Jack London. Rather a handsome devil.
The last two paragraphs of CALL OF THE WILD brought tears to my eyes the first time I read them in a Classics Illustrated comic book. I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I was so moved I memorized them. Reading the Classics Illustrated led me to reading the book which led me to reading other books about wolf dogs, other books by Jack London, then other books about the far north, then other adventure novels, then true life survival stories. There were many authors I was influenced by in my childhood, but I always seem to come back to Jack London as being the first where, I guess, I became conscious of the power of words when they are strung together in certain ways. So I give Jack London the credit for inspiring me not only to read more, but to write.
"In the summers there is one visitor, however, to that valley, of which the Yeehats do not know. It is a great, gloriously coated wolf, like, and yet unlike, all other wolves. He crosses alone from the smiling timber land and comes down into an open space among the trees. Here a yellow stream flows from rotted moose-hide sacks and sinks into the ground, with long grasses growing through it and vegetable mould overrunning it and hiding its yellow from the sun; and here he muses for a time, howling once, long and mournfully, ere he departs.
"But he is not always alone. When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack."
“You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
“Darn the wheel of the world! Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?”
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.”
“One cannot violate the promptings of one's nature without having that nature recoil upon itself.”
“I wrote a thousand words every day”