Friday November 19th, 2010

The exercise:

Four lines of prose about: cold.

Snow arrived here while I was sleeping last night. Here is one of several pictures I took before I remembered I should eat some breakfast:

A lot more is forecast to be coming tomorrow, so I shall probably have another picture or two for you then. Novel writing is ongoing, update to come later.

Update: day nineteen.


We had locked all the doors and windows that night, knowing that he would be trying to enter our home while we slept.

We tossed some extra wood in the fireplace. Brought out our warmest blankets.

But Cold still found an untended crack to slither through a few hours before dawn and we paid dearly for our mistake.


summerfield said...

marc, snow is yet to arrive in toronto, and we aren't waiting. forecasts have it that on monday we shall have plus 14 celcius. sweet!

the snow in your picture reminded me of my first snow in my first year here in canada - just a dusting really. i love the snow in the country. in the city snow becomes slush and that's what i don't like, or when they turn into black snow. grim!


So now I know why she had been cold and distant the last several days. I thought she was just battling writer's block, that dreaded, awful writer's block that had always caused me grief whenever she was writing something important. Not this time. "James, I'm moving out" is all she wrote in her note.

Greg said...

@Marc: Ah, you have snow already! No sign of it here, though the temperatures are lower than 14 Celcius and have been for a few weeks! I shall just have to cross my fingers and hope! I really like that picture -- and did you get it on the Weather Network again?
I'm really curious as to how your Cold-afflicted people paid now! Great piece of characterisation :)

@Summerfield: I don't much care for slush either, but I've only not lived in cities when I was a child, so I don't remember much about the snows then.
That's a fantastic four lines you've got there by the way, I feel really sorry for the narrator!

Jack Frost frowned as he leafed through the pages he'd downloaded from All these wonderful holiday destinations with beautiful beaches, palm trees and laughing, happy people. And none of them cold enough for him to visit.
"Oh sweetheart," he called to the Snow Witch, "what say we freeze Antigua and go for a holiday?"

Jackerbie said...

@Marc, UBCO lost power for about four hours today. not fun. at all. i must say i like the snow, though. still falling up here in Kelowna. which means i'll get to shred Biggie soon. whoo!

I shiver. Wrapped in layers and layers of cotton, wool, synthetic fibres and natural insulation I continue to shiver. My twice-gloved hand fumbles with a photo, and I raise it too my rose-red face. I smile as you light a fire inside me.

Watermark said...

Brrr!! I think I've got early winter blues..


An icy wind pierces my ears beneath a woollen hat and my nose has turned into a deep shade of pink. I snuggle deeper into my coat and bring my scarf up over my mouth and nose before tucking my fingers back into my pockets. Eyes shut tight; I wait on a bench at the platform with my luggage, trying to imagine the warm climes, sunshine and soft sandy beaches that would soon welcome me. A strong gust of wind brushes past as the train pulls in, forcing my eyes to fling open and signifying the beginning of my migration from this winter.

Heather said...

Marc- It reminds me of my childhood home, which was warmed in the dead of the winter with only the fireplace.

Summerfield- Interesting take on the prompt. I like it.

Greg- I love how you are able to use familiar characters in new and interesting ways.

Jackerbie- Fantastic descriptions! Chilled and warmed all in four sentences.

Watermark- If only I could migrate south for the winter. My soul takes flight with the birds as winter approaches!

My son decided he wanted to write four sentences about cold.... and then four more about pizza parties. (Keep in mind he is still quite young.) So, the first four are his and mine follow. Just in case you can't distinguish which is which.
Wind is cold. Popsicles and ice cream are cold. Snow is cold (and so is my birthday.) I love cold!

"What is wrong with that child," I wonder. I watch him dance pass the windows again, his arms flailing and his voice joyous. I shutter and wrap the blanket around me tighter. It's barely 40 degrees outside and I don't remember the internal fires of childhood that used to keep me warm out of a coat.

Marc said...

Summerfield - ugh, dirty snow. That's the worst.

Loved your take on the prompt. Very nicely done :)

Greg - yup, I think it's a lot easier to get local pictures up there living in a small town. In Vancouver I reckon it would take a really, really good shot.

Loved your take on a vacationing Jack Frost :D

Jackers - brrr. Brrrrrrr. That happened to me in Prince George a few times. We were always tempted to burn our homework to keep warm and then blame the power outage for not having anything to hand in.

Great final line, really wrapped things up nicely... so to speak.

Watermark - though I'll be going by plane and not train, I look forward to experiencing something very similar come the end of January :D

Heather - I'm so thrilled that your son wanted to write! Tell him I think he did a great job :)

Love the scene you painted with your four lines. I liked this bit in particular '... I don't remember the internal fires of childhood...'

Zhongming said...


One of my future dream is to experience snow. The cold freezing sensation is just so great even thinking about it. I just think that there would be many stuffs that I don't see in topical country. Well, sipping some warm tea and playing chess game would be quite relaxing too.

Marc said...

Zhongming - I think it's definitely worth experiencing once. Even every year is not too bad, it's just the initial adjustment of going from warm to cold that's tough.