Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Book Review: The Red Badge of Courage

This book changed me as a reader and a writer when I was in high school. I know it sounds strange but as I was reading this book in 10th grade and we were going over it together in class I knew that it was a great book and some how it made sense to me. It was a break through to actually see the things that the teacher was talking about. It sucks to sit in class and have the teacher explain why Faulkner is such an amazing author, but hate reading his books. That was not the case with this one. I loved it from the first time I read it. I loved the naturalistic writing style that Crane used and the psychological battle that the main character goes through. This book is so much more enjoyable than simply reading about the Civil War. The writing style is amazing, the scenes are vivid and the emotions extreme. The action is different than what some readers are no doubt used to because Crane has a tendency to describe emotions and feelings rather than actual action, but I love that too. It is short enough to read through in an afternoon if you were focused enough and I recommend it. I loved it even more the second time.

Steinbeck my insperation

Back at the end of September my wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by getting away from our kids for a few days. We went to the coast (Monterey, CA) and had a great time. Because we are not especially exciting now that we have kids we went to the Steinbeck museum in Salinas. It was totally fun! We got to see a film about him and look at all the cool exhibits they made from his books. It was pretty cool. Excerpts from his work was all over the walls and there was even audio and video from them as well. It was awesome to see the collection of work from such a talented man. I have enjoyed all of the books that I have read from him including: Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat. I want to read others and my wife recently read East of Eden, and said it was fabulous. I look forward to reading it as well. It can be intimidating to read something that is a masterpiece, but it reminds me how far I need to go before I will “arrive” and perhaps I never will. It also encourages me that until writing Tortilla Flat in his thirties, Steinbeck was relatively unsuccessful as a writer. There is hope. Anyways I have always been inspired by Steinbeck since reading Tortilla Flat in high school and I recommend his work to anyone.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Still busy with no better excuse

I know I have been bad about blogging again, but I simply cannot help it. I am not only teaching now, serving on the deacon’s board, trying to be a loving husband and father, but now I have also added coaching soccer to the list of things that I have to do. It is a blast but it leaves me really busy. I have not had a lot of time to work on my book, but I did manage to finish reading it myself and I was pleased with the way in which the book ended. It needs plenty of spit and polish, but it is going to be good. I have also promised myself that I would rewrite the beginning by the end of November. I hopefully will have time during Thanksgiving break to do a little writing, and I plan on finishing all of the editing before the end of the year so that I can send it out after the new-year. That is my plan anyways. We’ll see how it goes. Besides that enjoy some of the things that I will post over the next couple of days as I try to not look like a completely lame blogger. I also would like to write a couple short stories and have been working on the outline for them so look out for those over the next couple months. Thanks, love you all. Ok well not you, but everyone else.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Book Review: The Saga of the Volsungs

Alright I know I have been bad about getting to my book reviews, but here is one anyways. I read a few of these already months ago but that is the way it is and there is nothing I can do about it now. One of the books was a short albeit interesting book called The Saga of the Volsungs. It is a very old German epic about similar heroes that you might find in Homer’s tales or some other cultures folk lore. It was fun to read. First of all it is very fantastic, dragons and dwarves and such. I wonder if the Romans were dwarves to the Norse? Anyways, it was strange but good, and at one point I thought that I detected a sent of Arthur in the tale. I recommend it if you are into Homer and the like, otherwise stay clear.