This weekend, my husband and I had the unsettling experience of coming home from a weekend in the Bay Area to find a huge grass fire in our brittle, dry foothill community and that an evacuation was in effect. We were grateful that our home was not affected and that the evacuation had been cancelled for our section of town, but I naturally began to take stock of what I would pile into the car in such an evacuation, if I had the time. Pets (need another cat carrier!), baby books & photos, important papers, heirlooms, computer, flashdrive, WIP...the list goes on.
If I had only a smidgen of room left in our vehicle, what three writing books would I take? What are the three books I couldn't do without (not including favorite fiction)? There were many that I would hate to lose, but I finally narrowed it down to these three:
1. 100,000 Baby Names by Bruce Lansky. Most useful to me is the listing of popular names by decade, but it has many other listings and, well, 100,000 names to chose from for my characters.
2. The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale. It is extemely comprehensive, written in a dictionary style, and the thesaurus that always delivers. When asked what stumped him in the rewrite of A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway answered, "Getting the words right." I wonder what thesaurus he used? Hm...
3. Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle. "And for each one of us there is a special gift, the way in which we may best serve and please the Lord whose love is so overflowing." (page 70). Her insights inspire and refresh me in times of discouragement by reminding me that my art is a gift from God and that He will equip me to use it.
So, now that the fire planes are just a hum in the distance, I think I will keep these three books stacked beside my desk within easy reach, just in case - at least until fire season is over.
What are the three most helpful books that you would stack by the door in the event of a quick getaway?