Who Am I?

Even before computers I found a lot to laugh at.  But since computers?  I’ve found that it’s hard to not laugh at whatever happens to appear in front of my eyes, magically, through the tubes that are the internets.

Just now, while sitting alone here at my kitchen table, sipping a cuppa, I laughed loudly enough to wake up Cooper, who is stone deaf.  Yup, it was that funny.

What was it?  What could it be?  What could make me stop writing what I was writing to share a laugh?

Well, I really don’t know how it happened.  Or I don’t know how I got to the starting gate.  You see, I was Googling pictures for a post when I suddenly found myself at Moondustwriter’s Blog.  I had never seen it before; it’s a photography blog, and the picture on this particular post was a beautiful shot of a rocky beach in the moonlight.  It looks like Maine to me, and I love Maine.  The accompanying poem was beautiful too.  But not being a poetry lover, I was quickly distracted by what I saw on the sidebar:

Can you see it there on the bottom right?  I write like Mark Twain.  Pretty cool, don’t cha think?  Of course, I wanted to know who I write like.  So I clicked on the link.

Wait, wait, come back!  Don’t you want to know what happened next?  Don’t you want to know who it is I write like?  Or like whom I write?

Well, I looked at my list of favorite blog pieces, and chose what I thought was my best:  Both Sides Now, my story about how all my family members die on holidays.  And I learned :

Wow!

Cool.  I like Kurt Vonnegut, but I never considered myself in his league, or even remotely like him.  But I’m guessing the dark humor is Vonnegut-esque.  Interesting.

But, I wondered, are all my posts so dark?  I didn’t think so, so I plugged in another piece:  Downsizing, a story of how hard it is to resist stuff.

And lo and behold, I write like Chuck Palahniuk, who I’d never heard of.  I immediately went to Amazon.com and ordered all of his books though.  That is, of course, what I want anyone who hasn’t heard of me to do when they find that they write like me.  Here’s a sample:

Look, it's even got my face on the cover!

Again, I wasn’t sure that either of these two posts really reflected just who I am.  I mean, my blog is a mish-mash of stuff.  So I tried it again.  And again.  And again.

  • I entered my About page:  David Foster Wallace (damn, more books to buy).
  • I entered Take Me Back, about how Sarah Palin thinks that President Obama wants to go back to pre-Civil War days:  H. P. Lovecraft
  • I entered Color My World, my recent piece about Redbud trees:  Margaret Atwood.  Hey, I’ve read HER!

Lastly, I entered Great Balls of Fire, my piece about my neighbor Beau who built Tara Oaks, and who, I’m sure will soon host Civil War reenactments on his meadow:  this time I was Margaret Mitchell.

Apparently I am either wildly talented or have a multiple personality disorder.

Here’s the link.  Let me know who you are!

Hey, wait, I need to keep checking the link until I find that I am, in fact, Victor Hugo.

99 Comments

Filed under Awards, Conspicuous consumption, Humor, Music, Technology

99 responses to “Who Am I?

  1. Luanne

    Hah! Elyse, at least you can see a correlation between what you wrote and what you ended up with, but I don’t. I put in something else–sixties memoir stuff–and got some cyberpunk guy. This is crazy-making stuff. 😉

    Like

    • Iput in a Shakespeare quote and got someone else! I wouldn’t worry. I am sure it’s geared for certain words, not style. My Margaret Mitchell piece. Was one about my neighbor who was then building (and has since finished) a tacky antebellum mansion!

      Like

      • Luanne

        That really does make sense. I guess that is what happens when I write something lyrical about recycled faucets and scrap metal and bomb shelters.

        Like

  2. Ah, so this is how you found all those old posts, Russ! Thanks for your perseverance!

    And don’t forget to come back and tell me who you write like!

    Like

  3. I enjoyed this post Elyse, and plan to check every one of the posts you mentioned in it. And, I really appreciate the clip from Les Mis. I LOVE that play and several of the songs in it including the one you shared. What a message, and what a voice.

