I love the game of tag. It reminds me of running around the neighborhood while blending in with the twilight and feeling daring for being out so late. Kasia James of Writer’s Block tagged me for Lucky Seven. She’s a talented writer and friend from Australia. Please take a look at her site if you haven’t yet – it’s a great one.
Here’s how Lucky Seven works:
Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
Go to line 7
Post on your blog the next 7 lines or sentences – as they are
Tag 7 other people to do the same
Lucky me – I have two unpublished novels to choose from for this! The excerpt from the novel I’m querying gives too much away, so here’s the excerpt from page 7 of my first unpublished novel:
Cars of different colors and in different stages of disrepair glided easily along. From the outside looking in, everything seemed so simple. Every car stayed separate, yet the same road connected them all. That idea fascinated her. Where were they all going? Where would they end up? She peered in, catching glimpses of people she would never meet.
I’m going to reach out and wildly tag five people just to be different:
Just the fact that H.W. Brands attempts to make sense of recent American and world history should earn him accolades. I think he comes as close as anyone can to accomplishing that goal in less than 400 pages.
It’s an extreme overview, but that worked well for me since I read it as research for the 1940s-80s. Many parts were emotional to read, especially the 1960s. These days that time period is romanticized for its hippies and music, yet it was also a time of deep dissension and division. Heroes were gunned down too often. We can’t help but wonder what the world might be like now if people like Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy hadn’t been killed. Those deaths caused a lot of people to retract from the world in a way, or to simply give up. Brands shows this and ties it in well with the history that follows.
It was fun to read about the more recent history that I remember living through like the Cold War and the destruction of the Berlin Wall. The 9/11 tragedy was another emotional event to read about as history. Brands seems to be pretty objective through most of the book, which is always tough to do when discussing politics. At one point, he mentions that President Obama was elected for economic reasons. Dreamer that I am, I believe he was elected for peace.
Near the end, Brands states that an odd inversion in the nature of American dreams occurred between 1945 and the present day. He says, “The dreams of 1945 had been collectively ambitious but individually modest; those of 2010 were collectively modest but individually ambitious.”
While that may be true overall, it’s also very sad whenever a back is turned on the world in favor of individual pursuits. As history continues and the world faces more environmental challenges, I hope we’ll learn that we all share this one world and that we need to take better care of it and each other.
It’s impossible not to be affected by the ocean while living on Cape Cod. Even if I don’t see it every day, I breathe it. The sound of distant fog horns brings the ocean closer to home. The air, after being touched by waves, sounds like waves as the wind roars through the trees. There are many gray, fog-filled days, but then these make us feel closer to the ocean. They smell of seaweed and adventure.
Adventurous people live here. People like whalers and sea captains once used the ocean to roam the planet. To them, the sight or smell of the ocean must have brought up an urge to be off again in wooden ships that would be tossed around like driftwood.
My novel, In the Echo of the Ocean, wouldn’t have been written if I lived in any other place. Even though the story is more about people than the ocean, I hope the sound of the waves and adventure can still be heard through the pages.
To me, the ocean will always bring up memories of salt-encrusted skin, playing in the waves with my brother, and searching for hermit crabs at low tide. I will always cherish it for those memories, for its beauty, and for the stories it tells.
The ocean means different things to different people. What does the ocean mean to you?