by Stephanie of Sunbeam Soapbox
fame. The tag:
Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen writers who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag at least fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what authors my friends choose.
What a wonderful way to start 2011. But before I get started on the “list” here is the backstory.
I am keeping the same New Year’s resolution that I had in 2010: Laugh More. I have a new resolution this year, or perhaps, I should more correctly call a mantra for life: Living in Bliss. The RNK has made a resolution to enjoy life more. (Apparently, we think somewhat alike in this regard.)
To kick our resolutions off in good style, both the RNK and I did a tarot card spread with our Thoth deck and the Angeles Arrien interpretation book we use.
My reading suggested the importance of communication in the upcoming year and emphasized a need to integrate my personal and work lives. I took this as encouragement to follow through with the “monkey mind” writing and to — dare I say it — an attempt to put all the stories together in some sort of book format. OK. Maybe that’s a multi-year plan. Maybe that’s just a wild interpretation of a card reading that I will really not fully understand until much later.
However, the task of thinking about writers who have inspired my life fits in well with the introspection suggested by the Tarot reading. So, without any delay, in somewhat of a chronological order, I offer my list:
1. Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon)
2. A.A. Milne
3. Beverly Cleary
4. Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
5. Walter Farley (The Black Stallion)
6. Gerald Durrell
7. Mark Twain
8. E. E. Cummings
9. don marquis
10. J. R. R. Tolkien
11. Carlos Castaneda
12. Edward Abbey
13. John McPhee
14. Sue Grafton
15. Elizabeth Zimmerman
They are not all “equal” in terms of influence; I probably left out some important influences. But, for a 15-minute list, these are the authors of books that made a deep impression on me.
In many regards, being a child of the late 70s, I think it would have been more interesting to list the 15 musicians/bands who have been most influential in my life (Sergei Prokofiev, Beethoven, Joni Mitchell, The Beetles, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Dylan, Carlos Santana, Stephen Stills, Greatful Dead, John Mayall, Jeff Beck, The Who, Weather Report, Frank Zappa and Laurie Anderson).
Or perhaps, as far as it goes to understanding me, it would be interesting if you knew the animals who have been most influential in my life (Emma, Fluffy, Lucy, Silver, Beamer, Spark, Teetles, Slim Bob, Louis, Betty, Prudence, Turtle, Buddy, Smoki, Jakob, Opal, Oscar, Ida Rose Parker, Jet and Tag–more than 15, but there you have it–that’s what been most influential in my life).
However, that wasn’t the game. Speaking of not playing the game, I’ll finish up with a list of 10, not 15, friends to tag for sharing their list of influential writers.
2. Laurie Perry. Not a personal friend, but a blog author and writer who, from which, I would enjoy seeing a similar list.
3. Kimberly. Who doesn’t blog much now, but who has impeccable taste in books.
5. needled. Who probably doesn’t even know I follow her blog, much less know that I find her recovery an inspiration.
6. resurrection fern. Again, not a personal friend, but a blogger who sees beauty where she looks in our world, and who, I am sure, would offer an inspiring list.
7. Emmy Lou.
8. Grace. Who is so grounded. I would LOVE to see what Grace sees as the important influences in her life!
9. Bev. Who, even though she lives a universe apart, loves all the same things I love. You can pretty much be guaranteed if Bev likes a yarn, pattern or book, I will like it too.
10. Yarn Harlot Because who wouldn’t want to know what her influences were?
That’s it for tonight! I hope 2011 brings each and every one of you the best of everything!!!!!