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An exemplary day

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Old 12-14-2017, 11:36 AM
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Default An exemplary day


A bird lands in front of my house every day around noon, I can never be sure it is the same one every time, but that's probably a reasonable assumption, it would be much stranger if it were a different bird each day. Every day I make myself a cup of coffee, go to the living room window and wait for the visit. And there she is, her black feathers shine on fresh snow, she is light, so she doesn’t fall into it. She jumps around for a while, looks at me for a few seconds, eats some of the grain I put up for her last night, and flies away. My dog always sits right next to me and starts at the bird intensely, undoubtedly wishing the widow would disappear and she could go into hunting mode. It is almost like an agenda, the bird has things to do. She is clearly a busy girl, things need to be done, birds met, predators avoided, life goes on.

The bird is gone, I leave too. My dog finds a spot by the unlit fire place, I find mine by the desk. My laptop wants to be opened, touched, played with, I feel addicted to it, the Internet has me in its claws and there is no escaping. No rest for the wired. I sit in front of it motionlessly for a minute or two, sipping my coffee which is getting cold quickly. The house is draughty, old, and I honestly don’t know what holds it together. The whole building moves every time there is a windy night. And the winds are powerful here. They weren’t like this back home. But I guess this is home now. I look around the living room; there are old stains on the carpet, the color of wood panels on the walls is long faded, huge panoramic windows are impossible to clean, but the view is still impressive. I turn around to look outside at the ocean. We live on a hill and have a stunning view of a fjord, some mountains, and a meadow which leads to a river, now frozen and covered in snow. In the beginning I thought I would never get used to it, that it would always be as impressive as the day we moved in. I got used to it. It is still pretty, but the beauty is boring. I drink my cold coffee.

The Sun rises at 10 am, it is 12:11. We don’t see the Sun now at all because of the mountains. It hid behind them in October and will be visible again around March. It is a dark and sleepy time. I like it. I work better at night, and now it begins just after 3pm. As the Sun sets, my productivity rises. I guess that’s a common trait for people who like to write (I reprimand myself for not using the word “writer” but I realize again and again that I don’t see myself as one and to use it feels almost like sacrilege). I know I’ve always been guilty of that. I have always been writing all night, sleeping all day, my eyes are permanently red, and coffee is my faithful companion in this absurd endeavor.

I give up and turn on the computer. I think about the bird and what she’s doing now. It is 1pm, two hours until dusk. Perfect, I can start working then. I waste my time, watch something that I will forget, take my dog for a walk. Dusk.

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Old 12-14-2017, 04:03 PM
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I like how this piece moves. There is an almost funny discrepancy between the “wired” woman and the slowness and regularity all around her.

Do you intend the run-on sentences? I know some people who do, but for me they take away some of the drama, the tension. I know there is no action here, but there still can be lots more subtle tension. And this is maybe no more than a public entry in a diary. Or maybe you just made the whole thing up. Still, it’s attractive in its way.




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Old 12-14-2017, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the kind words. I did intend the very long and the very short sentences, I felt like it conveys the thought process of the character who is blasé and constantly waits for something to happen. It felt more natural, almost like a stream of consciousness but with more form, I suppose.
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pralina View Post
Thanks for the kind words. I did intend the very long and the very short sentences, I felt like it conveys the thought process of the character who is blasé and constantly waits for something to happen. It felt more natural, almost like a stream of consciousness but with more form, I suppose.

Long sentences aren’t a problem, and neither are short ones. But I think you can make a sentence long without making it a run-on, and it would serve to make your writing more powerful.

Like this:


A bird lands in front of my house every day around noon, and I can never be sure it is the same one every time, but that's probably a reasonable assumption, because it would be much stranger if it were a different bird each day.

I just added “and” and “because.” This gets rid of the comma splices, makes it tighter, with less pause to think about what you’re saying. It still says the same thing, but without the reader having to work for it.

Anyway, take it or leave it.





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Old 12-15-2017, 01:42 AM
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I know what you mean and I agree to a certain point but it was intentional. I feel like these sentences read like pieces of thoughts, unordered and almost unimportant, and that was my goal. Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:54 AM
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("...one can never be sure if it is the same bird each time..." suggested the goblin who suspected that the "if" was just an oversight, then adding "...the bird doesn't sink into the snow, and it eats the grain that I put out for it last night too...", but then again the goblin didn't want to correct it further since it was like a painting in prose, where only the artist knew what was really right then, adding "...well I guess that you already know that I love run-on sentences, not that I'm against short choppy sentences, anymore than a whole bunch of paragraphs for that matter, no only they're just a choice in writing I suppose, go with your choices...", in fact, the goblin liked a line that was wrong for being wrong, relating "...birds meet, predators are avoided, life goes on, or birds met, predators were avoided, life went on, where meet was a verb but where avoided wasn't...", what of it though, as the goblin still liked the line for that imagery it offered)

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Old 12-15-2017, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pralina View Post
I know what you mean and I agree to a certain point but it was intentional. I feel like these sentences read like pieces of thoughts, unordered and almost unimportant, and that was my goal. Thanks for your feedback!
I really enjoyed your musing Pralina.

Welcome aboard. x
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:13 AM
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It reads like the beginning of a novel or mystery. Very evocative of something, something, about to happen.. Nice! My critique would be just like BrianPatrick's.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:55 PM
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Thanks! I really appreciate and keep in mind everything you guys are saying.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:09 AM
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I played with your paragraph. Not such a good idea because I took away your voice. I know you referred to it as a "she" but I changed it to an "it" since distinguishing genders of birds is extremely difficult whenever one is on the scene. I also introduced your dog a bit sooner to reduce the element of surprise later. Also I mentioned the bird twice before introducing "you" into the story. I think that would be better for the flow. Well, I enjoyed messing with your paragraph. Thanks for the exercise. You have a couple of tense changes. But, like the bird, your writing is light and enjoyable.


A bird lands in front of my house every day around noon, I can never be sure it is the same one every time, but that's probably a reasonable assumption, it would be much stranger if it were a different bird each day. Every day I make myself a cup of coffee, go to the living room window and wait for the visit. And there she is, her black feathers shine on fresh snow, she is light, so she doesn’t fall into it. She jumps around for a while, looks at me for a few seconds, eats some of the grain I put up for her last night, and flies away. My dog always sits right next to me and starts at the bird intensely, undoubtedly wishing the widow would disappear and she could go into hunting mode. It is almost like an agenda, the bird has things to do. She is clearly a busy girl, things need to be done, birds met, predators avoided, life goes on.

Each day around noon, a bird lands in front of my house. Whether it is the same one, I am not sure; but, I assume it is because a different bird visiting each day is really strange since only one shows up. Before the bird arrives, I make myself a cup of coffee, go to the living room window, and wait for it with my dog sitting beside me. Suddenly, like magic, with its black feathers shining on the fresh snow, it appears. Fortunately, It is light and therefore doesn't sink into the snow. Instead, it jumps around for a while and looks at me before eating the grain I put up for it last night. As the bird eats, my dog stares at it intensely, probably wishing the window wasn't there so it can go into hunting mode. After satisfying itself with the grain, it flies away. It must be a busy critter, with things to do and predators to avoid. Until we meet again tomorrow, life goes on.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:13 AM
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"It" doesn't do; I like "she" much more, and with many birds you can tell the gender. Maybe she is a female cardinal, for instance. In this paragraph she is very personal and the word it just ruins the whole thing! Sorry.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:15 AM
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Well, if the bird is black, I guess she isn't a cardinal, but still. I do feel the first run on sentence needs punctuation.
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