Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bits and Pieces I Stole. Movie and Book Scenes You Keep.

Bits and Pieces I Stole, S. R. Karfelt, Author
The Glitter Globe/S. R. Karfelt

In some ways it’s like that Darmok episode of Star Trek the Next Generation. That’s the one where the Enterprise’s Universal Translator can’t figure out the Tamarian Language. They speak in metaphors. Shaka, when the walls fell.

S. R. Karfelt, The Glitter Globe, Inspiration, Writing

We all collect bits and pieces of books and movies and they become part of how we see the world and those parts become ours. This is one of my favorite lines when my guys are heading off into the wilderness.

Tell me you don’t use that one? Sometimes movie and book references can be cryptic. We don’t all read or watch the same things, right? Remember that line in The Princess Bride where Vizzini goes, “Never get involved in a land war in Asia” and laughs cryptically in his hyena laugh before he falls down dead?

And we’re all like, what about Asia? What’s that obscure reference? Does it refer to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War? (not to be confused with Stephen Pressfield’s the War of Art). So although I find it funny each and every time I watch that movie, I don’t use it. I like to have a firm grasp on my analogies and metaphors. Although they’re somewhat subjective, aren’t they? For instance in Jane Austen’s novels, dance is considered a metaphor for marriage. What?

Well, okay. And I think I might have my own thoughts on what marriage is an analogy for. 

But my point is that we take all these bits and pieces of other people’s words, imaginations, and talents and internalize them into our own thoughts, words, and ideas. We, as Austin Kleon puts it so eloquently, Steal Like An Artist. For instance Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Was inspired in some part by an episode of Doctor Who…

And there has been speculation that Sinclair Lewis’s Babbit inspired J. R. Tolkien to come up with the name Hobbit.

Bit of a stretch if you’ve read it, but the subconscious is a freaky machine. It does rhyme. We all know that The Hobbit inspired The Lord of the Rings. I mean at some point the writer thought or was asked, and then what happened? Dangerous words, those.

But, oh, so very inspiring. Finding the well of creativity takes reverse engineering, and I’m more into the reconstruction part myself. It’s like the lyrics to that song. Is it Sting or The Police? “Every breath you take, Every move you make, Every bond you break, Every step you take, I'll be watching you,” and turning it into something glittery.

Do you have a favorite story about something that was inspired by something else? It’s not always movies and books, weren’t helicopters partially engineered by the way hummingbirds fly? And what’s your favorite movie or book quote? Which ones have stuck in your head the most?


  1. Oooh! Favorite movie lines...

    "As you wish." The Princess Bride

    "I am no man!" Lord of the Rings

    I know there are more, but those two are on the top of my list and the only ones my brains seems to want to produce right now. :D

  2. And they're great ones, Linnette! The Princess Bride lines really stick in my head!

  3. A prayer group incident spawned a 5 part saga, a barking dog inspired a blog, an editor's side note launched a flash fiction, it happens all the time for me.

    The movie I quote the most is Nacho Libre. There is a line for every moment in life. "Your only job is to cook. Do you not realize I have had diarrhea since Easters?."
    "Ok... Maybe I am not meant for these doodies. Cooking doody. Dead guy doody. Maybe it's time for me to get a better doody!." (Duties, but it's funnier the way he says it.)
    "Me? No. Come on. Don't be crazy. I know the wrestlers get all the fancy ladies, and the clothes, and the fancy creams and lotions. But my life is good! Really good! I get to wake up every morning, at 5AM, and make some soup! It's the best. I love it. I get to lay in a bed, all by myself, all of my life! That's fantastic! Go. Go away! Read some books!"
    "They think I do not know a buttload of crap about the Gospel, but I do!"

    hehehehehee, I need to go watch this again.

  4. Hey! LaDonna, link me to the barking dog post? I have a weakness. Am I the only one following a dog on Instagram? And I've never seen Nacho Libre. I miss so much!

  5. Okay, I've always assumed the land war in Asia line was about the Vietnam war. Too political? Maybe, but still funny. Love that movie so much! I watched it again Thursday night. Oh, and "Nacho Libre" is worth watching just for Jack Black's eyebrows. They could win "Best Supporting Actor." Just sayin'.

  6. Okay, why did that never occur to me, Natalie? Now it's like duh! I was going waaaaay back in time, because The Princess Bride was so obviously set back then *insert eye roll here*. I'll be sure to watch for those best supporting actor brows!

  7. I love a Princess Bride. That movie and book inspire humor.
    I love the Count of Monte Cristo movies (60s and 2000s) but HATE the book. Thank goodness for the book to get the movies though!

    My books are inspired by either music or shows I've seen. So maybe one day I'll make your list ;)

    I love LOTR.

  8. Wow...You've hit my movie watch list. I've enjoyed each of these many times. Love the lines which are so repeatable. FUN!

  9. Kelsey -- I'm looking forward to your books making my list, not to mention the gifs I can blog with once your books become movies. :D

  10. Okay, and I love your sense of humor, LaDonna! *hands her some yellow Bertie Bott's* heehee

  11. Lazodavis--There are so many quotable movies, I could barely focus on books. As a writer, that's not good! So I went with the book to movie options that I enjoyed most!

  12. I think the land war in Asia is more accepted military wisdom than quote. If it is a quote, I don't remember seeing it anywhere in Art of War. Ok, looked it up. It's attributed to Field Marshal Montgomery, though he said it a bit differently. Also Douglas MacArther is referenced as having said it, though no two sites agree on when. Maybe he said it often. Lol

    Also, our household quotes Princess Bride on a daily basis.

  13. Ashley -- The reason I always thought The Art of War was simply the rules of engagement about being hopelessly outnumbered with no way to get supplies. It's one of the more cryptic Princess Bride quotes.