Category Archives: Thoughts

Have You Heard?

I don’t even know where to begin….so here it goes.

Yesterday I came across this article from Salon about Naomi Wolf’s new feminist book, Vagina: A new Biography. Umm yeah, that got my attention too. Naturally, the critics ran with it. Of course I read the article, which led me to more critical articles–all of which caused me to laugh out loud. The titles alone are so perfectly satirical, so even if you don’t want to read about how Wolf thinks a woman’s parts gives her “a sense of connection to the world,” at least get a laugh out of the titles. I think her feminist approach backfired…Wolf basically says that the you-know-what body part is where a woman’s brain resides…thanks but no thanks.  As a woman, I resent that and enjoyed these witty articles. See them here and here.

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What are your influences?

I recently came across Author Robert J. Lennon’s blog and I had a hate-turned-to-love relationship with what he said. In his post he answered the frequently asked question, “What are your influences?” You really should read the full article, but in a nutshell it’s his opinion that writers should not be the biggest influence for other writers. At first I was skeptical but as I kept reading I felt encouraged and hopeful about my own writing–because it is my own.

“The danger of immersing oneself, completely, in literate culture, at the expense of other forms of influence, is that all your referents end up coming from other people’s imaginations. This is bad. It makes us mannered, cultured, when in fact what we need is to be weird and rough around the edges.”

I can respect that. In fact, I can relate to that. Obviously this blog is proof that I read a lot. But if I really think about it, I don’t read to learn how to imitate or sound similar to another writer; I read because I love that someone else has had a unique experiences in their own life–or in the life of their characters–that I will never have, and that inspires me to write about the things that only I know exist.

So in response to the question above, “What are your influences?” I would have to agree with Robert. I’ve undoubtedly been influenced by books, but my biggest influences have been beanie babies, Parcheesi, a Toyota Previa van, being painfully shy in elementary school and writing notes to myself on the bus, the way my horse came when I called his name, making up dances to NSYNC and being horrible at them, watching the trade towers fall and noticing bodies in the air, the way my dad eats his food in sections, how my mom has dropped every book she ever read in the tub, and the voice of my husband telling me I can do anything.

What are your influences?

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