|Action/Adventure: November 18, 2009 Issue [#3395]|
This week: Edited by: Thankful Sonali-WDCPowerReview
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Adversity, or Adventure?
It depends on your point of view! A lighter look at real-life adventures.
I was flipping through an old issue of the Reader's Digest and came across a 'short' about a mother and child, in one of their 'fillers'.
The family had been stuck for hours at the airport, with flights delayed for unavoidable reasons. The child, about four years old, was getting a bit cranky. The mother said, "But darling, think of it this way - we are having an adventure!" The 'short' had been submitted by a fellow passenger, also stranded at the airport. He wrote that it cheered him up immensely, on overhearing the young mother, to think of what he was going through as an 'adventure'.
Since then, I've tried to turn as many adversities into adventures as I possibly can. I haven't always succeeded, but when I do, it changes my perception and my mood.
Like when my friend told me that there was a sale of handicrafts and food from Kashmir (a state in North India) going on in town. I had a friend from France visiting, and asked if she would like to visit this sale. Marie-Christine replied yes, anything for unusual handicrafts and tasty snacks! So we hired a cab and set forth. We searched the grounds my friend had told me to visit. They were empty. Not a tent, not a stall, not anything. Empty. Till we saw one solitary security guard (what was he guarding? I still don't know!). We asked the driver to drive up to him, which he did, with us yelling from the window to grab his attention. He turned, surprised to see a cab there. I asked about the exhibition, and he grinned. "That was up to yesterday. It's over now, they cleared up and left this morning." Marie-Christine and I looked at each other. For a moment, there was disappointment in both our faces. Then it turned into laughter. Loud, long laughter. The guard and the driver joined in heartily. We called my friend on the mobile phone and thanked her for giving us an adventure! Searching those grounds had been pretty exciting! The Quest for the Missing Sale. I'll write it up, one day. And no, my friend hadn't being playing a practical joke. She'd mixed up "Tuesday" and "Thursday" for the last date of the sale, she really thought it was on. Can happen to anyone, but it did happen to us.
Or the time when my dog-loving friend Maitrayi took her dog for a walk. She had shifted into that house recently, it was the first time she was out walking in that area. She has a worse sense of direction than I do, which is saying something. Anyway, to cut a long story short, after fifteen minutes of walking, she was completely lost. She couldn't find the way back home. Neither could her dog. Which is strange, I thought dogs could smell their way home. I guess she confused the poor canine. So she and the dog hired an auto-riksha (a three wheeler used for public transport here in India), gave the driver their address, and rode royally in it --- for a minute and a half, till they were at their own doorstep! What would you call that one? My Journey Home with My Pet . . . ?
Or what happened to me yesterday. I'm going to call it The Case of the Squished Sandwich. I had spent the morning 'guiding' a group of Korean visitors around old Bangalore, with a friend, and we were exhausted. However, it was our last chance to visit the Bangalore Book Fair, which was on our way home, and we didn't want to miss that. We left her rucksack full of maps and my bag full of toys (the tourists had brought their kids along) in the main office and spent three hours trudging around the fair, buying books, staggering with several bags full of our purchases in each hand. Finally, we were done, she was hungry, I was tired. "Wait here, I'll get us something to eat," she said, heading to the food court. So I waited in a corner with our purchases. She returned with a grilled veg. sandwich, neatly cut in half. "Eat half," she ordered. "I'll get our bags from the main office."
She went to the main office, I nibbled my half of the sandwich. As I finished, I saw a blessed sight. A chair. Someone vacated a stray chair which was conveniently close to the bags of books we had bought. Sighing with relief, holding her half of the sandwich in one hand, I lowered myself into the chair. A second later, I had turned turtle, and there was a crowd around me. I hadn't noticed, the person had vacated the chair just in front of some wet mud, and as I sat in it, I'd pushed it back just enough for it to lose balance. So there I was, looking pretty undignified I guess, on my back in the chair, clutching desperately to one half of a sandwich in a paper plate. I'm fat (oops, not politically correctly to say that!) --- I'm pleasantly endowed, so it would take some doing to get me up, considering I couldn't help myself in that position. Luckily, a pleasantly endowed visitor in his twenties was close at hand, he was by my side (or shall I say by my flailing feet) in an instant, and he had pulled me back into a seated position. The crowds moved on after making sure I was okay, and when my friend returned, there was no sign of my adventure except her half of the sandwich, still clean in its paper plate (I hadn't dropped it) but looking - well - not-very pleasantly endowed. It says much for how hungry she was that she gobbled it up anyway.
It's great fun, turning day-to-day adversities into mini-adventures! Try it! If you're lucky, it'll give you fuel for a story. If not, you've had a bit of a laugh anyway!
Adversities, turned adventures. Some funny, some not.
|ID: 1616859 (Rated: ASR)|
Stress, jealousy and the end of the world...flash fiction winner 11/9
by Kyle Curcio
Here's an interesting contest I just came across!
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by Not Available.
I really like this one!
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by Not Available.
Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!
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Thank you to those who responded to "Action/Adventure Newsletter (October 28, 2009)" !
mellow pearl : Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you....................sooooooooooooo much for featuring my story, it's my first time in a newsletter and I really am grateful to you. You really have given something truly wonderful to me. I truly am grateful to you.Thank you.
You're welcome! Thanks for the thanks!
Acme : Top notch newsletter, Sonali. Often the real action is in the human story, not the high-octane drama of the event itself... but that said, you can't beat it when things blow up, get chased, or dangle precariously from high places.
Well, then, take a look at this current newsletter, Acme, you'll like it!
Dave Lane / Lane Diamond : Excellent piece. If the author promotes that suspense through "tension" - the literary device gained through structure - she'll really throw a knockout punch. Sadly, too many authors overlook structure, primarily well-placed paragraph breaks and story breaks, to create a moment for the reader to say, "Whoa! What happens next!" Even if you only create a 1-second pause in such a circumstance, the psychological impact on the reader is fantastic. Again, thanks for the great piece.
Thanks, glad you like the Newsletter. Appreciate your feedback!
Raine : I think it's a matter of knowing where the real story is. Is it the goal being made? Or is the story about the spectators who have come to watch the game? A great, final moment can really add punch to an action scene but if the writer is writing a romance, seeing the wife praying for her husband can BE the ultimate moment.
That's really interesting. I hadn't thought of it that way. Yes, 'real' action depends on the theme of the story. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint!
cookie_writer: Hi Sonali,
Thank you for highlighting my poem "Unsung Heroes".
I enjoyed reading your newsletter. I had not thought about changing the point of view to add human experience to a story, creating interest and suspense, while moving away from the main action. This will help me a lot. Thank you!
Great to hear from you! Thanks for the feedback!
Catherine Hall : You made me stop and think. I'm about to start a major edit of my action adventure and I was going to remove most of the side-action. Now, I'll be careful to leave enough.
Wow! I'm honoured to receive your feedback. Glad my Newsletter could help! Thanks for writing in!
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