A Thousand Words A Day

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Very nice meeting on Tuesday of the Na No Wri Mo group that I am a part of. Despite being late (as I explained to the group beforehand and explained in this blog a few entries ago) and not finishing the assignment (as I explained to the grou pbeforehand and explained in this blog a few entries ago), it was a pleasant time. They did go over their assignments, which of course I had not completed. Then they did an assignment that they had just completed when I got there . . . so I got a chance to do it with almost no time. The assignment was to come up five first lines, then discuss them and present them, as well as chatting about great first lines in history. Some of our favorites in history: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of time," and "Call me Ishmael." Others talked about theirs, many of which I did not recognize. Although "first lines" is a category on Jeopardy! The one I presented is from Robert A Heinlein, which I think comes from "The Cat Who Walked Through Walls." The line is (or is very close to) "We need you to kill a man." I stretched my mind for others, and did not find any others that I could recognize, other than "There were once four children whose names were Lucy, Peter, Susan, and Edmund." Or very close to it. I am not sure that my favorite novels, "Tess of the Dubervilles" by Thomas Hardy, or the novels of Sherlock Holmes) have dramatic opening lines. But I do recognize that the opening line and paragraph and page and chapter . . . are important. The ones that I came up on the spur of the moment were ones that i have used or have considered using before . . . they are:
Excuse me, but have we had sex before?
She just did not look like an FBI agent should look.
I said, up against the wall, punk!
I noticed the redhead as soon as I entered the conference room and placed the audit bag at my feet (this is the opening line of the Na No Wri Mo novel . . . or is very close to it)
I probably came up with another but can't remember it now. It was probably really good Evidently not very memorable, but I am sure that it was real real real real good. Our assignment for the next meeting (which I will complete, by the way . . . ) is to use these lines and then write a short story of one thousand to five thousand words using one of these lines. I like the community feel of this, that we are free to pick each others' lines if we want to. We will post all of the these to the group site. Well many already are, and I will list here the choices. I also went to the web site for the magazine The First Words, which is a journal that published short stories based on a common first line. I missed the first line of the quarter, but am intrigued by a few of the others. So the lines that I put up on the site are (in addition to the ones I have referenced above):
I never thought you could have too much of a good thing until I met Marie.
If he had ever known he was going to be in this predicament, Brett would have paid more attention in algebra class.
When I screamed out God's name in anger, I never expected Him to answer.
Maurice never seriously considered answering the personal ad until the moment that he picked up the phone to do so.
I kind of liked these, and I think they are not bad. I also added one from "The First Word" . . . or whatever that magazineis called: "In quotations, 'so, all of it was just a lie?'"
Ones that are on the site, contributed by other members of the group are:A person who claims to be innocent and naive is most assuredly neither.
Fortunately, I remembered to bring the peanut butter, else all might have been lost.
"No!" she bellowed. "I am fundamentally opposed to cucumbers."
Something about the color orange disturbed her to the core.
'I really don't think that you should call him,' Harley said to Julia, as she pondered the cell phone flipped open in her hand.
Bandit sat howling on the roof of our house, and the little neighborhood brats laughed at my tears.
She never knew that a match and a can of bug spray could create a powerful bomb until it was too late.
She wondered how long it could last -- this cameraderie, the delicious feeling that she was part of the group -- even though she was sure she'd scored points by getting them lost just at the estate with its lush gardens, and just happening to have a deck of cards so they could play on the front lawn for an afternoon.
Christian wanted to give up on ever finding a wife, but almost daily his thoughts returned to the Elvis Chapel in Tupelo and how perfect it would be for a proposal.
Despite the girl's snide remarks about his "pod" design for the school, Traynor feel in love with his protoge' between their first wedding and their second.
Though Isolde had fought to stay awake, exhaustion and the motion of the train overcame her, and she fell asleep against the rattling window as the train ran past autumn-painted hillsides, through dreams of praying the sinner's prayer and leading teens to the Lord--dreams so sweet that, when she woke and remembered herself married, her heart sank.
Ruben Alvirez is having problems keeping up with the other children, and I want desperately to pick him up and carry him the rest of the way through the sun-dappled birch woods.
Grant was disappointed; he had been so sure that the last time he died was really going to be the last.
If it wasn't for Donna, I'd be hopelessly ensorcelled right now

Some pretty good choices -- I like the one about "last time he died" and "hopelessly ensorcelled." But I have not decided which one I will use for a story. And I certainly will write one . . . this time.

By the way, I did not get anything to eat at Borders' this time. It just did not work out.


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