Friday, June 5, 2009

First lines

I found a web site just now called The First Line. You can write fiction or non-fiction for their low-paying literary magazine, but you have to use a first line that they provide.

The first line for August is “My life is a sham.” For fall, it's Waiting for change always seems to take longer than you would expect. There's a page to explain Submissions.

Who knows? I might try that.

Cool descriptions: I'm always struck by descriptive fiction. Yesterday, I was reading an Ellery Queen book, and he described a doddering theater. I could almost see the old edifice staggering down the street.

Then today, I was re-reading a Louis L'Amour book entitled "Conagher" and was struck by one sentence/paragraph. The land was a living thing, breathing with the wind, weeping with the rain, growing somber with clouds or gay with sunlight. Some people wouldn't like the fact that it's a run-on sentence, but it's sweet to me. Louis L'Amour had a way with words.

Headline of the century: I've written about headlines before, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one particular headline. We were working at the newspaper and watching a Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight. Tyson, ever the bully, was struggling against the more talented Holyfield. Suddenly, Tyson bit Holyfield on the ear! That caused a ruckus, but he did it again minutes later!

After the fight was called, Rusty Boggs, who always sat quietly in the back of the sports department, said, "I have the headline." We all turned, and he said, "Bite of the Century." It was a play on the term fight of the century, and we all recognized it immediately as a great headline. You would have to read a story with that headline.

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Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

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