Pilgrimage

 
Writing prompt: Homophones

 
PILGRIMAGE

Right or wrong?
Wrong or write?
Write or left?
I can’t tell anymore
I keep on walking
under the burning son
My sole’s on fire

(Zol H, 2019)

 
Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning. For example: there, their and they’re, mail and male, right and write, sole and soul, dye and die, pair and pear.

Read also Henry Bladon’s Homophones, a grate story first published at 50-Words Stories.

 
Image by ThreeMilesPerHour from Pixabay

Dickens or Montmartre?

 
A time traveler’s dilemma: Great Expectations or a glass of absinthe?

Writing prompt: If you had a time machine that let you spend one hour in a different time, where would you go?

Text: Solveig Hansen

“Coming back in time, changing history, that’s cheating” (young Kirk to future Spock in Star Trek while preparing for transwarp beaming). At that time, Kirk of course didn’t know that he and his crew would do the same (well, at least they did in the original timeline) years later, when they traveled back to 1986 San Francisco (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) to find humpback whales, inventing transparent aluminum in the process, and bring the whales back to their own time to save the Earth.

The concept of time travel captures our imagination more than anything. We tend to forget that we already are time travelers, traveling into the future second by second. Still, it’s not every day you get an opportunity to travel to a different time period, even only for an hour. You might want to get a glimpse of what’s ahead of you or go back to relive an episode in your own life or witness a historic event.

If I were to travel into a time in the future, I would choose an Earth colony in space, there’s no question about that.

Most of all I would like to travel back in time and observe the events as they unfold, like a movie. There’s plenty to choose from:

– Falling of the Berlin Wall
– Woodstock
– The shores of Normandy on D-Day
– Titanic in her final hour
– The very first performance of Beethoven’s mighty 9th Symphony, with the deaf master himself on the stage
– Michelangelo at work in the Sistine Chapel
– And the list goes on…

We could even go back to year 33 AD to see what really happened, or be a fly on the wall at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD to see the making of dogmas. Or why not go all the way and watch the very first sunrays as they hit the newborn Earth?

In the end, we have to make do with what we have here and now. And since we already are time travelers, I thought I would find inspiration in the past to take with me as I write my way onwards. No inventing of transparent aluminum, no humpback whales, no tampering with the timeline, just one hour of pure creative input.

I’m torn between two choices:

I could visit Charles Dickens as he works on Great Expectations in his study at Gad’s Hill Place. “Good day to you, Sir,” I shall say. Maybe he’ll say, “Would you like a cup of tea, dear?” I would ask him about the characters in his books. Does he create a full bio for them before he starts the actual writing? Does he know the full story beforehand, or does the story reveal itself as he writes? I would ask him about the role of writers as voices of society vs. entertainers. Things like that. If I told him that I came from the future, would he ask whether he was still remembered? Do people still read my books?

Decision time: In the end, I choose the Paris bohemians at the turn of the 20th century and walk among the writers and artists in Montmartre for an hour. I know we tend to romanticize them, but we need a few rebels from time to time. There may have been destruction, but there was also creation. I raise my glass of absinthe to that.

 
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The flight of the creative mind

 
“…my mind takes flight like a butterfly.”

On my list of films to re-watch is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (French original: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon), based on the book by the same name, written by Jean-Dominique Bauby (1952–1997). He was the editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine.

In this book, Bauby reminds us that whatever circumstances, the mind is free like a butterfly, even if the body is locked inside a diving bell. He would know better than most of us, his circumstances being as they were. A massive stroke left him with locked-in syndrome, physically paralyzed and only able to communicate by blinking his left eye. That’s how he dictated his memoirs, his “bedridden travel notes,” blink by blink, four hours a day for ten months. 200,000 blinks, an average of two minutes per word, 29 chapters, 130+ pages. He composed and memorized the text before each writing session: “In my head I churn over every sentence ten times, delete a word, add an adjective, and learn my text by heart, paragraph by paragraph.”

Jean-Dominique Bauby died two days after the book was published in France.

I love this snippet from the prologue:

“My diving bell becomes less oppressive, and my mind takes flight like a butterfly. There is so much to do. You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas’s court. You can visit the woman you love, slide down beside her and stroke her still-sleeping face. You can build castles in Spain, steal the Golden Fleece, discover Atlantis, realize your childhood dreams and adult ambitions.”

The creative force inside us is truly amazing. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is on the top 25 list of my favorite movies about writing.

Happy New Year 2019!

May the new year find you expressing yourself to the fullest, creating cities and streets and magic worlds full of life, and penning tales that touch hearts, leave a smile on the reader’s face, and even transform minds when harsh winds blow. Because words matter. Art matters.

 
From Day 24 in my Advent calendar:

24
Dec 24

Christmas Calendar 2018: Musing on Writing

One way to repurpose blog content that would otherwise just sit there is to create a Christmas calendar. So that’s what I did. One snippet from here, a quote from there… Since I mostly write about writing, “Musing on Writing” was an obvious theme for me and my cal.

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Stan Lee (1922–2018)

In the clip below, the great Stan Lee talks about writing, characters, dialogs, and much more. A fly crawling on the wall gave him the idea to create a superhero who could stick to walls and ceilings like an insect. But what to name him? Insect-Man? Mosquito-Man? It became Spider-Man, of course.

RIP, Stan Lee.

Autumn is coming

 
With the leaves starting to fall, here are three autumnal pieces that popped up in my social media feeds.

Irish poet Pat Ingoldsby is known for taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary, in this case a single leaf in a tree outside his house. “All the other leaves are gone are you are still there.”

 
Help authors through the colder months, cartoonist and illustrator Tom Gauld says with this illustration, created for Guardian Review:

 
 
Andrew Davidson sums up the feel of an arriving autumn with Autumn Books, created for Wall Street Journal. The falling books are changing into leaves.

autumn_leaves

Remembering Roald Dahl

 

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
— Roald Dahl, “The Minpins”

The great Roald Dahl was born 102 years ago today. He had a writing hut in his garden.

The video below is from the BBC Archive. It might take a little while for the video to appear. It’s worth the waiting.