Friday January 1st, 2016

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: a new beginning.

Welcome to 2016! I hope the year ahead is a very good one for all of you.

Went up to Kat's parents house this evening for a New Year's Day dinner. Kids were going nuts pretty much the whole time, but we adults managed to squeeze in some conversation here and there.

Quite enjoyed it, actually.

Now, however, I am so tired that I've just been staring at my laptop for like forty minutes without really doing much. So, perhaps, I should just get on with the writing portion of the show.


The calendar, heavy with history and the ink of long forgotten appointments, falls to the floor. The sound is magnified in the silence and darkness of the midnight hour, echoing throughout the apartment. He doesn't flinch, though... doesn't even seem to notice the folded up heap resting against his slippered feet.

He is too focused on - too eager for - a new beginning.


Greg said...

I saw an article yesterday (it might have been the New Statesman) that argued that we should move the New Year back to it's original place, the start of April (ok, it's technically 11 days before then, but then we lost 11 days when we adopted the Gregorian calendar... it's complicated, let's go with April 1st) and noted that January, being the middle of winter, is a terrible time to try and focus on new things. Spring however, with all its connotations of rebirth and renewal, would be a much better time to do so.
And I think it might be right :)
Sleep well, and I look forward to hearing about your New Year's Resolutions when you're less tired. I'm making none, as usual, because I don't agree with picking an arbitrary date and trying to make it significant like that, but I am looking at the new job (and new country!) as a useful point to measure changes from.
I like your first line a lot in this piece, though I'd maybe drop "history" from it as a single year doesn't feel long enough for history really. But the weight of those appointments falling to the floor really makes a vivid image!

A new beginning
Susan picked her knitting up and held it up to the light so she (and the rest of the circle) could see it clearly.
"Straggly," said Mrs. Vericelli, pursing her lips and looking around to check that everyone was agreeing with her.
"I know," sighed Susan, "I kept thinking that a new beginning would put the old behind it and make it all right." They all looked some more at the tangle of wool, and the unspoken thought was that an old beginning should also involve throwing away the old attempt.

Greg said...

Drat, that should be a "new beginning" in the last line. Clearly I should have made a new beginning on this too!

Anonymous said...

Marc, I liked your piece. There are a lot of great descriptions!

Greg, I think April does seem like a good time for new year. However, I enjoy where it is. It falls after the winter solstice, the time of the longest night. To me the current placement is perfect, as more and more light during the day can be a great way of "coming out of the darkness" of whatever you wish to change.

And your piece is also very lighthearted and well written. Well done!

A New Beginning

Syn was horribly disheveled and his lip and brow were split, blood crusted in lines down his face, neck, and shirt front. I walked over to him, hoping beyond hope that we could also strive towards a new and honest future.

“I realize that after everything that has happened, our true selves got lost, and I sincerely hope we can begin again: I am Belia Ivette Aldric, Crown Princess of Clotaire.”

Through the blood, Syn smiled and replied, “And I am Cyprien Lewsyn Evrard, Duke of Loic.”

(I started writing this and realized that I needed a lot more than four lines to get what I wanted out of this part of the scene. Oh well. Now I have an idea of where to go from here!)

Marc said...

Greg - hmm, that does sound like a better time for new beginnings. I think I like that idea.

I think I've mentioned it previously, but I don't do new year resolutions, by the way. For similar reasons to yours it would seem.

I was thinking it was a particularly heavy year for history, that's why he's so eager to get on to the next one. Perhaps I could find a better way to express that though.

That's a surprisingly ordinary scene, coming from you. Not in a bad way, at all - just I've come to expect darker, or at least unusual scenes from you. This is a nice change, though, and I think it works well here.

And no worries about the typo. I think I'd go crazy if I wasn't able to edit my posts after the fact (though I still re-read them several times before hitting the publish button anyway).

Ivy - thank you :)

I also like your perspective on coming out of the darkness. Now I'm torn as to which time of the year I'd prefer the new year to begin!

And hey, sometimes a beginning or launching off point is the most important part of the process. So no worries, and I hope things carried on smoothly from this point for you - you've got some great details to work with in just these four lines.