The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, August 22, 2011


        I'm away on vacation this week.   Sparkfest hosted by The Writer Coaster seemed like another one of those interesting concepts where I could pay tribute to some of my favorite authors or books to give some idea of where my influences come from.  I will try my best to make my rounds to the entries of those participating, but my internet access may be limited so please bear with me.  I will be posting Sparkfest entries throughout this week.

Here's what Sparkfest is all about:

What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer? 
What author set off that spark of inspiration for your current Work in Progress?
Or, Is there a book or author that changed your world view?

As writers, we're always striving to get out a message of inspiration to others. This blogfest is a celebration for those who have done this for us. Join the Spark Blogfest, aka Sparkfest, by posting your answer to any of the three prompts above (or make one up as long as it fits the theme).

I'll make it worth your while!
  • There will be three Amazon Gift Cards ($15, $10, $5) awarded to random participants!
  • The blogger who writes my favorite entry will get an interview on my blog so they can tell us more about their awesome source of writerly inspiration!
  • By networking with other writers, you gain followers and comments for your own blog.

Only one Sparkfest post August 22-26 is required to participate.

What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer? 

       I won't say it was so much a particular book as it was a writer.  Rod Serling was a screenwriter who was the voice and genius of the classic television show The Twilight Zone.  I was in third grade when the show first aired in 1959 and I was immediately hooked. 

          This was the first television show that had real impact on me and it was primarily due to the writing.  Most of the episodes were written by Serling himself.  Stories that I wrote as a child were modeled after Serling's style.  Later when book anthologies based on the show were released I would add them to my home library.  I would read and reread the stories.   I incorporated Serling's use of twists and irony to create stories of horror, science fiction, and social commentary.  

          For me, Rod Serling was much like Stephen King has been to more recent generations of writers.  The stories of Twilight Zone were my earliest inspiration to write.

          Are you a fan of Twilight Zone?   Do you have a favorite episode?  

          To visit other participants or join in with your own influences visit The Writer Coaster.



  1. I really should re-watch them. I saw a few episodes as a kid, but I was notoriously nightmare prone and so I was generally not allowed to watch. I do vaguely remember one about a comet, and the town is trying to figure out which people in the town are aliens...or something like that.

  2. The Twilight Zone is awesome. It gave me some of my best nightmares. =D

  3. I remember one where a portal to another dimension opened in the wall of a child's bedroom and she fell trough it. I couldn't sleep in my room for a week.

  4. See, I'm not the only one inspired by TV and movies!
    Hope you're having a great time on your vacation.

  5. The Twilight Zone used to really freak me out! You're right, though, fantastic writing.

  6. I like that you cited 'Twilight Zone' as one of your strong influences. Serling was an unrepeatable voice.

  7. I'm a Twilight Zone fan as well! A few favorites- the one where the kids dive into the pool and find a sweet woman who cares for them, the robot grandmother/caregiver, the man who finds himself alone in the world with time to read yet his glasses break, Talking Tina, and the greedy family who is required to wear masks that disfigure their faces. Yes, they were spooky but so profound!

  8. great inspiration spark!
    love those twilight shows! (and the movie is a classic!)
    too bad this next generation doesnt seem to have the attention span for such tension building oldies. they need action every second!

  9. Enjoy your vacation, look forward to your return,


  10. I hope you have a super vacation Lee... I loved "Dark Shadows" and something that aired called Shock theater with Vincent Price... that was cool for me...
    Take care,

  11. One Twilight Zone episode above all the others stood out for me when I saw it as a tot. It simultaneously freaked me out and fired up my imagination.

    A man comes into possession of a strange stopwatch. When he stops the second hand, all time comes to a stop all over the world; people freeze in mid-step in the street or in mid-bite at the dinner table, etc.

    He begins to misuse it and robs a bank by temporarily stopping time while he cleans out the vault.

    In the end, he accidentally breaks the stopwatch and all time stops, leaving him alone in a world of statue-like people.

