I'm making an unofficial entrant in the First Loves blogfest, for those who are taking part in that:
My family has watched the original Star Wars films for as long as I can remember. As a result, it's impossible for me to select any other movies but A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. I have no doubt that prolonged exposure to this saga shaped me in ways I still have yet to understand.
Hootie and the Blowfish must stand as my first and still favorite band. In the general public their music quickly went out of fashion, but the current success of Darius Rucker as a country artists suggests that maybe it was that odd little name all along (Darius, for the record, is not Hootie, nor are Mark, Soni & Dean the Blowfish). They were always Southern-fried, but they were also one of the more universal acts to emerge from that era, and their catalog of songs remains one of the most cherished collections I have in any creative medium.
Thanks to a good friend of mine, I discovered Jerry Spinelli's Maniac Magee early on in grade school, about a boy who becomes something of a legend while trying to make a life for himself and struggling to fit in. It remains one of my most treasured reading experiences.
(Noticing a pattern yet?)
Gosh, who finds this one easy to select? My first person outside of my family that truly made an impact on my life has got to be Jonathan Lawless, the aforementioned friend who introduced me to Maniac Magee. He was a transfer student I think in second grade, and was the first friend I made after all but losing all the friends I'd originally made in school, and we remained pretty close until life finally took us in different directions. We remain in touch, but like everyone else I know, there are many states in between us.
I called it. Kim won Survivor: One World. She made it far more difficult than she needed to, and it was Troyzan who called her on it, and she had no answer, and Jeff pretty much ignored it at the reunion. But then he pretty much ignored Kim, too. She deserves the win, but she doesn't get a lot of respect for how she did it, relying heavily on alliances and two-facing and a personality so blandly likable she might as well have appeared in The Avengers. She's the evil version of Amanda, who did this kind of game while allied with stronger players than Kim kept around, and she was actually able to win.
For those interested, I'm working on another daily challenge, completing the twelve-part Who Killed Iron Joe? at Sigild V, the run-up to Seven Thunders, the big Space Corps story I've been working toward since 1998. WKIJ? is not so much heavy sci-fi action or big concept so much as an intimate look at some of the influences of the big events that will take place later on. I'll be following it with an unrelated superhero story, Back from the Dead, and then finally concluding Roadkill Cafe, and then I will begin writing Seven Thunders. Y'know, if you care.