Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday! Filler! An Excerpt!

Is everyone working on their story for our contest? I am! To prove it, I offer the following snippet, which will give you a feel for the prose style, but not much else. Which is fine, I think. Anyway, all the usual caveats about this being a rough draft:

The air at M-- was soothing, clean and soft like washed linen. Antosha imagined the pure, clear atmosphere circulating through his chest, bathing his bronchial passages. He could smell the white blossoms of the chestnut trees along the stream over to his left. He could almost taste the powdery purple lilac scent and the tang of graygreen catkins that swayed beneath the twisting black limbs of an old willow at the crest of the hill behind him. Antosha visualized these perfect fragrances as medicinal compounds, cleaning any imperfections from his lungs. A mile or so ahead of him, Antosha knew, was a field of knee-high grass mixed with chamomile, the ubiquitous chamomile that grows everywhere in Russia. If he kept on in the same direction he'd push through a wall of silver birches and there he'd see an acre of dark yellow cones above thin white petals, like ten thousand boiled egg yolks perched atop porcelain saucers, trembling in the breeze. Chamomile had been used in folk remedies for centuries. Doctor Chekhonte often prescribed tea with chamomile to his own patients, in cases of insomnia or nervous blood.

I'm having fun with this story, and I think it will be something worth reading when I'm done. Even if it's not a great story, I got to use the word "catkins," which you have to agree is a cool word.


  1. Yes, I agree, catkins is a great word. Mind if I borrow it?

  2. Cynthia: Thanks! It's a little clunky, but I still have plenty of time to revise. I am trying to write in something like Chekhov's mature style, but of course it all comes out sounding like me.

  3. Oooo, melikes. Such lovely nature descriptions like you were talking about in your earlier post.

    And you should know that you don't have to have your story ready by the deadline since we know ours are going in the very back for those interested in reading them. This means you can play around with it until the time I am formatting the book, which could be awhile even after we choose entries to go in... Then again, if you want to hold yourself to the deadline, that's fine, too. I really need to get mine written soon.

  4. This post should have come with a scratch-and-sniff chamomile button. Or something.

    The description is vivid.

    My submittion is being critiqued by my writers group tomorrow. I'm chewing my nails with nervousness . .


  5. Done, critiqued and in the final polishing stages. Good luck to all entrants.

  6. Love the description of the thousand yellow cones.I have a rough draft with no ending but two weeks. I have two weeks, right?

  7. Michelle: I need to finish my story (or at least a first draft of it) before I read any of the contest entries. I also need to do something for Loren's Advent Ghosts thing.

    Donna: Send, send, send it to us!

    Chuck: Send, send, send it to us!

    Yvonne: I have about the first half of mine written. I know what the ending is, but I don't know how (or why) to get there from where I am.

  8. I like the catkins and the egg yolks! That's brilliant! My story has been rolling around in my head, but I haven't gotten any words out yet. This morning, I will. This morning!


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