    I saw it when I was very, very young and I never, ever forgot it. That sense of isolation in a one-person world really struck some sort of chord in me.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  12. Happy vacation, Lee!

    Love the way The Twilight Zone can thrill and chill without being horrific and gross.

    Favorite episodes -
    of course the pig face one. It was the first Twilight Zone I saw because I had to see what my dad was talking about.
    The one with Agnes Moorehead being terrorized by space invaders, who turn out to be Americans. No talking, but extremely suspenseful.

  13. I love watching The Twilight Zone--the old episodes instead of the new ones.

    It's been several years since I've watched some of them, though, so I can't pick a particular episode. Did they have the one with making all the women beautiful and look alike? I think that was one of the Twilight Zone ones. If it is, I do really like that one.

    The Twilight Zone definitely is known for its great twists. :)

  14. I don't think I've ever seen any of the Twilight Zone. If I had, I was really young and don't remember.

  15. I know I've seen a couple of episodes as a child and I remember them being creepy.

    I love well written shows!

    The Write Soil

  16. Best part of New Years Day is Twilight Zone Marathon. Never mind the resolutions or the champagne.

  17. Honestly, I haven't seen any of this show!! But you've made me want to investigate it!

  18. Li -- I also recall that one about the comet. My parents never had any problem with me watching the show.

    Donna -- I often had "Twilight Zone" inspired dreams.

    LD -- I used to wish I could find that portal in my bedroom.

    Alex -- My vacation has been wonderful even though internet deprived.

    Talli -- Some of the best TV writing in its era.

    Suze - Serling had a great speaking voice as well as writing voice.

    Artistry -- TZ was a thinking person's show for sure.

    Tara -- It's good to have some entertainment fare that is thought-provoking and not just visually stimulating.

    Yvonne -- Thank you!

    Lisa FF-- Vincent Price was so cool. He had quite an art collection as well.

    Stephen McC-- I used to have dreams about the time stopping one. I was fascinated by the concept, but very creeped out.

    Brianna -- It was good how old shows and movies could reveal a lot without having to be absolutely graphic about it. What we don't see is often scarier that what we do.

    Cherie -- It seems like I do very vaguely remember one about making all the women beautiful. That plot also makes me think of the movie The Stepford Wives.

    Patricia -- You ought to watch a few of the original episodes to get a sense of what they were like.

    Dawn -- The stories and writing were classic.

    Munir -- I think they also have TZ marathons on Thanksgiving in the U.S. Back to Back TZ can be some fun viewing.

    Trish -- If you never seen TZ then you must check it out to see what we're talking about.


  19. I loved the Twilight Zone. All of that wonderfully imaginative spooky stuff gave me the chills.

    I'm with some of the others, I'd like to re-watch those episodes to see if they'd be as entrancing as they were originally.

  20. I remember seeing a couple of Twilight Zones, but I was pretty young and they really creeped me out! lol I'm sure I would enjoy the stories more today.

  21. Twilight Zone freaked me out as a kid...yet I wouldn't miss an episode...much like Outer Limits.

  22. Never seen them, but on reading your description, I can see how it might have inspired you. I loved this blogfest because it made me think about my reading.

  23. Hope you are having a fabulous vacation. I use to watch the Twilight Zone but my favorite show was Dark Shadows. On TZ I believe there was an episode where elderly people turned into children. That freaked me out as a kid. LOL
    When you get back stop by my blog and say hi. :)

  24. There are so many brilliant Twilight Zone Episodes, but the one that comes to mind is The Obsolete Man with Burgess Meredith. He plays a librarian who is pleading for his life. My older son also likes The Twilight Zone and was thrilled when he found all the episodes on Netflix. Hope you're having a great vacation! Julie

  25. Nice! Yours is the first entry where someone's cited a TV show as their inspiration, and it's neat because you almost forget that someone had to write all those episodes. Good job!

  26. Thanks to all for stopping by. Having a wonderful vacation, but not able to get on the computer very often. If you haven't ever watched Twilight Zone you ought to check it out.



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