Style Training With Ursula K. Leguin, Exercise.1; Part.1

The following written piece which you will read is a result of my first attempt at testing out an approach to writing advised by the exceptional Ursula K. Leguin. For the first exercise, Leguin chooses to focus on the sound of prose and its importance. Reminding us that prose does not have to be poetry to sound great! She gives a few examples of texts where the sound of prose aids greatly to make the reader feel what is going on and to set the entire atmosphere of the piece. How for example, certain sounds or alliterations are used to translate ideas of sadness or of  joy or of action. And explain the intricacies of the ‘movement’ of prose.

Here is the result of my first attempt of the first exercise of  
Steering the Craft
[…] by Ursula K. Leguin, she suggested two plot possibilities to try out the learned techniques (Climax of a ghost story or Inventing and Island and events which occur on it) :

Georges, Shipwrecked

On an island in the far-off ocean called Pumpernickel, a lone man washes ashore.  Time passes unperturbed until, finally, he wakes.  George was this man’s name.  And George was a man of little words.  He had been a fleet admiral on one of Her Majesty’s many vessels when suddenly, a storm broke out, sinking his ship and throwing him along with his crewmates overboard and to the mercy of the oceans capricious currents.
And, as George rose from the sandy beach to take in his surroundings, he wondered how he had survived and whether any other survivors had been carried to this little piece of land.
George was a tall and lanky man.  He often stood a head higher than most of the men he had come across in his lifetime.  But now, George had no one to be taller than.  And the absence of other human beings was a feeling quick to wash over him as he circled the islands’ coast for hours before returning to the same spot having met no one other than, his own shadow.
He was left with no other option but to accept the unavoidable:  He was alone, and he was lost and soon he would be hungry too and in dire need of shelter.  He knew he had to make a swift decision as the sun was dimming on the horizon and its light would slowly dwindle until naught remained but the afterglow.
So, George opted to build a house first for rain might come during the night and without a roof he would get wet and getting wet would give rise to sickness.  Which would in turn leave him in no state to be rummaging around the island for nourishment.
George built himself a small hut out of palm leaves and sticks in front of the entrance to the islands’ forest.  As floor and bed, he used sand which he brought from the beach.  And in the comfort of his improvised hut, George lay comfortably resting on the sandy floor.  He employed carefully the time before sleep arrived to take him away from this nightmare, by trying to guess where he might be.  He had been sailing on course for the West indies and had just about completed half the journey before the storm broke out.  But, the storm had carried them way off course for a while before the ship sank.  So, he could not ascertain where he had been.  And putting his memory through hard and strenuous work he attempted to recall all the courses Her Majesty’s vessels took when heading for the West Indies. He hoped one ship might pass by the island on which he was marooned for provisions or a quick rest.  Then, perhaps, he might be rescued.
George shivered.  Not from the cold.  He knew how unlikely that scenario was.  Yet, he hoped all the same for a miracle.  But he was tired, and his bones still ached from the ocean waves his body had been rumbled through.  So, he went to sleep hoping that night would bring him many a solution.

By Issa Dioume

Style Training With Ursula K. Le Guin[Project Explained]

I am currently reading ‘Steering the Craft, A 21st-Century guide to sailing the sea of Story’ by the incredible Ursula K. Leguin. This book contains a few writing exercises to do in order to better one’s writing style and narrative skills.
From now on, I will be posting the text I write using these specific exercises. I may do the same ones more than once due to the obvious fact that: practice makes perfect and doing something once does not guarantee it will stick with you.
I hope it will prove interesting for some. As style exercises are a great way to see a writer improve step by step. And, I highly hope it will be my case using this book. The book in itself is awesome, the author of it speaks for itself. Ursula K.Leguin is quite simply an amazing writer.

The House of Chronicle [Poem] by Issa Dioume

At the house of Chronicle

You’ll be met with quite the spectacle.

The standards you deem normal

Will come across a many great reversal

.

Lies and deceptions galore

Fake smiles and kindness they adore

So many faults to list and more –

– Much more in its rotten deepest core

Water leaking from ceilings, they ignore

.

Denial of blame, absence of shame.

Plain to see they are comparable to no company,

Only hungry crows perched atop a tree, Looking down, smugly,

To see,

Lame, tamed little mice calling their names,

In vain, abandoned to the pitter patter of rain.

.

.

.

– by Issa Dioume &

Inspired by true events

Click for Author’s website

The Healing, Part.1 [ Short-Story Series] by Issa Dioume

During the war, we fought on opposite sides – two factions divided by a common hate for one another – we killed one another’s’ friends, relatives and childhood. We were 12 and we had been told we were fighting a holy war. A war which would grant us revenge. A war which would eradicate the pain in our hearts from losing loved ones, the more enemies’ throat we slit the closer we got. We were told it could only end with one side obliterated. A war which would make us happy. Which was all we wanted.

