Playwright and children's literature writer Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith (1896-1990) was born on this day in Whitefield, England. She first pursued her passion for acting, but said that she was "too short and not attractive enough" and turned to writing.
"I have noticed that when things happen in one's imaginings, they never happen in one's life," she once said.
After gaining critical acclaim with several successful plays, including Autumn Crocus (1931), Smith moved to the United States with her manager/husband. "Contemplation," she said, "seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing."
Her bestselling novel, I Capture the Castle (1949), explored the life and love of Cassandra Mortmain, 17, through her memorable journals. A celebration of feelings and observations, Smith wrote: "Flat country seems to give the sky such a chance."
Smith is best known for creating The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1958). The lead male character, Pongo, was named after her own Dalmation. The book inspired the classic animated Disney film about two pooches who thwart evil Cruella De Vil's quest to own a coat of dalmatian pelts.
She said, "I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring."
Between 1974 and 1985, Smith wrote four volumes of autobiography: Look Back with Love: A Manchester Childhood, Look Back with Mixed Feelings, Look Back with Astonishment, and Look Back with Gratitude.
Feed your spirit.