Hello writers & frenz —
Just about a year ago, kosak AKALib posted a wonderful diary in memory of John le Carré, pseudonymous author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and other renowned novels of what was probably still known as the great game when he worked in it (MI5 and MI6).
Truthfully, I haven’t read his work, feeling reluctant to enter that dark a realm. But this quotation of his from that diary, about his methods, seems very useful (bolding added):
Out of the secret world I once knew I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit.
First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I’m sitting now.
and this next one makes me feel like I might read some of his work after all:
The decision to learn a foreign language is to me an act of friendship. It is indeed a holding out of the hand. It’s not just a route to negotiation. It’s also to get to know you better, to draw closer to you and your culture, your social manners and your way of thinking. And the decision to teach a foreign language is an act of commitment, generosity and mediation.
There are more quotes at AKALib’s diary —mostly keen, powerful, often painful political observations— and splendid tweets of homage and images as well, also at least one video from a film adaptation of one of his books. So, do visit that diary sometime if you hadn’t before. You can still REC it too: all diaries can be rec’d forever/anytime, no matter from how long ago.
How does this lend itself to a writing challenge? Well, I was thinking (“Oh, Mehitabel, not again?!”) that a spy game might do.
So, here’s one, with perhaps a familiar look. You don’t hafta make it about spies, ‘tho’ — really it can be anything you please.
TEH GAME ROOLZ — rev.ed.:
<big>1.</big> If it looks like you’re among the first 4 commenters:
A. Blockquote at the top of your comment any 2 random words or expressions that come to your mind completely off the cuff and on the fly. Then just leave them there...
B. in that same comment, pick any 2 words or expressions from this diary, to use in writing a scene or moment.
<big>2.</big> If it looks like you’re later than the first 4 commenters, find an existing comment that has a pair of blockquoted words/phrases you like, and REPLY to it, with...
A. ...the same as in #1A above...
B. using that pair of words/phrases you liked, to write a scene or moment.
3. Extra Credit: if you’re feeling feisty, find another pair of words/phrases and go again! And again!
4. Optional: pick as many words or phrases from as many of yr frenz comments’ as you wanna, and post yr scene or moment independently at the left margin. (Bold the words/phrases you use, if you think of it.. Before your scene/moment, you might wanna start your comment with a blockquote like #1A above
BTW, strawbale, not a lamb and Mercy Orment commented recently that they see why someone here mentioned sh/e always copies to a text file how s/he met each Thursday evening’s challenge/exercise — because that keeps it handy for future development. Hunting for it later can take hours… maybe forever!
So I thought I’d remention that. As a choreography teacher I knew a lifetime ago said after every class, “Take your bag of goodies with you!”
Write On! will be a regular Thursday night diary (8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific) until it isn’t. Before signing a contract with any agent or publisher, please be sure to check them out on Preditors and Editors, Absolute Write, and/or Writer Beware.