No side came out victorious, only more blood and pain. Only more hatred layered with sadness. Only more of the same. Then, out of the blue, the war ended. And, it was over. We were told to pack and leave. Left alone, both in our twenties, clueless as to what to do next. The uselessness of what we had done struck us. We had not changed anything. The pain was there, only stronger. Looking back we saw solely the regret of a now long gone childhood. We were left stranded with no skills aside from how to expedite bullets from the barrels of guns to pierce flesh.

At a loss for what to do and where to go. I frantically searched for activities I could do. Dancing, singing and Dj-ing. The sound kept the noises in my ear quiet. One day, I saw a flier glued to a wall. The wall was slightly burnt, scars left from the battles.

It read:

Healing and discussion center for all children who participated as soldiers in the war. We are here to hear and help you. Please come share your story.

I snickered at the flier. At the time, realisation of ramifications of the war on myself had not yet come over my mind. I lingered in a state of absolute denial. However, I went. Out of sheer curiosity. Who would be there? Would anyone even come?

We met in a small hut outside town. The place had a beautiful garden and serving as entrance was a large arch covered in vines and flowers which twirled and intertwined over the archway. I arrived and saw the inner parts of the construct. There were no chairs. Only small red pillows sitting in a perfect ⭕️ circle. I was the first to arrive. So, I simply sat there and waited a while. A fresh smell of earth and grass abounds the air of this little hut, I noted.

Gradually, I heard footsteps making there way through the garden and into the hut. I was on my back, laying down sprawled on the ground, arms stretched. I turned my head to see who had come. And then, I saw him.

That man. The one I had searched for everyday on the battlefield. The reason I had gone through that hell. He gave a short bow with his head, acknowledging my presence then sat cross-legged across from me. I stood up and stared into his eyes. He stared back. We said nothing. A minute passed and then two and then five. Still, we said nothing. We stared. His eyes gleamed shortly as though he had just recalled something. Within myself I felt an overflowing fountain of lava nearing implosion. He was the man I had wanted to kill. His face had been splattered on many posters during the war. He had been the leader of the squad which had killed my family. I scrutinised him carefully and realised he was around my age. Perhaps a year or two more at best. Then suddenly:

I lunged towards him, going straight for his throat […]

—— ——– ——— —— ——- ——–

Poem by Issa Dioume: ‘Tumor, tu meurs’ {Experimental, Bilingual Piece}

Tumor, tu meurs
Like budding petals of a fleur.

Tumor, tu meurs
Like a languidly beating Coeur.

Tumor… Tu meurs
Like the mots of passants.

Tu meurs, tumor
Like the life of mes parents.

Tumor, je meurs
So be it, il était temps.

Tu meurs, ils pleurent
These are the tears des enfants.

Tôt le matin, j’irai cueillir la rosée, des fleurs du lendemain.

– Issa Dioume, 2018, 15th April
Click for more on writer’s website

Jenny Ran Sur The Colline —- French & English !But, Same Themes & Ideas (By Issa Dioume in collaboration with Aimé Lesot)

Jenny courait sur la colline. Ses fossettes creusaient ses joues, témoignaient de sa joie manifeste. Ses pieds martelaient le chemin en terre, laissaient des empruntes et délogeaient les petits cailloux de leur cratère dorénavant appauvris. Devant: un horizon sans ligne – seulement de grands arbres, feutrant les rayons du soleil. Derrière: seulement le souvenir de ce qu’elle avait entraperçu dans sa course dépourvue de but premier. Elle était seule – heureuse – et jouissait de son isolation mouvante.

Solace, to her, was the fruit of exile and isolation. After moving from Maxmouth – a beautiful city in the countryside- to the big concrete urban jungle of San Peregio the stability of her family’s life, which had once been harmonious and a source of happiness for Jenny, came tumbling down. The earlier congeniality now found itself replaced by perpetual pandemonium. This was tantamount to swimming up a river and suddenly finding yourself falling off the edges of a waterfall.

Elle tombait souvent. Ses genoux et ses coudes étaient couverts de petites cicatrices – de croûtes quand elle venait à perdre l’équilibre. Jenny savait qu’il était impossible à l’Homme de remonter une chute d’eau, elle avait tenté, maintes fois, sans succès. Les courants nous poussent en un sens, un peu à la manière de la providence. De ce raisonnement métaphysique elle en avait déduit que rien ne pouvait se rembobiner, que tout était à assimiler, à comprendre, et que le rebond ne valait le plongeon que lorsqu’un soupçon de relief – de joie – pointait derrière un nuage. Et puis elle l’avait vu dans le ciel; et aujourd’hui elle avait décidé de nager à contre courant.
Elle courait, et derrière les arbres et le soleil feutré s’écrasait l’eau en bas d’une chute.

