Recently I heard most of Watership Down on audio book while roadtripping. I first read Watership Down when I was nine (the year it came out, as a matter of fact), and reread it about a bazillion times shortly thereafter.
Listening to it all these years later (and then rereading the last couple of chapters, as my sojourn on the roadtrip ended before we'd finished the book) I realize that a lot of what's important to me in fiction came from it. Characters you truly root for and care about, a sense of both this world's realities and of some extra or otherworldliness--of the fantastic, hand in hand with the wonder of the natural world. All of that, but most strikingly, I think, is how deeply this book spoke to and deepened a love of nature and the naturalist’s eye in me.
From near the end (but the novel is so rich in such observations of nature): Along the edge of the wood a sheet of wild clematis showed like a patch of smoke, all its sweet-smelling flowers turned to old man’s beard.
That's writing, wonderful writing.
I'm working toward establishing an actual blogging schedule for myself, with a loose rotating set of topics. I have a bunch of ideas I'm refining, but if you have requests, toss 'em at me. I'd especially appreciate any thoughts on a guest post format, what you'd want to hear about from any future guests here.
Jay Lake states here a lot of what disturbs/scares/drives me crazy about the conservative party in this country. Add to that that Mitt Romney clearly--based on his own words and actions--does not care about the wellfare of ordinary (that is, anyone not ultra wealthy or a corporation) people at all, and the idea of the man as president is terrifying. That isn't hyperbole. It hollows me out with shuddering dread. For this country, for the people who live here.
This, btw, is what corporations as people, unregulated financial and industry sectors, and the greed is good motive of business have gotten us.