Before I switch this blog off for the holidays, I wanted to take a moment to talk about Invention.
As Willy Wonka said, “Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.” Invention is the physical manifestation of Inspiration, the creation of something new out of the muck of something old. Everyone’s writing teacher talks about there being only six or (was it sixteen?) original plots; everything else is just a copy or a derivative of something that has come before. This year, we gladly spent our money to return to those days when we were chased by dinosaurs or made the jump into hyperspace in a galaxy far, far away. Billions spent on nostalgia. Yes, there were some new dinosaurs, a new basketball droid everyone adored and a woman running from a T-Rex in red heels, but we clapped and cheered anyway.
So before I leave for the year, I want to show you my Inspiration for Invention. It happened during the Royal Wedding for Prince William and Kate Middleton. I’m not a huge fan of weddings, I didn’t care that much about the dress and I totally missed out on all the excitement over Miss Pippa Middleton’s “bum”. I wasn’t watching that. What I was watching was a country cheering for something that went beyond simple nostalgia.
The Second World War didn’t happen in my time. It happened to another generation of people slipping away from our grasp as they age into their nineties. We are losing their stories. This year in particular marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and very few people here in the U.S. cared. A survey conducted by a British newspaper reported that many young people of the United Kingdom didn’t know what happened during the Battle of Britain. Some confused it with the invasion of the Vikings. Most got the time period wrong. The survey proved young people don’t care about such things. Why? Because they’ve forgotten.
We’ve forgotten, too. We forgot that we owe our freedom and our lives to the generations before ours.
Sometimes, it’s good to be reminded. This is that moment of Inspiration that set the stage for my Invention. This is what set off DARKEST HOUR:
I look forward to putting the book finally up on sale and talking more about that brave young girl named Briley Bannatyne. Until the next week or so, Tally-ho!