Saturday, August 30, 2008

More about Writing and Reading

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett arrived very quickly in the mail, and I've already picked up a few good ideas to put into practice. DeMarco-Barrett acknowledges all the demands on our time and says that even a mere 15 minutes of writing a day can change the daydream of being a writer into reality, slowly but surely. The author of this inspiring book offers a lot of encouraging words, tips, and sage advice for those who want to build a writing career, one word at a time. I read a few chapters last night before returning to the fiction I'm currently reading, The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith. I don't want to reveal too much about The Kalahari Typing School for Men (although the title obviously says a lot) but will say that it's a book filled with beauty and humor. One of things I most enjoy about reading this book (and the others in the series) is that Alexander McCall Smith shows his respect and admiration for women, while at the same time poking fun at his own sex. I'd guess that most of his fans are female, although I could be wrong. He also cares very much about the way people treat each other, about the old Botswana values where people care about the happiness of others. I find this passage particularly beautiful; it describes Mma Ramotswe's reflections after a phone call to the prison office:

"They said farewell, and Mma. Ramotswe put down the telephone with a smile. In spite of everything, in spite of all the change, with all the confusion and uncertainty which it brought; in spite of the casual disregard with which people were increasingly treating one another these days, there were still people who spoke to others with the proper courtesy, who treated others whom they did not know, in the way which was proper according to the standards of the old Botswana morality. And whenever that happened, whenever one encountered such behaviour, one was reminded that all was by no means lost."
~ The Kalahari Typing School for Men, Alexander McCall Smith

I'm nearing the end of this book, but will not mourn as I look forward to the continuation of the adventures of Mma Ramotswe and the rest of the cast of characters in the next book in the series, The Full Cupboard of Life.

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