Remember when you were a child? Waiting with eager anticipation for darkness to fall, snuggling down under the blankets, your bedside light glowing in the dark, the opening the book? It was that most magical of times - the bedtime story. Perhaps it was just me, but I lived for that moment; to find out what was happening in the story, how the hero managed to escape the deadly peril of the night before! It wasn’t just a story. In my imagination it was real! That’s the power of imagination. That’s the power of story. You get to have adventures, fall in love, join the circus, join the FBI, fight the dragon, sail with Nicholas Ramage, go back or forward in time, discover new lands, new worlds even!
The Story is What Matters
With the best stories, the best writing, you completely forget the words. You’re barely aware of the words you’re so caught up in the story. And that’s as it should be. It is, after all, the very reason books and stories exist.
I was lucky enough to get to work on Greg Maud’s website. Greg is rowing across the Atlantic. That’s over 5000kms. He woke up one morning and said pretty much the same thing as the day he decided to climb Everest – “That sounds like fun!” He then spent the next year training for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. On his website, and that of the Challenge, you can watch his daily, and nightly, progress. He’ll be rowing two hours on, two hours off. In his off time he has to eat, make drinking water, chat with passing porpoises, do any required repairs to the boat…and sleep. It’s the adventure of a lifetime.
The Ultimate Bedtime Story Happens in Real Time
Gone are the days when the world had to wait for the intrepid explorer to return home again to find out what adventures and perils he or she had endured. In some ways we have an advantage over Greg. We can watch Greg’s progress on the online map. We can see where all the other boats are. He can’t. Completely surrounding him is nothing but endless, empty ocean.
Because we can read his blogs on the website, see his pictures almost as soon as he takes them, we can vicariously live the adventure alongside Greg. In our imaginations we can endure the blazing heat, the damp cold, the relentless rowing, the hunger, the fatigue, the adrenaline rush, the fear. We can be part of the race to the finish line. It’s the ultimate bed time story.
But best of all – this time it IS real! The story has come to life!
Race updates for Greg Maud (Bow no. 74, Sea Rover) available here:
As of today, 23 December 2015, Greg is currently in second place among the solo rowers.