Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter's Here!

The temperature yesterday was -27 Celcius and the equivalent in Fahrenheit still isn't safe for man or beast. So yesterday, the dog walking ended. We're intrepid souls, me and Rourke but -27 is our limit. Instead we donned winter gear and ventured into the backyard where even the thermometer ran out of mercury to record the freezing tempurature.

As the temperature dropped and the calendar stated that we officially hit winter, I had to ask myself - what have I been missing? Didn't winter set in some months ago. Why do we need a calendar date to state what has been going on for months; freezing temperatures, ice, snow, blustery winds - well you get it, just darn bad weather. And to prove it, out here on the prairies, it's been bitingly cold for weeks. But despite all that this afternoon we bundled up, dog boots, people boots et al and ventured into the frost bitten north. Okay - let's be truthful, after all you've read the above - our backyard, and seriously it's not that entertaining.

So what better opportunity but bad weather to embrace a learning opportunity. Stuck indoors for most of the day is a good chance to not just deal with last minute holiday flurry but I decided a good chance to learn. In writing what works, what doesn't, why? Why do you love one book and remember it long after you turn the last page and immediately forget the next book or just don't finish it because the story doesn't catch you? So with a stack of books and a highlighter I begin.
Now before you e-mail me in horror, these are
second hand books in a condition where their shelf life is shorter than the time it took to write this blog.

It's a joy to read the opening of "The Stand" and see how subtly it all works. I consider whether a story that works is a more subtle beast than one that doesn't. That question remains unanswered as I grab a second book for a quick comparison and my highlighter works overtime. But there's good highlights mixed with the bad and I begin to see a pattern in the writing but it's the inconsistency that jolts me from the story. Yes, I think this may be an unorthodox and good learning experience.

Never stop learning, never stop reaching.

What did you learn today?


No comments: