Monday, September 16, 2013

Books that Inspire

In the beginning, most of my writing was poetry. I started writing poetry when I was 13 and continued through to my late 20s when I started writing mostly short stories. Though I've almost exclusively focused on novel writing since my mid 30s, occasionally a poem will still find me. In fact it was a poem I wrote today that gave me the idea for this blog.
 "Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle" - perhaps the best book of poetry ever compiled for teenagers - was a big inspiration for getting me excited about writing. My pediatrician had a copy in her waiting room, and for me it was instant love. I still have the copy I got back then - a full forty years ago - the cover, of course, quite tattered. I've even taken it off the shelf a couple of times recently to recite a poem to my boyfriend. While my son was growing up, I on many occasions read poems from it to him. When his second grade teacher started getting the kids interested in poems I lent it to her and she picked out a few that she felt would be perfect for kids even that age. Yes, while many books are entertainment or a peek into a new world giving new understanding, often a book can open up a new world, lead to new adventures, inspire greatness or creativity.
Just yesterday I joined Goodreads because I heard it is a great place for authors to get their work reviewed. Right away the site asks you to rate books you've already read. Based on what you say your reading interests are, lists are presented to you. I've always felt that I don't read as much as I'd like to, but book after book that I've enjoyed over the years came up and yes, with so many of them I was able to reflect instantly on how they helped inspire and grow my writing or other aspects of my life. It was a fun and unexpected trip down memory lane.
Of course as a writer, it would be the ultimate high to know that you've inspired someone.
I'd love to hear which books inspired you and in what ways.

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