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“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.”

“All this happened, more or less.”

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

“It was the start of the Summer of the Late Rose.”

I would love to be able to write an opening line like one of these. I find it truly amazing how opening lines set so very much of the tone of a book. Each one of these lines comes from a book or story that happens to be among my favorites. I like to consider myself fairly well read. Now I’ve heard some writers say that they don’t like to read, because it means that they might potentially be influenced by the work of other authors.

Personally, I’m all for getting influenced by other people. I have openly spoken about my various sources of inspiration. Today’s blog entry is inspired both by my girlfriend and by my friend, V. There has been talk of late of muses, and frankly, I’m not sure if I have a specific one. I like to think that the world is filled with so many amazing things, that I can never truly claim one as a single influence. Every event that has occurred in my life could potentially give rise to a story or poem. One morning I scribbled down a couple of lines of verse while sitting at a stoplight and watching the sunrise. On another, more recent occasion, I found myself crafting descriptions of Arsus’ great temple in Dhe’laza while I was sitting quietly at the funeral of a beloved family member. Inspiration strikes when and where it feels like. For me, there seems to be little connecting these moments to one another. As such, I always carry a notebook and a pen with me, or, barring that, my cell phone, since I can store something as a text message draft or even, though I hate the sound of my own voice when it’s been recorded, use the built in sound recorder to store ideas.

Waiting sucks. I mean, I know that patience is a virtue, but I’m just about out of virtue at the moment. I’m still waiting to hear back about that full time job. It’s frustrating, honestly. In the meantime, I’ve started at my 2nd part-time job, and I feel weird. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing at work. Far from it, in fact. They say that I’ve been taking to the training faster than anyone that they’ve hired in recent memory. I’m likely to get through the training in about 1/3 of the time. I feel pretty good about that, but my heart isn’t really in the job thus far. I am certain that this is because I’m still waiting to hear back about my other potential job offer. They said I’d hear from them shortly. That was Thursday afternoon, and it’s Tuesday morning now. I don’t know about you, but in my timescale, that doesn’t really constitute “shortly” in any sense. Because I’ve not heard back from them, I’m trying to juggle the schedules of two part-time jobs, one of which is nice and close to my apartment and pays a little better, and one which is a long drive and less pay, but more comfortable, due to my having worked there for over 6 months now. I’d love to hear back about this full time gig, just so I can say “I’m sorry, but I got a better offer.” *grumble*

Zach and I have been chatting. We’ve been discussing logistics of this world of his, and the ease with which people can travel from one place to another. I’ve got to make a multi-week trek across a desert sound not only possible, but survivable. I’ve also got to try to figure out some sense of how big this portion of the world is, and just how much of the world it is, if that makes sense. It does in my head. We’ve been talking about travel, and various modes of transportation that would work within the frame I’m creating. In the main pilgrimage, there will be a caravan. Some people will be walking, others riding horses or camels, others riding on sledges of sleighs being pulled by these (or similar) animals. There’s the River Highway, which would be the safest way for anyone to cross the desert, and was used once upon a time, before martial law was declared. Now the military forces of Dhe’skuva are the only ones allowed to freely traverse that road, and they will brutally enforce their right in order to protect themselves from the roving raider bands. I also love the idea of blimps (or rigid air ships) meandering about the desert. Zach says that sometimes the raiders use them, but he also says that there are stories of a brave crew of men and women who combat the raiders from the sky, saving a lucky few in exchange for the fuel and supplies the raiders carry. I’m not sure if that’s true. Zach’s a wandering minstrel of sorts. He tells lots of stories.

 

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.”

“All this happened, more or less.”

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

“It was the start of the Summer of the Late Rose.”

I would love to be able to write an opening line like one of these. I find it truly amazing how opening lines set so very much of the tone of a book. Each one of these lines comes from a book or story that happens to be among my favorites. I like to consider myself fairly well read. Now I’ve heard some writers say that they don’t like to read, because it means that they might potentially be influenced by the work of other authors.

