Joined: 30 Sep 2004 Posts: 1654 Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:50 pm Post subject:
nima darlin'..don't forget ..ye planted the seed of the idea...such a delightful gardener methinks _________________ "I've never accepted the external appearance of things as the whole truth. The world is much more elaborate than the nerves of our eye can tell us." - James Gleeson
First things first methinks.... Lilia, I would be delighted to send a manuscript if I could just actually get myself to er - um, finish it properly! But I shall write today and that may get me back into the swing of it. SBJ, ... Houdini?! Moi? Actually I'd just slink through the keyhole... deeeeep breath in and.... ooooh! Nima - ah, but now you know!
Ahem... well ok as gingerpale suggested....
Once upon a time... in a small town where nobody believed in such things as magic or faeries or witches or any of that kind of nonsense there lived in a quiet house a quiet man. He was a genteel man, kind and charming to all he met, but very quiet for all that.
His house was a charming house with a quiet cat who sat in the window for the morning sunlight. At the back of the house the quiet man made all kinds of wooden objects. Boxes, linen chests, and even toys were quietly made by the quiet man. Other than that he took coffee at eight o'clock in the morning after feeding the cat and read the newspaper quietly. He would take a short walk and return to place his hat on the hat stand and his coat on the coat stand. He would greet the cat who would reply by shutting both eyes slowly and peaceably while purring softly.
Now outside the front of his quiet house there was a small square with trees and hedges and a pair of benches where people passing could read their newspapers or books or just take a rest in the morning sunlight.
One morning, three old women strode into the square and sat on the benches. They were very old and very wise and dressed in black. Long black dresses, long black boots in what looked like crocodile but not quite - dragon possibly. From the inside of their boots to the top were little mother of pearl buttons. Over each of their shoulders each woman had a bag and each wore a shawl of the blackest cashmere. They might have been old but they were fashionable. They were sisters and were called - Cora, Dora and Nora. Cora was the youngest and Dora the oldest, but Nora was the middle one and she was always getting interested old men following her. But this morning was different for the old men were still in their beds.
Cora took her knitting from her bag and began to knit a long sleeve. Dora took her glasses from her bag, perched them on the end of her nose and took a book, which she continued to read with a sigh of contentment. Nora took a small paper bag from her bag and after some rustling took out a pain au chocolat which she began to eat slowly, savouring every bite. She really was quite something was Nora. It's no wonder old men were interested in her.
At half past eight the quiet man opened his door and stepped out into the sunlight. He shut the door behind him and took a deep breath. Then he walked across the square. He raised his hat to the three women and politely wished them good morning.
The women answered, "A fine morning for a flight if a bird had wings."
The quiet man agreed and continued with his walk. When he returned the women had gone, but it was enough. He entered his quiet house, placed his hat on the hat stand, his coat on the coat stand, greeted the cat as usual and passed through the house to the workshop at the back.
He chose three fine oak shafts and gathered from his little garden three bunches of hazel twigs. Now he went to work slowly placing the hazel twigs together. He took from a box three silver wires and bound them around the tops of the oak shafts tightly.
Lady Woodacre came in around half past nine for the jewellery box she had ordered and commented that the silver was surely a waste for such sensible things as brooms.
"The servants will only remove the silver and sell it. Copper would be more practical and less of a temptation." she advised.
"My Lady may have a point." the quiet man answered softly.
Lady Woodacre oohed and aahed over the beauty of the jewellery box which she was sure she adored. She paid him six gold ducats for it and left glad to have been of help to him.
The quiet man gathered the first bunch of hazel twigs and washed them in fresh rainwater gathered after a storm. He shook them dry and left them to dry completely. Now he gathered three crow feathers, three seagull feathers and bound them about the first of the oak shafts with birch bark strips. When the hazel twigs were dry he bound them about the first of the oak shafts with more birch bark strips. Now he had a broom, but he was not finished yet. He trimmed the hazel twigs at the shaft end and wove raw wool about the cut ends of the twigs. Now that was the first broom.
