Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Review: Alan Sorum's "A View From The Waterfront"

When Alan asked me to review his blog, A View From The Waterfront my immediate reaction was to decline. I had made it incredibly clear that I would only review blogs about writing, and by the way that rule still stands. However, to be fair to Alan, I went over to A View From The Waterfront, to see just what it was all about and if there was absolutely anything I could use for a blog review on writing and writers.

I always am amazed by the places people choose to live. One blog review we have done, was from someone in Siberia. (See: Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Review: Diana Bocco's "writing, coffee and other obsessions"). Alan lives in Alaska, a life choice for him, and one that has worked out fairly well as we can tell from his blog. Alan has moved around as he writes:
"We have lived in Alaska for about 17 years, currently live in Valdez, Alaska, and moved here from Wrangell, Alaska. Grew up and lived in the American Southwest, Arizona and New Mexico.

We're a small family, my wife and two children. Moving to Alaska was a growth opportunity for all of us. The State is more like a small city, there is only a population of just over 600,000 and you end up knowing people from across the entire state. It's hard to describe to outsiders the vast scale of the land. Travel takes on a new meaning here."
His blog is mostly about boating and life in Alaska, which in and of itself is fairly fascinating. Admit it! Besides the occasional Television series like "Northern Exposure" and a few articles Alaska to most of us remains in the realm of uncharted and mysterious. So there is this element of mystery which cannot be denied.

But still, Cobwebs Of The Mind, does not review boats and harbors and life in Alaska no matter how much "mystery" the subject may entail.

Alan is also a non-fiction, freelance writer. He writes in an area that many of his writer associates choose to ignore. He gets to write actually about the things he loves, and gets paid for it to boot!
I had a book published by the Alaska Sea Grant College Program earlier this year called Northern Harbors and Small Ports – Operations and Maintenance. The book has spun off three other projects this year. It was adopted by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans for their federal boat harbors, the University of Alaska Southeast is using it as a text for a new online marina employee education program, and several resource agencies are working with me on a clean boating publication using material first developed in Northern Harbors. I have written for marine trade related publications and have a boating section at Suite101.
Here is a link to one of his books: Northern Harbors & Small Ports: Operation and Maintenance

And this is why I am presenting this review here. Alan Sorum has turned what he likes into a profession. We are not reading about someone who wants to be the next Clancy (well maybe Alan does but for now he is working on what he likes best!) We read about someone who loves Alaska and boating, likes what he does, is interested in a niche and has written books on it, spinning them off into other projects.

This is a lesson for writers in the non-fiction genre and thus a very valid entry into the Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Reviews. It shows us how a freelance writer can do what he wants in writing, and write about the things that he enjoys, and sell them as well.

All in all, if you are interested in Alaska and boating then certainly pay a visit to A View From The Waterfront. If you want to see just how someone turned his hobby and life love into money from writing - then you must go visit Alan's Blog!

Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Reviews are posted from time to time based on blogs that are serious endeavors on the part of their owners in writing. For those of you who wish to have their blog reviewed at Cobwebs Of The Mind please email me by using the GMail Icon below. Members of Absolute Write (AW) who wish their blog reviewed please go to the following thread and read the instructions in the first post in the thread.

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1 comment:

Harbormaster said...


I just got back from a long City Council meeting and found an email in the box stating the review of my blog had been posted. It was a pleasant surprise and I appreciate the effort you put into the review. I need to frame it or at least point to it from my blog.

At the most basic level, it is good to receive some confirmation that what you're trying to communicate is getting across to other people. The more I write, the more I realize that it is part of how I can do my job better and enjoy what I'm doing.

Thanks again for the effort you put into this. It's great.