Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #38: Erasing The Crystal Egg 4


#38
For today's exercise we have split paths for fiction and poetry, though I highly recommend that even fiction writers try the poetry exercise. For fiction, write a piece that includes the line of dialog "What has become of it" as well as the words "amuck" "garbled" and "acrimonious".

For poetry do an erasure or black-out poem from the following selection of H.G. Wells' short story "The Crystal Egg". An Erasure/Blackout is really simple: you take the given text and remove many words to make it your own new piece. One way to go about the erasure that I like to do is to copy the text and paste it twice into your document before you start erasing or blacking out (in MS Word set the text background color to black), that way if you get further into the erasure and decide you want a somewhat different tone or direction, it's easy to go to the unaltered version and make the erasure/black-out piece smoother. Another tip is to look for recurring words, in this example Cave occurs many times and could be a good touchstone for your piece.


Erasure Selection:

from The Crystal Egg

At that Mr. Cave, apparently much surprised, rushed to the window. “Isn’t it here?” he said. “Great Heavens! what has become of it?”

Just then Mr. Cave’s step-son re-entered the shop from, the inner room — he had come home a minute or so before Mr. Cave — and he was blaspheming freely. He was apprenticed to a second-hand furniture dealer down the road, but he had his meals at home, and he was naturally annoyed to find no dinner ready.

But when he heard of the loss of the crystal, he forgot his meal, and his anger was diverted from his mother to his step-father. Their first idea, of course, was that he had hidden it. But Mr. Cave stoutly denied all knowledge of its fate, freely offering his bedabbled affidavit in the matter — and at last was worked up to the point of accusing, first, his wife and then his stepson of having taken it with a view to a private sale. So began an exceedingly acrimonious and emotional discussion, which ended for Mrs. Cave in a peculiar nervous condition midway between hysterics and amuck, and caused the step-son to be half-an-hour late at the furniture establishment in the afternoon. Mr. Cave took refuge from his wife’s emotions in the shop.

In the evening the matter was resumed, with less passion and in a judicial spirit, under the presidency of the step-daughter. The supper passed unhappily and culminated in a painful scene. Mr. Cave gave way at last to extreme exasperation, and went out banging the front door violently. The rest of the family, having discussed him with the freedom his absence warranted, hunted the house from garret to cellar, hoping to light upon the crystal.

The next day the two customers called again. They were received by Mrs. Cave almost in tears. It transpired that no one could imagine all that she had stood from Cave at various times in her married pilgrimage. . . . She also gave a garbled account of the disappearance. The clergyman and the Oriental laughed silently at one another, and said it was very extraordinary. As Mrs. Cave seemed disposed to give them the complete history of her life they made to leave the shop. Thereupon Mrs. Cave, still clinging to hope, asked for the clergyman’s address, so that, if she could get anything out of Cave, she might communicate it. The address was duly given, but apparently was afterwards mislaid. Mrs. Cave can remember nothing about it.

In the evening of that day the Caves seem to have exhausted their emotions, and Mr. Cave, who had been out in the afternoon, supped in a gloomy isolation that contrasted pleasantly with the impassioned controversy of the previous days. For some time matters were very badly strained in the Cave household, but neither crystal nor customer reappeared.

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try "Satchmo in Style" by Louis Armstrong.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

For Your Enjoyment: The Sciences Sing a Lullaby by Albert Goldbarth

The Sciences Sing a Lullabye (audio link)

Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you're tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They'll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren't alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren't alone. Go to sleep.

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.

                       by Albert Goldbarth

--


This tremendous poem is from the Ultra-Talk/Stand-Up Poetry master Albert Goldbarth. I love the musicality of this poem, which can often be lost in the more prosey poetry of the Ultra-Talk. For example, take a look at the repetition of /s/ and /t/ sounds "has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes / nonstop from mitosis to now / Quit tapping your feet. They'll dance / inside themselves" and the sharp consonant sounds of p's and q in "nonstop" and "quit tapping".

While it doesn't maintain a steady rhyme (the final stanza is the closest to a standard rhythm) you have subtle nods to rhyme with you/shoes, feet/sleep in S1, and uses direct repetition in S2. Now, it could be just looking too deep into a simple choice, but I like to think that the direct repetition being with Geology, which is notoriously cyclical isn't chance but intentional. The final stanza turns the reading of the poem (structurally) a bit, or it did for me the first time reading it. In the first two stanzas I took the italicized "Physics/Geology says" as part of the poem just, stressed. With the final stanza it becomes apparent that those are more like stage directions.

