I mean, really, I love it. Ever since I was little… my American Girl doll was from WW2 (for those of you who know these dolls, I had Molly obviously). I always looked forward to having time after school, snow days, and free weekends to act out countless stories from her time. That’s how it all got started. Clearly, a writer I would like to emulate, and also an author of a piece that is intellectually engaging would somehow come from a history background.
I love Homer Hickam. He is the author of Rocket Boys, also republished as October Sky and later turned into a movie. I have read this book so many times I had to buy another copy because mine fell apart. The way he shares his childhood memories from Coalwood, WV make me feel as if I’m living with him in this mining town in the 50s and 60s. His aspirations of building rockets and leaving his town are continually shot down by his father, and we can feel the author’s constant feel of neglect from his father. His work is so emotionally engaging that you forget for a moment you are not actually Sonny trying to build these rockets. If I could mimic any author’s works, it would be those of Homer Hickam; his details pull me in from the start. I feel like this skill as a writer is hard to accomplish- so many of us leave out too many details or simply over add details and make a beautiful work seem choppy and “too full.” Hickam does neither, but is close to perfection.
Not only do I enjoy learning about our country’s history, but I also love learning about countries in Europe. Last semester, I took a history class on the origins of Nazism (side note: if anyone is interested in this topic, it was by far the best class I have taken here and it will be offered this winter) and we were required to read a book titled: Weimar Germany, Promise and Tragedy by Eric D. Weitz. The book is about the period in between WW1 and WW2 in Germany. We read the book section by section over the course of four or five weeks and I seemed to learn something new every time I turned the page. I have never read something for class that kept my attention so well, gave new angles to ideas I had already thought of countless times, and kept me pondering new ideas about Weimar Germany. I loved this book so much and I was very sad when we finished it, as were most of the other students in the class. You rarely come across a book that is so intellectually stimulating but also very enjoyable for a class.
As much as I love both of these pieces and have my dreams of being able to compete on the level such as Homer Hickam, I hope that I am always able to be my own writer- come up with my own thoughts and ideas, write in my own style. It is important to be inspired by these great writers, but to also remember that we have something unique about the way we write too.