Wednesday December 14th, 2011

The exercise:

I'm feeling random this week, so today we're taking a swing at the Random Book Prompt.

Grab a book, preferably one you haven't read yet, and nab its opening line - I found mine in a coffee shop in Oliver that had a take a book/leave a book thing going on. Now use that sentence as the first sentence in your prose and take it where you will. Credit where blah blah blah.

Had a pleasant surprise today, as one of our regular farmers market customers called us up and placed a very nice order for us to bring up to her in Penticton this Saturday. It's nice to know the final market will be worth the trip this far ahead of time.

Mine:


I was born poor in rich America, yet my secret instincts were better than money and were for me a source of power. They allowed me to walk with chest out, head up, back straight. Encouraged me to meet every challenging stare with unblinking confidence.

They could have their big houses, fancy threads, movie star cars. Let them believe themselves above folks such as myself, beyond the reach of hard work and grime, untouchable.

They were not, of course, but let them believe.

The truth was that all those things could be taken from them at any time of day. That I could take them away. Could drag them off their fairytale pedestals and bring them low.

Money wasn't a requirement for the things I knew how to do. Only instincts and a strong stomach.

5 Comments:

Greg said...

Finding books anywhere near me that I haven't read yet is a little bit of a challenge, so I ended up using Google books and their preview option to find mine. Glad to hear that you've got a good farmer's market coming up this weekend, the pre-order sounds great! And you're doing better for snow that us, I think there's a chance of some sleet tomorrow, but that's it for the moment!
Sounds to me like you've a fairly gritty urban drama starting with your piece, which is not what comes to mind when I think of Theroux, so nicely done! I rather like the 'fairytale pedestals' line.

Outliers – Malcom Gladwell

Roseto Valfortore lies one hundred miles southeast of Rome in the Apennine foothills of the Italian province of Foggia. Dr. Septopus pointed to it on a map with a long stick that he'd had to take off Sylvestra because she was using it to poke Green while he was in his wheelchair. "It will an ideal testing ground for our new equipment," he said, tapping the map and feeling professorial.
"Why do we have to go to Europe?" said Sylvestra, not bothering to hide a yawn. "What's wrong with somewhere local and remote? Like Osoyoos."
"Green needs some recuperation," said Dr. Septopus firmly. "And Europe is supposed to be good for sick people."
"But this equipment we're going to test out, isn't that supposed to make people sick?"
"Your point?" Dr. Septopus sounded chilling.
"Why are we making people sick in a place that's good for healing them?"
Dr. Septopus's beak clacked while he struggled to find words, not wanting to admit that he'd not thought of this.
"To surprise people when we ultimately release the device!" he finally said. "And we need to know that it will kill Europeans too, no matter how healthy bits of it are."
"Kangaroo!" said Green, his eyelids flickering.
Dr. Septopus and Sylvestra looked at one another.
"We could just try it out on him..." she suggested.

writebite said...

marc, sorry, breaking the rules again, longer piece imwrote for my other blog a while ago...


The Fates (literary writing prompt)

A quote from Alex Miller, Landscape of Farewell, "The fates, no doubt, .....that interrupted the ordered  course of our lives and set us on paths we have not wilfully chosen to follow."