The final stanza is a five part verse with each science personified and singing its part. If it isn't that, the reading becomes a bit awkward if you were to remove the line breaks "Astronomy says 'the sun will rise tomorrow', Zoology says 'on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,' Psychology says..." as opposed to it reading as 5 sequential voices saying "the sun will rise tomorrow on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle, but first it has to be night, so the body-clocks are stopped all over town  and here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down."

The little touches from each branch of science definitely strengthen the poem, and history ending with its soothing repetition is perfect.

Bonus writing exercise: Write another type of a song from specific sciences, whether you use some of the ones chosen by Goldbarth or others. Here is a list of different types of songs. Or just write a lullaby from other sciences, or in a specific situation (in a jail cell, in a foxhole, on a sailboat, in a cocoon etc).

If you'd like some music to write to, it only seems fair to link They Might Be Giants' wonderful album "Here Comes Science".



Summer Writing Exercise Series #37: Three Things and Some Subtext


#37
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following three things. Nice and simple. If you're not intimately familiar with these things do a little reading and see if a piece of info sticks out.

  1. The Suez Canal
  2. Q*Bert
  3. A Cricket

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try the Strength Magazine compilation "Subtext" for some classic indie hip hop.







Monday, July 29, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #36: One of Two Falling Starts


#36
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with one of the following sentences.


Sentence 1: Where was once was the safe inside of an airplane was now rushing air and clouds.

Sentence 2: It felt like the drop would never cease.
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If you'd like some background music to write to, try the album Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #35: Title Mania with Enigma


#35
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge, try to use as many of the titles in your piece as you can manage organically.


Titles:

  1. No Apologies
  2. At the End of a Long Road
  3. Snowfall
  4. Flotsam and The Jetson's 
  5. On Painted Concrete Slick with Rain

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try the calming Enigma album MCMXC a.D. (just don't follow the initial instructions, we're writing here!)







Know Your Literary Journals: Reed Magazine

Reed Magazine is California's oldest literary magazine in publication. It is produced by San Jose State University's MFA program. It's a thick journal that publishes new writers alongside Pulitzer Prize winners and Poet Laureates. Some notable authors that have appeared in their pages would be TC Boyle, Robert Hass, Ursula Le Guin and William Finnegan.

Here is their Duotrope Page.

Mark your calendar: Their regular submissions are from June 1 - November 1. They also have four contests with November 1 deadlines. They are the Edwin Markham Prize for Poetry, the Gabriele Rico Challenge for Creative Nonfiction, the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction and the Mary Blair Award for Art.
What it costs to submit: Regular submissions have no fee. The contests cost $20 to submit and have $1,000 prizes aside from the Gabriele Rico Challenge for Creative Nonfiction which has a prize of $1,333.
What to submit: Five poems or one piece of prose up to 5,000 words.
What they say of themselves:

"For over 150 years, Reed Magazine has published the work of artists such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Hass, T.C. Boyle, William Finnegan, Stephen Dixon, and Don George—artists whose narrative voices persist beyond print, whose imagery lingers in our minds, and whose language challenges us to think, to do, to be part of the creative legacy of our time.

Reed Magazine is for the truth-speakers:Poets who reach universality through the chocolate chips in a breakfast pancake; Fiction writers who craft characters that could walk off the page and into our living rooms; Nonfiction writers, whose essays make large what was small; And visual artists, whose work illuminates all these stories and others–the political, the social, the cultural history of humanity.

No matter your medium, the staff at Reed Magazine wants to hear your stories."

Read some of their stuff if you're hearing about them for the first time before submitting. They are a tremendous journal.


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #34: 3x5x5 Wordbank 5


#34
For today's writing exercise you will pick one word from each of three groups and write a sentence that includes all of the words, feel free to change tense, pluralize etc. Repeat the process five (5) times using different combinations. Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least two (2) of those sentences. Try to use as many of the sentences as you can.


Word Bank 1:
  • Fracture
  • Glower
  • Poke
  • Wax
  • U-Turn
Wordbank 2:
  • Caw
  • Flew
  • Flex
  • Garner
  • Fluid
Wordbank 3:
  • Wren
  • Chicken
  • Ampersand
  • Rope
  • Wire

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try Air Supply's Greatest Hits.



Friday, July 26, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #33: Three Things and Tree Things


#33
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following three things. Nice and simple. If you're not intimately familiar with these things do a little reading and see if a piece of info sticks out.


  1. An old plastic bottle
  2. A Sugar Maple Tree
  3. A lyric from the song "Mother" by Danzig 

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits.







Thursday, July 25, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #32: Starting with a drink of water


#32
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with one of the following sentences.


Sentence 1: If he had a million dollars, he would trade it for a glass of water without hesitation.

