“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.”
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!”
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…
Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- I speak for the trees (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)
- Converse LORAX shoes (designyoutrust.com)—I wear size 8, hint, hint
- 25 Advertisements By Dr. Seuss Before He Was Dr. Seuss (buzzfeed.com)