A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Paulo Coelho: An Inspiration January 22, 2009

Typically when I read, I have a pen in hand and am marking up the novel with notations, circling quotes and underlining phrases that move me in some way–all which I later transfer to a writing journal where I draw on for inspiration or examples of writing styles. There are some books where the pen never makes a mark in the novel, and there are others, like The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho, where the entire book is littered with black and blue ink.

It is not big words, intricate plots, or elaborate description that inspire me, rather it is the underlying message. The style of writing in, The Alchemist, is simplistic, the setting well described but not over-descriptive but the message–the message, is powerful.  The underlying message to not be paralyzed by fear in the path of your dreams pervades throughout the novel.  I connect to this message like a mussel to a rock. My fingers can not turn the pages quick enough as I devour the text in gulps, not stopping for air until I consume the last word–my body is full, my soul is satisfied and my mind digests the words I just read.

Books that captivate my attention are those that I can relate to.  I know I’ve come across an excellent novel when I read a paragraph or a quote that mirrors the thoughts that have been stored in my head but never transcribed onto paper–it feels as though the writer is in my mind, pulling out this information and presenting my own words to me! A little eerie, yes…but also comforting in knowing that others share the same beliefs and ideas.

Of Coelho’s books, I’ve read The Alchemist and Veronika Decides to Die, and I plan to pick up the rest of his books in the next few weeks. I’ve also downloaded The Way of the Bow, Stories for Parents, Children and Grandchildren and The Warrior of Light, which Paolo offers as free! .pdf downloads off of his blog: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/internet-books/

If there are books or authors who inspire you, please leave a comment with suggestions as I would love to extend my ongoing reading list!

Advertisements
 

WWW…what? January 13, 2009

I love discovering useful websites. Below are some new websites I’ve become addicted to as well as a few oldies that I have been using for awhile but am still surprised people don’t know about–like Pandora, seriously the BEST music device ever! Hope you enjoy…and don’t forget to leave a post with a few of your favorite sites!

Trip Filma: http://www.tripfilms.com/
My brother just introduced me to this. It’s like you tube, but travel specific, and if you submit a video you get the added perk of earning points and rewards the more times people view your videos! Plus, the site promotes cool promotions like free trips or meals. LOVE IT. And, yes…when I buy my camera…you will see a lot of Cindy Swain travel videos!

Pandora: http://pandora.com/
The best music player I’ve found on the web. You pick an artist or song and the player will generate similar music. It’s perfect for dinner parties as you don’t have to create playlists, you learn about new artists and it’s free! What are my top stations I’m listening to right now: Joshua Radin, Louis Armstrong, Snow Patrol, Leona Lewis and Chris Brown

Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/
Free streaming movie and television shows. Endless entertainment at your fingertips.

Coupon Cabin: http://www.couponcabin.com/index.htm?ref=pandora1208_2
I haven’t used this site yet, but it has promise if it does work. Who wants to pay full price for items when you can get a discount?

Skype: http://skype.com/welcomeback/
I used this site all throughout my travels to make cheap phone calls home. The best part, however, is that if both people have Skype then the call is FREE! You heard me. Free. Plus, you can talk on videochat with a click of a button (You’ll need a webcam and mic though. For mac users and new pc’s you probably have this built in.) I’m also signed up for videochat on Gmail as well, which is pretty much the same. Videochat is how I am going to see my nephew grow and talk, have dinner with my parents a thousand miles away (they can just set the laptop on the counter!) and feel connected to the places and people I love.

Photofunia: http://www.photofunia.com
A fun site that let’s you easily get creative with your photos–perfect for those of us who don’t have photoshop!