Origins: The Brady Bunch

December 3, 2008 by - 8 Comments

So, which Brady were you? I always identified with Jan, who wore glasses and had all those middle-kid issues that her male counterpart Peter never seemed to have. I despised Cindy and envied Marsha to the point of dislike. It was probably self-hatred on my part because I was actually most like Marsha–self-absorbed and blond–only …Read More

Origins: Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

November 24, 2008 by - 11 Comments

Novels just don’t get any more Gothic than Jane Eyre. This was another fifth grade book fair purchase, and it made an indelible impression on me. Have you read it? Yes, it’s full of melodrama, but it’s narrated in the first person in an unsentimental yet powerfully affecting voice. Jane, an unhappy, unattractive orphan suffers …Read More

Origins: Perry Mason

November 19, 2008 by - 1 Comment

Perry Mason was my first television detective. (He was technically a lawyer, of course, but he always solved his own cases.) On the nights when my father was out of town, my mother would let us watch Perry Mason reruns as we ate our Noodles and Ground Beef Casserole. For years afterward, I associated Perry …Read More

Origins: The Secret Garden

November 17, 2008 by - 6 Comments

Frances Hodgson Burnett had serious issues with the children of the Edwardian British upper class. Both The Little Princess and The Secret Garden featured wealthy girls whose parents had some connection to British rule in India. Sarah Crewe (Little Princess) is abandoned at an English boarding school (Miss Minchin’s) by her father and spoiled Mary …Read More

Origins: Bewitched

November 14, 2008 by - 10 Comments

Who wouldn’t want Elizabeth Montgomery’s signature character Samantha Stephens as a mother? She was as beautiful as a storybook princess, calm, occasionally silly, loving, forgiving and–in a pinch–she could wiggle her nose and conjure up ice cream or a pony, take you back in time to meet real royalty or turn neighborhood burglars into pigs …Read More

Where Did That Come From: Prologue

November 13, 2008 by - 1 Comment

(marc chagall’s adam and eve) Everything is derivative. I can’t speak for other writers–but it’s been painfully obvious to me for a long time now that there hasn’t been a truly original idea in our little garden since the snake offered Eve that apple. Every literary idea flows from that moment (metaphorical or not–you pick), …Read More