Sunday, July 27, 2008

Spread Your Wings

Since I'm experience difficulties with the computer that I use to scan, upload and edit my photos, there will be no Way Back Machine today. No photos either.

I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to encourage you to step outside your comfort zone of blog reading. We seem to get caught up in a similar stream of subject matter, whether it be style blogs, or family blogs or craft blogs. I love to take that web surfboard and jump the waves to the left or right of where I usually run. In the course of those little surfing trips I've found some fascinating reads.

I'd like to suggest reading White Crow Walking. I've been reading Jesse White Crow's adventures for three years. He has walked across America alone. The blurb at the top of his blog states:

"My solo walk across America began in Maine. I walked for nearly 3 years carrying a backpack and facing countless dangers, as well as met wonderful people I could have never made it without. From bullets to bears I moved through mountains of snow and across burning desert country. The end result will be a book, and the fruition of a childhood dream. This is a blog from the field with rough stories about my steps along the way."

...rough stories about his steps along the way. Rough stories??? I swear if these are just rough ramblings then the book is destined to be a best seller. Many times when reading his entries I would be stopped in my tracks by a sentence. How can someone craft a sentence so perfect and lean, without a wasted syllable or thought? And he wasn't sitting in a nice comfy office. He was jotting entries along the road, using the computers at public libraries. His thought process is deeply influenced by American Indian themes of nature and man.

One day I read one of his sentences and felt compelled to write it down and tuck it into my bedside table. I often read it at night before I go to bed and dream about crafting words such as this.

"In a minute the coyote is over by the dry creek bed singing it's painful woes to a night that makes all of creation wish they'd mastered fire."

- Jesse White Crow

NOTE: For further reading in this genre try -

William Least Heat-Moon - "River Horse" or "Blue Highways". Blue highway refers to the color with which the mapmakers denote secondary highways on a map. It's those highways the Heat-Moon traveled in preparation for writing the book. "River Horse" is a horse of a different color. It's a riveting story of his journey from coast-to-coast over America's streams and rivers.

Bill Bryson - "The Lost Continent" is a irreverent look at the author's travels across America after being overseas for twenty years. Written in 1994, much of it would be considered politically incorrect in this day. No matter, it's sharp and funny.

What's your favorite off-the-beaten path blog?


Trish said...

oh my goodness...I jumped over to Jesse's site right away....and had to drag myself back just to comment...I have to go back and read the rest.

Okay...I can't think of a contribution to a site right now but I am going to thank you for this one link. You are very good at describing and immediately I saw what you saw...lean and to the point wonderful prose. You are right...we seem to get stuck in a 'writer's style' of journey which is an entertainment blog really...this is real stuff he writes. Thanks...I am going to be putting this as a favorite for sure.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh wow! What a great find that was!

I like to play a game of leap frog that I call "Can I Make it Back to My Own Blog in Ten Leaps or Less." (Yeah, no narcissism there.) Anyway, the game works like this, I visit you, for instance, and find a blog that I've never visited before and then head over there, choose a blog from that list and strike off again. It's great fun and I seldom make it back to my own blog thereby losing my game. Sad little life I'm living, eh? :D

I was reading Randy Pausch's blog today. Though his words are not as well crafted as Jesse's, they are powerful.

Suzanne said...

Trish - I've been reading Jesse's journey for three years. It's an amazing inner journey also. His mastery of words is breathtaking sometimes. Keep reading because you will find some great jewels in his work.

Vee- That's a great game. I'm off to play right now. Where's Randy's blog?

- Suzanne

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for the great recommendation, Suzanne! And let me second what you just said about Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent ... it's laugh-aloud funny and a wonderful journey to the heart and soul of America. Here's to the road!

BittersweetPunkin said...

Hi Suzanne....I am popping in and trying to catch up....hope all is well with you!!

StitchinByTheLake said...

He's definitely got some good things to say - I'm glad you told us about him! Try if you haven't run across her. This lady made a pledge January 1 to quit shopping for herself for one year. Now not groceries and necessities, but for herself. Her concern for the environment and our society's "buy more" attitude prompted this. It's interesting to see how she addresses problems in a different way. I think I could quit shopping for myself - but quit shopping for quilting stuff would be a different issue. It's one I'm definitely entertaining. Blessings, marlene

Leslie said...

Well, since this blog has over 50,000 subscribers, it is not exactly off the beaten path. For me, though, since it is not a Mom blog, or a political blog, that makes it a "spread of the wings" sort of read. This blog always offers a new, refreshing perspective. It could be called the path to simple living, and that seems to be an ongoing goal of mine these days.

Hope you like it!

Suzanne said...

Cindy - I need to say thank you because you're the one that put me on to Bill Bryson. Sometimes I feel like I've been living under a rock. There are lots of authors that I should know about and he's one of them.

Robin - I'm glad you had a chance to stop in. Hope everything is good in your world.

Marlene - That site is very interesting. After I lost my job at the newspaper I went for a year without buying anything for myself......except for fabric and craft supplies, does that count? I didn't need any new clothing and in order to make my severance package last I went on a spending diet. It wasn't as hard as you'd think.

Leslie - That was a very good site with lots of interesting ideas. 50,000 subscribers??? That's amazing.

Thanks everyone for visiting. Tomorrow key limes will be invading this space.

Louise said...

This one is my favorite! It's the one someone sent me to out of the blue, and I've kept coming back. (I've been gone, and I'm starting my catch-up now.) It isn't at all like any other blog I read, and I love it.

After I'm caught up with this and all the rest from my absence, I'll come back and check out the ones you recommended.