Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Week in Words

I finished a couple of books this week, despite a new addiction to the TV show Dexter, which is chewing up my evenings at an astonishing rate, and giving me weird dreams to boot. 

“The Motion of the Ocean” by Janna Cawrse Esarey is a true story of a Janna and her husband Graeme’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (B-HAG)to quit their jobs and take a two year honeymoon by sailing 17000 miles around the South Pacific, from Seattle to Hong Kong.  The opening lines of the book are two of the best I have ever come across: 

"Somewhere fifty miles off the coast of Oregon I realize the skipper of this very small ship is an asshole.

He also happens to be my husband."

This book is not chick-lit, at least not like the chick lit I ever, um, heard about, so guys shouldn’t fear that it’s all about PMS and the horrible consequences of mismatching nail polish to lip gloss.  While the book is definitely from Janna’s POV, being a guy allows me to guess exactly what Graeme is going through at the same time Janna is describing her reactions to certain events.  I think guys might get even more out of this book than they think.

My fear of deep water, along with my horrible sense of balance keeps me away from trying to sail around an ocean.  Okay, Lisa also keeps me from it, but I remember my days of having B-HAG’s (anyone remember my long distance cycling days?).  I know how those goals can change someone, and this book pretty much nails my experience as well.  Well worth the money.

I also finished reading “Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us” by Jessica Page Morrell, another local author (she teaches at Evergreen State College in Olympia).  It’s a non-fiction book, a writing guide from the point of view of an editor who has been called ‘The Angel of Death’ by her clients.  There’s a lot of good stuff in this one, especially what she calls her ‘Deal Breakers’.  I know there are a few of her deal breakers that apply to my writing, and at some point I’m going to have to tackle them.

It’s definitely good to read a few different writing books, because you begin to sense the general pattern, and sooner or later the ideas get drilled into your head, even if you don’t remember everything.  I still like Noah Lukeman’s “The First Five Pages” the best, but this one is in a close fight for number two with Steven King’s “On Writing”.

As far as movies go, last night we watched a documentary called ‘Helvetica’ about the development of fonts in the last half of the twentieth century.  (Don’t we know how to party on a Friday night.)  It was interesting, for about the first 40 minutes.  It was at least 20 minutes too long for my tastes, and I actually dozed off for at least ten minutes, but to be fair, I was exhausted when we sat down.  I would recommend it as one of those that you watch for half an hour while you are riding a stationary bike or something else, but definitely not while driving.

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