777 Challenge Untagged

Its origins are mysterious, its age unknown, its call impelling. I stumbled upon a post that responded to a networking and writing exercise called the 777 Challenge.

 

 

The Challenge is quite simple:

Post 7 lines (at least) from the 7th page in prose or poetry you are currently writing, then challenge (tag) 7 other writers to do the same.

I am new on the scene — at least to the online writing community — yet I think the 777 Challenge will be fun … and revealing. So I’m trying it. Yep, I’m self-tagging. And the writers I will tag are strangers to me. I am interested to see who I meet and how this goes.

Seven Lines

I decided to pick seven lines from (the seventh page of) the second chapter of a novel, called Heartlodge, that I am working on. This chapter is entitled Stories.

In this passage, Abby encounters a magic book — though, aren’t all books magic?

The black letters in the book moved. They swooped out of the darkness surrounding the stars, landed on the open page near its bottom right, flowed across the sheet as if it were a stream and lifted off at the top left as the words they formed were pronounced. They disappeared into sound as the words were spoken, almost as if they became Uncle Wit’s voice as he talked. Yet the darkness around the stars did not diminish.

‘Uncle Wit? Where did these words come from? They weren’t here before.’ Yet they seemed to have always been there like Uncle Wit’s voice, the breeze and the warmth of Simon beside her. “

~ © 2012 Shawn Urban, Heartlodge

You might think that five-year old Abby is about to go on an incredible journey. The fact is however that she is in the middle of one in this passage … and her destination will be even more incredible. You might also think that Heartlodge is a children’s book. It is not. It gets dark and deep, starting in the first chapter. In this passage, for instance, Abby already lost her parents, is alone and is about to realize that she is lost. It all leads to a cosmic conflict.

Seven Challenges

Since I am new to the online writing community, I will pick, with a die, seven writers with blogs who I follow on twitter. That should randomize my choice of victims um … tagged writers to pass this challenge on to.

And the winners are:

This is not the most diverse list. I was hoping for more genres and writing forms, and writers from other cultures. But the die rolls as the bell tolls as they say.

Enjoy your 777 Challenge, everyone.

So, what do you think? Did I meet the challenge? Are you intrigued by the passage? Leave a comment, or a question. I would love to hear from you.

Synergy and Convergence

I just saw a commercial for an interesting-sounding movie, called The Odd Life of Timothy Green, about a boy who is born out of his parents’ wishes and the Earth. That is all I know about the movie.

But that reminded me of a short story I wrote a couple of years ago, about a girl born of Water and her parents’ wishes. How neat is that?

They say that ideas flow until they meet in a node and while in that node many people combine these ideas into similar constructs. So it was with Darwin and Wallace, so it is with many literary works. It has happened many times to me and tonight it happened again.

I can’t help but smile.

 

 

I called my story A Pril o’ the Thirst. It is a Jack tale, only the main character is April. And yes I wrote it to be read at the March 31, 2010, meeting of the Write Group, the closest meeting to April 1 of that year.

The premise is that during a severe drought, the girl was born of the last bit of Water to a miller and his wife, who lived in a water-mill at the edge of a village. The girl, made of wish and magic, spreads magic and hope during her “typical-Jack” adventures. But she is also made of Water and upon her death, after a short life, Water returns to the village.

It is not coincidence that I equated the name April with Jack, nor that I thought of writing a Jack story for April Fool’s Day. I took a Storytelling course in 2004 from Gail de Vos at the University of Alberta. One of her grad students converted a Jack story into a contemporary April story to celebrate the approach of April 1 in 2004. All I can remember of that story is that it involved highrises and the Edmonton river valley. Yet the synergy of Jack, April and April 1 made an impression on me.

A Pril o’ the Thirst was a fun tale to write. I look forward to watching The Odd Life of Timothy Green when it comes out.

What do you think about idea nodes and converging creations? Have you ever experienced similar phenomena?