Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation: Seuss to Shakespeare

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong  end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”
Dr. Seuss

I think my love affair with books and the written word started from the moment I held my first book in my chubby little hands.  They say you never quite get over your first love and my first happened to be the words and through them the imagination of the one and the only, Dr Seuss.

Theodor Seuss Geisel or Dr. Seuss as he was known, authored 46 children’s books and it was he that influenced me more than any one other writer.

Of course he didn’t write “The Great American novel”.  Most people wouldn’t use Dr. Seuss and great in the same sentence, but to me he was great.

The good doctor inspired me through his fantastic imagination and entertaining wordplay to become a lifetime reader and writer.  It was Seuss who said it was O.K. to be different and that it’s fun to embrace our own unique selves. It was he that allowed me to give childlike whimsy importance in my life.

It took me many years to realise this. As children grow to adolescents they tend to put away childish things. I was in a hurry to grow up and so The Doctor and his wonderful world of books sat on the shelf gathering dust until I had my own children and through their eyes I rediscovered his books all over again.  It has been only recently that I’ve noticed how infused with Seuss I really am.

It is a strange thing to admit but I am what I am and I really don’t mind if my sentences go on and on with lyrical rhyme and a rat-ta-tat patter…or how at times I will make up a word on the spot just for tricks. I have been known to repeat a word over and over because I like the effect. I enjoy thumbing my nose at convention. I think convention can be the killer of creativity and I try to steer clear.

I enjoy the sound of words, they way some roll off the tongue can be a thing of beauty. Other words have a certain look to the letters; a dotting of an “i” and the crossing of a “t” in just the right place can be visually appealing.  Words are like spices to me; an almost infinite selection of different flavors and tastes. Some words can be quite melodic and burst onto the page in an explosion of color.

  In the lines of my writing I see Dr. Seuss and a smidgen Poe; I’d like to think perhaps a tiny bit of Shakespeare with a twist of Lennon. There are many contributors and I have benefitted from them all. Books have given me the inspirational words of people such as Gandhi, The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh.  Science fiction’s  Arthur C. Clarke, Piers Anthony and Philip K. Dick let me dream.  Jared Diamond, Brian Greene and Micheal Pollan have made me think.

I think I owe some sort of thanks to Seuss and others who have molded and shaped me as a writer and a person as well.  We are what we read and we read what we are. 

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is more you-er than you!”
Dr. Seuss

What book(s) or author(s) have inspired you?  How have they influenced and shaped you as a writer? I would love to hear about it, let’s chat…

Strawberryindigo.

 

Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation (dailypost.wordpress.com)

How cool is this!

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24 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation: Seuss to Shakespeare

  1. Pingback: A World Without Books - Everyday Gyaan

  2. Love Suess too and the shoes. For me it was my mother, King Arthur, my father, and Lloyd Alexander who got me into writing. Now I admit I like Terry Goodkind as well as Chaucer, Homer, and Shakespeare…guess I cannot limit myself to even three. The power of words is hard to minimalize I guess? Loved your post and style!

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  3. Very cool high-top! I still have my The Cat In The Hat that I received when I was five and had my tonsils out. Two of my favorite writers are Madeleine L’Engle, both fiction and especially her non-fiction, and May Sarton’s journals. Both inspired me to begin and continue what became life-long journalling. Also Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Marion Zimmer Bradley -all sci-fi authors.

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    • Wow Janet, I didn’t know you were a SF fan! I am too from way back! I have read all those authors (except May Sarton) and many more. I am also a Star Trek fan but not one of “those”.
      I have been majorly influenced by SF and Fantasy, in fact I am working on some Fantasy short stories now. Now I am currently obsessed with reading non-fiction….
      Real life can be fantastic in it’s own right.

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      • I agree. I have been on a non-fiction track for the last couple of years. I’ve been more interested in what real people make of life on this planet than I’ve been interested in what fictional people make of it. It’s not so much that I am looking for answers as it is looking for other companions on the journey.
        That said, have you considered posting any of your short stories? I’d like to read them.

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        • I may post a sampling, but I am saving it for publication. I hear after I post online, no one wants to buy it from you. I’d let you personally read stuff if you want. I am not ready to show anything yet though. I need to work on it more. Thanks for asking, Janet.
          You are so very nice! 🙂

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            • I will Janet! I am in the midst of figuring out all the details of a book, a fantasy. I am almost ready to put the words down. Much of my writing is done in my head before I write a word. After I do all the figuring it just all flows out. I hope this works. I haven’t had the guts to even attempt a novel until now. I’ll let you know.

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              • I know you can do this, just let the words flow. And here’s the best advice I ever received from a writing teacher: keep the inner Editor out of the room while the words spill out of you and onto the page. Write first. Edit later. NOT at the same time. Writing and editing use different thinking styles and the linear-thinking Editor can shut down the global-thinking, creative Writer. So be sure to let the Writer write. You way have the guts you need to write a novel, And the perseverance, which is just as needed.t

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  4. I love the spice comparison – I can really see that! I never knew Dr Seuss, but think I should read some! As a lover of language and playing with language, I suppose Shakespeare has been a great inspiration to me. Also A.A. Milne, Johanna Spyri (Heidi), Beatrix Potter, John Steinbeck, Arthur Miller, TC Boyle (especially his short stories)…oh the list is endless! Really enjoyed your post again! 😀

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  5. Reading Dr. Suess is like watching a Disney movie: awesome. You notice so many more hidden messages than when you were younger. (Ahem. Some of them might be a bit more appropriate than others… 🙂 )

    Anyway, awesome post! And I might have to get myself a pair of those shoes.

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  6. Pingback: Of Foetuses and Fantasy | MikesFilmTalk

  7. I too love Dr. Seuss. I also make up words. I’ve kept all his books and still read them sometimes even though my kids are grown, just because it’s a Seuss kind of day. My kids and I still quote the books sometimes. And I even have quotes of his on my website. One of my favorites you used in your post, and here is another: The writer who breeds more words than he needs is making more work for the reader who reads.
    He may not have written one of the classics, but who can deny that he was a master?

    Great post.

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