Been in a blah, non-communicative, summer mood. I’ve been reading some and sleeping a bunch with occasional bouts of EQ2 and ultimate frisbee.
Desert Divas, the women’s league team I’m on, has been playing some great games. A few weeks back we beat the top team, Miss Red, by one in hard cap. This was a rematch game; Miss Red has given us our only loss of the season in our first meeting. Considering our win this week, we’ll be seeing them again in the final game. And considering this week’s game: we played savage against a team with a basically full roster and won by two. We started out with 6 and Chick Flick, our opponent, agreed to 6-on-6. Jamie arrived about 4-5 points in. It was a very back and forth game. I expected Chick Flick to pull ahead around 5-5, but it never seemed to happen.
On a personally level, my play still hasn’t been great. I had a nice yoink-like grab around Marnie (which was followed by a throw to Haydon for a score), but I also turfed a backhand dump in that special 90-degree-angle style of mine. Sheesh. I won’t enumerate the rest of my faults.
What have I been reading?
Book #13 – No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
The first time I encountered Cormac McCarthy was online, in an excerpt from one of his books. WTF, I thought. Not only does this guy not use dialogue tags, he doesn’t use dialogue punctuation. As a writer it’s the kind of thing that makes me scowl a bit. How come this guy gets away with playing fast and loose with his punctuation while I’d probably get dismissed out of hand by sending in a writing submission that way? The lack of punctuation seems to bother no one but me, so maybe I’m labeling myself as an unsophisticated n00b by complaining about it. *shrug* What have you. Nonetheless, it took me while to decide to read McCarthy’s stuff.
I was very impressed by the movie No Country for Old Men and I got curious about how McCarthy wrote it. And how the lack of dialogue punctuation affects how the reader experiences the text. McCarthy’s writing is very clean. His sentences are structured simply and his details are only in evidence when they’re needed. When he spends a few paragraphs on Moss’s guns, it’s to convey the expertise of the character. Clean writing is something I envy. Most of the time, McCarthy proves that dialogue tags are the safety nets of authors that…well…need safety nets. Myself included. I’ve tried to cut back on the number of tags I use. Really, I have! There are times though when a nice “he said” would come in handy. The punctuation… As a fairly aural reader, it removed any special emphasis I might give to what was being said by characters. Whether that’s the intent and whether it’s a similar experience for other readers, I don’t know. I was occasionally confused by the lack and that bugged me. I’m from the transparent writing school of thought. I don’t believe the text itself should get in the way of the storytelling. There are exception and there are techniques of using the text to make the reader slow down and contemplate what’s going on, but I’d say the times when I had to reread a passage it was for clarity’s sake. It wasn’t to have McCarthy reiterate something important.
On the whole, begrudgingly I admit, this is a very good book. It’s certainly the best I’ve read this year, thus far. I’ll be reading The Road sometime in the near future.
Still working on a post about my #1 pet peeve (which actually encompasses several pet peeves).