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March 06, 2017


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camille minichino

A very convincing analogy, Michael, but I'm not sure I can leave my "pantser" ways!

Since I'm direction challenged, my GPS has saved me more than once. I am amused however by "her" voice -- when I go astray, she says "make a U turn" in a very condescending, annoyed voice.


That's a fascinating story about the requirements to be a riverboat pilot. I had no idea it was so hard.
I must confess that my map reading skills are not the best. Considering how often I get lost, you'd think I would have spent more time learning how to read a map correctly!

Ellen Kirschman

Fictionalized cartography? Sounds like the title of a book or chapter on writing outlines. I find my way around the way I write, by the seat of my pants. Me and maps don't mix. I need landscapes, three dimensional markers. My husband marvels at how I get around cities based on - dare I say - women's intuition.

Michael A. Black

Yeah, Camille, those computerized voices can sound annoyed and condescending. Staci, Mark Twain often lamented that he'd spent so much time memorizing 1200 miles of coastline for nothing, but if he'd become a riverboat pilot, we would have lost one of the greatest American writers. And Ellen, I think your husband is a wise man. I never argue with women's intuition.


I also love maps, Michael... but maps from "long ago" vs the "here and now." For present-day navigation, I am a slave to Google maps. :-)

Margaret Lucke

A lovely essay, Michael. I love maps, all kinds of maps. A GPS has a different purpose -- it's great for giving you the left turns and right turns that lead to a destination, but you still have no real idea of where you are until you look at a map and can fit the place into the context of its surroundings -- a street into a neighborhood, a neighborhood into a city, a city into a state or country.


GREAT BLOG. I'm sharing it.

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