And she declared to the wind, thinking aloud, “Speak my name to the ventriloquist, beg him to stop cramming words into my mouth. Pain is the substance society thrives on. It thrives off of subjecting its subjects to pain” and she suddenly understood” I am the ventriloquist.” The camera panned out, zoomed through the air and framed a boy pedalling up a hill. As he pedalled away, the load became quite substantive and a bit rough on his calves. Nevertheless, the little boy went onwards to the top of the hill and there, stood admiring the sunshine.

By

Issa Dioume (English);poet/writer/lover of words

&

Aimé Lesot (French); poet/writer/ philosophy addict

English Writer’s website:

https://thebiligualwriter.com

French Writer’s website:

https://aimelesot.wordpress.com

Where Do They All Fall? [Flashfiction] by Issa Dioume

My boiling blood told me they all fall one day, grow stark cold, then roll away, forgotten. Leaving behind a sweet serenade of stupor accompanied by the slow dwindling of memories. My boiling blood told me it would go cold turkey one day, too; simply stop warming my bones and flesh.Without warning. I know yet fear the cold. I can’t yet wish to escape its grasp, but then again, where would I go? I am tied by a twig to the tree of life, dangling in midair and ripe for the plucking.

At night, I hear flowing blood reverberating in my ears, urging me to listen to the beating drum of my heart; a repetitive rhythm slowly coming to a stop.

In winter my blood boils warmer, to keep me safe from the freeze. It’s effective. It cares for me, I think.

The landscape unravels like a fakir deploying his magical carpet and slowing floating toward the sky and off into the sunset. The clouds are pretty today. I didn’t quite like yesterday’s clouds. What will tomorrow’s be like? It’s, perhaps, not something people care for but, I do. I care, for clouds.

And, I care about where they all go when they fall. Those boiling fruits of blood. Hanging loosely from that dreadful tree.

Division Revision- [Poem] by Issa Dioume

Sometimes the water flows
Sometimes the water stills
Stilling my hopes in crypts

Sometimes it rains on my face
Sometimes sun radiates off of it
Burning men like cigarettes

Sometimes I care.
Sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes I share.
Sometimes I won’t.

Blue birds fly unseen in the sky.
Only perceived when poked in the eye.
Manichean Mannequins of wonder.

Wanderers under a flattening roof
Unimpaired by water. It’s Rustproof.

Look yonder to cross the border.
As we are: birds of the same feather

Written by Issa Dioume

Author’s website:

Issa Dioume’s writing

Mystery Blogger Award # 3 & 4 🥇

Thank you Winnie for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award.

MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD:

What is that? “Its an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” Created by Okoto Enigma

Rules

1. Put the award’s logo/image in your post.
2. List the rules.
3. Thank whoever nominated you and include link to their blog.
4. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
5. Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award.
6. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
7. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one.

3 things about me:

1. I love Isaac Asimov and his three laws of robotics. In I, Robot.

2. I travel a lot, and lived twelve years in India and eight in France. The rest of my years were spent travelling the globe.

3. I love getting constructive criticism on my posts. It is the only way to grow and improve further as a writer.

My answers to Winnie’s questions:

  1. What’s an injustice for you?
    To me an injustice is when someone’s action impede someone else’s freedom. As human beings we are liable to fall prey to our impulses. Some of them are good but a lot of them can cause negative repercussions on the life of our fellow human beings. So, I believe it is important to reign them and keep them under control.
  2. What country are you from?
    I am from French but as I mentioned earlier I spent more time outside of France then in the country itself.
  3. Who’s your favorite author? Please share some quotes from his/her book.
    My favorite author as of now is Paul Auster.
    Here is a quote from Moon Palace: “[…] I decided that the thing I should do was nothing: my action would consist of a militant refusal to take any action at all. This was nihilism raised to the level of an aesthetic proposition. I would turn my life into a work of art […]”
  4. What inspires you to write?
    My inspiration comes from myself. From personal experience or things I observe or hear in everyday drivel. I take what I hear and morph it into a story that fits into a narrative I want to drive.
  5. Do you believe in supernatural beings? Please explain.
    I do not believe in supernatural beings. I believe that we strive to reach the UBERMENCH Nietzsche talked about. Although I do not think it is possible mentally, physically with drugs we may one day reach a supernatural physical state. I believe humans have a very creative imagination. And a lot of the supernatural stories are derived from figments of imagination out of  creative minds that could become writers themselves.

My questions for my nominees:

1. Is honesty always a good thing?
2. Is monogamy a cultural thing or natural thing?
3. As a writer, what form/style of writing do you prefer?
4. Why did you take this path of writing?
5. How has writing impacted your life and way of thinking? Please develop.

My nominees are:

  1. Of course Winnie (thank you for the nomination once more)
  2. velvetscreams
  3. Cody Reed
  4. Foolchund Saahil
  5. Richard Tilly
  6. David Redpath
  7. Patrick Walts
  8. Anouschka Glunt
  9. Apple Rae
  10. Lia, The Curious Snowflake

Please, keep me updated and tell me when you have answered the questions. Thank you! Have a good day!

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