Why Go That Way?
I feel like I am walking into the storm with this post.
I am obsessed with very few writers. One problem is I do not worship vanity or celebrity. One of my favorite quotes comes from the late Bill Hicks, “The more marketing I see, the less I want to buy.” I have never read fan fiction, and I certainly do not want to produce any. I was looking at the best sellers list yesterday, for a little research for my blog, and I was promptly disgusted. Really? 50 Shades of disgusting is the top book title? Well I ranted enough yesterday, let me say what I want to do. Let me focus on the positive, and talk about who has influenced me and what I aspire to. I have recently read through the classical russian list of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Turgenev. I must say, the stories were good, but the writing is not me. I do however, really want people to discuss what I write, in the same way Turgenev is still discussed, cursed and praised. I do not think any of my beginning works will do such things, but I still aspire.
My first love of a real writer goes back to Tolkien. Lord of the Rings is an amazing story that most people catch a faded shadow of through movies. I was led full force into his world, by text, by escape, by love of his multifaceted and deep history that runs through all the characters and settings. My favorite in all his books was the Beorning clan, half man, half bear, not evil but noble and proud. It is but a small part of the Hobbit, and is barely used, but it still portrays that which I love about his work, depth, meaning, solid history. I was an early adopter of Dungeons and Dragons, which to be honest, might not even exist if it was not for Lord of the Rings. I also read C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and Cosmic Trilogy. When I was young, life was rather hard on me, and I really loved the escape these writers gave me.
My second love would have to be Richard Bach. I was a fairly lost little boy, even though I might have been bigger and stronger than I suspected. Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah hit me like a ton of bricks. I went on to read everything else he wrote, but to be honest, nothing ever struck the chord Illusions did. I really needed someone who saw as I did, someone who could claim to be spiritual and wise, who had something to say, and Bach did all these things in one book. I still quote from that book to this day, even in my blog I have quoted him. He is a big influence on how I see things, and not because he taught me, so much as he agrees with me.
Thirdly, Tom Robbins will always hold a place in my heart. He writes with a moral, but never tells you exactly what he is hinting at, but instead lets you interpret and think for yourself. Two Tom Robbins fans may never agree on exactly what he wants to say, but they will agree in general he is always moving the reader in a general push to understand something. I like to think that because of Robbins I read Pynchon, I have not murdered any hippies, and I eventually learned to like jazz. He is my cool suited hip partner in crime, and he taught me to never be afraid of anyone or anything, but instead make life deal with you, be a force of nature and live on this good earth.
Finally, Robert A. Heinlein would have to take fourth writer I learned to love. I came across Stranger in a Strange Land a long, long time after the hype of his book had passed, but I was really blown out by what he was presenting. Unafraid to challenge all of society, all concepts, he showed me to think for myself, to grok what was, is, and shall come. I still am influenced by this kind of thinking, it is really incredible to think that a book I read 20 years ago still has that kind of overarching philosophy on me. To be incredibly honest, I have since to read a book that can be that influential.
I do not think I am anywhere near being able to write like these giants, if giants I may call them. I find the goals they set to be far to lofty for me at this point, but again, in dire consequence of repeating myself, I do aspire to such goals. I have several things working in my benefit towards such goals. I do not look to be making any money at this, so I am going to be quite able to amble down whatever road I lay for myself. I have a lot of interest in being a freelance writer for money, but really only to support and increase my ability as writer/artist in general, not actually be the worlds greatest freelance writer. Because I like fiction for the ability to mold and manipulate, I do not have to worry about anything beyond world building and telling the tale, research is minimal, and I will use what I see fit to write with. I can finally lift my imagination up as my greatest tool, and use logic and reason to instill a good sense of solidity to what I write. I think also, I am ready for work, ready to get down and get my nose dirty and my keyboard a good wear out, and really get to it. I am calling my first two ideas science fiction, and the third I am not calling anything, because I want the third to be the one that makes me think harder, work harder, and live harder to get it out. I prepared, I feel I have a good sense of what to start with, and I am looking forward to getting something other than these blogs out of my hide. I will however, maintain my status quo here of 5 posts per week, around a 1000 words per, and not try to think too much about it, just write for the pure feeling of writing. I may one day, look at this as my greatest tool, for it is certainly the way I got started.