    Russ

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  4. It’s great fun.

    And it’s great fun to spend the evening with you!

    Like

  5. Sounds like multiple personality fun. I can’t wait to try it out.

    Like

  6. Okay I had to try it after reading your post I write like P. G. Wodehouse or H. P. Lovecraft (at this point I’m thinking to keep with the trend I should be M L Eklund) or James Joyce or David Foster Wallace. Apparently I don’t write like a woman. I was aspiring to be the next Erma Bombeck.

    Like

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  8. Me = Ray Bradbury!
    Aren’t I clever! …and I’m quitting while I’m ahead, or at least ‘in the know’ of who I write like! 😉

    Like

  9. GOF

    What did we do before the internet? I admire people who set up sites like that…..wonder how it comes up with the results.

    Like

    • Before the internet, I read books, spent time with friends and family, traveled. Now? Not so much!

      The site seems to take content, more than style I think. But it is a whole lot of fun.

      I answered this comment yesterday via one of those little Word Press notification bubbles, but it vanished. 😦

      Like

  10. Versatility, Baby! Now that’s something to write home about… 😉

    Like

  11. Oh great … I write like a person I will have to research to figure out who and the heck they are – Ursula K. Le Guin.

    So I did it again with a different post – at least this time it was someone I had heard of – Dan Brown.

    Great read Elyse!

    Like

  12. Whatta hoot. I think you write more like Rodney Dangerfield and Paula Poundstone, myself. Whichever personality you choose. Keep doing it. I love it.

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  13. Hilarious! Wow, I need to pay more attention, Vonnegut.

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    • Are you Vonnegut or are you talking about me in my bleaker periods? I don’t recall too much bathroom humor in Vonnegut, but it’s been a while since I read him/wrote like him.

      Like

  14. So funny and so clever!!!

    Like

  15. Elyse: I’ll definitely have to figure out this techno stuff later–not my strong suit but I loved the Les Miz clip (my all-time favorite musical). I read so much that I would guess I am a compilation of writers: Maya Angelou, Anne Lamott, Alice Walker, Erma Bombeck, and Walter Mosley. At least that’s what I write like in my dreams when I receive the Pulitzer Prize! 🙂 Fun read!

    Like

    • I’m not sure how reliable this program is — but it is a whole lot of fun. The technology to “analyze your writing” is very simple though, cut and past into their box and hit “analyze” and PRESTO! It gives you a name. Plunk in something else, and PRESTO! You get another name.

      It’s great fun, although I’m pretty sure ‘m not going to take it to the bank — or quit my day job!

      Like

  16. I spent some time putting in various texts and came up with a different writer each time (Gertrude Stein, Neil Gaiman, H.P. Lovecraft, Ernest Hemingway, and Chuck Palahniuk). Just for fun, I copied a short piece from All’s Well that Ends Well. Shakespeare writes like James Joyce. 🙂

    Like

  17. Like you I couldn’t stop at one, but I picked from three different sections of my blog just to see what would happen! I got Cory Doctorow (I like him), David Foster Wallace (love him), Dan Brown (not so much).

    What did I learn from this? I write like a man, weird. That was fun though. Thanks

    I think we might all have a bit of personality disorder depending on what we have to say at any given point in time.

    Your writing style is consistently grand in my book though, does that count?

    Like

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  19. I got David Foster Wallace….and I’m not that deaf. yet.

    Like

  20. John, you are clearly another writer with Multiple Author Personality Disorder. Apparently, it is contagious. Me, I’d stick with Douglas Adams — a cult classic is a terrific mentor~

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  21. Like you, it depends on the post, so I guess I can analyze all my posts until I find someone I really want to be compared to right? 🙂

    I write like Douglas Adams (of Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy fame), William Gibson (who writes sci fi — the post I analyzed was a true story), and, good ol’ Chuck P.

    Like

  22. Good thinking. Why tempt fate!

    Like

  23. I went to one of those sites awhile ago, and it told me I wrote like Margaret Atwood. I really like Margaret Atwood, so I’m not going to stick with that answer and not press my luck by trying again.

