Zephyr 98 Archive

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

A title a day* helps keep the doldrums away. As a writing exercise, can you create a story from it?
Today
How to Recognize Leprosy: A Popular Guide, by Dr E. Muir
Publisher not stated, undated
Note: The illustration shows a physician gently probing a lesion/rash on the arm of a blindfolded patient.
Mice, armidillos, and animals closely related to humans can also contract leprosy. I picture a retired third world zookeeper, his leprosy in treatment, tending to the bengal tiger that belongs to a prominent magician.
*From the book of eye opening titles, Scouts in Bondage and other violations of literary propriety, ed. Michael Bell.

A title a day* helps keep the doldrums away. As a writing exercise, can you create a story from it?

Today

How to Recognize Leprosy: A Popular Guide, by Dr E. Muir

Publisher not stated, undated

Note: The illustration shows a physician gently probing a lesion/rash on the arm of a blindfolded patient.

Mice, armadillos, and animals closely related to humans can also contract leprosy. I picture a retired third world zookeeper, his leprosy in treatment, tending to the bengal tiger that belongs to a prominent magician.

*From the book of eye opening titles, Scouts in Bondage and other violations of literary propriety, ed. Michael Bell.

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A title a day* helps keep the doldrums away. As a writing exercise, can you create a story from it without nudging and winking?

Today

Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk: What I Have Written is True!

Modern Fiction (London) Ltd, undated

Note: On the cover, Maria wears a nun’s habit.

I picture a magician’s assistant. (Wonder if I’m creating a chain story, starting with Willie’s Ordeal.)

*From the snickery book of real titles, Scouts in Bondage and other violations of literary propriety, ed. Michael Bell.

A title a day helps keep the doldrums away. From the snickery book of real titles, Scouts in Bondage and other violations of literary propriety, ed. Michael Bell. As a writing exercise, can you create a story from these without nudging and winking, but also without losing humor?

Today

Willie’s Ordeal, by Amy Grey

pub. Religious Tract Society, London, [c. 1924]

I picture a magician. And a tiger.

Note: This song by The Sweet could meet the criteria, but do you really want to go there?

I’m not much of a Western lit reader (maybe one ever few years), but my mother’s family is from E. Oregon (Baker, Pondosa, La Grande, Pendleton), with many surviving friends who are ranchers, farmers, or townspeople. My maternal grandmother left home at 17 in the late 1920’s and worked for three years gentling horses using techniques similar to those in Hearts of Horses. I’ve spent many years in many seasons on vacation (from W. Oregon) tromping, driving, fishing, and hunting in the land around Elwha county, and buried my grandfather on a butte in Union county. I’ve read Gloss’s other novels (with relish, hearty chutney-style) and so I bought this book–“for my mother.” Who finished it in a few days, then shoved it back at me and said, you need to read it. And, now that I’m done, I can’t think of when I’ve been so rewarded by a book as I have with this slow story (slow like honey dripping, not slow like water set to boil) about people and community and hearts and the land. And horses. Maybe my background makes me a perfect target audience for this book–you could say that I loved the book because the people and land resonated with my experiences and those of my family, but I would not have loved it less otherwise, and hated to see it end. It could have been longer–twice as long–and I would have been doubly satisfied. I read much of it on the commuter train to work every day and there were parts that made me turn to the window away from other passengers–a difficult situation for a grown man on public transport. I also laughed out loud in places. If you buy, borrow, or steal this book, you’ll have a true story in your hands–I’ll let you work out the parts that are true, but it’s very likely that your heart will inform your head.

(Yep, that’s it, no plot rehash, just a direct response to the novel. You can find plenty of details at Amazon, Powell’s, and other bookseller sites.)


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