There are, of course, a lot of people I admire. From bloggers to writers to people I have known across the years. I can’t list them all here, but I wanted to share a couple with you. I don’t think this list could ever be complete ever because there is so much I admire about everyone I know. These are just people who have recently touched me in some way and because of the nature of a public blog, these are not people I know in real life.
1. John Green
While I have always known I wanted to write, it was actually John Green who convinced me I wanted to write YA. Before I discovered the Vlogbrothers and Nerdfighters, I would never have considered writing YA because I still thought YA was like it was when I was a kid. (It’s so not.) When I saw John Green writing these amazing stories (Looking for Alaska was my first) and empowering young adults and young-adults-at-heart to change their world, I was floored. THIS was what I wanted to do. It was through John Green that I fell in love with social media and knew that I too wanted to help change the world, but more than that, I wanted to help empower young people to change their world too. Thanks John Green, for everything.
I cried a little in the car after I met John Green. I’m so not cool, but I did manage to hold it together when I was talking to him. I am kind of proud of that. If Lydia hadn’t been with me though I would have made a giant fool of myself. He was charming and nervous and very funny The kids in the audience were all fully star-eyed. It was the neatest signing I’ve ever been to.
2. Courtney Summers, Elizabeth Scott, Melina Marchetta, and Margaret Atwood
You would think that these three amazing women wouldn’t have much in common, aside from being authors that is. Maybe you could draw some similarities between Elizabeth and Courtney and maybe Melina, but Margaret Atwood? Well, the thing they have in common is that they write powerful books about powerful women. They, themselves, are inspiring, powerful women. I love picking up books by these four women because they don’t have it in them to write two dimensional characters. They don’t have it in them to not change the color of the world when they write. I am moved and won over and damaged and put back together every time I read one of their books. They are so special in different ways, and yet these four women are my role models in the writing world. I’d give my left arm, and maybe my right one too, to be even a quarter as wonderful as these women. If they joined forces with John Green I think the world would explode.
Margaret Atwood is my favorite writer of all time. I’ve read a lot of her books (but not all, I’m working on it! She’s written like 13 novels and 30 books of short fiction, non-fiction, and poetry!) and none of them sucked. NONE. And truth is, she is 72 years old and she put out her latest book in 2009, The Year of the Flood, a crazy companion novel to Oryx and Crake. It’s dystopian but it is also so much more than that. I don’t know how to describe it. World changing? Absolutely game changing. And she went on tour. How many authors do you know who are 72 and still kicking everyone else’s ass at game changing fiction?
God, she just blows me away. I want to be on a book tour in my 70s, writing dystopians that scare the shit out of everyone.
“Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” – Margaret Atwood
My English teacher from 1955, run to ground by some documentary crew trying to explain my life, said that in her class I had showed no particular promise. This was true. Until the descent of the giant thumb, I showed no particular promise. I also showed no particular promise for some time afterwards, but I did not know this. A lot of being a poet consists of willed ignorance. If you woke up from your trance and realized the nature of the life-threatening and dignity-destroying precipice you were walking along, you would switch into actuarial sciences immediately. If I had not been ignorant in this particular way, I would not have announced to an assortment of my high school female friends, in the cafeteria one brown-bag lunchtime, that I was going to be a writer. I said “writer,” not “poet;” I did have some common sense. But my announcement was certainly a conversation-stopper. Sticks of celery were suspended in mid-crunch, peanut-butter sandwiches paused halfway between table and mouth; nobody said a word. One of those present reminded me of this incident recently — I had repressed it — and said she had been simply astounded. “Why?,” I said. “Because I wanted to be a writer?” “No,” she said. “Because you had the guts to say it out loud.” _Margaret Atwood
I am a recreational mathemusician currently living on Long Island, NY.I love music that is fun, and I love music that is interesting, but above all I love music that is beautiful. I prefer writing for real, classical instruments, because of the added emotion and interpretation a performer adds to each unique performance.
I like most creative activities that involve making a lot of noise, mess, or both. Aside from composing, I love improvising on various instruments, drawing, sculpting, and other methods of making things. My main hobby is mathematics, with special interests in symmetry, polyhedra, and surreal complexity. This usually manifests as collaborative research in computational geometry and other areas of theoretical computer science, or as mathematical art. I think the human brain is incredible and strange, so I have developed a great interest in dreaming and consciousness. As a result, I am a trained hypnotist and a lucid dreamer. The human body is pretty neat as well, so I enjoy dancing and judo. I always love to learn new things—variety is the food of creativity!
Vi Hart has such an amazing way of looking at life. I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t do math. I can’t! I don’t understand it and have never been able to do more than add and subtract, anything more that than requires an excel spreadsheet where I know how to build formulas and organize ideas.
But I love numbers and the magical properties of math. I like math theories. So when I discovered Vi I was kind of in love, not just with the way she could take math and throw in some snakes on a plane and viola! I’m counting in whole new ways, but because she has this wonderful three-dimensional way of looking at the world, rearranging it, and handing it out in pieces for the rest of us to marvel at. Every time I watch one of her videos I end up saying things like, “I had no idea this was the world I live in.”
I only discovered ADELE less than 24 hours ago, and already I can’t stop thinking about her. My friend Lydia IMed me last night and told me she’d found my British doppelganger. It’s true, ADELE and I look similar, except that she is glamorous and has a voice so passionate it will rip right through you and leave you bore through and emptied out. Wherever you see people talking about her, especially on YouTube, you will find a near constant raging battle about her weight. She’s gorgeous, and yet she’s very different from your typical pop star body type. There are a lot of comments like, “She’s got a beautiful voice even though she’s fat!” And these are supposed to be compliments. And yet there are so many people coming to the conversation who set things straight – body size has nothing to do with it. She’s beautiful, her voice is beautiful. No autotuning here.
via Rolling Stone: Adele on her weight: “My life is full of drama and I won’t have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like,” she tells Rolling Stone contributing editor Touré. “I don’t like going to the gym. I like eating fine foods and drinking nice wine. Even if I had a really good figure, I don’t think I’d get my tits and ass out for no one.”
But Adele has no beef with other female recording artists who choose to flaunt their bodies. “I love seeing Lady Gaga’s boobs and bum,” she says. “I love seeing Katy Perry’s boobs and bum. Love it. But that’s not what my music is about. I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.”
She also has an alter ego she uses to pump herself up, called Sasha Carter – a composite of Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce and June Carter. “I was about to meet Beyoncé,” she says, “and I had a full-blown anxiety attack. Then she popped in looking gorgeous, and said, ‘You’re amazing! When I listen to you I feel like I’m listening to God.’ Can you believe she said that?” Later, “I went out on the balcony crying hysterically, and I said, ‘What would Sasha Fierce do?’ That’s when Sasha Carter was born.”
When I watch this first performance, my arms break out in goosebumps. The way I physically react to her songs is astonishing. I have never been so moved by a performer before.