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Re: Boys 736 words

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  • dave_n2chi
    Rod, That s a really good idea! To carve out a couple (or few) characters, sketch them out and let them play the action in the second half. I think that
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 12, 2009
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      Rod,
      That's a really good idea! To carve out a couple (or few) characters, sketch them out and let them play the action in the second half. I think that would expand it to typical short story length, which is fine. It's a different piece of work than I had intended. No, that's not true, because I hadn't intended anything when I began it.
      But I like the idea of expanding it into a full story as you suggest.
      Thanks very much!
      Dave
      PS: I've been into boyhood stuff lately, choosing things from my own childhood to use in more fully developed stories. If you care to, check out "South Pole" at:
      http://www.windsweptpress.com/southpole.pdf
      It is NOT autobiographical. But could have been! Hahahaha!

      --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dave,
      >
      > I like it.
      >
      > As to the "unsure" reactions, I recommend you follow your own advice - play with it!
      >
      > The core of the dream has been related in the later portion of the work, but like many related dreams, only in generalities. Why not put meat on the bones?
      >
      > What I mean is look at your beginning. The "Our Lady of Hope" part is entertaining. You even get away with generalities through the story of how this group of men fall asleep. But even here, imagine if you gave the farter a name. Begin to develop the characters in that zone of the piece - names, physiques, voices, behaviors. Because you want definite characters when each person sees "The Wisdom" and you want their characters reflected in what they see and argue for. If this is coming from a non-fiction real event, you may have to reduce the number of characters and you may have to merge characteristics or drop characteristics.
      >
      > But what the characters say and do has to feel real, consistent, and illuminating.
      >
      > Now go have fun!
      >
      > Rod
      > aka albi
      > http://cairdeas.webs.com/
      >
      > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "dave_n2chi" <davidgriffin@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Need your opinions, crits, suggestions. I read the following essay to my local writing group yesterday and some liked it, others were "unsure." Hahaha! We know what THAT means! So, whaddya think? I know it's deep, but is this too obscure or is it at least somewhat lucid? And, of course, how can I improve it?
      > > Thanks,
      > > Dave
      > >
      > >
      > > BOYS
      > >
      > > Before it was sold a few years ago, I would from time to time take myself off to a weekend retreat with other men from a variety of religious denominations (I have none, really) to Our Lady of Hope Center, one of the many absolutely beautiful monasteries and retreat houses here in our valley lying along the Hudson River. Our Lady had been built long ago as a Minor Seminary, a school for adolescent boys who planned to enter a real seminary after high school. A type of holding tank for the religiously inclined, the Minors were boarding schools meant to "protect young men from the contagion of the world." Myself, I enjoyed contagion at that age.
      > >
      > > At night we men slept in the boys' old dorm rooms, each with twenty or so beds, small pallets not truly made for comfort. We didn't mind. Though in our forties and fifties and older, we bantered after the lights went out, kidded each other about our small faults and told jokes until mostly everyone dropped off to sleep. Then, someone would fart and we'd be at it once more until ten minutes had passed and we were quiet, happy youngsters drifting off to dreamland. For forty-eight hours we were boys again, hearts edged with laughter.
      > >
      > > After a greasy breakfast in the morning, we began a hard day's work on what I suppose was for each of us a path to maturity. But the path would have its lighter moments, or the journey would be just a trip.
      > >
      > > Anyone peeking in on us would have said we were often like children. In fact, we were. We were natural and open, seeking a spiritual dimension that somehow eluded us in the heaviness of our responsibilities and work-a-day world. We were searching for the evanescent, but not interested in creeds, as men would be. On the journey, a boy might be more likely to find his own guidance, a wisdom that was at once his own and yet accessible to all.
      > >
      > > We began the journey like a group of men in a dream I had in my twenties. Crossing a bright green pasture in the dream, we came to the edge of a wood and entered on a path we hoped would take us to a refreshing waterfall that we had heard about and wanted to explore and enjoy. I felt awkward and a bit guilty, thinking I should be busy with men's work, something more serious than rambling through the countryside on a summer day. Then, I looked around and saw we had all become boys.
      > >
      > > An intriguing object lay ahead, just off the path and next to a tree. It seemed a marvel and totally captured our imaginations. I could see only small areas of it in my dream, never the whole. Its bright metal parts and latches and gears and small wheels appealed to our young boy hearts, more so than a treasure chest of gold and silver. But when we began to excitedly speak of it, I found that none of us saw exactly the same thing. Wondering what the object was, we began to guess who made it and what it was used for and how it got there. Anyone's opinion was fair. Some ideas were serious, some quite funny and we found ourselves laughing both in agreement and in disagreement. We'd seen nothing like it before. No one claimed any special knowledge of "the Wisdom," for that's what we began to call the object, because boys name things with words that sound important and with phrases that pop into their heads. Of course, some boys were adamant about the purpose of the Wisdom, but it was recognized that none of us knew for sure.
      > >
      > > When we had conjectured long enough and the sun reached its zenith high above us, it was time to get on with our journey. No boy thought to take the thing for himself, to own it and keep it on his dresser or next to his bed at night like a favorite baseball glove. It was somehow apparent the Wisdom belonged where we found it, by the wayside on the journey, always there for anyone who would see it. It appeared to have no purpose, and seemingly nothing to reveal, except to awaken our wonder, and certainly our delight. And one more thing. The Wisdom made us boys again.
      > >
      > > copyright 2009, David Griffin
      > >
      >
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