Monday, November 4, 2013

Ode to a small lump of green putty I found in my armpit one midsummer...

From the mind of Tony Laplume comes the  Ode-athon to end all  Ode-athons...

For the purposes of this occasion, we’re considering our favorite writers, the ones who inspire us, whether merely as readers or even as writers ourselves.  They’re the ones we couldn’t live without, and have treasured for years (unless we just discovered them this year!), reading them religiously, waiting breathlessly for their next release (unless they’re dead), recommending them without reserve to all your friends.
Tony Laplume

Via Deviantart 

Douglas Adams has influence me more than any other writer. I found out about him from his work on Doctor Who. I was a mallrat, I would have my parents drop me off at the local mall, and I would hang out at 3 places The Record Bar(music shop), Yesterdays(arcade), and Waldenbooks(if you can't tell this is a book store then you really need to get out more). I had to special order the Doctor who Target books, so as I sifted through the books I found it... The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. His writing style was very influential on me. I tried to emulate it in everything I wrote, to the dismay of several English teachers!
I wrote in a past post:
He has a way of making fun of technology that reflects our humanity. In The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy he puts human emotions on robots and doors. We get Marvin the Paranoid Android although he really is just super stoic and depressed. The doors would open and thank you for using them and validating their existence. In his book Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency he had and Electric Monk that was made to practice the religion of the owner vicariously, so the owner didn't have to.

Tony Laplume wrote about him on Saturday:
11/02/13 Known best for the Hitchhiker’s, er, “trilogy,” Adams also created holistic detective Dirk Gently, and wrote a number of nonfiction works I still hope to catch upon some day.  Personal favorite: The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul, the second Dirk Gently book, which cleverly updates Norse mythology.

Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning

Putty. Putty. Putty.
Green Putty – Grutty Peen.
Grarmpitutty – Morning!
Pridsummer – Grorning Utty!
Discovery….. Oh.
Putty?….. Armpit?
Armpit….. Putty.
Not even a particularly
Nice shade of green.
As I lick my armpit and shall agree,
That this putty is very well green.
(Excerpt) by Grunthos the Flatulent (translated by Douglas Adams)
Via In the Dark

Via Goodreads

Gary Jennings was influential to me, by doing with Aztec what James Clavell did with Shōgun. Taking the historical fiction and making it realistic and believable to the reader, while telling a story that intrigues the reader with attention to detail and thought provoking characters. The books have plenty of gore that is expected in the type of society that the Aztecs lived in. There are several books in the series.  Here is his Aztec Series on Goodreads.

Via FanPop

Via Geeksofdoom
From a past Post:

I love J.R.R. Tolkien! I watched The Hobbit cartoon as a kid and fell in love. . When I was older I read the book, then I had to borrow the LOTR from my sister. I also had to borrow The complete Tolkien Companion to understand some of the words. I love that he created this complete mythos Languages and all. He was so very dedicated to his craft .Only if I was just half, or a quarter to mine. I like the movies, and so far the Hobbit, but you can never recreate what was born in my imagination as a child and now an adult.


It's almost like you can't mention Tolkien without Lewis.    
C.S. Lewis is known for his Chronicles of Narnia stories, but he also penned The Space Trilogy. I like his works, but one book in particular had an influence on me Mere Christianity.
A Christian Apologetics book that was
adapted from a series of BBC radio talks made between 1942 and 1944, while Lewis was at Oxford during World War II
I was given a copy of this from a youth minister in my church when I was a new christian. It helped me to explore why I believed what I believe.
Another book of his that has been influential to not only me, but to different writers was The Screwtape Letters.
The idea behind it is a demon named Screwtape writes letters to Wormwood a lesser demon. All on how to cause the damnation of a man know as the Patient. From this came the books from Frank Peretti about actual spiritual warfare This Present Darkness, and Piercing the Darkness.

The Ode-athon continues!

11/4 David Walston at Blah Blah Blah Yackity Smackity
11/5 Pat Dilloway at PT Dilloway
11/7 Nigel and Maurice Mitchell at The Geek Twins
11/8 The Armchair Squid at The Armchair Squid
11/9 and back to Tony at Scouring Monk and Tony Laplume

Who are your favourite or most influential writers?


  1. Some excellent choices! Obviously I can't argue with Adams (if I'd spent more time writing about each selection, I would have explained my obsessive quest to locate Starship Titanic, which I finally accomplished two years ago, and then enjoying ...And Another Thing and Shada, which both proved beyond a doubt that his legacy is secure).

    (The other thing you remind me about Adams is his biting commentary on the state of poetry!)

    I haven't read Jennings, but you make a fine recommendation for him (as well as Clavell).

    I could very well have included Tolkien, although I've stalled in reading things other than the core Middle Earth material.

