Natalie L. Sin posted the other day about inspirational images, asking what our latest one was. Figured I’d put mine here, in the hope it’d spread, since it’s the kind of thing I’m always really interested in with other people.
So hers was adorable, but mine is just nerdy. I was talking about The Horologist last week, a short story I just churned out that required a fair amount of research. It was inspired by an image, or a work of art, I guess. I was at the Smithsonian Museum of American History with my Bonus Sister, Sherry, a month or two ago, and we went through the Lincoln exhibit.*
Among many other cool artifacts, they have Lincoln’s pocketwatch there– they showed you the open face, and then a picture of the innards, which have an awesome story attached to them. If you don’t feel like reading the whole thing, the quick version is that there’s an inscription on the inside from a watchmaker called Dillon, who was repairing it the day of the Battle of Ft. Sumter (1861; American Civil War, for those who never had to sit through that particular lecture)– Lincoln never knew it was there. The Dillon family kept the story for generations, and called up the Smithsonian when they heard about the watch in the exhibition. And lo and behold, there it was.
So I’d seen it a few times this summer, since I’ve spent a lot of time in that particular museum lately, but this time I looked at Sherry and said, “Man, I could get a great story out of that…” She of course encouraged this, and I got out my little notebook to write it down before it got away. A month later it collided with another idea I’d been sitting on in my brain, bounced it off my husband to make it all gel, and I got The Horologist– the vaguely pathetic, overly Victorian George LaFleur.
I strongly suspect that it is not great, as I tried to tell Sherry it would be, but the inspiration is cool enough that I really want to make it great some day.
How about you?
*If you haven’t seen it yet, oh man, try and make it a point because it’s brilliant. The whole museum has been shut down for the last few years for renovations, and only just reopened a few months back– its gorgeous.