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!

I speak for the trees

A book sits on a shelf in my daughter’s room.  It is age worn and obviously “loved”  to almost tatters.  A name is written in childish scrawl inside the front cover. The name is my name. When I gave this treasured book to my daughter, I warned her not to follow my bad example and mark up books like I did.  I was four years old when I wrote that.  I was inspired by the words contained the book and I still am today.

The book is “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss.  It was my very favorite book as a child.  It remains that today.  Dr. Seuss inspired me to be a writer. He challenged  how I saw the world and delighted me with his rhyme and imagination. It was Seuss who sparked a lifelong love of the written word and in wordplay.   I feel his influence in everything I write.

    The Lorax is a brilliant children’s book written in rhyme by a master of the art. It’s message rings just as true today as when it was written in 1971.

For those who haven’t heard the story, I’ll brief you a bit; The Lorax is a cautionary tale on what happens when greed destroys the environment.  The Lorax is the title character and of course, my ultimate favorite literary hero of all time.

The Lorax is described as “shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And mossy…..”  

He appears on a stump and never lets up.

…..I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues….”

 The Lorax speaks and speaks but no one listens.  The story does not seem to end well as the last tree is cut down and the Lorax gets lifted away.

I would almost cry as I would reach the end and then…a ray of hope in the form of a seed on the last page. A promise for tomorrow and a chance to start again!  My hopes would surge with a jolt of electricity every time I read that part.

I read that book probably hundreds of times.  It shaped my thoughts about the environment and taught me how precious our national resources are.   I learned a great lesson from that book. I taught this same lesson to my children. This love and respect for nature and all life.

This book is a classic but it is only a book.  It is, however, based on a true story.  

 It is our story.  Humankind: our stupid greed and our folly and our plain bad luck and maybe our eventual self-destruction. 

Being a collector of quotes I stumbled upon this gem today and it is this quote that rekindled the flame that burns red-hot.

“America was once a paradise of timberland and stream but it is dying because of the greed and money lust of a thousand little kings who slashed the timber all to hell and would not be controlled and changed the climate and stole the rainfall from posterity.”

Don Marquis (1935)

For it is not my world or your world that is being threatened.  The true consequences of our actions will not truly be felt until after we are gone.  It is our children and their descendants that will inherit the mess we leave.

Some say that it is already too late to save the world. I beg to differ.  It is up to all of us to speak for the trees. To speak for Mother Earth herself and all the wonderous life and abundance that remains.   We cannot afford to be silent. Every voice added makes the cry louder and louder until one day it will be so loud that it will shake up the world.

Sometimes a great idea can start like a tiny seed.  If it’s nourished and cared for and all the conditions are right, it can sprout and take form and grow into a mighty wonderous thing….it all starts with a seed.

Have a good day!  Strawberryindigo.