Leesa Cross-Smith Recommends...

“I watch movies when I want to be inspired. Sometimes I watch the same movies over and over again, leaving them on as company while I’m doing other things. Other times I specifically watch them, looking for small treasures I’ve never noticed before. I love the comfort of the dialogue I know by heart, the music cues, the sounds that have become so familiar. One movie I turn to often is the 2015 film adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. It’s sweeping and romantic. A multi-layered story with a strong, flawed woman at the helm and some kind, gentle men alongside a rogue. It’s quiet and pastoral. It’s funny and sad and sweet, and Hardy’s gorgeous language and story transfer so wonderfully to the screen. I love the score, filled with complicated, woodsy strings and pianos swelling. And the bright costume colors popping against the rich greens and golden browns of the English countryside are so visually pleasing. I love period pieces and when I return to them I am forever inspired by their elegance, their wistfulness—by stolen kisses and pretty dresses. So often after watching and rewatching, I am reset and reminded of both the little and big things about this life and this world that I love so much. I am always brought back to why I wanted to be a writer in the first place and what keeps me writing—sweet, heartfelt stories that feel like home and real characters who won’t let me, or the reader, go.”
Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Whiskey & Ribbons (Hub City Press, 2018)