I’ve said this many times (okay, once maybe): Muses are tricky to pin down. They pop up in unexpected places. In this case for me, the 1995 movie, Tommy Boy. Look, I like Chris Farley, but this is not a movie I consider DVD-worthy. Yet, despite the fact I’ve only seen it one time all the way through, I know a lot about it . . .
. . . because The Husband quotes it All. The. Time. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve heard, “Housekeeping! You need pillow?” (Enough to choke an army with goose down.)
But there I was tonight, eating takeout Thai food and watching it. I can’t tell you the exact moment the idea implanted itself, but about the time the deer busted out of the car, I jumped up with Denver Bronco-esque touchdown flair, suddenly struck with an idea for the rest of my young adult novel.
The novel doesn’t resemble the slapstick, frat boy antics of these former SNL actors, so I’m a little baffled. And let me tell you, I’m not fond that The Husband struts around as if his movie choice is responsible for this epiphany. I’m also not keen that more lines from the movie like “I just need your Herbie Hancock,” will take on new life. I should have kept quiet about the unexpected burst of inspiration, but have you ever been hit upside the head without making a sound?
It was involuntary.
So anyway, I took it as Chris Farley himself alighting from the heavens and helping a writer out.
This just happened. (This meme will never go viral due to the fact that a lot of context is needed.)
This completely speaks to the recent post at The Writing Bug where Deborah talks about finding inspiration in odd places. Just hours earlier, I left a riveting comment about allowing yourself to be open to finding inspiration in everyday life situations. Is watching Tommy Boy an everyday life situation?
More importantly, why was I even watching Tommy Boy?
But I’ve got my inspiration. And if I’ve learned anything from reading Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s Big Magic, it’s this: Seize the s**t (I’m paraphrasing) out of it because ideas are fickle; they’ll find another host if you don’t welcome them into your world when they come knocking.
Thanks, Chris and David. I don’t know what you did, but thanks.