Sentence 2: It was the first of many firsts to occur at the water fountain.
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If you'd like some background music to write to, try Leo Rojas' greatest hits.




Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #31: Rob Gonsalves in the galactic classroom


#31
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which is inspired by the following piece of art: The Chalkboard Universe by the amazing surrealist Rob Gonsalves



Many options here from the converging scenes that Gonsalves is famous for. It can be focused on the transition of scenery or a person viewing the classroom or night sky scene. You can write this from the perspective of an audience member or the professor or someone viewing the scene, if you embrace the surrealism of  the image or see the image as the metaphor for the narrative you're writing, many options. I adore Gonsalves' work and someday I'll own a print of my own.

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If you would like some music to write to, try the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Soundtrack.






Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #30: Title Mania with Benny


#30
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge, try to use as many of the titles in your piece as you can manage organically.


Titles:

  1. Dark Clouds Quickly Approaching
  2. Ocelot
  3. Look No Hands
  4. In a Carmine Jacket
  5. With Woodwinds

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try Benny Goodman At Sala Kongresowa, Warsaw Poland 197




Monday, July 22, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #29: 3x5x5 Wordbank 4


#29
For today's writing exercise you will pick one word from each of three groups and write a sentence that includes all of the words, feel free to change tense, pluralize etc. Repeat the process at least five (5) times using different combinations. Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least two (2) of those sentences. Try to use as many of the sentences as you can.


Word Bank 1:
  • Singular
  • Enamel
  • Grace
  • Grip
  • Welt
Wordbank 2:
  • Redeemable
  • Kept
  • Boor
  • Wallow
  • Swelter
Wordbank 3:
  • Examine
  • Hamper
  • Toss
  • Froth
  • Toothless

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try the album No Angel by Dido.



Sunday, July 21, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #28: Three Things in Zimbabwe


#28
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following three things. Nice and simple. If you're not intimately familiar with these things do a little reading and see if a piece of info sticks out.


  1. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  2. Yellow Dye #5 (Tartrazine)
  3. A Slinky

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try the soundtrack to "The Theory of Everything".






Saturday, July 20, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #27: Starting with Paint


#27
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with one of the following sentences.


Sentence 1: The paint would never have a chance to dry.

Sentence 2: The sound of an aerosol paint can rattling is well known to every beat cop.
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If you'd like some background music to write to, try this iconic underground hip hop album 2000 Fold by Styles of Beyond. I have many great memories of listening to this album when I first moved to San Diego and was riding the trolley and bus everyday for hours. Listening to indie hip hop and punk and reading tons of books. Good times.



Friday, July 19, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #26: Title Mania with Spontaneous Inventions


#26
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge, try to use as many of the titles in your piece as you can manage organically.


Titles:

  1. Of the Air
  2. Pillars Beneath
  3. Not Distracted But Disinterested
  4. Caduceus
  5. En Route to Salem Oregon, Existence Comes Undone Just a Tiny Bit

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try this video of Bobby McFerrin's Spontaneous Inventions album.




Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #24: Rob Gonsalves at the Beach


#24
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which is inspired by the following piece of art: Pursuit of Balance by the amazing surrealist Rob Gonsalves



Many options here from the converging scenes that Gonsalves is famous for. It can be focused on the scenery or the person viewing the scenery. You can write this from the perspective of the boy or someone viewing the scene, whether a random person, the young man as an older adult, a omniscient narrator, whatever you'd like. I adore Gonsalves' work and someday I'll own a print of my own.

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If you would like some music to write to, try Ani DiFranco's album "Not a Pretty Girl".





Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #23: Five Words with Tribe


#23
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following five words. Nice and simple.


Words:

  1. Pager
  2. Train
  3. Drastic
  4. Gravy
  5. Flummox

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try one of my all-time favorite albums Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest.





Monday, July 15, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #22: Starting with a Wig


#22
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with one of the following sentences.


Sentence 1: The borrowed wig scratched his ears.

Sentence 2: The wig wasn't intended to look realistic.
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If you'd like some background music to write to, try this mix of mellow music from Game of Thrones.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #21: Title Mania in Coruscant


#21
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge, try to use as many of the titles in your piece as you can manage organically.


Titles:

  1. Cold Cold Cold
  2. Hack Jobs, Failures and Pompous Buffoons
  3. Self Portrait, In Memoriam
  4. Wading
  5. Bedlam

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try the background sounds try this simulated sci-fi apartment noise inspired by Star Wars Coruscant.



