Livy Tinsley: My Perfect Woman in Ticket To Ride

About Livy: Turning Tin[sley] to Silver

My Perfect Woman: Livy Tinsley is actually an amalgamation of 4 or 5 women. The development of her character began with my using the name of a famous singer/songwriter from the 70s for whom I had intense crush. The next woman whom I used as a model was a former English friend (for my purposes here I’ll call her Julia) of mine who was born and raised in East Finchley, London. I knew her for quite a while before I started work on Just Another Day. My infatuation with her first showed itself in a poem (“What Captain’s Verses,” {see below}) named for a collection of love poems by Pablo Neruda. The poem appears midway through Ticket to Ride just after Morgan finishes with his therapist. Soon after writing that poem I re-wrote the female lead in my novella Tradewinds with Julia in mind. It also helped that I’d dated an English woman from Blackpool, England as well for 2 years. The patterns of speech, figures of speech, mannerisms, colloquialisms, etc., etc., come primarily from Joanne Nelson and her lovely family.

A few months later, after having decided to write a new novella based on Morgan Blake’s girlfriend and, after a fifteen minute meeting with “Julia”, I went home and wrote most of the first 4 chapters of JAD. I somehow finally connected with her in the way I believe I was meant to and the words just came pouring out. She had a playful spirit which made it easy to imagine her as a precocious child. Hence, the opening of the book begins on her 10th birthday. Apart from being physically beautiful, Julia was also a well-educated woman whom I suspect has a high IQ. She was a bit of a loner as well, and I, having been quite enamored of Paul McCartney’s song Another Day, imagined Julia to be my living example of the subject of that fantastic song.

In the same way, several of my former girlfriends in the following year or so, inspired the ensuing chapters. It will suffice to say that I appreciated every one of them for what they gave me in the way of inspiration. While I was with each one of them I expected that the relationship would develop in the usual way that relationships do. Looking back now I can see that each one came into my life at just the right moment; helping me to work out the details of quite a few chapters.

A friend of mine once went so far as to say that I was working like Picasso; gaining whatever inspiration I could from each woman, then moving on when the inspiration went dry. For better or for worse, this patchwork of mannerisms, sensibilities and actions became Livy Tinsley. As wonderful as she is to me, it might be said that, at the end of Ticket to Ride, a more fitting last name for her might be Sterling; having earned through her transformation a lofty position in my heart, second only to gold.

What Captain’s Verses?

by philip scott wikel

What grown love
will come and
color the things
I do
and have done?

having no one,
excepting my son,
who rushes to me only sometimes,
grown love lies languorous.

I love the ocean’s
salt smell and
am opened by it,
but I am as changeable and
inconsistent as
it is
and gather my strength
as she does
from everywhere and
nowhere at all.

What then can
I love that
doesn’t run fleeting,
or is fleeting me,
and therefore,

I cast a daydreaming eye to a made up North Sea horizon
she stretches as a sunset,
golden-tinged autumn dirty-blonde curls draped
over an expanse of swirling curves that
wend their discursive way to my feet
head to toe
she’s ocean
even though I’ve already said sea


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