Under The Influence - Warning This Is A Long Post

I have been influenced by many people in my lifetime, each one neither more nor less important than the others. I think that each of these persons helped form a part of me and that God put them in my life for a season or a lifetime to teach me a valuable lesson.

My Writing Influences

We all have influences in our life; people who helped us become the person we are today. I don’t think I would be a writer today had it not been for my High School Honors English teacher.  He had a love of the written word and challenged me to find new words to express myself. Where my previous teachers saw a no talent, unimaginative, somewhat mediocre writer he took the time to know me and to unlock the imagination deep within my soul. I owe a large part of my writing skill to this man and I will never forget how he made me feel valued as an individual.  He not only believed in me but taught me to believe in myself.  Dr. T is now an English professor at one of most prestigious universities in the South.  Yes, I keep up with where he is and what he is doing; you can’t worship your hero if you don’t.  If I met him on the street I would hug him, give him a kiss on the cheek, and a hearty thank you from the fourteen year old girl inside me because without this man coming into my life I don’t think I would have the confidence to write in a journal, much less attempt to make a living doing it. (Writer’s Note: For those that are unaware I do project management, quality management/web portal build out, and technical writing/editing as a freelancer.)

I am and always have been an avid reader, though I prefer historical fiction and fantasy/sci fi, I will read anything I can get my hands on including the backs of boxes and textbooks.  I've read the classics, I've read popular fiction, the cult classics and even an extreme amount of erotica, and all have influenced my writing style greatly. Each book I read goes into my brain where I dissect each story and try to figure out what makes it work, and what doesn't.  I look for the perfect book fervently but I have yet to find one- although there are certain writers that I consider to be dayum well close to the perfect writer. I like to think in this search that I've learned from the best writers, but alsofrom the worst. I've discovered that knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do.

When I was a child, my mother stressed the importance of reading and she purchased many books for me to lose myself in. I owe my love of books partially to my mother and her steadfast commitment to make sure that I was always exposed to the literary greats.  One of my favorite early childhood loves was the writings of A.A. Milne.  My love of reading was cemented when I discovered that too chubby little honey bear and the boy who cherished him. These books, along with “When We Were Very Young” sparked my imagination and lead me to eventual make up similar stories for my younger siblings and today my nieces and nephews.  My style of Children’s writing mirrors his and my other childhood hero closely.

My nephew now has possession of the first story I wrote and illustrated with simple colored pencils. He says that some day he will read the book about “Bob, the Dog without a Tail” to his children. The whole point of this book was that “Bob” was different because he had no tail.  He still never compromised who he was to find acceptance in the world although he faced many trials of his faith. He was happy being the dog without a tail. I still make up stories with my nieces and nephews. I will put them on paper and my nephew and his sisters draw pictures. We put them together just like a real book. He always says our books are the best and every time he says this to me tears well in my eyes because I know that I have passed my love of books on to him and that a part of me lives on inside this miraculous boy.

Another children’s writer that has impacted my life is Dr. Seuss. I grew up on **** and Jane and I have fond memories of the primers teaching me the written word, but let’s face it these books were about repetition.  Dr. Seuss taught us that rhyming and silliness in writing can be fun.  We all owe a huge debt of gratitude for bringing fun to children’s literature. How many of you have a fond memory of these books shared with your own children. These books span cultures and generations. They are timeless and continue to provide children entertainment today just as they did decades ago.

I was in seventh grade the first time I read a Stephen King novel, a gift from my Aunt, which if you knew her this was out of character. She thought horror movies were from the devil but still standing in that bookstore she couldn’t say no to me. (HMMM much like the many men in my life still can’t lol)  I would be thrilled and terrified over the years by Salem's Lot, Christine, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, The Dead Zone, Bag of Bones, and Misery.  I also think that two of his books caused my irrational fears in life. Pet Sematary, I am convinced, caused me to be terrified of cats. It has taken me years to be able to touch a kitten, and still only if someone else is holding it. The other book that scared the “bejesus” out of me is “It” and you will not catch me playing nice with a clown ever. Stephen King is one sick son of a gun when it comes to writing and he does horror better than the majority of writers out there.  If I can ever be half as sick as he is I will consider this an achievement. I have nothing but admiration and deepest respect for what I have learned from this prolific writer.

Another writer that I appreciate is Anne Rice but I prefer the works she wrote as A.N. Roquelaure. If you are a military man you probably are familiar with her writing under this penname, or maybe that is just in my mind because almost every military guy I have dated has suggested I read these books lol. My erotic works have been compared to hers and I consider it to be a HUGE compliment to be compared to one of my heroes. If you have not read her “Sleeping Beauty” series and like erotica it is worth the read. In my mind the main character in these stories is the perfect submissive so I strive to be close to the main character in my real life relationships Although she is submissive she is strong, powerful, and intelligent. She knows she is in control through her submission.  I am so much like her that it is scary. (Isn’t that correct military man… who is really in control?)