Saturday, July 13, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #20: Erasing The Crystal Egg 3


#20
For today's exercise we have split paths for fiction and poetry, though I highly recommend that even fiction writers try the poetry exercise. For fiction, write a piece with a repetition of the dialog sentence "Five pounds is my price." For poetry do an erasure or black-out poem from the following selection of H.G. Wells' short story "The Crystal Egg". An Erasure/Blackout is really simple: you take the given text and remove many words to make it your own new piece. One way to go about the erasure that I like to do is to copy the text and paste it twice into your document before you start erasing or blacking out (in MS Word set the text background color to black), that way if you get further into the erasure and decide you want a somewhat different tone or direction, it's easy to go to the unaltered version and make the erasure/black-out piece smoother. Another tip is to look for recurring words, in this example Cave occurs many times and could be a good touchstone for your piece.


Erasure Selection:

from The Crystal Egg

Mr. Cave’s answers were wretched; he could only mumble weak assertions that he knew his own business best. They drove him from his half-eaten supper into the shop, to close it for the night, his ears aflame and tears of vexation behind his spectacles. Why had he left the crystal in the window so long? The folly of it! That was the trouble closest in his mind. For a time he could see no way of evading sale.

After supper his step-daughter and step-son smartened themselves up and went out and his wife retired upstairs to reflect upon the business aspects of the crystal, over a little sugar and lemon and so forth in hot water. Mr. Cave went into the shop, and stayed there until late, ostensibly to make ornamental rockeries for gold-fish cases, but really for a private purpose that will be better explained later. The next day Mrs. Cave found that the crystal had been removed from the window, and was lying behind some second-hand books on angling. She replaced it in a conspicuous position. But she did not argue further about it, as a nervous headache disinclined her from debate. Mr. Cave was always disinclined. The day passed disagreeably. Mr. Cave was, if anything, more absent-minded than usual, and uncommonly irritable withal. In the afternoon, when his wife was taking her customary sleep, he removed the crystal from the window again.

The next day Mr. Cave had to deliver a consignment of dog-fish at one of the hospital schools, where they were needed for dissection. In his absence Mrs. Cave’s mind reverted to the topic of the crystal, and the methods of expenditure suitable to a windfall of five pounds. She had already devised some very agreeable expedients, among others a dress of green silk for herself and a trip to Richmond, when a jangling of the front door bell summoned her into the shop. The customer was an examination coach who came to complain of the non-delivery of certain frogs asked for the previous day. Mrs. Cave did not approve of this particular branch of Mr. Cave’s business, and the gentleman, who had called in a somewhat aggressive mood, retired after a brief exchange of words — entirely civil, so far as he was concerned. Mrs. Cave’s eye then naturally turned to the window; for the sight of the crystal was an assurance of the five pounds and of her dreams. What was her surprise to find it gone!

She went to the place behind the locker on the counter, where she had discovered it the day before. It was not there; and she immediately began an eager search about the shop.

When Mr. Cave returned from his business with the dogfish, about a quarter to two in the afternoon, he found the shop in some confusion, and his wife, extremely exasperated and on her knees behind the counter, routing among his taxidermic material. Her face came up hot and angry over the counter, as the jangling bell announced his return, and she forthwith accused him of “hiding it.”

“Hid what?” asked Mr. Cave.

“The crystal!”

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try this playlist of the Beastie Boys instrumental album The Mix-Up

Friday, July 12, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #19: Five Words and a Toaster


#19
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following five words. Nice and simple.


Words:

  1. Extra
  2. Frolic
  3. Tangle
  4. Tamp
  5. Credence

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try this best of The Toasters album: In Retrospective.




Thursday, July 11, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #18: 3x5x5 Wordbank 3


#18
For today's writing exercise you will pick one word from each of three groups and write a sentence that includes all of the words, feel free to change tense, pluralize etc. Repeat the process five (5) times using different combinations. Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least two (2) of those sentences. Try to use as many of the sentences as you can.


Word Bank 1:
  • Twin
  • Weaken
  • Falsify
  • Runt
  • Plus
Wordbank 2:
  • Weather
  • Keeper
  • Retina
  • Opine
  • Queasy
Wordbank 3:
  • Group
  • Lear
  • Flare
  • Smoke
  • Iridescent

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try the instrumental bonus tracks from the album Days to Come by Bonobo.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #17: Ekphrastic Crossing

#17

For today, we're going to write a poem or prose piece inspired by another piece of art or an ekphrastic piece. The piece of art in question is this photo from Pulitzer Prize winning Reuters photographer Adrees Latif:





Whether you're writing a lyric poem about what the man or boy are thinking in this moment, the lead up story to this climactic event (who is the man and how did he get to that place and time of fording the river with so many others), or if this is the impetus for a greater story, a moment that is flashed back to by the child or father later in life. There's a ton of possibilities.

