>I was tagged by Verite Parlant at Whose Shoes Are These Anyway? for the writers meme and Liz Everyday Goddess for the seven things meme. I figured that I'd kill two birds with one stone, especially since Liz tagged me back on Jan. 27...

25 Writers Who've Influenced Me*

1. Susan Faludi - Backlash changed the way I looked at the world
2. Jonathan Kozol - Savage Inequalities and Death at a Young Age mobilized me
3. James Baldwin - two articles I read in class last year on race were so brutal that I couldn't breathe
4. Stephen King - the man gets human interaction
5. Anne Lamott - I wrote all about Bird by Bird a few weeks ago
6. Zia Jaffrey - I haven't actually read her books, but she is an incredible teacher and has been my north star for writing
7. Grace Paley - the woman gets human interaction
8. Alice Walker
9. AM Homes
10. Lionel Shriver - The Post-Birthday World shook my foundations and helped me reaffirm decisions that I made about relationships
11. Judy Blume - got me through adolescence
12. Barack Obama
13. Carl Hiaason
14. David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace - fostered my love of random facts with The People's Almanac and The Book of Lists series
15. Howard Zinn
16. Alan Paton
17. EB White - Charlotte's death was my first true heartbreak
18. World Book Encyclopedias - before the internet, it fed my need to know things, fast, and with cool illustrations
19. George Packer
20. Gail Collins
21. Sarah Vowell
22. Zilpha Keatley Snider
23. Edwidge Danticat
24. Jackson Taylor - his first book is coming out soon, but he's another instructor who encouraged me and gave me a chance
25. Ayn Rand - she reminds me how not to be

*Note that many of these are recent influences as I've been looking at writing in a new way this year, but that Faludi and Kozol influenced the decisions I made about what I wanted to do with my life in terms of equality for all.

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Me*

1. I once dyed my body (and the bathroom counter) pink while attempting to dye my hair pink.
2. I want to learn Yiddish.
3. My motto seems to be, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence," even though I don't want that to be my motto.
4. I can't wait to be an aunt in June!
5. Rahm Emanuel, Donald Rumsfeld, Ann Margaret, Liz Phair, and Charlton Heston graduated from the same high school as I did.
6. I dropped out of law school on the third day.
7. Although as a kid I never expected to travel outside of the US, I love international travel (in large part because of the eating opportunities).

*Unless you are new to CUSS or my life otherwise, you probably already do know these things.

I'm supposed to tag other people, but I like leaving it loose. If you do take either meme, I do adore link love!