“These Sunday walks are actually much more helpful to my writing than almost anything else. This is where the ideas come together for what will eventually be books, especially if I’m writing a New York book.”
From a May 22, 2011 New York Times “Sunday Routine” column about writer Gary Shteyngart’s — yes — typical Sunday routine (including a long walk through many parts of New York City).
“We ate it, and it wasn’t horrific, and that kind of sparked an idea.”
From a Q&A column in the May 2011 issue of Inc. magazine (quoting entrepreneur Brian Levin on his new product, “Perky Jerky, a performance-enhancing meat snack,” which was inspired when he and his fellow entrepreneur, Matt Keiser, accidentally spilled a can of Red Bull into a backpack full of beef jerky and didn’t find the mess until the next day).
“We also encourage people to put their ideas on our walls. Or if you’ve got a drawing, you can stick a couple of magnets on it. The point is to get people to put their stuff out where other people can see it.”
From an Adam Bryant interview with Mark Fuller, CEO of a company that makes large fountain installations, in The New York Times on April 17, 2011 (quoting Mr. Fuller on how his company’s “improv” culture encourages people to listen and respond to each other).
In his New York Times obituary of theatrical costume designer Theoni Aldredge, who died on January 21, 2001 at age 88, William Grimes noted: “Her beginnings were auspicious.” Indeed, there seemed to be a straight line through her whole career, which spanned 50 years and hundreds of Broadway and off-Broadway shows.
Early on, she loved dolls and their outfits, wrote Mr. Grimes, and also early on had fixed on being in the theatre. But it was a movie that she saw in 1946 that revealed to her what her true contribution to the theatre would be: “‘A strange thing happened … I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the flowing garments worn by Vivien Leigh (in “Caesar and Cleopatra”) … And that’s when it started.’”
“Do you not know that our soul is composed of harmony? — Leonardo da Vinci. DaVinci’s notion is such a nice one that it’s most likely wrong. Nice ideas, after all, are often inaccurate, too tidy or sweet to get at the harder truths about how we really live our lives. Surely the soul, if there even is such a thing, is not composed just of harmonies but of discord and dissonance too … Leonardo da Vinci, then, would be right after all, because in the soul’s compositon, harmony wouldn’t mean just resolution but also everything that leads us there.”
From “Dissonance,” an essay by Barbara Hurd in the May 2011 issue of The Sun (talking about discord and dissonance — the differences between them — their presence in music and life).
“Well, the creative spark comes from everywhere. It comes from life. I might overhear a snatch of a conversation, walk past a couple arguing on the street, and everything gives me ideas.”
From a Lauren Gallagher Q&A with San Francisco radio guy Greg Kihn in the May 29, 2011 issue of The Examiner (talking about how he finds inspiration for his eclectic work).
It started as newspaper columns, then became books, then a TV mini-series. Now it is a musical — Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City.”
We attended a preview performance on Sunday at the ACT in San Francisco, and the show officially opens today. GO SEE IT.
Why so many different ways to tell one set of stories? Possibly because these stories are so encompassing and full of life and truth that they cannot be contained?
Libbretist Jeff Whitty seems to point to what is simpy iconic, possibly transcendent. In the ACT program notes, talking about the musical’s genesis, Elizabeth Broderson writes, “From the opening scene when Mary Ann calls her mother to let her know that she won’t be returning to Cleveland, but has decided to stay and build a new life in San Francisco, Whitty was hooked. ’I thought,”That’s how a musical begins — a character entering this new world.”‘”
I repeat — GO SEE IT.