Monday, January 28, 2008

The Highest Tide

"I was a pink-skinned, four-foot-eight, seventy-eight-pount soprano. I came off as an innocent nine-year-old even though I was an increasingly horny, speed-reading thirteen-year-old insomniac. Blame Rachel Carson for the insomnia. She was long dead by the time I arrived but I couldn't resist reading her books over and over... "There is no drop of water in the ocean, not even in the deepest parts of the abyss, that does not know and respond to the mysterious forces that create the tide." How do you read that sentence, yawn and turn out the lights?"

So begins (almost) an enchanting debut novel by Jim Lynch, a coming-of-age story of 13-yr-old Miles O'Malley living near Puget Sound. It's also a book that'll delight you with its depth, wonder and hilarious insights into the natural world. Sea kayakers in particular, I figure, will enjoy its tide-fresh imagery, metaphors and turn-the-page turn-of-phrases.

"I showed them life on top of life, barnacles and limpets stuck to oyster shells, clinging to each other, piggybacking on larger shells and barnacles on top of everything, as if there'd been a Superglue party the night before."...
"This is the roughest part of Tidal Town," I said... Phelps was obviously fading so I asked him how he figured they reproduce.
"By getting girl barnacles drunk?"...
"Nope. Their penises are rolled up like fire hoses inside their shells. When the time is right, they unfurl them and feel around their shells for willing mates to shoot their sperm inside."
Phelps laughed. "Come on. Fire hoses?"
"That's right. A barnacle's penis can be four times as long as the diameter of its base. So, yeah, those four-inch-wide giant barnacles you see along the coast are packing sixteen-inch penises."
..."These guys are the studs of the beach?"
Which makes one wonder, what kind of research did this guy do. On his website, Lynch answers:
I read marine biology books, sex guides and interviewed a psychic. I explored tidal flats during the day and at night with a headlamp. I interviewed experts on flotsam and tidal currents and spent a lot of time with a state biologist who has given tidal tours to teens for the past 20 years.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pool Time

[Photo: pool session Jan.2007, Sue Duffett]

Back in the saddle. Actually a very comfortable backband that a friend installed in my Perception Shadow. And now the stormy snowy freezing rain icy weather is upon us, it's time for our kayaks to bathe in warm chlorinated water as we continue to hone our skills, practise rescues & strokes.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Cool Competition for lots of audiobooks

Based on its REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English facebook group (honestly, this is actually interesting), the 'small but fine' audiobook publisher Rattling Books has issued a super New Year's Competition. Here are the details:
You now have until:January 14
"In one sentence state a New Year's Resolution using all of the Words of the Week issued thus far by the facebook group REDEFiNE iT : Dictionary of Newfoundland English. Your statement must include your resolution but may also include an explanation of its motivation or any contingencies you anticipate in the application of your resolution.
You may ply the words in the sense indicated by the Dictionary of Newfoundland English definitions of the words or one of the "redefinitions" of the words posted to this group. It's up to us to guess the meaning of your Resolution. A Jury will be struck and two weeks from now a winner and two runners up will be announced. Criteria for judging the winning three entries will be articulated by the Jury on announcing their final decisions! The winner will recieve one full set of Rattling Books audio titles (18 in total). The two runners-up will each recieve a copy of Merrybegot by Mary Dalton, the book that inspired this Facebook Group and a copy of The Big Why by Michael Winter in which the term "blue drop" appears so beautifully. Here is the List of Words to include in your New Year's Resolution
blue drop
nuzzle tripe
Post your Resolution on Rattling Books blog or on the REDEFiNE iT Facebook group page under the relevant Discussion Board Topic.
18 books. Pretty good win. Pretty good odds.