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  24. I’ve done this a few times before and I remember I wrote like Stephen King every time. I suppose that’s no surprise. I’ve read lots of his books. I also happen to live in the town he grew up in. Must be something in the water…

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  25. Absolutely not. It will say you write like Laura Ingalls Wilder, PW. And if not, there is something decidedly wrong with the program!

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  26. Hmmm. Not sure I am going to try it. Might say I write like Mister Rogers.

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  27. Oh, how fun! I can’t wait to see what it makes of my scribblings.

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  28. This is so cool. I tried four excerpts from different novels that I’ve written – two were like H.P. Lovecraft, one like Margaret Mitchell, and another like Margaret Atwood. The last two are favorites of mine and the first unknown to me. So I think I’ll check out work by Lovecraft now. Thanks for the link.

    Like

    • Glad you liked it. I think this just shows that we are all top notch writers! I’m thinking of plugging in something technical to see what happens …

      Like

  29. Hi Elyse,
    What a great find, so unusual, who would of thought something like that even existed. 🙂
    The fun thing about the Internet i feel is when we are looking for something we always seem to find something totally different in a lot of cases.
    I only did the one, but will do more when I have the time. Dan Brown was the name that come up for me. 😀

    Like

    • Well, Mags, I hope you write a blockbuster novel, like The Davinci Code or Angels and Demons. Dan Brown’s last one was such a disappointment!

      I love this site. I think I will be wasting a lot more time on it. AND it’s been great for my stats today, as everybody clicks here, goes there and then comes back. And of course the only reason I write is for my STATS!

      Like

  30. Got many different answers from James Joyce to J.D. Salinger to Stephenie Meyer – so I guess I’m a mess. But Cory Doctorow came up three times. So I went to Amazon, and read a few pages from “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.” I guess I’m a weird mess.

    Like

  31. I put in a chapter of my attempt at a novel and it came out as J.D. Salinger…(more books to buy)

    Like

  32. Huh.
    I got Douglas Adams (cool!) and two Corey Doktorow’s. Who’s he? (She?)
    That was fun!!
    I’m going back until I get a Barbara Kingsolver…!
    Thanks!

    Like

    • It is a really fun website, isn’t it? You write like two more authors I don’t know — although I tend to skip the Russians. (Life is depressing enough without reading about starving frozen folks.)

      I’m going to go back and replug in the piece that got me to Martha Mitchell so that I can add it to my widgets. Maybe. If the technology gods are with me.

      Like

      • It really is fun! I also went back and got your guy, Chuck P!
        I’m going to play around and see if I can imitate some of my favorite authors. I’ll let you know. Good luck with the widgets; I am scared to full around with them!

        Like

        • Glad you’re having such a good time with it. I love the idea of TRYING to sound like someone else (trying to find my own voice has, obviously, been difficult enough!)

          No luck with the widget yet, in spite of NTexas99’s tutoring. It seems like I’m doing it right but then it doesn’t appear where it is supposed to. Sigh.

          Like

  33. This IS GREAT!!! 🙂 But now don’t sell yourself short here – cause what you really have, is Multiple Author Personality Disorder… Lol – which could be very lucrative when you think about it. I mean, talk about range!
    Now I’m going to try and write a post that will earn me the right to claim that I write like Nora Roberts – cause if I had 1/10th of her money I’d be a very happy man! 😉

    Like

  34. David Foster Wallace. No idea who he was, but after a search it’s interesting that we were born 2 days and 2 year apart. Love what I found, except for the news that he committed suicide in 2008. Wallace’s fiction is often concerned with irony..this is the match. Great post and found some good authors in the process.

    Like

  35. I love Les Miz! Phew. Now I got that out of my system. I’m scared to do this thing and find out I write like Sarah Palin.

    Like

  36. Cool. I forgot that I write like Stephen King too, but I don’t remember in which post! I’ve been trying to put the site on my sideboard as a widget and can’t; it’s driving me crazy!

