Saturday, 3 September 2011

‘Hey remember that time when I would only read Shakespeare? Hey remember that other time when I would only read the backs of cereal boxes?’

Today I wanted a happy post, so I started thinking about my inspirations. I don't know if this is like most other writers, but I can find inspiration in anything- the backs of cereal boxes, the middle of Tesco's supermarket, a music video or even two people arguing on the street. All of these things lead me back to writing, and allow me to remember that life can be a little bit bigger, a little bit stranger, and that imagination can be stretched a little bit further.

So, I thought: time for another list! A list of the top ten things (to my best recollection and not including books, because that’s too obvious) that inspire me to not just think outside of the box, but to trample the box, kick it away, and never have anything to do with it ever again.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, I give you: Charlotte’s favourite inspirations…

1. The concept of Dead Like Me, a dark comedy programme that unfortunately only lasted for two series. A toilet seat falls from space and kills a girl. The girl then becomes a grim reaper. This is the sort of premise that I wish I had thought of first.

2. The introduction of Tara in the first series of True Blood (a programme that is part vampire porn/part gothic brilliance.) She comes across as rude, loud, angry, obnoxious and far too intelligent, but straight away I adored her. For all of her flaws, she remains endearing, and the sort of person you'd want as your friend but Never as your enemy!  

3. The band, Panic! At the Disco’s, music video for ‘The Ballad of Mona Lisa.’ Set in a Victorian funeral parlour, the video embodies steampunk and eyeliner. Two of my favourite things. A friend tried to explain the video to another friend and said something along the lines of: “It’s basically just Charlotte. The inside of her head.” So, yeah. This video and I are kindred spirits.

4. Years ago on holiday, my parents bought a huge painting of a tropical waterfall. Filled with exotic colours and animals, the detail is so pretty that I feel calmer whenever I look at it. This is the one ‘heirloom’ that my sisters and I are guaranteed to fight over when my dad leaves us for the great beyond. (Sorry dad.) I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve wished I could pull a Narnia and step inside of that painting. Unfortunately I am reminded yet again, that in our world, a painting is just a painting.

5. Speaking of stepping into paintings…Disney's Mary Poppins. More specifically, her snowglobe. That is one magical, magical snowglobe, and I have been searching for one like that my entire life. If anyone knows where I could get one, let me know. It would be a childhood dream come true.

6. And thoughts of Dick Van Dyke lead me to another of his films, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and the best villain in the world, ever, The Child Catcher. Would you buy sweets from this man??
True fact: The children's author, Roald Dahl, wrote the first draft of the screenplay for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but didn’t work any further on it, and it ended up getting changed a lot. I think the one thing they kept from his original draft was: The Child Catcher.  Dun dun dun… I actually shudder just thinking of him now. (The Child Catcher, not Roald Dahl) And I’m 23 years old.

7. Misfits. Misfits, for anyone who doesn't know, is a British TV show about a bunch of people doing community service, who gain super powers during a weird storm. Despite its flaws, Misfits has come up with some truly ingenious ideas, like a boy who has been given the ability to see the world as a video game, and, you know, Nathan, in all of his Nathaness. Who comes up with that stuff?? The way they filmed the video game episode as well was just brilliant. 

8. The adult cartoon, Family Guy. Does it need any further explanation? Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Family Guy would be insulted if they knew that the ‘box’ even existed in the same realm as them. Why can people hear the baby talking sometimes and not others? They just can, ok? Deal with it.

9. This ornamental birdcage, which I got for my last birthday. It’s from Monsoon but they’ve stopped stocking it now, and I absolutely love it. It’s just so pretty and random. I have a love of all things random. *Gushes.* J

10. The White Queen in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I wish I had invented this character. What can I say? I love her style and I love her mannerisms and I just find her so watchable. She could waffle on about the benefits of skimmed milk over whole fat for hours and as long as she did it with those strange arm movements I would still find it mesmerising.

There were plenty of others I could have included, but I did say I’d limit myself to ten, even though it was hard. L I’m so indecisive that, years ago, when my family was moving house and I couldn’t make up my mind as to where I wanted my furniture to go, the removal men asked me if I was as indecisive as my mother. I replied, in all earnestness, “um, I don’t know.” They had a good laugh out of that one.

So that’s my big, exciting list. If you’re now intrigued to check any of them out, go for it, and let me know. Except for my dad’s painting because that would just be weird.
NB: None of the pictures above are mine!


Selina said...

You caught my attention with the child catcher (booooooooo! get off the screen!) and I think the white queen is ethereal and kooky enough to be likeable :P I also want to jump into pictures but the chalk ones in Mary Poppins seem like the most fun

Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

i love this list its so sweet and funny but did you have to put the scary scary child catcher picture??? that man gives me shivers!!! xxx

The Haunted Rose said...

what inspires me the most is tv shows and music and of course things that happen to me. What inspired me to start a blog was this new mtv show called awkward. :)

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

This was such a cool post! I am so glad someone else has seen Dead Like Me, it is such an amazing show! Have you seen Wonderfalls or Pushing Daisies? They're by the same guy, and are just as inspirational :) Love the Mary Poppins reference too I forgot all about that snowglobe!

Rachel Pudelek said...

The child catcher is super scary. And yes, the White Queen. Love to watch her insanity. :)

Charlotte said...

Ooh, is Awkward that thing about a girl who has to go around with her arm raised in the air in a cast? If so, that's another brilliantly unexpected idea that I love the sound of, though I've never actually seen it. Is it any good?
That picture of The Child Catcher creeps me out as well...ick...
I've seen Wonderfalls (years ago now) and episodes of Pushing Daisies. I'm sure I would've loved Pushing Daisies but I don't think I was near a TV when it first started, and I like to watch things from the beginning, so I wasn't able to get into it. If anyone wants to lend me a box set though, hint hint. ;)