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Inspiration...where does it come from?

I just finished reading The Paris Wife, by Paula Mclain, and now all I want to do is write, read, design and create. All I can do is daydream about those characters and wish I was back inside their world. It is still lingering with me, in a good way. The same thing happened to me last week after I watched Boardwalk Empire... I thought about it for days afterwards and with such strong emotion I had to keep reminding myself it's just a TV show! That is the power of inspiration. And you don't need to be a writer to be inspired by, say, a great book. I wasn't inspired to direct a movie after I watched Manhattan, but I was inspired to create something of my own. A novel, a new bedding collection, a new store??!

The things that inspire me are typically of the arts/entertainment/literature variety. For some people, it's nature. Others, like my husband, technology (think Iphone). Even certain people, just by being who they are, profoundly inspire - Oprah, Steve Jobs, and (for me) the guy who created Starbucks, my hero, Howard Schultz. His vision makes me want to build my own empire. I define inspiration as something that affects me so deeply and so immediately I need to rush out and create something RIGHT AWAY or I will explode. It makes me want to be better. It gives me an injection of excitement and possibility and gratitude.

Here's what's inspired me over the years, in no particular order: Mad Men; everything by F Scott Fitzgerald; ABC Carpets in NYC; Maison + Objet; Woody Allen's classics: Manhattan, Annie Hall, Crimes & Misdemeanours, Hanna & her Sisters, Husbands & Wives (though less the man himself); that UCLA screenwriting course I took in West Hollywood; Indigo; Osho; Anthony DiMello; Boardwalk Empire; the Rachel Ashwell store in Santa Monica; Ernest Hemingway's writing style; Alice Munro's words; Anthropologie back in the day (10 years ago); Onward (the story of Starbucks' comeback); Delivering Happiness (the story of Zappos); Gooch's Beach first thing in the morning when I'm by myself; the vision of myself writing from the top floor of my white Colonial on Ocean Avenue, overlooking the crashing waves; the James Perse vibe - simple, soft, luxurious, livable; the Ralph Lauren brand.

And did I mention Mad Men?

What inspires you? I'd love to hear...