Do you like to feel like you’re freezing? Do you like to feel as though you are stranded in the Arctic Circle with no hope in sight of being rescued? How about having the urge to drink mass amounts of orange juice while reading a book because you’re afraid you might get scurvy?
Then I’ve got a book suggestion for you!
The Terror: A Novel, By Dan Simmons
This is part book review and part weekend dose of inspiration finding.
The Terror was a fantastic read. Long, but it was consuming in its story telling. Dan Simmons painted a wonderful world of storytelling with this work. Part historical nonfiction/fiction, part fantasy, the book is a mishmash of truth and imagination. But the best part about it, is you wonder where the reality stops?
The book takes place in the mid-1800s when the HMS Terror along with the HMS Erebus and their crews went to go make a push through the Northwest Passage in the Arctic Circle. The basic events in this story really happened, both ships were wrecked during their attempt, compounded with weather and unknown territory, the crews aboard of both ships went missing. Parts of both ships have been located, and even recently (while I was reading this book) the wreck of the USS Terror was actually found.
Those are the facts. Truth.
Dan Simmons steps in to tell what happened between the lost and found. And it is great.
I was so consumed by the storytelling that in mid-summer while I read this, I was cold the whole time! The description and fear these men had for being lost within a frozen world was terrifying. And there was my mentioning of the large quantity of orange juice I drank because I also didn’t want to get scurvy. That’s important. Scurvy sounds awful.
Obviously, being on vacation on an ocean recently brought to mind this book. Even though I read it a couple of years ago, I can still recall the feeling it gave me and how, just through writing, I felt like I was physically there. That’s some damn good writing on the author’s part.
So here is the inspiration for your writing, craft or just making it through your day. Make that something that evokes a similar powerful feeling in yourself and others. Write something with majestic use of words that transports the reader into the lines. Create something that does more than touch the mind, make it invade the body. Find that small thing in your everyday that inspires you and gives you that extra special sense of living, of being in existence.
Or just read The Terror.
(Featured Image Credits of Northwest Passage: NASA/Jim Yungel)