If you'd like background writing music here is indie hip hop producer Rjd2's first solo album Deadringer (2002).




Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #16: Erasing The Crystal Egg 2


#16
For today's exercise we have split paths for fiction and poetry, though I highly recommend that even fiction writers try the poetry exercise. For fiction, write a piece with a repetition of the dialog sentence "Five pounds is my price." For poetry do an erasure or black-out poem from the following selection of H.G. Wells' short story "The Crystal Egg". An Erasure/Blackout is really simple: you take the given text and remove many words to make it your own new piece. One way to go about the erasure that I like to do is to copy the text and paste it twice into your document before you start erasing or blacking out (in MS Word set the text background color to black), that way if you get further into the erasure and decide you want a somewhat different tone or direction, it's easy to go to the unaltered version and make the erasure/black-out piece smoother. Another tip is to look for recurring words, in this example Cave occurs many times and could be a good touchstone for your piece.


Erasure Selection:

from The Crystal Egg


The swarthy young man had so far remained a spectator, watching Cave keenly. Now he spoke. “Give him five pounds,” he said. The clergyman glanced at him to see if he were in earnest, and when he looked at Mr. Cave again, he saw that the latter’s face was white. “It’s a lot of money,” said the clergyman, and, diving into his pocket, began counting his resources. He had little more than thirty shillings, and he appealed to his companion, with whom he seemed to be on terms of considerable intimacy. This gave Mr. Cave an opportunity of collecting his thoughts, and he began to explain in an agitated manner that the crystal was not, as a matter of fact, entirely free for sale. His two customers were naturally surprised at this, and inquired why he had not thought of that before he began to bargain. Mr. Cave became confused, but he stuck to his story, that the crystal was not in the market that afternoon, that a probable purchaser of it had already appeared. The two, treating this as an attempt to raise the price still further, made as if they would leave the shop. But at this point the parlour door opened, and the owner of the dark fringe and the little eyes appeared.

She was a coarse-featured, corpulent woman, younger and very much larger than Mr. Cave; she walked heavily, and her face was flushed. “That crystal is for sale,” she said. “And five pounds is a good enough price for it. I can’t think what you’re about, Cave, not to take the gentleman’s offer!”

Mr. Cave, greatly perturbed by the irruption, looked angrily at her over the rims of his spectacles, and, without excessive assurance, asserted his right to manage his business in his own way. An altercation began. The two customers watched the scene with interest and some amusement, occasionally assisting Mrs. Cave with suggestions. Mr. Cave, hard driven, persisted in a confused and impossible story of an inquiry for the crystal that morning, and his agitation became painful. But he stuck to his point with extraordinary persistence. It was the young Oriental who ended this curious controversy. He proposed that they should call again in the course of two days — so as to give the alleged inquirer a fair chance. “And then we must insist,” said the clergyman. “Five pounds.” Mrs. Cave took it on herself to apologise for her husband, explaining that he was sometimes “a little odd,” and as the two customers left, the couple prepared for a free discussion of the incident in all its bearings.
Mrs. Cave talked to her husband with singular directness. The poor little man, quivering with emotion, muddled himself between his stories, maintaining on the one hand that he had another customer in view, and on the other asserting that the crystal was honestly worth ten guineas. “Why did you ask five pounds?” said his wife. “Do let me manage my business my own way!” said Mr. Cave.

Mr. Cave had living with him a step-daughter and a step-son, and at supper that night the transaction was re-discussed. None of them had a high opinion of Mr. Cave’s business methods, and this action seemed a culminating folly.

“It’s my opinion he’s refused that crystal before,” said the step-son, a loose-limbed lout of eighteen.

“But Five Pounds!” said the step-daughter, an argumentative young woman of six-and-twenty.

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try this playlist of the soundtrack to the movie Gross Pointe Blank


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #15: Five Word Start


#15
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following five words. Nice and simple.


Words:

  1. Worsen
  2. Endemic
  3. Trunk
  4. Adjourned
  5. Ratchet

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try this 1983 recording of Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite by the London Symphony Orchestra.



Friday, July 5, 2019

Summer Writing Exercise Series #14: Title Mania with Cardinals


#14
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge, try to use as many of the titles in your piece as you can manage organically.


Titles:

  1. Fallen From a Cloudless Sky
  2. Tripod, Wolf
  3. Atop Yet Another Mountain
  4. Whiffed
  5. Birdsong

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If you'd like some background music to write to, try the background sounds of 30 minutes of Northern Cardinal and woods sounds, you can feel like you're sitting alongside a forest path as you compose.