Friday, January 6, 2012

First line from: Tender is the Night by F.Scott Fitzgerald

"On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about halfway between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a proud, rose-colored hotel."  Shimmering in the sunlight with promise and untold secrets:  promise of romance and interesting diversions, secrets both kept and divulged, but always a frisson in the air as one crossed the thresh hold.

It was there that a sad-eyed youngish blond girl was ushered through the massive glass doors.  She quickly walked to the registration desk and checked in, made her way to her assigned room accompanied by her Louis V. luggage and the bell cap.  After tipping him generously, she indicated that she did not require anything more, and he left.

Her room overlooked a palm-laden courtyard and as she looked down at the sculptures, she noticed one: gleaming in the sunlight--Poseidon, his iron trident poised to be thrown; she began planning her revenge.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Line from: The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

First entry of the new year.  Creative writing 101, using another's first line, and then my own.

Going up the river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings.  The air was oppressive and thick like the jungle on either side.  Greenish, blackish water covered with algae made a troubling path through which the small boat traveled.  The water itself seemed alive, rippled here and there with unknown creatures large and small that lurked underneath.

Was there human life beyond the water's edge?  The trees at the edge of the river, gnarled and twisted as their roots clung to the wet banks of the river were so close together and so intertwined that no light could be seen between them.  There were sounds coming from those trees, strange bird calls, echoing whoops, shrill notes, repeated sounds with unknown messages.

No one spoke, each lost in their own thoughts, some perhaps questioning their motives for being in this place.  The sun, a fiery orange ball, was setting slowly; strips of purple clouds in the sky gave the scene an unworldly appearance.

The boat slowly turned toward shore.  "We're here," a voice said.

#1-12 Bored with my own blog

I failed the 2011 Global Reading Challenge where you read 1-3 books from each continent, found that I was more interested in Europe and the UK, couldn't find books I liked from Alaska that I wanted to critique and so I stopped.

As I read other reader/bloggers, I was impressed by their critiques and analysis, much better than mine.  The whole list thing felt like an assignment.  So, what do I like-- the writing itself--the turn of phrase, choosing just the right word, the one sentence or two that remains with you long after you have closed the book.  What I enjoy is the creative part, how one word can change everything, as Mark Twain said. 

So instead of writing opinions, and critiques, I will delve into creative writing, suggested by others first lines, or other lines.  Push ups for writing, a favorite activity I have done in the past.  Intriguing first lines are found everywhere--books, newspapers, comments overheard. 

So, to begin, something I wrote a while ago.