Remember how you read my bio and learned how I once wanted to be a professor? Cool. That research training doesn't go away. So here's the books I read, the movies I watched, and the stories I was thinking about while I wrote.
Not The Girls You're Looking For
The Classic Mean Girls of Cinema
- Mean Girls -- One of those movies that was iconic as soon as it came out, but also, isn't holding up for me the more I re-watch. I keep thinking how the last ten minutes of the movie just neatly happen, the girls moving beyond their mean girl phase. I wanted a whole story about that-- the what comes after a girl transfers her ambition away from the most destructive spaces.
- Grease -- Rizzo forever.
- Clueless -- Because Lulu's life is totally normal.
- Heathers -- The original. For dark comedy. What's your damage?
The Classic Sisters of Literature
- The Bennet Sisters from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen -- Like many writers, Austen is a touchstone. But for this story in particular, the ways in which sisters take on roles and form mirrors and foils to one another, often of their own choosing, was a theme that kept coming back to me as I wrote.
- The March Sisters from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott -- Like Lo, I will stan for Amy March until I die. Please look into the history of May Alcott Nieriker before at-ing me on this.
Bachelorette, dir. Lesley Headland -- The classic mean girls of cinema, all grown up. A lesser known dark comedy on when we grow up but our co-dependent relationships don't. (n.b. TW for suicide attempts and drug abuse).
Saving Francesca, Melina Marchetta -- Marchetta has been formative in many ways but, for me, none so much as this one. Ensemble casts, girls integrating at a previously all boys school, Italian heritage, family depression, and feminism all collide in this perfect book.
Habibi, Naomi Shihab Nye -- the first half Arab, half American protagonist I ever saw in fiction. Liyana was among the first and the few Arab American girls I'd get as a protagonist. About a girl who moves from St. Louis to Palestine in the 1970s.
Be Cool For Once ( from Fresh Ink)
A love story and one night in at a concert, inspired by some of my favorites.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, because, come on. It re-invented the classic It Happened One Night trope.
An opening line in honor of the late great, Louise Rennison and her Georgia Nicolson series, which opens with Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. But the reference is probably best understood by the title of book two-- On the Bright Side, I'm Now The Girlfriend of a Sex God
An homage to Shirin and Khosrow, which is both an epic love poem and historical legend with many, many versions. Though, I'm partial to Nizami's. Most people consider this a story of what one person would do on behalf of the one they love. I think it's a story about how far we'll all go to avoid confronting our feelings. Partiuclarly when they're reciprocated.
Untitled Book 2
More to come soon, I promise!