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I do not own any of the images used in this meme.
I needed some direction, so I figured it was time I tried this.
1.) The Hobbit (1977 Movie)--Tolkein has been an inspiration to me both in his stories and in his life--my interest in languages started with his Elvish, and I loved the idea of writing stories as an excuse to create languages. This cartoon version of The Hobbit was my first exposure to Tolkien, and one of my favorite movies as a kid. I especially loved the music, even more so when I found out the lyrics were taken straight from the book.
2.) Medieval illuminated book--My parents joined the SCA (a medieval reenactment group) when I was 5, and took me with them. Seeing people living out every part of the Middle Ages from sewing and cooking, to archery and swordsmanship and everything in between, got me interested both in history and in craftsmanship. I also was inspired by one member of the SCA in particular: an old, highly respected storyteller named James the Obscure.
3.) The Sandman by Niel Gaiman--I have been moved and inspired by every work of Neil Gaiman I have encountered, but none more than this one. The first book in the series also features one of my favorite DC characters--the Martian Manhunter, whom I have always found fascinating and dissapointingly out of the spotlight.
4.) Leopard--I became interested in Africa and leopards in particular in 1st grade, that inspired most if not all of my stories for the next several years. Although modern Africa is a frightening place to be, African stories (especially Anansi stories) are some of my favorites.
5.) Odin--Norse mythology has influenced me literally my entire life: my family comes from all over Scandanavia, with some of my ancestors living there 400 years ago (that we have traced so far). Even though I was raised Christian, our Norse roots were never far beneath the skin; years later, both I and my parents left Christianity to return to our ancestral gods. Odin in particular was an inspiration to me while I was in the Army, driving me to be the best soldier I could be and prove myself worthy of Valhalla.
6.) Deanna Troi--Star Trek was a show that made me think, and allowed me to consider things from radically different points of view. Intelligent, compassionate, and beautiful in a very human way, Deanna became both my dream girl and my role model: the ideal woman that I strive to be like.
7.) Lightning--Thunderstorms are an awesome force of nature, one that seems to drive me just a bit mad whenever they appear. I remember as a child, going to my Oma's house and running outside in the rain before my mom could stop me. I climbed up my favorite tree where she couldn't see me, giggling the whole way; only when I reached the very top, did I hear thunder. I felt like my heart stopped for a moment, I was so scared it was like a high and I stayed in the tree, clinging to it as the wind lashed it back and forth and watching the lightning.
8.) Whatcom Falls--This waterfall is not as big or impressive as some others, but it seems to resonate with energy and gives the impression of something ancient. It can be seen from a stone bridge that crosses the creek in front of it, and the huge mossy boulders and ferns always looked like a jungle to me. One rock near the right side of the waterfall has what looks like a fossilized pawprint. My parents went on their first date in this park and carved their names in a stone bench, and when I was a baby my dad stood me up on the rail of the bridge and let go, so I stood with no one holding me (which my mom understandably freaked out about).
9.) Notre Dame--This image comes from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, a movie I still love for it's beautiful artwork and awesome music (not to mention Clo Pan, my absolute favorite Disney character). The Notre Dame itself is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and easily the most beautiful building I have ever seen, and it got me interested in architecture (especially Gothic).
10.) Phantom of the Opera--I saw Webber's Phantom once and then not again for years, and I built up my own interpretation of the story in my mind without realizing it. The madness, lust, fear, and tragedy of this story are always an inspiration to me when I need to portray those emotions myself.
11.) The Goblin King--Labyrinth both fascinated and disturbed me as a child, with some of the strange creatures and images portrayed as well as a villain whose main power seemed to be sheer charisma. The Roommates and Girls Next Door comics which include Jareth as a main character are also fascinating to me, in that they expand on the backstory of this mysterious character in ways that make perfect sense to me. Jareth was my first ever movie crush, although I didn't quite realize it at the time.
12.) Spy Kids--An off-the-wall kids movie, the details of it were not so important to me as the concept: children becoming secret agents and using their wits (and gadgets) to do things that grown-ups couldn't. This grew into one of my favorite childhood stories: G.A.B., or Girls Against Boys, an all-girls secret agent group that was led by alien Bluebird and her second in command, the genius inventor Agent 13. Members of the group would have all memories of it erased on their 12th birthday, to prevent discovery and interference by adults.
13.) Evanescence--I first encountered their music in the movie Daredevil, and fell more and more in love with it throughout my teenage years. My favorite of their songs, "Bring Me To Life", "Whisper", and "Like You", were my go-to listening when I was making up stories.