In Uncategorized on January 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm
Julie, the talented scribe over at Word Flows, was kind enough to bestow upon me the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks, Julie! The honor comes with a few conditions attached; mainly, I share seven things about myself and point readers to fifteen other blogs. Would it be okay if I cheat a little here and suggest, say, four blogs? I’d post more but am battling a miserable cold. I hope this does not condemn me to Blogosphere Purgatory!
Seven things about myself:
1. I’ve never read a book of mine after it’s been published, as I’m afraid of what I might find.
2. I once sent Phil Collins several of my books, and he responded with a very nice thank you letter. The man is legend.
3. I can quote every line in almost every Dirty Harry movie.
4. I think Daniel Craig is a better James Bond than Sean Connery.
5. The working title for my next book is The Case that Foiled Fabian.
6. When I’m in the UK next week, I plan to gorge myself on roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
7. I wish I could write like Ian Fleming.
Now, for those blogs. Here they are in no particular order:
Eat, Sleep, Television
In books, e-books on January 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm
For Christmas, my very generous wife gave me a Kindle Fire. Her message was clear: “E-books are the future. Why clutter our house with more books, when you can download them on this incredibly nifty gizmo and free-up some much needed shelf space?” While I’m certainly not a luddite, I am one who tends to romanticize the past and have long wished I lived in the 1920s or 1940s. In the twenties, it was fashionable to smoke and drink and hang out in Paris. In the forties, it was fashionable to smoke and drink and wear a fedora. There was, of course, WW2—but seeing as I’m a geek for history, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
But, I digress . . . back to the Kindle Fire. The other night, I downloaded my first two books: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse. I plan to read both when I fly to England next week. I’ve already read the first few pages—or is it screens?—of Darkness and found it to be an okay experience. For one who loves the physical feel of a book, however, and the act of turning the page, it is slightly odd. My day job requires that I sit for eight hours and stare at a computer screen. If I’m working on a book, then I stare at a screen all evening after I get home. That being the case, I don’t really want to stare at another screen when I read for enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong: I’m willing to give the Kindle Fire a chance—and I do love the fact you can use it to stream movies. I’m just not sure it’ll ever become my preferred method of reading.
All this was driven home to me the other night as I casually browsed one of my bookshelves. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular—just looking. For no reason whatsoever, I pulled my copy of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher from the shelf and randomly flipped through its pages. In the middle of the book, I came across four black-and-white photographs of my grandfather as a child. One picture, taken in 1920 when he was five, shows and his two sisters posting in their old-fashioned swimsuits in a Blackpool portrait studio. It was a pleasant surprise stumbling across these images I hadn’t looked at in several years. This sort of thing can’t happen with an e-book. Books (the paper variety) are great companions. Between their pages they can hold mementos of your life, whether it’s photographs, an old love letter, or a faded theater ticket. They can be reminders of friends and family and special events. Fred Vargas’s The Night’s Foul Work will always be the book I read on my honeymoon in Maui. Between its pages is the receipt for the whale-watching tour my wife and I went on.
Growing up, my parents always gave me books for my birthday and Christmas. Without exception, they always wrote something on the inside cover, saying they couldn’t wait to read my first published book. They offered nothing but encouragement, and those books are now something I treasure. You can’t do that with an e-book. You physically keep certain books with you throughout your life because of the memories attached to them. Is it possible to be that sentimental about an e-book?
I don’t think so.
In creative spaces, Random thoughts on January 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm
I won’t lie: I fantasize about home libraries. I imagine sitting in a well-worn recliner, drink in hand, surrounded by overflowing bookshelves that tower floor to ceiling. Perhaps there’s a wetbar in the corner, where I can pour myself a gin and tonic.
Right now, I have several bookshelves (including three in my home office) in different rooms of the house. The one downstairs is used not only for books, but photographs and a couple of vases. My wife is big on decorating bookshelves with things other than books. This is a sin. I see nothing wrong in stuffing a bookshelf to full capacity and beyond with nothing but books.
To that end, fellow scribe DJ Paterson posted the following on his blog, and I feel compelled to share it here. This truly is bookshelf porn. Don’t drool.
In Uncategorized on January 22, 2012 at 9:39 am
The talented and charming scribe known about these parts as “the 4 a.m. writer” (or, simply, Kate) was kind enough to bestow upon me the 7 X 7 Award. What is this, you ask? Just a nice little bit of recognition. All I have to do is share seven semi-interesting things about myself, point readers to seven previous posts I’m proud of, and suggest seven other blogs worthy of your attention. Here goes . . .
Seven things about me:
1. I’ve never shoveled snow.
2. I’ve never watched an episode of “I Love Lucy” or “Leave it to Beaver” in its entirety.
3. I’m a diehard Genesis fan and will defend that band to the very end.
4. I think a nice single-malt scotch is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
5. I’m a night owl and enjoy writing when the house is dark and still.
6. A lot of writing ideas tend to hit me in the shower.
7. I think a gin and tonic sounds pretty good right about now.
As for seven posts I’m proud of . . . I only just fired up this blog last week after being away from it for more than a year. Everything prior to last week is pretty much out of date, so I’ll just nominate everything I’ve done in the past seven or so days!
The seven blogs I suggest you check out are:
1. 4amwriter by the aforementioned Kate, a great writer happy to share her thoughts on writing and the pursuit of the craft.
2. Limebird Writers.
3. Abominations – A blog on books, art, and other civilized pursuits.
4. 1001 Scribbles.
5. Three Descriptors – A blog that deals, in part, with kids, books, and writing–three things that dominate my life.
6. Goodbye, Pert Breasts – It’s not porn . . . merely the struggles of a simple bloke coming to terms with fatherhood. Funny stuff.
7. David Francis Barker Poetry and Painting – I only discovered David’s blog this morning (after he started following mine). His paintings and poetry and moving.