Sunday, September 25, 2011

Balloon Festival

I went to my first hot air balloon festival back in July, held in Waterford, WI. It was an awesome sight! They were supposedly offering tethered rides, and I wanted to try it, but I couldn't find the spot to sign up. Probably just as well as I'm sure I would've been after the guy at the controls, begging him to hold the balloon still for just a second so I could catch that shot and that shot and...

Here are some pictures I managed to snatch from the ground:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Great read:

I've just finished reading Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, and it was amazing and brilliant and poignant and deliciously creative. All of these! I couldn't put it down and, in fact, stayed up until 2 a.m. last night reading, finishing it. Of course, I'm moving slow today, but it was worth it.

My one small caveat to this is that somewhere just shy of the middle, I *did* put it down and even made the comment that it was dragging for me. A friend and my daughter both gave me a strange look and encouraged me to keep at it. Now I know why. Looking back, I think that although there was a point where I was anxious for the story to "get on with it," this slow, purposeful back and forth was necessary; the intent was to lay the foundation.

As a reader: I was engaged with the characters; I enjoyed watching them grow and respond to life. I found the idea of time traveling mesmerizing - the mechanics of it, the possibilities, the ramifications - and how it physically affected Henry. I thought the way the plot unfolded was masterful. That whole business with Henry's feet was terrifically well done - I actually couldn't believe it and had to go back and read it again.

As a writer: I thought the way the timeline revealed itself, the back and forth, the way each trip -- a jump forward or backward -- built meaning was a very impressive feat. I can't imagine how one even begins to build a world like that, how you keep it all straight -- in one's head, on paper, on a chalkboard -- so that it flows seamlessly, with intent. Incredibly amazing.

This deserves a spot on your to-read list.