Eleven people who've inspired me to write.
I've wanted to be a writer since my junior year of high school. Before that I had mostly wanted to be a college math professor.I say mostly because between the math professor and the writer I had about 75 other dreams and aspirations. I decided on being a writer because professional book reader/movie watcher/theater audience member wasn't a real job and because I found out that, like reading or watching movies and plays, when I'm writing I can be a secret agent and then I can be a match-maker and then I can be a mermaid and then I can be the other 72 things I wanted to be. There are eleven people (at least and not including my close friends and family) who have inspired and in some cases have urged me to pursue my dream of writing. Some are authors, some have been teachers and some are simply inspiring:
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
My AP English teacher my senior year. Mr. Mast is one of those people who has a fan in everyone he meets. There's something magnetic about him. I think it's because of his absolute honesty with himself and with others. He does what he loves and he finds joy and humor in every day. He's awfully nice but not in a a you-can-walk-all-over-him way. He's incredibly bright and knowledgeable in many academic areas but he also follows sports and likes to shoot some pool. He doesn't talk down or up to people, he just talks. And he has a way of making all of his students feel like they have the ability to do what is expected of them and not only that, but that they are important. He made me feel important. And he showed me that loving what you do is far more important than making money or earning accolades.
"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment."
"Sometimes the last person on earth you want to be with is the one person you can't be without."
"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope... I have loved none but you."
"Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another!"
"Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like."
"It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable."
"If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way, but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out."
"My mother is a fish."
"The saddest thing about love, Joe, is that not only the love cannot last forever, but even the heartbreak is soon forgotten."
"You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore."
"It's all now you see: tomorrow began yesterday and yesterday won't be over until tomorrow."
"I could smell the curves of the river beyond the dusk and I saw the last light supine and tranquil upon tideflats like pieces of broken mirror, then beyond them lights began in the pale clear air, trembling a little like butterflies hovering a long way off."
"Sometimes I aint so sho who's got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and he aint. Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it."
Harrison Ford- The first man I ever loved.
In high school, Ms. Reiff was my English teacher my junior year and I loved her so much that I took her Arts and Humanities class my senior year. Ms. Reiff is the most eccentric, eclectic, whimsical person I've ever met. She brings pride and dignity to arts and creativity. She's the kind of person who refuses to call people by nick names. There is no such thing as Matt or Chris or Liz; it's Matthew, Christopher and Elizabeth. She wears draping, flowing tops so that when she waves her arms in the air for some grand gesture she needs to accompany her narration of her retelling of a romantic death or tragic love affair, not only her mouth will tell a story, but her body will dance along with it in a moving, magical moment. Ms. Reiff requires her students to be respectful of others and of themselves. She doesn't hand out compliments like candy, but when she does give you one, they are sincere and delicious. She made me realize that it's healthy to be proud of myself and of the work that I do and to reach for refinement and excellence.
J K Rowling
"It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities."
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
"... in the light of Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."
"It is important to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay."
"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
"I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible."
"Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love."
"Anything that just costs money is cheap."
"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."
"As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment."
Claudia is my favorite professor I've had at BYU. She was the teacher of my class where we studied drama from the perspective of English students. We read plays and analyzed them and their contribution to the arts and societal advances. She had the credentials to teach the class because she is a theater critic. Not only did she study anthropology and drama in Scotland, but she also critiqued it there. Here in the States she has also gained a reputation for critiquing and is in high demand. I liked her so much because she has done and continues to do something that I would love to do. She basically is a professional theater-goer. She taught me a lot about theory and the impact that writing and drama have on people. How writing reflects the ideas and sentiments that people have in every place in history. It isn't just writing if it's done well enough. It makes an impact and it speaks to and for a generation if it's done right. Claudia taught me that I can combine my passions and also urged me to pursue them. She made me believe that I have potential in that world.
"I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward."
"The shadows are as important as the light."
"Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves."
"Most true is it that 'beauty is in the eye of the gazer.' My master's colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth,-- all energy, decision, will,-- were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me; they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me,-- that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at first renewed view of him, they spontaneously arrived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.
So, on this Eleventh day of Christmas, I'm truly grateful for:
Eleven People Who've Inspired Me to Write,
Ten Sister Missionary Examples,
Nine Months in China and Nine Chinese Friends,
Eight Aunts, Eight Uncles, their Kids and their Kids' Kids,
Seven Pets, Past and Present,
Five Nieces and Nephews,
Four Middle School Friends, Four High School Friends and Four China Friends,
Three Brothers, Three Sisters and Three Siblings-in-Law,
Two Loving Parents
One Promised King. Savior of the World.