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Writing A short short.


Charles
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The sky is passion fruit, an amalgamation of blazing blush and honey yellow. It doesn?t have an aroma, exactly. Just a certain cleanliness. Its ripe nature is evident in the crispness of the air alone. The oxygen is free from the smells of man--pure, a pleasure to breathe. The skeletal outer workings of mysterious structures, otherwise untouched and probably forgotten, are brushed with its condensation, a gift of buoyancy otherwise void from their very existence.

?Can you see anything? she says.

The boy presses himself so close to the window that his breathing leaves behind a cloud on the pane. With one eye open, he bites his lower lip and rubs it away with his elbow.
Shoving her companion aside, the little girl imprints her face onto the window. He stumbles backwards and lands on his backside.
?It?s probably just a cat,? he says.

?It?s so dark,? she says.

The boy shuffles and kicks at the dirt in front of him, quickly becoming bored now that his spot has been taken. He doesn?t wear a shirt. The morning chill doesn?t bother him. Neither does the cold ground. He sweats like a bag of steam. The bottoms of his feet are tougher than his worn-out sneakers.

This place belongs to them, it?s their magical place. Their Terabithia. A world with no boundaries or rules. A life unsupervised by parents or schools. They love exploring this veritable wonderland of nooks, crannies, tight spots and mysterious things.

They run splashing through puddles and slushing in mud. They stack columns of tires alongside sagging mattresses and discarded couches (heavy with rain water) transforming them into fantastical fortresses. It?s as if the world has blinked and they are able to exist in a place removed from thought. Their laughter rings out, disturbing quiet afternoons as they build their kingdom piece by piece.
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[size=1]Perhaps it's just because you meant ion the word, but this piece reminds me of the book, Road To Terabithia. It's about these two kids -- a girl and a guy -- who use the wood land to escape from school and the family.

Although, the writing doesn't really resemble it, just the situation. To me, this piece is more...whimsical? Magical? The description makes the piece more serene, I suppose.

I love the first paragraph. It really brings out the surroundings, and sets the time, as well. The reader could almost paint the scene from the description present, which is a really wonderful thing.

You know I love your work, Charlie. Well done, yet again.[/size]
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I'm not much of a poem/writing critique, but I guess I could give it a try and just hope not to sound stupid. Well, I thought it was written very well, and well, I didn't expect any less from Charles. As I read it I was reminded of the Animatrix cartoon with the children in their own little playground, some sort of building ruins. Well, I just assumed that the story was about the children finding there own little hidden place, their own little world. A secret world that only they knew, and when they wanted to escape their troubles, they could go and play with each other without a care in the world.

It's very detailed, enough to indicate that their secret playground isn't a clean place, nor is it occupied often by others. They seem to have enough things to play with, and use for various ways of play. Perhaps it's a run down, abandoned apartment building, or maybe even a garbage dump.

Anyway, excellent work, Charles.
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[size=1] The first paragraph is amazing, Charles.

I've missed you--missed you posting in this forum, all over OB, chatting on AIM. But besides this, I am here to talk about the piece at hand.

It suits my feelings at this moment well--very well. And it's written well.

Bleh. I'm not in the mood to take it apart piece by piece.

You should know you did a good job, Charles.[/size]
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Charles [/i]
[B]The sky is passion fruit, an amalgamation of blazing blush and honey yellow. It doesn?t have an aroma, exactly. Just a certain cleanliness. Its ripe nature is evident in the crispness of the air alone. The oxygen is free from the smells of man--pure, a pleasure to breathe. The skeletal outer workings of mysterious structures, otherwise untouched and probably forgotten, are brushed with its condensation, a gift of buoyancy otherwise void from their very existence.

?Can you see anything? she says.

The boy presses himself so close to the window that his breathing leaves behind a cloud on the pane. With one eye open, he bites his lower lip and rubs it away with his elbow.
Shoving her companion aside, the little girl imprints her face onto the window. He stumbles backwards and lands on his backside.
?It?s probably just a cat,? he says.

?It?s so dark,? she says.

The boy shuffles and kicks at the dirt in front of him, quickly becoming bored now that his spot has been taken. He doesn?t wear a shirt. The morning chill doesn?t bother him. Neither does the cold ground. He sweats like a bag of steam. The bottoms of his feet are tougher than his worn-out sneakers.

This place belongs to them, it?s their magical place. Their Terabithia. A world with no boundaries or rules. A life unsupervised by parents or schools. They love exploring this veritable wonderland of nooks, crannies, tight spots and mysterious things.

They run splashing through puddles and slushing in mud. They stack columns of tires alongside sagging mattresses and discarded couches (heavy with rain water) transforming them into fantastical fortresses. It?s as if the world has blinked and they are able to exist in a place removed from thought. Their laughter rings out, disturbing quiet afternoons as they build their kingdom piece by piece. [/B][/QUOTE]

For some reason, I don't think Charles was directly influenced by Road To Terabithia...the story looks and sounds much more like a narrative adaptation of T.S. Elliot's Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock.

[url]http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html[/url]

Charles establishes the sky in his first paragraph. Prufrock's first stanza describes the sky. Charles uses "passion fruit, an amalgamation of blazing blush and honey yellow."

[quote][i]Prufrock[/i]
[b]When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table[.][/b][/quote]

Ether was used to sedate patients, often bringing about hallucinogenic states and it is likely those sedated patients would see colors similar to "passion fruit, an amalgamation of blazing blush and honey yellow."

