If you have read or are reading my book, These Foolish Things, and wanted to see some of the influences for characters, references, let me show you:
This is Tyrone Power, Ty’s mother’s crush.
He made some good movies; check out “The Prince of Foxes,” “The Mark of Zorro” and especially, “Witness For the Prosecution.” (I LOVE that movie)
This was Toulouse, who was my cat from 1996 until his death in 2003. Lively, into everything and he had a silly, fluffy tail that was always in motion because he was always trying to figure out how to beat the humans.
The Pygmalion and Galatea painting:
By Jean-Leon Gerome and hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York). One of my favorite Greek myths. Who really freed whom?
It’s real. And it’s gorgeous.
The poem that Liz can’t remember? The Sun Rising by John Donne (also real) :
BUSY old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?
Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
Thy beams so reverend, and strong
Why shouldst thou think ?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long.
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and to-morrow late tell me,
Whether both th’ Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou left’st them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw’st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, “All here in one bed lay.”
She’s all states, and all princes I ;
Nothing else is ;
Princes do but play us ; compared to this,
All honour’s mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world’s contracted thus ;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.
There really are baseball fields in Boston’s North End:
And yes, when I played on a corporate softball team, one of the guys hit a bocce player with a foul ball. Another guy hit MY personal softball into the harbor. He liked to claim that he nearly hit a booze cruise, but yeah right, in your dreams, Pal.
And they DO hold the Massachusetts Bar Exam at Boston’s World Trade Center:
I worked there, I took the bar there (twice). I also went to corporate Christmas parties there.
Advice on writing is “write what you know.” I took what I knew and used them as elements. Sadly, there is no Green Dragon Wall or Vincenzo’s, but Eastern Massachusetts is a very cool place.