Alex Miller Inspiration

I’m reading Autumn Laing by Alex Miller, two-time winner of Australia’s premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin award. He writes beautifully, intelligently and with wit and like all good storytellers he understands how to keep the reader reading.

Last night I was just placing my bookmark into the crease of the page but my eyes flicked across a sentence that immediately kept me reading. I was very tired after a busy weekend, and sleep was beckoning, flirting, but couldn’t compete with the seductiveness of a sentence that had me reading for another half an hour.

‘Something of great importance to me happened two nights ago.’

Really? I asked myself, and of course I had to know. So today’s prompt is this sentence from Alex Miller. I think it’s a great opener, but if you want to incorporate into  your piece, that’s fine too.  Set your timer for 5 minutes or write about 500 words. If you’re looking for specific feedback, please let us know. Otherwise – enjoy the writing.

I chose to set my timer and see where my pen might lead me.

'Two Nights Ago'

‘Something of great importance to me happened to nights ago…

…It was, as these things often are, unexpected. The moon had  hung in the sky, a yellowish orb, casting light across the water. The boat wallowed, inelegantly instead of  skimming over the surface. He sat across from me, nervously pretending to busy himself with a sinker, threading the green prawn along his hook. He cast his line, cleared his throat and then said nothing. A disco boat, all UV lights and pink glow sailed by. The woo-hooing of the women shrill and penetrating. We both pretended not to notice.He glanced across at me as the disco boat rounded Peacock Point, leaving a pink fan in its wake.

‘Patience and quietness are what’s needed for fishing.

‘Yes,’ I agreed.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box of blue velveteen and placed it on the seat between us, ‘Good for a wife too.’

‘Yes,’ I agreed.

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Write on Wednesday – Alex Miller Inspiration

This week I have a very special guest staying with me – Write on Wednesday.

I’ve been a Write on Wednesday regular for sometime now, and I’m very happy to be helping Gill out this week. If, you’ve stumbled by here and have no idea what Write on Wednesday is, or why I’m writing about it on a Monday, WOW is an online writing group. A weekly creativity fix that allows writers to share their words and receive support, encouragement and feedback from other writers. Some writers have ongoing pieces and characters they’ve been working on, others use the weekly prompts to flex and exercise their creative muscle.

WOW is normally at Gill’s blog, inkpaperpen, but for a couple of weeks, it’s on a roadtrip while Gill takes some R & R.

Alex Miller's 10th novel, Autumn Laing

I’m reading Autumn Laing by Alex Miller, two-time winner of Australia’s premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin award. He writes beautifully, intelligently and with wit and like all good storytellers he understands how to keep the reader reading.

Last night I was just placing my bookmark into the crease of the page but my eyes flicked across a sentence that immediately kept me reading. I was very tired after a busy weekend, and sleep was beckoning, flirting, but couldn’t compete with the seductiveness of a sentence that had me reading for another half an hour.

‘Something of great importance to me happened two nights ago.’

Really? I asked myself, and of course I had to know. So today’s prompt is this sentence from Alex Miller. I think it’s a great opener, but if you want to incorporate into  your piece, that’s fine too.  Set your timer for 5 minutes or write about 500 words. If you’re looking for specific feedback, please let us know. Otherwise – enjoy the writing.

I’m so sorry – I’ve been ‘Adding’ a new collection when I should have been ‘Creating’! Hope this all works now. I’m so not into blog technology!!

 


 

Write on Wednesday – The One Liner

The Write On Wednesday Rules: Get creative with the writing exercises – there isn’t a right or wrong. Please do try to visit the other members of Write On Wednesdays and leave a comment. You can grab the button for Write On Wednesdays from my sidebar.

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 13 – A Great One Liner…This week you need to come up with one good line to describe a part of your day. It can be ‘real life’ or fiction. But it must tell us ‘who did what’. It has to be an amazing line, like a tiny little paper plane that must travel a big distance (figuratively speaking) with only a few folds … Every word in that line must earn its place, or be cut as excess baggage. Let’s get thinking about each sentence as though every word counts, like working one group of muscles to show how much weight they can carry.
This week’s exercise is courtesy of Karen who can be found at the wonderful the rhythm method.
I know that Gill likes to read about how other writers approach the exercise, so I have taken a copy of my scrawling to show how I progressed towards the end result. It doesn’t, of course, show the trips to the kitchen for tea, the shower (very fruitful thinking time), nor the staring blankly out my window at the pink peach blossom  and the frangipani coming into leaf. I always write by hand first, I like the flow and connection between the physical act of writing and  the stirring of ideas.

Waiting for the Flow...

Last night, by complete coincidence, I came across this passage in the Landscape of Farewell, by Alex Miller –
‘When I took up my pen, however, I was scarcely able to compose the simplest of sentences. I wrote a sentence then crossed it out and sat a while, then wrote another and looked at it. But it too made little sense to me and I crossed it out also. There was a stubborn silence in me that refused to yield up my emotions and my thoughts in words. My subject was closed to me.’
How apt. And how reassuring that a writer of Alex Miller’s calibre has bad moments on his way to producing great beauty.
 I did cheat. This is not from my day, it is a piece of fiction, but it helps me get to know what’s going on in Carol’s day. And so to my sentence. It’s hard to tell a story in one sentence, I’m not yet adept enough to do it in a short, concise manner, but after all my scrawling, here it is.
Carol’s grandchild was plucked from her tender cradling by the mother’s mother, a polite smirk of condescension pressing her coral tainted lips as she re-established order in the nest.
Thank-you everyone for your generous and thoughtful comments last week. I really appreciated it.
And as always, thank-you to Gill at inkpaperpen.