All of these writers have touched my life but no other writer has touched me more in recent years than Nicholas Sparks.  He writes about real people and his characters have real lives, real jobs, and real problems.  They fall in love and get hurt. They tell lies and cheat. He can tell a story like no one else, setting a scene describing the character, architecture, and landscaping so vividly that you can almost reach out and touch them. I've read every one of his books and each is more than simple a book. They are masterpieces of human nature.  I read most of his books over and over again until he releases a new one. He has touched my life and made it a better place to be.

My Life Influences

I have great parents. They taught me that we shouldn’t judge others by a physical appearance, the amount of money in their account, or the many material possessions or lack of these that a person owns.  My dad never misses a day to tell me how beautiful I am to him and in doing so he has instilled in me that I am beautiful in his eyes. It isn’t about man a physical appearance either. My dad is more proud that I am a good human being that tries to always help others, look out for my siblings, and try to set an example in the decisions I make.  We had a long conversation about this over the weekend.  He told me of all his children I have the kindest, most tender heart and that although it leaves me heartbroken over and over again when people hurt me that he wouldn’t change that about me because it makes me even more special in his eyes. I had been drinking a little when he said this so I was tearful. He moved to the couch and asked me to sit with him and for the first time in many years I laid with my head on my dad’s lap as he told me everything was going to be okay.  You know I started to believe it because my dad doesn’t lie.  Yes, I have great parents and they have taught me many life lessons. I know that one reason I am so attracted to my guy is because he is so much like my father. What greater compliment can a daughter pay her father than to choose a man to be in her life based on his comparison to her father?

Another influence in my life is my best friend. Silver01ta.  He taught me not to fear the dark because he will always be there to help me get back to the light. He has helped me in many ways including effectively dealing with my childhood molestation, the loss of my baby, and many other things. He has given me a different perspective on many things in my life, teaching me that even evil has a purpose in our lives. I love him deeply and unconditionally. He is my family of choice and I would be lost without his love in my life.

Then there is HistoryGent.  History taught me that someone can care about me without wanting anything in return. He pushes me to be a better person and to never let anything kick my *** without a fight. He taught me that there is a strong woman under my feminine exterior and that I have to dig deep to find her sometimes but she is always there for me. I love History as well. He is a problem solver and always grounds me when I get flighty sometimes. I don’t say it publicly often but I love him dearly and he is an important part of my life.

 

Bluebie AKA HBY is another hero of mine. She is my bestest female friend.  She is there for me when the men in my life are sucking bad. We get in trouble often together and I know that if I need a pick up she is right there. I love this woman very much.

GoodMove aka ShadowMan reminds me that there are good men in this world and that that real men keep their promises.

Snowbunny has taught me that in our darkest hours we still can reach out in compassion. Without going too deeply into it I watched her head up high and help her mother, showing others in her life much more respect and compassion than they deserved for the sake of her mother.  I learned a lot in this moment and I am proud that she allowed me to share that journey with her. I love my bun buns too and we are friends for life.

I would be terribly in the wrong if I didn’t mention JTB in this group of individuals. What could this young man teach me?  Well he taught me so many things. He taught me the value of pure love; he taught me that there may not be a tomorrow to tell those we love how we feel. He taught me that love, no matter how short the time is, has real value in our loves and that it is a real entity and not just something made up in our minds.  He taught me that sometimes that death is not the worst thing that could happen to us. He taught me that I should live my life to the fullest in every moment and not wait for tomorrow to live, to do it today. He had a profound impact on how I love and for that I will forever be in his debt.

All1Rog has taught me that loving someone doesn’t mean that all things must be equal and that being friends means that you are there for the other person in hard times.  We have a friendship that transcends time and distance.  

Finally, last but by no means least, I think one person that has impacted me in my life in recent times is JimFin. He has taught me so much about my heart and myself as a person. He doesn’t accept “I can’t” from me and instead pushes me toward “I can.” I put up my walls and he tears them down as quickly as I can build them.  He takes me outside my comfort zone and although that frustrates me sometimes it is always right where I need to be.  He is a man of honor, he is intelligent, and a great father. His soul draws people to him and that iswhy I love this man so much.

As you can see I have had many influences in my lifetime and I would never go back and change the circumstances of my past because even the slightest change would cause me not to be the person I am today and I am very happy with me.   

fungirlmmm fungirlmmm
46-50, F
Mar 16, 2010