Friday, May 6, 2011

Harriet and Me

I love the movie Harriet the Spy and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Based on the children's novel of the same name by Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy has been a source of inspiration for me for many years.

If you are not familiar with the story, Harriet is a self-proclaimed spy. She travels around her neighborhood spying on her neighbors, classmates, and friends. She writes down everything she sees in her notebook.

 There are so many parallels between Harriet and me. Growing up I always had a composition notebook-like the kind that Harriet writes in- with me. My journaling was seen by some as obsessive. I wrote down my every thought, every dream, every observation in my notebook, much like Harriet.  In the movie Harriet's parents demand that she stops writing as a punishment and it is obvious that she is lost without her notebook. When sent to see a therapist she lights up when he allows her to write again. He tells her parents in the end that Harriet will make a great writer one day.

I found out today that my favorite professor Deesha Philyaw signed a book deal! I was so excited and inspired as a writer to work harder. I immediately wanted to watch Harriet the Spy to get in touch with that side of myself that absolutely loves writing and doesn't worry about anything else.

What books or movies inspire you career wise? Are there any characters you see yourself, your dreams or aspirations in? Please share them.


  1. My daughter loved this movie so much when she was younger. I think I've seen it about a million times and I love the character and what she learns! I don't know that I identify with any character so much but I do love a great story and find that the writer in me is motivated or inspired by the a well crafted story in any form. Right now, movies that inspire my writing and that I watch over and over are The Apostle and Claudine, listening to Aretha Franklin and lots of Blues Singers and Hugh Masekela moves me and when I get writer's block if I read a passage of anything by Toni Morrison or Wally Lamb then I'm creatively 'healed'.

  2. I love that idea of being creatively healed. I can see how both Toni and Wally's writing can heal instantly. Did you see her on Oprah this week? She was beautiful as ever. KP.