    I would have been able to make a stronger case for Lewis. I devoured the Narnia books as a kid and always meant to reread them, but Screwtape Letters proved a few years back that his imagination still fascinates me as an adult.

  2. I remember Waldenbooks!
    Lewis wrote such a variety of genres, and all with a strong spiritual theme. I probably would've benefited from that book when I was a new Christian as well.

  3. As much as I like sci fi and fantasy, I really enjoy historical fiction.

  4. I would hangout there for hours. I'm sure they said here he comes again...
    You can find a plethora of Lewis's works at most Christian book stores. Not just his fiction but also his Apologetics.

  5. I laughed my head off at the title David. All great authors although I've sadly never heard of Gary Jennings. Sweet blogfest!

  6. Whoa those are some big graphics. I liked the 2nd Dirk Gently book a lot better than the first one. Adams's books are funny though as far as telling a coherent story goes I don't think he's the best out there.

  7. That was the first thing that popped into my head when Tony announced the title of the blogfest. ;)

  8. The bigger the better! I can't Imagine what the Mobile version must look like. Adams incoherent story telling is what makes it for me. I thought to myself....Self this guy thinks like me!

  9. Definitely some great picks here! I'd have to go with Madeline L'Engle for myself--A Wrinkle in Time has been one of the most influential books for me as a reader and writer :)

  10. I have never read A Wrinkle in Time.
    I did see part of a video for it once.
    Now I will have to go find time to read it.

  11. It's interesting to see where other writers get their inspiration. I have many favorites, and lately James Scott Bell's books on the craft have been favorites.

  12. I just realised that all the authors I mentioned are expired!
    I need to make more time to read things new to me.
    I am hoping to pick some up in this blogfest.

  13. Great authors, David. I wonder if any of them ever felt out of their comfort zone, or if their work came easily? Thanks for visiting my IWSG post.

  14. You have excellent taste!

  15. I've read that Adams wrote himself in to a corner in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. To get out of it he made an absurd loophole with the type of space ship he was using to save his main character from the vacuum of space.
    He is also quoted as saying:
    " I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

  16. Ode a thon, huh? I like that idea :)

  17. Tony Laplume came up with the idea.

    I just went with the flow...

  18. C S Lewis, especially his essays, is a favorite author. Gore Vidal, depressing though he is, gave me an insider's view of Washington D.C. during the 40's and 50's. Roger Zelazny, LORD OF LIGHT, CALL ME CONRAD, let me know it was possible to write a good story that was lyrical and evocative. Raymond Chandler and Robert B Parker, let me know how important dialogue was -- Robert made me laugh, too, and cry as well. (What does the winner of a dog fight win? He won life ,,, for one more day.) John D MacDonald inspired me to see deeper into those around me and how to write a series character.

  19. Great authors! There are a lot who have influenced me. And many who have encouraged and taught me. To all of them I owe more than I can say.

  20. Roland, you never cease to amaze me.:)
    Awesome list!

  21. Thanks.
    I tried to pick those that influenced me earlier in my life, but still have an influence today.

  22. Cathrina ConstantineNovember 4, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    I love Tolkien and CS Lewis, I've yet to read Douglas Adams or Gary Jennings. And I used to live in Walden Books!

  23. I think I'm more Dr. Seuss than Douglas Adams :)

  24. I would go straight to the science fiction section and dig, I know that annoyed the workers!

  25. If it was not for Seuss then most would not know that an imagination can accomplish much!

  26. I know 3 of your 4 quite well and love them dearly. I don't know Jennings. I guess I'll need to do something about that.

    Happy Ode-athon!

  27. I'm not to sure how well Jennings is known.
    I came upon him by accident at Waldenbooks.
    After that I had to read his whole series on the Aztec.

  28. Haven't heard of Lewis last book mentioned. Sounds intriguing! Yep I fell in love with The Hobbit cartoon as a kid too. Then the book. Then LOTR. Adore all of it.
    I have some of CS Lewis' books on Christianity but havent gotten around to reading them yet.
    I've heard so many great things about Hitchhikers Guide. I really need to read it.

  29. The Hitchhiker Guide simply put, is absurdity served with a side genius.

  30. Hmmm. I'll have to check my armpits for green putty. ;0)

  31. Gary Philip PennickNovember 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Tolkien certainly influenced me. The dude spent a considerable amount of time in the town I now live, Leek, Staffordshire, England. He observed the locals and they became part inspiration for Middle-earth. I understand what he meant.

    Gary :)

  32. That is too cool!
    Funny that 3 of my 4 authors are English!
    I must have an obsession for the English.

  33. Funny, because I was convinced that you were British for a while...

  34. HA!
    It annoys my wife sometimes that I'm such an Anglophile!