From my very first post I wanted to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I aWoman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer? "Obliged to you for hearing me, and I do have a few things more to say..."
While many books have had a profound effect on me, I think I must choose The Grapes of Wrath as the most influential. It is not only a completely engrossing story about an American family at a particular point in time rendered in gorgeously crafted sentences, it further taught me that writing can be a form of protest, that writing can be a contribution to social justice as well as to art, and that realization changed me as a writer.