Writing The First Sentence


James Foster loves cranberry muffins.

“What do you think?”

“It sucks. The aim of the first sentence is to arouse curiosity.”

“Ok, how about this: James Foster would walk a mile for a cranberry muffin. Doesn’t that make you at least a little curious?”

“Not really.”

“Well what am I supposed to say? I can’t tell the whole story in the first sentence.”

“Let me give you an example: James Foster used to hate cranberry muffins. See the difference? It immediately raises a question: Why didn’t he like them, and what made him change his mind?”

“I see what you mean. But it wouldn’t be true. He’s always loved them.”

“It was just meant as an example. I don’t know what he likes or dislikes. I’m just trying to make a point. Write whatever you want. I’ve got to go. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Wait a minute! Maybe I’m just trying to get into the story the wrong way. What if I started out with this instead:”

I have a wonderful blue ribbon named Nancy.

“You do? No kidding? How long have you had her?”

(And so the story began…)

* * *

Originally posted 2/28/09 as “Impulsive Writing (12)”

What Is Life?

What is Life

What is Life?

Life is what you believe it to be,
Until you believe otherwise.

What is Love?

Love is what you feel it to be,
Until you feel otherwise.

What is Reality?

Reality is what you see it to be,
Until you see otherwise.

What is Death?

Death is what you think it will be,
Until you can think no more.

* * *

Evolution vs. Devolution (Tribe of Suits)

What has been lost, and what gained? Only time will tell. (Of course it also depends on your point of view.) Click here to see the entire documentary

Evolution vs. Devolution (16)

Paul Kingsnorth (from NY Times article by Daniel Smith - 4-17-14)

Paul Kingsnorth (from NY Times article by Daniel Smith – 4-17-14)

Most people are continually fighting for something…for what they haven’t yet got, to protect something they already have, or to recover what they’ve somehow lost. Thus contentment, in an age of consumerism, has become an increasingly rare commodity. So, for those few people who still have it, what would be considered a contemporary substitute for contentment? Perhaps it may properly be called ‘resignation’…or ‘the end of hope,’ as described in the NY Times article below:

It’s the End of the World as We Know It . . . and He Feels Fine

Late one night last August, on the chalk downlands of southern England, Paul Kingsnorth stood in a field beside an old-growth forest, two yurts and a composting toilet. Kingsnorth is 41, tall, slim and energetic, with sweeping brown hair and a sparse beard. He wears rimless glasses and a silver stud in his ear, and he talks with great ardor, often apologizing for having said too much or for having said it too strongly.

On this occasion, Kingsnorth was silent. It was the final night of Uncivilization, an outdoor festival run by the Dark Mountain Project, a loose network of ecologically minded artists and writers, and he was standing with several dozen others waiting for the festival’s midnight ritual to begin. Kingsnorth, a founder of the group, had already taken part in several sessions that day, including one on contemporary nature writing; a panel about the iniquities of mainstream psychiatric care; and a reading from his most recent book, “The Wake,” a novel set in the 11th century and written in a “shadow language” — a mash-up of Old and modern English. He had also helped his two young children assemble a train set while trying to encapsulate his views on climate change and environmental degradation in what Kingsnorth describes as an era of global disruption. The “human machine,” as he sometimes puts it, has grown to such a size that breakdown is inevitable. What, then, do we do?
[Click here to read the entire article...]