Thursday, June 17, 2010

Technically speaking...

So I becoming a lax blogger. Life has been absolutely chaotic, some really good, and some really bad. Positive or negative, nonetheless, lots of chaos stimulates me and I have been writing like crazy. I am days away from finishing book 2, and I am rather excited about it.

We have about another month or so of “quiet” around Max and Menna before the real busy stuff starts. As of right now, I am just waiting on reviews and advanced praise. Anyone who knows me knows that patience isn’t one of my virtues, but I am distracted by so many other things that time is just flying by. It will be November 1 before I know it.

And so, I want to keep up with sharing some of my great loves—story loves—with all of you. I was so tempted to call on my sick day movie for fodder for this blog, which is Aliens. I adore the movie, but more for the great explosions and the combination of a totally kick a*s heroine and lots and lots of explosions. Ellen Ripley rocks my world.

Nonetheless, I have been focusing my good energy on stories that move me, and Aliens may be the perfect accompaniment to Chinese food and my couch when I have a day off. But there is a book that has been on my mind lately, because it is a book that so beautifully captures the concept of beauty from, or even in, tragedy.
If you haven’t read A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving, I cannot recommend it strongly enough. There are two things about this novel that absolutely floor me:

1. Its deliberation. So many times during my first (of many) readings of this lengthy novel I asked myself “what is the point of all of this?” Luckily, it was a school assignment so I had to wade through pages and pages of description and seemingly unconnected events. However, when you get to the end, the last ten pages of the book let you know that not a single word of the novel was wasted. The sheer skill required in crafting a story this complex and yet this perfectly planned amazes me.
2. As mentioned, this book is very much about understanding the need behind random tragedy, and the motivations behind sacrifice. The movie takes an event, very much like something you might see on the nightly news and mull over it slightly before moving on, and gives it so much purpose and importance.

I’ve read lots of John Irving’s novels, some of which I have loved, some of which I have not, but all of which I have appreciated. However, this is one of my five all time favorite books (and for me to pick only five all-time favorite books is a daunting task for me because I love so many), and its construction is one of the first things that made me start to consider the technical ability that has to accompany talent in order for writing to be truly moving (at least to me).
I hope all is well for all of you, my few dear readers.

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