Thursday, January 30, 2014

"You and rabbits--extraordinary!"

I was watching Miss Potter again last night. We've spoken of it before: of the fact that every time I watch this film, I come away inspired, invigorated, and ever so slightly depressed that I don't own an estate in the Lake District. I don't exactly know why I love the movie so much unless it is just the fact that it is...me. This is probably the reason; every friend that has watched it has asked/messaged/texted me and said, "Hey, Rachel, have you seen Miss Potter? It reminds me so much of you."


I grew up on Beatrix Potter's little books and now that I'm quite grown, I have purchased a huge, beautiful hard-bound copy of the complete set. My sister owns a book full of the letters Beatrix sent to children all around the world which inspired me to start drawing picture-letters for the little folk in my own life. I intend to name one of my daughters Beatrix, if my husband is amicable to the idea.... (Ha. ha. ha. ha.) All told, the stories, film, and letters of and about Beatrix Potter fill me with a nostalgic, lovely contentment that makes me want to take out my watercolors and start again with the lovely old rhythm of art, words, and story.


I was talking once with one of my friends, Wyatt Fairlead, about the film. (He was one who told me I must see this film if I hadn't already)

"It always makes me want to paint amazing pictures and publish a book," I said.
"It always makes me want to own land in the Lake District," he followed.

That was a jolly plan and it has grown since to a plot that he will somehow fall into an inheritance (or win a lottery) and buy at least one farm up there. Matthew (my cousin) and Amy (Wyatt's sister and Matthew's girl) and I will then come visit and I will have all the joy of a Lake District farm without any of the expense.

It is a very good plan.

Among many of the other joys of the film, (LIKE THE SCENERY? OH LOR') the soundtrack is paramount. It is the essential "writing music" for me....just turn that soundtrack up on Spotify and dig my mental claws into my story and there we go. I need to employ the music in the background while writing Anon, Sir, Anon -- just the right feel for the story. When watching the movie last night, I was excited (and a bit astonished) to realize that my Lair is quite a lot like Beatrix's room...and I have always envied/loved/adored/wanted her painting room. That was quite a lovely lovely realization and now I love my messy wall more than ever.


There is one scene toward the start of Beatrix's career when she has just published The Tale of Peter Rabbit and is sitting with Norman Warne (her publisher) over tea. She is saddened that their relationship must needs come to an end because the business of publication is through and they have succeeded...then Norman leans across the table saying:

"Your book has made my life so full...I was hoping there would be more stories...?"
Beatrix looks a bit taken aback. "Y..yes."
Norman: "Then I look forward to doing it again and again..."
Beatrix: "And again!"

And that is exactly how this whole publication of Fly Away Home feels. I just want to keep writing, keep making stories, keep dreaming about that farm in the Lake District I will never ever might someday own...and keep chasing after dreams like Beatrix Potter. I never hope to be able to walk into my bank and ask them if I could perhaps afford a small country house of my own and be told I'm quite a wealthy woman and have enough for several estates, but it is a pleasant thought all the same.

Oh dear. I independently published. No charming, humorous, lovable publishing men for me....


Guess I'll settle for a thick, roguish Willie Heelis when I go off to visit Wyatt Fairlead's farm. :)

9 comments:

thusblewthewind said...

I'm always on the lookout for good writing music ... so thank you for mentioning the soundtrack - it's beautiful :)

You don't need to *own* a farm in the Lake Distict - you could always stay at a farmer's B&B :)

Grace M said...

Hi, I'm Grace. I've followed your blog for awhile, but rarely comment.

The title of your blog post is what drew my attention. "You and rabbits--extraordinary!" That has got to be one of the best movie quotes ever to me. Miss Potter is one of my top films, but I've not considered the soundtrack of it. I think I'll have to get it if I get the chance- I'm sure it will give me some writing inspiration.

Have a lovely day,
Grace

Jenny Freitag said...

I, too, have got the "Have you seen 'Miss Potter'? It made me think of you!" remark. Several times. Such a sweet, sad, uplifting, charming movie. They get artists, and that is something delightfully refreshing in a film.

I think I must thank heaven that I never got the chance to descend upon the Lake District. I think our friendship would have terminated abruptly with my expiration.

Rachel Heffington said...

Thusblewthewind: Well you are quite right about that. Though the money is still rather problematic...
Grace: So glad you emerged for a comment! I do love to know the people who "lurk" as well as the active ones. I am glad you love Miss Potter. It truly is the most charming movie I can think of.
Jenny: I am quite glad you didn't make it to the Lake District, then, because I'm not finished with you yet and so you can't die of happiness yet. Also, they *do* get artists, bang them. Quite perfectly so.

Jenny Freitag said...

My death would not have been due to happiness, but an excess of rage on your end.

Rachel Heffington said...

Oh heavens. I hadn't thought of that. *feels quite cross*

Colleen Elizabeth said...

Ah it is as if a kindred spirit wrote this! I too love Miss Potter and am excessively inspired when I watch it (and listen to the soundtrack). It makes me want to get up to my elbows in watercolor again! And I hold an equally improbable dream of a little cottage in the Lake District. But one can dream...Thanks for the darling post!

I'm looking forward to your book being published!

Rachel Heffington said...

Colleen: Thank you! I am so glad to have found so many fellow Miss Potter fans. A thing that inspires so many people must be a fine thing indeed!

Rachel Heffington said...

Colleen: Thank you! I am so glad to have found so many fellow Miss Potter fans. A thing that inspires so many people must be a fine thing indeed!