Thursday, October 23, 2008

Inspiration

Yesterday, Aaron had a post concerning the reasoning behind his writing. It was a thoughtful discussion with himself and it made me think. (Thanks a lot Aaron, now my brain hurts) I began to think about the inspirations for my writing. What works have inspired me, touched me, reached out with a 2x4 and cracked me upside the skull. It was a pretty good list to be brutally honest. I have decided to narrow it down to ten pieces, and here they are in no particular order:

1. My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George. I read this book over and over as a boy, it helped me find a voice.

2. Stuart Little, E.B.White. More than The Elements Of Style with his mentor, this book showed me there are no limits to the imagination and it can be said very precisely.

3. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien. What can I say. It is The Hobbit. What a world to create.

4. Rage, Richard Bachman (Stephen King). How prophetic and real can a book be and still be considered fiction. And this was an early work.

5. The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosinski. A haunting WWII story that very well could have been true. The imagery still sticks with me.

6. Fear, L.Ron Hubbard. Written on a train ride across country, it was a great ride in and of itself. A case of 'what if' and among the best of them.

7. The giving Tree, Shel Silverstein. Honestly, I could have included any book he ever wrote but I decided on this one. Simple storytelling, well chosen words, and a story that you never forget.

8. Sweets To the Sweet, Robert Bloch. One of the few short stories on the list. I have never forgotten the first true chill that words gave me when I read them.

9. The Hot Zone, Richard Preston. Truth is sometimes way more frightening than fiction.

10. A Continuity of Park, Julio Cortazar. Really, did you think I would be able to get away with this list without the namesake of my blog. If you haven't read it before you are missing out on one of the best flash fiction pieces ever written. It twists and loops on itself with precision and skill that I have never seen before but would like, someday, to mimic.

7 comments:

Rob Brooks said...

Rage is one of my favorite Stephen King novels. It's such an honest and terrifying look into the human soul. The way King shows those students turning on each other...it really makes you look at yourself and ask what it would take to do that to you. Scary. (For the record, my all-time fave of King's is Bag of bones. But Rage is a close second.)

Catherine J Gardner said...

On my list I would put Enid Blyton's 'Faraway Tree' books, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

My favourite Stephen King book is Desperation.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I love how everyone has a fave King book. Even my dad likes his stuff. He thinks he's weird but a good writer.

Aaron Polson said...

Sorry about the brain hurting. It's what I do. Rebecca is a great choice. Love that book. Stuart Little rocks, too.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

I've never read Hubbard, I only know him from his...um...other career. I really should, though, I've heard he did some groundbreaking stuff. I do get emails for his Writers of the Future site, it appears they host a few contests throughout the year.

Carrie Harris said...

The best part of lists like this is that they give me fodder for my reading list. There's a few on here I haven't read, so thanks!

Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins tweaked my reality. And Devilish by Maureen Johnson made me realize that I was all about YA.

Jamie Eyberg said...

cool, now I have some new stuff to look into. Thank you everyone (like I needed to go to the bookstore and buy more books.)