Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Life Plagiarizing Art

Life imitates art, or so the adage goes. Wait, or is it art imitates life? When Disney brings a real African lion into their animators studio to help them draw Simba, that's art imitating life, right? When the same lion leaves the studio and goes onto fight his uncle and take over his pride and sing Elton John songs, that's life imitating art. When that same lion makes a movie about his life and then...uh...draws a picture of it? What's that? Too late, don't answer. My brain already asplode.

Holly Black
, the literary chanteuse behind the Spiderwick chronicles and whatnot is currently writing a book called "The White Cat". On her blog, she relates a story: during the writing of said book, a strange white cat wandered into her house and stayed awhile. Life imitating as of yet unpublished art? Awesome.

As I was on my morning run the other day (ha ha, I say it as though I actually go running more than once a month) I came across a scene right outside the JFK library that honestly could have been DIRECTLY lifted from this Ireland fantasy manuscript I'm working on. Right as I was making a curve around a hill with a crumbling building on it (one of those old, beautiful castle looking things that dot the Boston coast), a huge, big-as-my-thigh black crow jumped into my path. Right in front of me, like it was going to mug me or something. It dropped a pebble, then stalked off, taking with it a huge flock of magpies that had been perched in the trees above. My iPod was leaking something Irish jiggy at the time, only further cementing the weirdness of it all.

No joke, I had JUST blocked out that bit in my manuscript. I won't try to explain the scene too much, but the crow was really an evil witch and the pebble (a twig in the book) was a message of forthcoming doom. Hey, there I did it. I just explained the scene. Anyways, life imitating art? Maybe. Life plagiarizing art? Totally. I should sue.

On my way back, the birds were gone, but the pebble was still there and my iPod was now fixed on Newsies. I stopped and looked around for a bit, seeing if I could eek out any more inspiration from the place. By then, of course, my heart rate was down, it was raining pretty hard and I was cold. I took the shortcut home and sang "Santa Fe" while no one (hopefully) was watching.

Moral of this story: I would probably work out a lot more if I didn't listen to Irish jiggy stuff and Newsies while I was running.

Extra, extra! Marie was lying! She doesn't even know HOW to go running! Read all about it!


licensed to touch said...

"a huge, big-as-my-thigh black crow?" sounds like a raven to me. Also sounds like a story I'd dig on.

Ann said...

And you still have the touch! What a writer you are.

Actually, the more I thought about the finale of LIFE ON MARS the more I really dug it. Like I loved the straight-up literalness of it.

colleenita said...

We should cross-post this to Arx Poetica!

gbulson said...

I like the idea of people in Boston listening to Irish jigs. I don't like the idea of your thigh becoming a standard unit of measurement, because then I'll be staring at your thigh to guage the size of something and Preston will break my neck.

K. Marie Criddle said...

You guys all rock even harder than Newsies. And I promise not to mention thighs for at least the next two blogs.