I’m not sure I can pinpoint just one. I grew up on a steady diet of Disney. I’m told my grandmother taught me to read using a Peter Pan book (Disney, not Barrie). One of my earliest memories is staying up all night long watching the Disney Channel as a toddler — couldn’t have been more than three years old — unbeknownst to my parents. I’ve always loved fairytales, both light and dark, which certainly must have had an effect on my ability to imagine worlds other than the obvious one in which we appear to live.
As for the “I’m going to be a writer” moment, I’m not sure I really ever had one. Ever since winning a Young Authors Award in the first grade for a poem entitled “Brontosaurus,” I think I’ve always known (more in some phases than in others) that I’d write. ;-) I did toy with other options (physical therapy and public relations being the most serious considerations), but eventually I settled on journalism for my major at university. I’m not sure there was ever a significant period of time where I wasn’t writing something, be it stories, essays, columns or articles.
There *are* movies and books that remind me why I want to be a writer and why it’s worth the effort despite all the frustration, disappointment, blood, sweat and tears that come with the territory. They include but are not limited to: STRANGER THAN FICTION, The Picture of Dorian Gray, DEAD POETS SOCIETY, Neil Gaiman’s works, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, plus — probably a couple of oddball choices here — ELIZABETHTOWN and DUPLEX.
Honestly, I think most people are far too interesting to end their lives, even if from a clinical perspective. Lock ‘em up & let me interview them instead, I say. If I felt someone should truly be punished, I think I’d rather see him or her horribly embarrassed than murdered.
1) Oscar Wilde. No question there. He was the first person I thought of, and he’s the pick of which I’m most certain. In short, I adore him. I think his wit and intelligence would help him serve as a great mediator for the rest of my choices.
2) Hitler. Definitely my most controversial pick, there’s no debating the fact that this guy is a piece of work — and that makes him kind of fascinating in an admittedly morbid way. What’s going on in the mind of a person who can be responsible for something as horrible as the Holocaust? He committed suicide; was it out of regret, fear, embarrassment, what? He also loved — something we might think impossible for the driving force behind many of the atrocities of World War II.
3) Abraham Lincoln. Self-educated and self-made. While Hitler was responsible for the destruction of his country (and so much more), Lincoln somehow managed to bring one together in the most impossible of circumstances (though not without obvious casualties and various failures). He had to make some ridiculously difficult decisions and somehow lead a crumbling nation with confidence when he had to have been full of doubt. Plus I bet he could trade a few epigrams with Wilde. He seems like that sort of guy.
4) DaVinci. I always liked his portrayal in EVER AFTER, personally, so I’m kind of hoping he’s a little nutty but also impossibly sage. I mean, he’s arguably the greatest mind in the history of the world. I wonder if he’d be amazed, amused or otherwise by the current state of technology (both what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve failed to).
5) Jesus. A cliché pick I realize, but my reasons are a little different than the average person who picks Jesus in response to these sorts of questions. Firstly, I want to know what was really up with Mary Magadelene, just because I’m curious and not because I think it alters his message. Secondly, we’ve got all these accounts of the Gospel from the perspective of others, but Jesus was too busy to write his own first-person account, which, in my opinion, would be far more interesting and far more enlightening, both as to who he truly was and what his philosophies were. I’ve also always thought there was a severe underappreciation of this guy’s sense of humor, too. I bet he & Wilde would get along excellently.
6) Buddha. I mostly want Buddha there because I think he and Jesus would get along really well. I’d like to listen in on their conversations, see where they differ and where they agree on why we’re here and what happens after we’re here. Some folks believe Jesus actually studied Buddhism during his lost years, so I’m all for getting to hear these guys get down to the nitty-gritty of what they’re preaching.
Now that I’ve written all this, I realized I didn’t pick any women. I almost booted Buddha, but that seemed like incredibly bad karma. Plus I’ll be there, and I’m a woman, so I think it’s OK. At my next garden party at my fancy English estate, I’ll make sure to get a more gender-diverse crew.
From LITTLE BEE by Chris Cleave
As you know, I’m in post-production on my very first short film. I’m hoping to finish that by the end of this month. So, if all goes according to plan, I hope to finish the second draft of UNLIKELY HEROES by the time I leave for my London/Paris jaunt in August. I can’t promise that it’ll be reader-ready, but I’ll do my best.
Well, that’s an awfully sweet question. Firstly, I should point out that “awesome” is really quite relative, so, while some people might think I’m pretty awesome, there are probably a few folks on this planet who think I’m not very awesome at all. Personally, I like to emulate patterns and behaviors that I think are awesome. So, while I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as awesome, I’d probably give myself some credit for adopting some awesome behaviors here and there.
If the bread is strapped butter-side down to the cat, then it has technically already landed on said cat. Thus, the cat would land on its feet, find its way back to you, claw you to death in retaliation for being thrown off the roof and mussing up its fur with butter, and finally settle down to lick itself clean.