I am Meg Moseley. Meg, a writer. Seeking the real God in the real world.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Good reads for chilly nights

Nights are getting a bit chilly here in Georgia. A good excuse to curl up with a book and a cup of coffee. (Like I need a good excuse, right?)

What I'm reading right now: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. I stayed up late reading it last night and woke up this morning with his lovely, literary voice in my head. Not literary in the stuffy sense, okay? Literary is not a dirty word. The protagonist seems to be searching for God in some rather unlikely places while he deals with a cousin on the verge of a breakdown. It's set in New Orleans, decades ago. I think it's going to be one of those books that keeps me thinking about it for weeks after I've read the last page.

What I read before that: Scoop by Rene Gutteridge. It's a funny story about a girl who was both homeschooled and sheltered. (Keep in mind that those two words are not necessarily synonymous.) Now she's out in the mean-hearted real world, working behind the scenes at a TV news station. Being a veteran homeschooler myself, I really enjoyed the story, and I say kudos to Rene for poking gentle fun at lots of things that deserve to be poked. Including TV news.

Before that: Germ by Robert Liparulo. It's a fast-paced story about the possibilities of germ warfare that could target individuals by their DNA. I thought the character development was much better than I generally expect from a suspense read.

Before that: When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall. This story is about a young Amish woman whose forbidden relationship with a Mennonite man is threatened by a tragedy that sets her safe little world spinning out of orbit. I finished reading it shortly before the shooting at the Amish schoolhouse, and Cindy's skill in portraying these gentle people made the real-life tragedy feel a lot closer to home. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel to Cindy's story.

What I'll probably read next: The Best of Evil by Eric Wilson or The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin or Straight Up by Lisa Samson. I like variety.

Thanks to my good friend Suzan Robertson who recommended some of those books and lent me a few.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Zola and the Art of Motorcycle Noise

"If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." --Emile Zola

I liked that quote long before Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song around it. Although I'm a quiet person, part of me loves to make noise. Maybe that's why I enjoy my husband's motorcycles.

He loves Hondas. One of his bikes is a Gold Wing, a huge bike that purrs like a sewing machine. Its voice is the equivalent of 12-point font, like this: vroom-vroom. Nice and civilized. A little too civilized. As a passenger, I feel like I'm in a recliner, not on a bike. I have dozed off on the passenger pillion, which is scary when you stop to think about it. But he also owns a Honda Valkyrie with custom pipes and a ribs-rattling rumble. The Valk roars in caps. In bold print. In, say, 36-point font, which I would demonstrate here if I knew how, with multiple exclamation marks. VROOM-VROOM!!! There's no dozing on the Valk.

Now, let me try to connect the dots between the Zola quote, motorcycles, and good fiction.

Bret Lott gave the keynote address at this year's Christy awards. I had been wondering what he'd actually said, since his speech had ignited a little firestorm in blogdom, or at least in the part of blogdom that concerns itself with Christian fiction. Now I've read it for myself. I loved it.

I printed it, all twelve pages, and hung it on my bulletin board to remind me that I don't want to write comfy stuff that puts people to sleep as they cruise along on the passenger pillion. When I take readers for a ride, I want them to feel the wind in their hair and maybe even take a few bugs in their teeth, but I don't want to put them to sleep.

Easier said than done, but I'm learning.