Michaeline: Twitter Games Weekend!

A French family tree for some Zola characters.

So, what does your literary family look like? (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

This has been a very good week for Twitter games for writers – games that boost creativity and make you think about your writing roots, and what you love. It’s nice to take a break and remember the joy of writing, so let’s take a few minutes this weekend to have a little fun.

Today’s game is from Amber Sparks, who writes: “Who are your literary parents? You only get two, duh. Any gender of course.”

(-: And then she promptly breaks the rules with:
“I’ll say Wallace Stevens and Isak Dinesen, with Sylvia Plath as my longtime babysitter.”

I saw that AFTER I composed my own reply, which also breaks the rule of two:
“LOL. Lois McMaster Bujold and Jennifer Crusie inform everything I write. But before I drift off at night, I dream that Terry Pratchett and Dorothy Parker are my real parents. Shoutout to Uncle Wodehouse and Great-Aunt Austen.”

The thread is an amazing cross-genre odyssey of good writers, and well worth 15 or 20 minutes of browsing time.

But even more important, the question forces you to think about where your writing comes from. It’s more nuanced than “Who are your writing heroes?” It also has the possibility of exploring abusive relationships, or digging into just where some of your “bad habits” come from. Identifying those bad things can lead to eliminating them . . . or modifying them so they work for you . . . or just giving up the fight and glorifying them. “Well, if it’s good enough for Douglas Adams, it’s good enough for me!”

So, who do you think you are? Who are your literary parents? You know the rules; go out and break them with abandon.

8 thoughts on “Michaeline: Twitter Games Weekend!

  1. I was raised by a single parent, Jennifer Crusie; my other parent, Georgette Heyer, abandoned us at my birth, but appeared in my adulthood to restore the connection. My grandmother Charlaine Harris comes to visit sometimes. And my grandfather on the other side, A.A. Milne, give me sweets and told me stories when I was a young child.

    These are my people.

    Fun exercise, Michaeline!

  2. My two moms were Louise Penny and Jennifer Crusie. Our house was filled with good food, warm fires, friends, and plenty of snark. I never really gave dad a thought – life seemed complete without him. There were summer trips with Aunt Georgette – who adored tales of happily-ever-after – and exciting visits with Aunt M. M. Kaye – who enthralled us with tales of her travels to exciting far off places like Zanzibar and Kashmir.

    I barely knew grandpa Thorton Burgess, but he left me his collection of Mother West Wind stories, which I adored when I was very young.

    My family tree may not be standard, but it works for me 🙂

    Thanks for posting this exercise, Michaline. It was fun.

    • (-: Oh, that’s great! That “our house was filled with . . .” addendum is just super. I think our house was filled with good humor in the face of adversity, and dogs and kittens, and the eccentric family member (Tilda’s sister and mother, Dono Vorryuter — the trans count) who slept on the couch for a month at a time.

    • I’ve met your Aunt M.M. Kaye! I love her tales of adventure—always so thrilling when you’re sitting around a campfire making s’mores. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. Pingback: Michaeline: Twitter Games Weekend, Part 2! – Eight Ladies Writing

  4. I missed playing this game last week! My parents would be Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart and Robert B. Parker (for his dialogue) in a menage a trois. Hoping the ladies like fire hydrant-shaped men who created the doppelganger Mary Sue to end all Mary Sues with his Spenser.

    • LOL, families come in all shapes and sizes! I don’t think I’ve read Robert B. Parker, but maybe I should. I think I’ve heard of Spenser . . . was that a series that was made into a TV show?

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