Ever since I read Merry Hall, I\’ve found some of Nichols\’ sentiments on plants creeping into my own opinion. Especially in regards to the speckled or spotted laurels. He speaks of them repeatedly with contempt, saying they look sickly, works very hard to rid his property of them. Finally I went online and looked them up. And instantly recognized the plant.
Soon after moving here to Virginia, I had noticed a shrub that grows in many people\’s yards. It has large, pointed bright green leaves with paler green or yellow speckles on it. They look rather tropical (to me) but keep their leaves right through the winter. I always wondered what they were. Now I know: spottedd laurels! I was familiar with solid-colored laurels from back home, my mom\’s yard has a nice hedge of them- but these were something new. I always looked at them with curiosity before.
But sadly, since Nichols influenced me, I can\’t help but look at them with distaste. Every time I see one, I think it looks ill, diseased. Just because of the spots. Just because of how Nichols went on and on about them.
Am I alone or have you ever had an author\’s (or character\’s) opinion affect your own in real life?
I agree with you — an author can influence you in real life! I've had the same experience with Nichols himself, in the area of food 😉