Sunday November 22nd, 2009

The exercise:

Just sitting down to write now, so today might be a low word count day. We'll see how the afternoon goes.

NaNo Word Count: 45,005
NaNo Target: 36,669

The writing prompt for today is: silhouette.


She stood in the doorway,
Back lit by a street light.
The floor was her ashtray,
Her dress was skin tight.

Smoke from her cigarette
Curled around my head;
They say her silhouette
Stayed until I was dead.


g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

I liked that, made me think of some kind of film noir thing. I could easily see a continuation in either poetry or prose.

The idea of silhouettes reminded me of something from my trip recently:

We were still technically fresh from the plane, and without much of a temporal clue as to where we were; I know for myself that my head was too busy praising God that we were on the ground again to care what time it really was. Our tour guide gave us a fairly short driving tour of some of the Lisbon highlights, then stopped us off at our first church. It wasn't one that would be immediately recognized by name, even if I remembered it, but I do remember it was where DeGama and Portugal's Shakespeare equivalent were buried. I got some neat pictures of the tombs as well as the sanctuary, but the picture of pictures came when I turned around.

I always like to make note of choir lofts in churches. Up in this particular one a simple cross stood a bit off center from the rose window. I couldn't believe the way the sun was coming through the window: between the sun's angle, dust, old glass, and whatever factors played in, the light filtered around the window in a sort of halo, and fuzzed the lines of the cross most beautifully. I snapped the camera quickly, hoping it would come out half as nice as it looked in person.

Back on the bus, although my mother had advised against it to save battery, I flipped on my camera to show her the picture. She couldn't believe it: she said she not only missed the window, but she mentioned how impressed she was that I was able to get something like that with her old camera, the one she'd cast off in exchange for one with nifty settings and 12x zoom that she'd specifically bought for this trip. She took a ton of beautiful pictures, don't get me wrong, but between us we've agreed that one of our favorites is that rose window with the aura and the silhouetted cross.
- - - - -
Now if only I actually had that pic in my computer to show all y'all...

Greg said...

I've found that the best way for me to write is to check the little box that make a pinging noise (like submarine sonar in films) when I reach 1,000 words and then force myself to write until it pings. It's hard at first, but usually around the 400 word mark something kicks in and gets to me 900 a bit more easily. Then then next 100 is spent checking to see if I can stop yet :)

@g2: that's a great story! That picture sounds enchanting too, and although I've got a feel for it from how you've described it, I kind of wish I could see it too.

@marc: That's a fantatic little poem, very noir, exactly as g2 says.


No flavour of night could taste as sweet,
No running water could feel as wet,
As the shadows lapping at my feet,
Your liquid, salty, silhouette.

Had I only known that we would meet,
And of the children we would beget,
I'd never have left my ancient seat,
To investigate your silhouette.

The ocean dresses you; you are replete,
Like Venus rising from the waves you set
Foot upon the land so you may complete
The jouney begun by your silhouette.

Marc said...

g2 - that picture sounds very awesome and I look forward to your posting it :)

And getting memorable pictures, in my experience, is all about looking places no one else does. So good job on that one!

Greg - yeah, I definitely find there are stretches that kind of write themselves and others that have to be beaten into submission. Had a bit of both today, but ended up writing more than I expected.

"Like Venus rising from the waves you set
Foot upon the land so you may complete
The journey begun by your silhouette."

I enjoyed the whole thing but that is a particularly fantastic ending.

morganna said...

Silhouette: What a mysterious word. The sibilance, followed by breathiness, then a definite hard sound, cutting the word off without any argument, like a knife to the throat. It brings to mind dark black and white films, the lovely women gliding in and out of the tall, dark, handsome hero's life, bringing an indefinable sense of danger with them.

(I wrote that before I saw everyone's film noir comments. :) )

Marc said...

Morganna - I love it when great minds think alike :)

Also: that's a wonderful description of a, if I may say so, damn sexy word.

Mulled Vine said...

I saw a silouetto of a man doing the fandango and was immediately immersed in rapsodies of bohemian proportions. Scaramouche was his name, a lively little fellow with pointy beard, heroic moustache and keen, impish eyes. I watched as he danced wildly on the tables with increasing, joyful intensity and reckless cacophony. A host of flickering shadows danced with him and I longed to join them, to cast away all restraint and to leap about with similar abandon. But I didn't - my dance is done.

The door clattered noisily behind me as I left, a sad, silvery moon lighting the way to the cliff's edge where the dark sea waited expectantly.

Marc said...

Mulled Vine - that's a great description of the initial scene and then such a subtly powerful concluding paragraph. Nicely done.