Personally, I’m all for getting influenced by other people. I have openly spoken about my various sources of inspiration. Today’s blog entry is inspired both by my girlfriend and by my friend, V. There has been talk of late of muses, and frankly, I’m not sure if I have a specific one. I like to think that the world is filled with so many amazing things, that I can never truly claim one as a single influence. Every event that has occurred in my life could potentially give rise to a story or poem. One morning I scribbled down a couple of lines of verse while sitting at a stoplight and watching the sunrise. On another, more recent occasion, I found myself crafting descriptions of Arsus’ great temple in Dhe’laza while I was sitting quietly at the funeral of a beloved family member. Inspiration strikes when and where it feels like. For me, there seems to be little connecting these moments to one another. As such, I always carry a notebook and a pen with me, or, barring that, my cell phone, since I can store something as a text message draft or even, though I hate the sound of my own voice when it’s been recorded, use the built in sound recorder to store ideas.

 

Waiting sucks. I mean, I know that patience is a virtue, but I’m just about out of virtue at the moment. I’m still waiting to hear back about that full time job. It’s frustrating, honestly. In the meantime, I’ve started at my 2nd

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.”

“All this happened, more or less.”

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

“It was the start of the Summer of the Late Rose.”

I would love to be able to write an opening line like one of these. I find it truly amazing how opening lines set so very much of the tone of a book. Each one of these lines comes from a book or story that happens to be among my favorites. I like to consider myself fairly well read. Now I’ve heard some writers say that they don’t like to read, because it means that they might potentially be influenced by the work of other authors.

Personally, I’m all for getting influenced by other people. I have openly spoken about my various sources of inspiration. Today’s blog entry is inspired both by my girlfriend and by my friend, V. There has been talk of late of muses, and frankly, I’m not sure if I have a specific one. I like to think that the world is filled with so many amazing things, that I can never truly claim one as a single influence. Every event that has occurred in my life could potentially give rise to a story or poem. One morning I scribbled down a couple of lines of verse while sitting at a stoplight and watching the sunrise. On another, more recent occasion, I found myself crafting descriptions of Arsus’ great temple in Dhe’laza while I was sitting quietly at the funeral of a beloved family member. Inspiration strikes when and where it feels like. For me, there seems to be little connecting these moments to one another. As such, I always carry a notebook and a pen with me, or, barring that, my cell phone, since I can store something as a text message draft or even, though I hate the sound of my own voice when it’s been recorded, use the built in sound recorder to store ideas.

Waiting sucks. I mean, I know that patience is a virtue, but I’m just about out of virtue at the moment. I’m still waiting to hear back about that full time job. It’s frustrating, honestly. In the meantime, I’ve started at my 2nd part-time job, and I feel weird. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing at work. Far from it, in fact. They say that I’ve been taking to the training faster than anyone that they’ve hired in recent memory. I’m likely to get through the training in about 1/3 of the time. I feel pretty good about that, but my heart isn’t really in the job thus far. I am certain that this is because I’m still waiting to hear back about my other potential job offer. They said I’d hear from them shortly. That was Thursday afternoon, and it’s Tuesday morning now. I don’t know about you, but in my timescale, that doesn’t really constitute “shortly” in any sense. Because I’ve not heard back from them, I’m trying to juggle the schedules of two part-time jobs, one of which is nice and close to my apartment and pays a little better, and one which is a long drive and less pay, but more comfortable, due to my having worked there for over 6 months now. I’d love to hear back about this full time gig, just so I can say “I’m sorry, but I got a better offer.” *grumble*

