Gratitude Spiral: Day 277

Today, I’m grateful for a new book given to me by one of my daughters.

How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. She gifted a copy to me and to each of her sisters. It sound like an excellent book, reading through the reviews on the back cover. I’m looking forward to starting it (as soon as I finish The War of Art).

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 272

Today, I’m grateful for The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

I learned of this book in an online writing class. Although, in my humble opinion, the author goes on for too long about creative blocks (coined ‘resistance’) and what it means to be ‘professional’, he had me at his introduction, titled ‘What I Do’.  It made me think — or rethink — what I do. And it gave me the push I needed to organize my time more efficiently and effectively. So, for that, I’m thankful.

What are you grateful for today?

First Lines…

Sometimes, hearing a well-known opening sentence can immediately conjure up the rest of a famous story for us. That’s all it takes. One sentence. For example: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,…” (Anyone NOT know what book that’s from?) Or how about “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” (Yes, I’m a Harry Potter fan!) I’m sure if we thought about it for a few minutes, we’d come up with plenty more examples.

Everything one reads on the art of story-telling stresses the importance of grabbing the reader right off the bat with that opening sentence. I’ve got both a novel and a children’s picture book manuscript in progress. One of them starts with the line, “R—- kicked hard at the cardboard box that blocked her bedroom doorway.” The other starts, “F—– the Frog had nothing to do.” Hopefully, they’ll lead the reader to ask questions like Why was there a box in her doorway? Why did she kick it? Or Is something going to happen to the frog since she’s got nothing to do? Either that or they’ll lead this writer to ask How could I make these introductions a whole lot more interesting?? 😉

Anyway, I’ve got two questions for you…and I’d love to hear your answers! First, can anyone tell me what children’s book starts with the line, “It was a dark and stormy night.”?  (A great book, by the way!) And second, can you share the first line of one of your favorite books? Let’s see if the rest of us can guess where it came from…