The post in which I confirm for many of you that I am, indeed, a weirdo.
I was walking in the Big City the other day, on my way back to the office after lunch with Janet, when I happened to look up (it's always a good idea to look up while you're walking, especially in the Big City). And in Chicago, you look UP. Maybe it's because my latest book has architecture in it, but I was struck by the symmetry of these four buildings - Presidential Towers (and yes, that's the Willis Tower in the background, pronounced here in Chicago as SEARS Tower). Chicago is full of fine examples of architecture, unusual looking buildings, unique designs, skyscrapers, but for some reason, I'd never noticed these four towers, identical, built in perfect symmetry. Sure, I've heard of the twin towers in New York, and we have Marina Towers right here in Chicago, identical or mirror image buildings standing side by side, but maybe I wasn't paying attention to know what or where these buildings were. Staggered the way they are, at an angle across two blocks, they made an impression on me and my sense of symmetry.
Inspiration is everywhere, and I think I've mentioned that many times in interviews and blog posts and whatnot. I can't say the Presidential Towers inspired me, but they did make the world stop for a moment, not an easy feat in a busy city like Chicago. This might be one of the first instances where I wasn't inspired to write, but what I was writing inspired me to see something I hadn't noticed before.
Often, when I'm writing, I surprise myself by drawing parallels, plot points that conveniently (or maybe subconsciously were created to) come together. There's a beauty in symmetry, something that reaches deep down inside and says "this is the way it was meant to be."