Is our life fated? It is the age old question; difficult, if not impossible, to answer. It seems to depend on our mood. When things go smoothly, when our wishes have been met, it seems we self-determine our destiny. When things go badly, delays occur, bad luck happens, we feel fate is conspiring against us, pushing us, as Alex Miller says, onto paths we have not willingly chosen to follow.
Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle, or, perhaps, as a mixture of the two concepts. I am trying to get away from the dualist universe here in my thinking for a moment so bear with me. If we are in tune with whatever flow ('whatever' being emphasised) then we feel we are the product of a fated destiny that is our unique path and we don't judge it, nor do we feel paranoid about it. If we are proactive types, we will feel more in charge, more like we are self-determining our path, yet, is this not also just a path we are following? Doesn't it just feel like we are determining it? Isn't it just that we are SO in tune in those moments that we are on the fated path anayway without realising how we got there? 
In "negative" instances, we are not being allowed to be so self-determined. Delays occur, road-blocks rear up to be addressed. How we handle it is to be commended. How we handle our "fate" in those moments is the where the real value lay. 
Do we rise up to meet our destiny part way? Is our path there anyway? Are we co-creating it by our thoughts/actions now? In part, yes, but is this what is meant to happen anyway, so being fate/predestiny?
See, we don't know, not for sure. 
We do know that we have daily decisions to make and that, yes, some of these will determine the DIRECTION or mayhap the TIMING of the next step along the path but the path is there anyhow, whether it meanders or is smooth. Speaking of timing, I think we ARE subject to a certain timing in the universe. Astrology supports this view as anyone who has seriously studied the craft will tell you. You can push against a brick wall in your self-determined fashion but it is TIMING that will DETERMINE WHEN (and maybe IF) the desired thing will happen. 
Think about it.

Drake Davenport said...

I guess I probably should have actually written a book on my extended leave. Got way to preoccupied in other endeavors, though. Maybe next year...

I can't believe I missed space week. That was a shame.

---

1984 - George Orwell

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. It was officially midnight. Of course, you wouldn't know it looking around.

Terrans always associate night with darkness. Terrans also run on a 24 hour cycle. But things are different here on Javera Dota. You can always pick out the Terran tourists. Walking around in the middle of the night, wide awake.

That, I suppose, is the difference between Touras and Works. The Works rehabilitate on the trip over here, even if they aren't going to remain here permanently. They get their biological clocks in sync with those of the Javerans.

Touras, on the other hand, just don't care.

---

I'm just gonna stop right there. I have no idea where I'm going with this...

Cathryn Leigh said...

I’m going for something different. *grin* I took Greg’s idea (being at work with no fiction near) and went to Amazon. But rather than take the first line of a fiction book. I found something under crafts & hobbies. It happened to be about cooking, healthy cooking. Now I wonder if I could get a bartender to make me a Lemon Water Martini, hold the vodka... :}

The Everything Healthy Cooking for Parties [Kindle Edition] by Linda Larsen

When you think of party food, you automatically think of rich, gooey desserts, entrees full of fat and flavor, and breads and vegetable side dishes slathered with butter and cheese. And that was exactly what this party had. Just looking at the food made my waste feel like it was expanding, and as a recovering fatso, it wasn’t a feeling I was happy with.
Turning from the buffet table I sip at my lemon water Martini. It was a trick I’d learned from my physiologist. Okay, she’d suggested drinking hot water with a drop of lemon juice in it for a comfort drink. I was the one who made it using cold water and placed it in a Martini glass with a twist of lemon rind. It fooled everyone but the bartender who made it.
“Darling!”
Here comes the hostess, mistress of size six forever.
“Have you tried the fondue station yet?”
“It’s not really my thing...”
“But you used to love it...”
“When I was ten, Mom!”
I gesture to the figure I’ve finally managed to uncover after years of diets and therapy and exercise.
“But you’d there, come and celebrate. Have a chocolate.”
Pushing away the proffered try I set my drink on the bar.
“Sorry mom, I’ve got to go.”
I kiss the man behind the counter on the cheek.
“By Dad, I’ll call later.”
As I leave I hear him snort at mother. “I told you she wouldn’t want anything fancy when she got out of rehab.”

Marc said...

Greg - ah, that's a good move; I'll have to suggest Google books next time I use this prompt.

I see I'll have to keep a close eye on Sylvestra in the future...

Writebite - interesting points to consider. Thank you for sharing that :)

Drake - technically, you can do space week whenever you want - those prompts aren't going anywhere! Also: I'll definitely be doing some more themed weeks in the future.

You may not have known where you were going, but I suspect it would have been a pretty fun ride :)

Elor - hah, interesting family you've got there. I was just watching some Running Wilde on Netflix with my wife and I could see your scene fitting in there perfectly :)