Building Blocks (? The ‘world view’ of our readers)

Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…

Remembering that our readers are seeing a picture that we are drawing with words, we must keep in mind that the reader may/may not mentally associate with what we are trying to infer.

“The road would seem to be in the middle of nowhere. Yet, the profusion of retail businesses at this intersection exhibited the diversity of area residents.” One should never judge a population solely on the distance you are from a large city or small town; how will your readers so judge? However, some things are universal. For instance, all around the world, birds will frequent outdoor eateries, just as people do. Here are two examples:

We were sitting outside at a café in Stuttgart, Germany, and the waitress placed a basket of warm rolls on the center of our table. Within a blink of an eye, a pigeon landed on the basket and began to feast on the rolls. I had to use my hand to brush the aggressively hungry pigeon away. I commented to my date that this café sure did serve rare food (I meant undercooked, but maybe they did serve pigeons).

In Panama City, Panama, I was having some food at an outdoor café, when I noticed two hungry looking pigeons standing by the curbside watching me eat. Not thinking clearly, I tossed a few bread crumbs to the hungry birds. Instantly, a flock of what appeared to be two thousand birds materialized out of nowhere and descended amongst the tables! Two things immediately came to mind. First, these pigeons could have easily won a pigeon race in Germany, and, far more importantly, it was time for Steve to leave the café before the other patrons dining outside realized I was the one who was responsible for pigeon invasion!

Talking about food, let us remember that our readers may not mentally associate with something we think is universal. For example, Starbucks are located all around the world. However, even though there seemed to be a Starbucks on every street in Seoul, South Korea, none seemed to have decaf coffee. I was told the decaf beans were too expensive to import. Thus, a reader from Seoul may/may not understand: “To the surprise of his girlfriend, he ordered a Starbucks Decaf Americano before heading to their nighttime playground.”

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.



Masque (homophone flash fiction)

The elder land baron looked at the barren landscape and thought how the beech looked as if it was on a beach. It was the miner standing next to him who should no longer be a minor participant in use of the estate. The industrious words he had used to mask his true intentions had become a serious masque of death and destruction. Once the current contract was signed, and they were tied to his development plans, the tide had ebbed; the farming productivity current moved out, and even the currants dried up.

Now the lone land baron, his other partners having moved to the Capital, wondered who would loan him sufficient capital to buy the man out, and re-fertilize the land. Could he purl enough money to turn the land once again into a pearl? He looked into the mirror and could see the reflection of the once idol who was now idle. He thought ‘from earn to urn’.

Then at dinner, over a steak, with a possible partner, he offered the prospect a stake. Of course he was careful not to induce another idiot who would prospect the land. Thus he voiced his principles, and made known that he, the land baron, was, no questions asked, the principal lead for the redevelopment. Thankfully, the man could deal with that demand. Thus, with his intentions to deal with the land destruction issue voiced and accepted, the deal closed.
(Masque, © Steven S. Walsky, October 2017, is a work of fiction.)