Zach and I have been chatting. We’ve been discussing logistics of this world of his, and the ease with which people can travel from one place to another. I’ve got to make a multi-week trek across a desert sound not only possible, but survivable. I’ve also got to try to figure out some sense of how big this portion of the world is, and just how much of the world it is, if that makes sense. It does in my head. We’ve been talking about travel, and various modes of transportation that would work within the frame I’m creating. In the main pilgrimage, there will be a caravan. Some people will be walking, others riding horses or camels, others riding on sledges of sleighs being pulled by these (or similar) animals. There’s the River Highway, which would be the safest way for anyone to cross the desert, and was used once upon a time, before martial law was declared. Now the military forces of Dhe’skuva are the only ones allowed to freely traverse that road, and they will brutally enforce their right in order to protect themselves from the roving raider bands. I also love the idea of blimps (or rigid air ships) meandering about the desert. Zach says that sometimes the raiders use them, but he also says that there are stories of a brave crew of men and women who combat the raiders from the sky, saving a lucky few in exchange for the fuel and supplies the raiders carry. I’m not sure if that’s true. Zach’s a wandering minstrel of sorts. He tells lots of stories.

part-time job, and I feel weird. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing at work. Far from it, in fact. They say that I’ve been taking to the training faster than anyone that they’ve hired in recent memory. I’m likely to get through the training in about 1/3 of the time. I feel pretty good about that, but my heart isn’t really in the job thus far. I am certain that this is because I’m still waiting to hear back about my other potential job offer. They said I’d hear from them shortly. That was Thursday afternoon, and it’s Tuesday morning now. I don’t know about you, but in my timescale, that doesn’t really constitute “shortly” in any sense. Because I’ve not heard back from them, I’m trying to juggle the schedules of two part-time jobs, one of which is nice and close to my apartment and pays a little better, and one which is a long drive and less pay, but more comfortable, due to my having worked there for over 6 months now. I’d love to hear back about this full time gig, just so I can say “I’m sorry, but I got a better offer.” *grumble*

Zach and I have been chatting. We’ve been discussing logistics of this world of his, and the ease with which people can travel from one place to another. I’ve got to make a multi-week trek across a desert sound not only possible, but survivable. I’ve also got to try to figure out some sense of how big this portion of the world is, and just how much of the world it is, if that makes sense. It does in my head. We’ve been talking about travel, and various modes of transportation that would work within the frame I’m creating. In the main pilgrimage, there will be a caravan. Some people will be walking, others riding horses or camels, others riding on sledges of sleighs being pulled by these (or similar) animals. There’s the River Highway, which would be the safest way for anyone to cross the desert, and was used once upon a time, before martial law was declared. Now the military forces of Dhe’skuva are the only ones allowed to freely traverse that road, and they will brutally enforce their right in order to protect themselves from the roving raider bands. I also love the idea of blimps (or rigid air ships) meandering about the desert. Zach says that sometimes the raiders use them, but he also says that there are stories of a brave crew of men and women who combat the raiders from the sky, saving a lucky few in exchange for the fuel and supplies the raiders carry. I’m not sure if that’s true. Zach’s a wandering minstrel of sorts. He tells lots of stories.

One Comment

  1. I love all the openings on your list that I can remember. Two, I think, were books I was unfamiliar with, or if nothing else had forgotten reading. I don’t think I’ve ever quite had that flash of inspiration these writers have been heard to talk about when these brilliant lines come to them, but I’ll keep hoping.

    As for inspiration, I take it from anywhere that I can think of or happen to encounter, and if I am influenced by other writers, obsessive reader that I am, I consider any reference to their work to be an homage. Take it when you can get it, and just give credit where credit is due.

    I know how you feel with the jobs, I’ve been so married to the idea of moving lately that I feel disengaged and in general like I don’t care about a lot of the things around here that I know I’ll have to leave behind. It’s like being guarded with a new person in your life until you know if they’ll be around for a while…you don’t want to get too attached. Once you know for sure one way or the other it’ll be easier.

    There are a couple books that come to mind when I think of crossing deserts. Sam and Frodo’s march across Mordor, of course, but also Shasta and Bree crossing from Calormen into Archenland in The Horse and His Boy. Also, by Pratchett, Small Gods and Jingo! both have desert crossings. Might be worthwhile for reference.


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