Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I've got no cigars.

The Canadian Blog Awards are over, and I can in all good faith display a second-place badge for both categories. The Best Blog Post poll was close-ish - HalfSoled Boots won 18.23% of the votes (winner took 19.97%) but I was a distant second in the family category, with 12.9% as opposed to the winner's 41.89%.

Thanks for the votes, friends!

* * *
Speaking of well-written, do any of you remember me doing a 'meme' blog post listing books I hadn't read but wanted to? Well, I'm using that post as a reading list. It's part of my ongoing self-improvement program. I have finished off five of them, and am midway through three others. I'll do an updated list at some future date, but in the meantime I am reading Vanity Fair.

First of all, it's annoying me that the only edition I could find in my library is one with Reese Witherspoon on the cover. I am not a snob, normally, but I admit I find it a little galling to be seen reading a book that says "Now A Major Motion Picture" on it. It may be a character failing - I'll look into it. (See "self-improvement program", above.)

Except for the cover, I actually quite like the book. It's more interesting than I expected. However, the print is small, and if there's one thing that points out one's age, it's trying to read a book whose lower-case "o"s measure one millimeter in diameter.

I measured one.

William Makepeace Thackeray is also much too fond of moralising in parenthetical asides to the reader. My high-school writing teacher would have hemorrhaged red ink all over his MS - "Show, don't tell!" she'd have written. He "shows" just fine - there is no need to tell. Cynically, I suspect that he, like Dickens, was being paid by the word.


kate said...

I remember that post.

Could have been a style of the time as well, publishers pressure for those as much as for word counts. I'm always struck by different writing and wordsmithing styles (like reallllllly long sentences or millions of commas) from different eras. Or he just liked to over-explain. Poor self-esteem, not thinking people would understand his words alone?

Belinda said...

Congratulations for winning two awards in the Canadian Blog Awards Shannon!!! It was fun again this year. You deserve to be read far and wide!

beth said...

Congrats! I no longer have a blog to pump your support, but I voted between breast feeding and diaper changing. VF is one of my favorite books. I never thought it would be a page turner, but it is. And when you get annoyed with the moralizing, think about this: would you rather be friends with Becky or Amelia? Since most people answer Becky (me included), I suspect his moralizing is not as serious as it seems.

And he probably was paid by the word :)

kristieinbc said...

Congrats on your second place finish! And you were right about the green tomato mincemeat. It was so amazing I ended up making a second batch!

Marilyn said...

Connecting with you today. I am the same way about "Now a major motion picture!" It's a disincentive for me. Also, a lifelong Dickens aficionado, I often think how he would never have made it through today's writing experts, but I love his wordiness.

Love your intentional reading! Best wishes with it.

Congratulations on the award!

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem being seen with a book with the "Oprah's Book Club!" logo on it... what is it about that, anyway?


lizbon said...

How much do I love you for having measured the lowercase "o"?

THIS MUCH. Which would be a lot more impressive if I knew the html that would make each of those letters 5 cm high.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Now that you are an esteemed blog writer, with awards gathering around you, with laurels crowning your locks, I feel inadequate to make a comment. But, I will, and you know I will. I was struck by your need to measure the size of the 'o' ... I must be cut from a different cloth made by the same loomer because I recently counted the number of words in a ridiculously long sentence, into the hundreds. Bah! You may have come in second but you are not second best! You just haven't yet reached the voters yet waiting to experience a little bit of Shannon-world musings.

karen said...

Congrats Shan!!! - well deserved - so pleased for you!!!

Annalea said...

Congrats, and you're welcome. :o)

And brown paper (or colored contact paper) does wonders for, um, less-than-desirable book covers . . . wherever their undesirablility may lie. ;o)

Audrey said...

I am reading your posts...a little late but I'm reading them and so glad that I am! I am nodding my head about what you said about the picture of the movie star on the front of the book...I'm exactly like that. I just bought Pillars of the Earth and the only copy they had was the one that had the pictures from the movie....I hate that! I almost didn't buy it because of that but it was only 2.60 and it was brand new....so I did....still galls me.