Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Where do you get your ideas?"

“Do you have everything you need?”
Daphne looked at the items in front of her and ticked them off on her fingers.
“I gathered the driest wood and plant shreds I could find. Here is your piece of char cloth. I have my twigs ready and more dry wood. I prepared the firepit.”
“Then stop humming and listen, Miss Farnham.”
Daphne couldn't help it. She was so excited at learning how to make a fire the humming was springing out of her like the water burbling up to the pool. Why had no one ever realized how much she loved learning new things? Why had she never realized it?
Daphne vowed when she returned to England, she would make it her goal to learn one new thing each day. Maybe learn a new word like “gravitas,” or how to build a fire, or how to help gruff surgeons smile.
That last one needed further work.
           --Castaway Dreams

I'm often asked, as so many authors are, where I get my ideas. Part of the idea behind Castaway Dreams came from one of my favorite movies, 1950's Born Yesterday, with William Holden and Judy Holliday. The lovely and talented Miss Holliday plays Billie Dawn, the girlfriend of crooked businessman Harry Brock. Holden, a cynical newspaperman, is hired to teach Billie and give her some "class" so she'll be more of an asset to Brock.

I have great admiration for Holliday as an actress. She was typecast as the classic ditzy blonde, but she brought verve, poignancy and an innate intelligence to her characters. Sadly, Holliday died young, but her work lives on. If you've never watched Born Yesterday, one of the great romantic comedies of the mid-20th Century, I strongly encourage you to give it a viewing. It's on Turner Classic Movies tonight at 11 p.m. ET.

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