Book of Marvels
Thursday, March 15, 2007
  Page 123

Page 123

I confess to reading too many blogs these days. It’s a pleasant, mind-drifting counterbalance to the pile of work that keeps getting bigger. Anyway, here is a meme—which I’ll define as a combination bloggy echo and relay race—a theme that gets passed from blog to blog—in which you go to page 123 of your novel-in-progress, drop down four lines, and then copy the rest of the paragraph. I actually have two novels-in-progress, so this is a chunk of the more recent one. (I picked up the meme from Writing Under a Pseudonym)

*People have to look a little harder these days for the random find. I’m not the only one wandering along the banks of the river after heavy rains, looking to see if the high water has dislodged the sediment of years to reveal an arrowhead, or an adz, or a spear point, or even a t-drill. It’s always thrilling when I find one. I might only catch a glimpse of a jagged edge poking out of the sand, and I’ll stop and stare until I’m sure that I’m not imagining the succession of half-moon chips where the maker pushed away the blunt stone. I used to imagine those marks on every bit of rock when I was a kid. When I walked the paths from my mother’s house to the mountain or the river, I was sure there were thousands of stone points below my feet– the work of centuries buried, gleaming in the dark earth, swimming like ancient stone fish back to the earth’s surface for someone to catch them. When I was a kid, I could hardly walk barefoot, so sure was I that the stone points would break through the thin crust of earth and bite at my feet. I yelped on the garden path as if I were walking on a bed of nails.*

The photo is from the Feather River near Oroville, which is the setting--although fictionally reengineered--of this novel. I have a better photo of it in Picassa, but can't seem to drag it here. Oh, I struggle with Blogger!

I was hooked at that riveting first line:

People have to look a little harder these days for the random find.

I love what that means, and how you investigate that statement. And I love how that statement is so large and deep.
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