Just a quick one today to reply to some of your comments which, as usual, I enjoyed reading. Last time I asked you to write an anecdote from your childhood. I think a sign of good, descriptive writing is that it allows the reader to form an image or a pictorial sequence of events in his or her mind – to see the action almost like a photograph or a video clip. Many of your stories brought images into my mind, so, as I read your stories, I could almost see….
...Paulraj, wandering around in a dark, unfamiliar village, crying in confusion, and the expression on his uncles’ faces who hadn’t even realised he was gone! I can see Ana Paola, hiding in the doghouse in her garden, maybe holding her breath hoping her mum wouldn’t find her. She was, both literally and metaphorically, ‘in the doghouse’.
Then there’s Sook, huffing and puffing, going red in the face, a bean stuck up her nose while her brother no doubt looked on in great amusement. Toni’s story conjures up a more sinister image, a car wedged against a tree, perilously close to plunging to the ground. (‘I can’t think why….’ – might be a better ironic structure at the end, Toni).
Then there was Benka, running terrified across a field, pursued by a foal and its more frightening mum. Asma, was another one wandering around lost, suddenly alone in the big, bad world. Vladimir learnt an early and cruel lesson when forced to go without soap, while Ramilton used to look after his father’s goats. We don’t usually keep pigs as pets in England, but anyone who does have a pig would certainly give it a name. Can you remember any of the goats’ names?
Leila, I too have quite hazy memories of childhood – often the memories seem to be more impressions than events. I think it’s interesting how memories become mythologised, how a memory can change and become more colourful over time. Family members or friends may recall the same event in a totally different way…family stories are embellished, re-imagined and change over time. A bit like history I guess…
Xavi, I agree that weather affects the way we behave. When the sun comes out in London, it’s like a different city. Have you heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? This is a kind of winter depression brought on by a lack of daylight. As I write this it’s dark and gloomy outside, dark grey clouds low in the sky, pregnant with rain. I think I need some bright light therapy!
Flower, great to receive your comment – it’s always nice to have first time commenters! Thanks for your best wishes, Abdisamad. OK can also be spelt Okay – there’s no real difference. It seems to be a question of personal preference on the part of the writer.
in the doghouse - if you are 'in the doghouse' somebody else, often a parent or partner is annoyed or angry with you
huffing and puffing - to be blowing hard in an effort to breathe (I was huffing and puffing after my 10km run a few weeks ago!)
conjure up - to make a picture or idea appear in your mind
perilous - dangerous
pursue - to follow someone or something to try to catch them
hazy - (of memories) vague or unclear
mythologise - to create a mythical or false idea out of something
embellish - to add to something to make it more beautiful or interesting
gloomy - almost dark, low light in which it is difficult to see
I’ll respond to your latest comments over the weekend – hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
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