Today marks the 123rd birthday of Howard Philips Lovecraft (better known as H. P. Lovecraft), one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. He was considered one of the "Big Three of Weird Tales", along with Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith (who are influential in their own right), and his Cthulhu Mythos has inspired numerous books, movies, music, and games.
I discovered Lovecraft's works while I was in high school. I was in my school's library and I was looking for something to read when my eyes landed on the Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos anthology collection from Del Ray Publishing. There was just something about the cover that caught my attention and made me pick it up and check it out. While Lovecraft's writing style took some getting used to, I quickly fell in love with the Mythos that he created and the cosmic nature of his brand of horror. Once I finished that book, I quickly moved to other collections and haven't looked back since.
H. P. Lovecraft is one of the five writers who has influenced my own writing and gaming the most (the other five I'll mention at a later date). There is something about his stories and the Cthulhu Mythos that jump-start my imagination and make me want to write stories and run games with similar themes.
So, because of his influence on my favorite genre of entertainment and own creative endeavors, I want to say happy birthday Mr. Lovecraft and wish everyone a Happy Lovecraft Day. Now, let's summon up some outer gods and have ourselves a really weird party!