    Like

    • I had trouble putting a site on my page as a widget, and finally found success by entering the code into a “text box”. First I had to open widgets, then I had to drag an empty TEXT BOX over to my sidebar. Then I clicked to open the text box, and then copy and pasted the code into the text box. Don’t forget to hit “save” inside the text box before leaving the page.

      Hope this works for you. It was driving me nuts, too, but after messing with it for a few hours, I finally figured out a way to make it work. I was trying to insert the “flag counter” to my sidebar. Good Luck!

      Like

      • I forgot to mention that I also had to “re-size” the logo for my flag counter so it would fit in my right sidebar. The original size was actually cutting the flag counter image roughly in half, so I had to insert my cursor inside the code (that I had just copy and pasted into a text box), and change the height and width dimensions). I just kept playing with it until I got the log to the size that fit my sidebar. Hope that made sense?

        I am so NOT a computer programmer. I don’t know nuthin’ about writing code or building websites or any of that, so with me, it’s always hunt and peck until I find something that sorta works. Sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes not.

        Like

        • I just noticed you already have the flag counter on your page, so I would think you could drag a new text box in under the flag counter in your left sidebar column, and then just match the dimensions to the ones used for the flag counter? Good luck!

          Like

          • okay, I couldn’t resist – I just added it to my widgets, so now it appears on my right sidebar under my flag counter.

            In my case, the column in my right sidebar is 175px wide, so I had to go to the first place in the code that has the word “width” and change the default 380px to 175px. The only thing I changed is 380 to 175. This made the box narrow enough to fit on my right sidebar. Hope this helps you get it on your page, and thanks for pointing us to this fun tool.

            turns out I write like David Foster Wallace. 🙂

            Like

            • It is SO nice of you to help. It took me a while to get the flag on there, and (naturally) I can’t remember what I had to do. I tried to look at that widget and do this one the same way, but I think there is a piece missing in my code. So I think I will have to go back to the site and redo. OF course, I will be some completely different author this time, no doubt!

              David Foster Wallace, huh? That’s who “Life With The Top Down” below, ended up writing like, too. I’ve never read him. If you guys are any examples, well, I’d better start reading him!

              Thanks again for your help. Technology tends to try and mess with my head!

              Like

              • Technology and I generally aren’t on speaking terms, so if I have any success at all, it is always by pure luck. I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with David Foster Wallace, and I find it somewhat amusing that the piece I copy and pasted in was one that I had written when I was in “manic mode” – apparently this is supposed to allow me to conclude that when I am in manic mode, I am smarter than I usually am, or something like that – anyway, it made me laugh.

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              • I did it! The bit I wasn’t absorbing is that there is a TEXT feature. I kept trying to save it as an image. I forgot that we can do text boxes on this. Thanks again!

                Like

  37. Cool post, Elyse, and thanks for the link. I write like Stephen King, or Edgar Allen Poe, or Mary Shelly. Apparently, my writing is horrific!

    Like

  38. Stephenie Meyer…I write like her? Author of the bestselling Twilight saga? I guess I’ll have to read her and maybe check out a movie. I will have to play with this a bit more and see who else I may write like. Interesting, Elyse.

    Like

  39. Oh…54.5…..to say I’m afraid to go where you have gone before and because you now know exactly who you are…well, perhaps not exactly who you are but now know you have personality problems which I already know all about and could see plainly…and exactly. Those pesky personality problems just seem to multiply like rabbits….not yours but mine…would be (and I’ve lost the question if there ever was one)…
    focused fear at its finest. Never mind…..

    Like

  40. I have a few dark posts too. Not in the goth sense but I don’t find it all that enthusing to write about happy stuff. I figure that’s already fixed. I guess I tend to lean toward writing what’s broken.

    Like

    • I wouldn’t say your writing is dark, though, overall. Because you take the dark and bring it to light — often. Your writing is multifaceted, I think, like your art.

      Like

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