A few months ago, the ever talented and tall Ryan Irelan reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in creating a screencast series for Mijingo about WordPress. I’d already watched a few of the OmniFocus related screencasts that Ryan himself had made, and I recognized he was putting together quality work. I […]
I finished Lonesome Dove this weekend, and it may be the first Western I’ve ever read. I have a vague recollection of Little Britches as a kid, and I vaguely recollect that it would count as a Western. I’ve heard of Louis L’amour. Westerns aren’t my go-to genre.
My favorite Cultivator of Local Relationships and Good Will (may not be his actual title) at my favorite coffee shop had recommended Lonesome Dove to me. He’s a thoughtful, likeable guy, and we can only have so many conversations deconstructing Mad Men and Josh Hamilton, so I thought I’d give it a go. Also, Amazon put the Kindle version on sale for $2.99 a few months after he first recommended it, so there was that.
I knew this book would be an investment based on it’s heft. By heft, I don’t mean it’s weight – this was an ebook. No, heft in the Kindle world is recognized by a 5 digit location status, and Lonesome Dove weighs in above 15000, or 896 pages. I’m not scared of long books, but since I usually only read fiction as I wrap up the day in bed, it’s not uncommon for me to fall asleep after 2-3 pages. You know, about 30 locations. I was in for a journey. He recommended the book two years ago, and I’ve just finished. There’s been lots of Mad Men talk and Josh Hamilton has jumped from his favorite team to mine in the meantime.
I can summarize three typical experiences I have with fiction:
- There’s the kind of fiction where I never come to care about the characters, and concern for what happens to them is absent. These are the kind I often give up on, unless the storyline has some degree of intrigue. Or because of that self imposed guilt I have for not finishing something I’ve already invested so much time in. The Robert Langdon books, by Dan Brown, fit this category, and I’ve read each of them. I usually feel empty after reading such books, which leads to an unhealthy need for my children to express their love and admiration for me.
- There’s the kind of fiction where I not only care about the characters, but feel like I know them. Usually, that means I root for them, even the bad ones. When I finish a book like this, I feel like I just ended a long journey with a troupe of friends, and wrapping up the last page is like getting dropped off at my front door after a rich road trip. When the characters seem real, I can stay connected to just about any story.
- Then, there’s this third, and rare, kind of fiction. Not only do I care about the characters, but I start to see myself in them. Or maybe through them. When all is said and done, I’m not only evaluating their lives, but my life as well. I compare their foibles to my own, and I end up wanting to be someone more. Lonesome Dove left me feeling this way, except for the sleeping on the ground part.
So maybe you would enjoy Lonesome Dove too. It’s a Western, sure. But it’s an epic, co-mingling of broken lives making sense of love and loss in a way that you can see yourself in. And it won the Pulitzer, so…
There is tragic flaw of ambition that I share with many others. It leaves my own ideas lying dormant while squashing the dreams of others. Based on my highly scientific rough guess, it plagues 39% of all regular internet users. For readers of this blog, I would estimate it (highly scientifically) to be much higher. […]
Five things I’m into right now: Dispatch app for iPhone: I’ve tried some of the alternative mail apps that have made their way to iOS — Sparrow, Gmail, Mailbox. In each instance, though, I’ve find my way back to the built in Mail app. But after a week of trying Dispatch, I think I’m making […]
On Friday, the New York Times website published this story about Vox Veniae. I preach every two months or so at Vox Veniae, and I’m proud to call them friends. Read the article, watch the video that accompanies it, and you’ll see why. (Discerning eyes may even recognize my hind quarter around the 1:10 mark […]
I try not to write about the details of my life that reveal just how cool I am. I don’t want to appear to be all braggy and stuff. But, in this case, my cultural transcendence is relevant to the point, so here goes: We bought a minivan three years before our first child was […]
A few years ago, I wrote about how I use my iPad in place of paper notes for speaking. Tablets and apps have come quite a way since then, and I’ve experimented with a number of setups for this. Scrolling through a Pages or a Google Doc seems to be the most awkward way to […]
A few years ago, I took a good look at Ulysses as a writing app, and even wrote up a review. It was one of those apps that took some digging in to get a handle on, but the more I did, the more I saw how I might put it to use for larger […]
I started blogging oh so many years ago to reflect and share my way through some of the books I’ve been reading. I haven’t kept up so well of late, but there are a few I read in the first quarter of this year that are worth sharing. Here’s a shotgun spray summary of several […]
By my accounting, there are five kinds of books in this world: Those you do, in fact, judge by the cover and dismiss as books you would never read. Those you start but never finish, even though you have some kind of nagging voice telling you it’s not okay to stop reading in the middle. […]
During my guest appearance on Mac Power Users, David and Katie asked me about the WordPress app for iOS. I mentioned that it’s improved a great deal over time, and it has, though there are things I’d like to see it do better. Two days after we recorded, I discovered Poster, which had just released […]
As a subscriber since the first episode, I was honored and thankful for the opportunity to be a guest on this week’s episode of Mac Power Users: The Website Show. David and Katie invited me to share my expertise on WordPress. I was happy to oblige, though I offered my thoughts throughout the show as […]
I’ve been up to my neck in OmniFocus since the earliest betas. Before that, I used the Kinkless GTD system that inspired it. I’ve stuck with the same basic structure of contexts and projects from the start, with a tweak here and there. I wouldn’t call it a rut, but it was a rut. I […]