshead Revisited, a novel which some critics say was his best effort.

A few facts about Brideshead Revisited and Evelyn Waugh: Read more

Book #80: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Have you ever been to a restaurant that gives you a palate cleanser?

It’s usually a sorbet, or maybe it’s a drink, like warm tea, to cleanse your palate and prepare it for the next course.

After Naked Lunch, I needed a clean, straight-forward novel. I needed a novel without violent, graphic sex, pedophilia, and heroine use. I needed a light, short story with decent, somewhat coherent characters.

For me, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was a perfect palate cleanser, and it came at the perfect time. Because of that, I might have enjoyed the novel a little more than I normally would have. Read more

The New Yorker Profiles Muriel Spark

The New Yorker, as expected, wrote an outstanding profile of Muriel Spark in 2014.

Check out the whole piece if you’re interested, but I thought I’d highlight a couple of passages.

This first one talks about the nature of a typical Spark protagonist. Read more

What’s On Holden Caulfield’s Playlist?

Oh, Spotify, how I love you.

While I’m writing at work, I can pretty much pull up any song ever and listen to it—thanks to you, Spotify.

I can also do stupid and pointless stuff, like imagining what songs might be on Holden Caulfield’s Spotify playlist—were he actually a real person, alive today, as a teenager, with access to modern technology like computers and such.

So that’s what I’m doing today. I’m taking a stab at coming up with a Spotify playlist for perhaps the most annoying character in modern literature, Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye.

While he’s annoying and hardly bearable, that doesn’t mean his musical selections are: Read more

The Lifelong Rift Between Muriel Spark And Her Son

Muriel Spark passed away in 2006 at the age of 88.

In her will, Spark left her entire estate (valued at millions of dollars, according to The Standard) to a female friend of over 40 years.

The surprise here is that Spark’s only son, Robin, got nothing from her estate. She went so far as to write a sealed letter detailing her reasons for cutting him out of the will in case his attorneys came after the money. Read more

Batman Meets Galadriel

I’m just going to kind of let this one sit today.

For the less nerdy, Galadriel is one of the powerful elves from The Lord of the Rings.

When she meets Batman, hilarity ensues. Read more

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