The buildings strike similarities, too.

"The skeletal outer workings of mysterious structures, otherwise untouched and probably forgotten,"

[quote][i]Prufrock[/i]
[b]Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells[.]"[/b][/quote]

When we think of "half-deserted streets," what comes to mind? Skeletal environment. Something barren of life, barren of movement. Something dead. What happens to something when it dies? After a while, it is forgotten, especially buildings. Also, "one-night cheap hotels." One night stands. What happens to one night stands? They are forgotten, never touched again in memory.

The heavy obsession with and emphasis on windows in Charles' piece here has a very strong correlation with Prufrock.

"are brushed with its condensation, a gift of buoyancy otherwise void from their very existence."

[quote][i]Prufrock[/i]
[b]The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,[/b][/quote]

In Prufrock, a window is licked. In Charles, condensation forms.

?The boy presses himself so close to the window that his breathing leaves behind a cloud on the pane.?

What causes condensation? Moisture. Where would moisture come from? A cat licking a window. Nice, Charles. Very nice.

Now, the only thing that deviates from Prufrock is the ending. Charles lets his characters live carefree and without worry, while Prufrock is experiencing a midlife crisis and essentially gives up on himself.

But, considering this deviation from Prufrock, Charles now presents us with a neat little twist on Love Song. After teasing us with these very nice similarities and inside references, he turns the tables on us, bringing us back to what he wants to do with the piece.

I think Charles has written what our fiction professor calls a ?successful steal.? Charles took Prufrock?s themes, ideas, descriptions, and very neatly and subtly transforms them into his own.

So, yeah. I don?t know if Charles was thinking Road To Terabithia specifically. Looks like he was more thinking of Prufrock (hey, we read Prufrock in Comp 101 together 2 years ago! :D). Seems to me that the ?Terabithia? line was a Red Herring.


Nice work, dude. See you in a few hours, provided Denise doesn?t cancel class.
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Well, I've spoken with PoisonTongue following his post (he's the one who told me about it, in fact) and it's one of the more insightful critiques I've ever read on OtakuBoards.

Although I didn't have T.S. Elliot's Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock in mind when I wrote this, that piece is one of the most influential works I've read. It's a beautiful melancholy I've tried to incorporate into my own writing style (along with the simplicity of Hemmingway). Thus, although there is no [i]direct[/i] influence, that example probably did play a subconscious role in what I put down. It's a defining factor to be sure.

It just blew my mind when you drew the similarities between the writing, Alex. Very nice and very much appreciated. I'm flattered to say the least. ^_^

To clarify my scene, I should say that Vampired Ed is indeed correct. These children are rumaging through a landfill. The piece begins as if its tone was positive or whimsical. But, as one pulls back the curtain and the big picture is revealed--a tragic situation becomes apparent, a situation in which survival for these two unsupervised children is ultimately hopeless. Their happiness is only temporary. They can't possibly exist in a place like this. Eventually, they'll become sick or starve. Which, is a theme prevalent in the animated film [i]Grave of the Fireflies[/i].

The skeletal structures I mentioned are abandoned homes in an urban setting. But, you see, I weave it in there in such a way that it covers both meanings I intend it to. The buildings are never specifically identified. They're shadows here.

Thanks to everyone for your insight. This certainly turned out better than my Married with Children thread. Although I did get one fantastic reply to that, which makes it worth it. heh ^_^;;

And, I'll try to be around more Mitch. There are only about two weeks remaining in this semester. ~_^;;
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Lady Asphyxia [/i]
[B][size=1]Perhaps it's just because you meant ion the word, but this piece reminds me of the book, Road To Terabithia. It's about these two kids -- a girl and a guy -- who use the wood land to escape from school and the family.
[/size] [/B][/QUOTE]

You read Bridge to Terabithia?
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*is glad he's not posting right after PoisonTongue's post* ^_^;

Anyway, even though it's probably been drilled into your head by now, the first paragraph is fantastic. Very easy to picture a land of such magnificent description and atomsphere.

The stark contrast in the rest of the story to the first paragraph is very interesting, as well. You can really picture the scene transitioning from a beautiful land of color and cleanliness to a filthy, ruined land.

I'm a bit embarrassed that I didn't pick up on the influence of T.S. Eliot, heh. I did a project on him last year and I got to know his poetry very well...amazing stuff, that is.

Great work, Charles.
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Trowa_fan [/i]
[B]You read Bridge to Terabithia? [/B][/QUOTE]

[size=1] Trowa_fan, don't post such inane and spammilicous posts.

Otherwise, nice catch on the Eliot-ness, PT. I am not too familiar with Eliot, so I would have never seen it.[/size]
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[color=#707875]I rarely come in this forum, apart from the odd occasion where I really feel compelled to read something. But I noticed that you had a thread here, Charles. So I had to read it.

I have honestly never seen writing of yours that I've [i]not[/i] liked. Everything from your game reviews to your poetry and other fictional work is fantastic. You don't try to bombard me with big words [i]just[/i] for the sake of making something look intelligent. You seem to choose your words carefully. Nothing is thrown in there without a point; it all has significance. And I like that. It makes your work very easy to read for anyone, but no less profound or in-depth.

I won't go to the extent that PT did, but I will say that this piece, as with all your other pieces, is well-written and fantastically presented.

It's amazing how a relatively small piece of writing can still leave you with a very distinct emotion. This piece definitely does that, without doubt.[/color]
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