Sep 4 2011

Things that inspire me

I’m up late (or early) with a coughing toddler, uncomfortable from a recent surgery and watching Cars for the billionth time.  Ice water, saltines and television were cure-alls in my childhood–that and a vaporizer which apparently breeds germs so you’re not supposed to use them  any more–so I deploy them indiscriminately to fevers, coughs and aches.

Anyway, now is the perfect time for my mind to wander to things that have been inspiring me lately!

1. My friend and webmaster Nadine at Fox and Toad Design.  Despite a fancy new job and a off-the-ironically-vintage-bicycle-chain hipster wedding in the works, she still has time to collect and tweet hilarious/adorable/awesome things all day long.  I consider her my personal tastemaker.

2. Noblesse Oblige by Nancy Mitford.  I had to ILL this slim, battered volume because it’s out of print and tricky to find–it sells on Amazon for about $150 dollars now.  It’s this hilarious book of essays on class distinctions (U and non-U behavior and language) from the fifties.  The novel I’m writing features a group of people who deliberately made themselves into an aristocracy, and so I loved reading such an irreverent yet insightful take on the world’s most famous aristocracy.

3. America, the Story of Us.  It’s this History Channel series that was on last year, and I loved it then too.  I rediscovered it after spending a couple days in the hospital recovering from an emergency surgery, and being too groggy to read, it made perfect half-dozing watching.  What I love is the sense of scope and narrative, and the plain old optimism and pride that colors the series.  Landry Park takes place in a future America that is not so optimistic, so it’s nice to remember our roots, and how every time, our better natures eventually overcame our bad.

4. Lana Del Rey.  I’ve been listening to “Video Games” non-stop since I first saw a blurb about her in Entertainment Weekly.  Sexy, depressing, addicting.

5. The Pride and Prejudice soundtrack.  Dario Marionelli’s haunting piano pieces and lively dance tunes accompany Landry Park so well in some scenes that I’ll listen to them on repeat.  While Jennifer Ehle will always be the real Elizabeth Bennett for me, the Keira Knightly version by far has the best soundtrack.