He was about to start on the second when Old George came in for something, but began to chat and forgot what it was he'd come in for. The quiet man put the kettle on and took tea with Old George. This took two hours and by then it was time for lunch. Old George had to get to the library to meet his daughter. He would ask her what it was he had come to the quiet man for. The quiet man shook hands with Old George and saw him out.
The cat now sat in the doorway to the workshop and meowed. After all, it was time for lunch. The quiet man came into the house and fed the cat some scraps of chicken. The rest of the chicken he put into some pasta made using the absorption method that a charming young woman had told him about in a cafe.
After lunch he returned to the workshop and found himself facing three curious faces. The Wilder children lived across the square from the quiet man and he would make them wooden puzzles. He had made a ship for Mary Wilder with a crew of cats in little jackets painted in blue with red collars. Valerie Wilder was given a sensible writing/drawing box which opened out into a desk and contained all she would need to draw or write. Tom Wilder was given a large nutcracker in the shape of an un-magical elf which nobody would consider magical at all. He talked to them and they commented on the wonder of his gifts and which bits they liked most and what they would make if they were able.
They were followed by John Jackson and his cousin Jack Johnson (truly!) who had asked the quiet man for tool boxes. He gave them the tool boxes and hoped they would suffice. John and Jack were delighted and talked also before they too left. The day continued in much the same way, but the quiet man did not turn anyone away nor politely cut anyone short.
By the evening, after supper he finished the broomsticks and in the very early morning placed them outside against the tree in front of his house. This done, he went to his bed until seven o'clock. Vaguely, as he settled to his bed he heard boots treading into the square and the voices of old women. Then he slept.
At eight o'clock he poured his coffee sleepily and sipped it while he read his paper absent-mindedly. Beside the coffee pot a small bag appeared, but he did nothing about it. Instead, almost automatically he left the house for his walk. He went across the square, past the church through the park and back past the museum and the church.
When he got to the little square he greeted Cora, Dora and Nora and wished them good morning politely.
"Good enough to fly like the birds." they answered him.
He smiled and went indoors, placed his hat on the hat stand and his coat on the coat stand. The cat on the window watched as the three old women hopped onto their broomsticks and flew away. He peaceably closed his eyes slowly and purred. He may have remembered the wind whistling through his fur once, but he said nothing. _________________ Confusion comes fitted as standard.
I am a little miffed with myself at it being so long, but I hope Clotilde will forgive me and not hurl a frying skillet at my head (it might damage the skillet after all)!!
Thank you folks, thank you... and for our next trick...!
I would like to thank the most wonderful Madame of Shawshanks, Clotilde Dusoulier, Duchesse de Paris and of course... the planets Mars, Mercury, Venus and Pluto. Also... (sniff, sob, sob - overcome with emulsion... gulp, sniffle...) my parents and all my fans and other fashion accessories...!
Clearly I am the Basil to Madame's Tomatoes, the Cream to her Strawberries, the Papaya to her Lime... the Louboutin shoes to her Dior frock...
I only await with a mix of excitement and delicious terror what image Madame will challenge me with next... I can't even ask her to be gentle with me it's my first time!! _________________ Confusion comes fitted as standard.
Joined: 23 Mar 2005 Posts: 159 Location: San Francisco
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:41 pm Post subject:
Madame and Griffin,
I am so hooked! Couldn't let a day pass without your images/writings. I will be so sad on weekends when I don't have access to a computer. N'arretez pas les plaisirs que vous nous donner! Merci! _________________ "A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry."
I have no idea where you stand with your book, but certainly, the profile of your second book is taking shape in front of our eyes. And I'm serious, really. DO collect these short stories, photos included, and turn them in a short stories book. Do think of it, I'm not kidding. Someone actually may read this forum and pick you up , and sign a contract.
This topic is really elating, bravo. And no, please, when you'll have 20 of them, go talk to a publisher....
No more war, more of Griffin's short stories and Madame's photos!!!
Joined: 30 Sep 2004 Posts: 1654 Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia
Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:00 am Post subject:
as I read those hazel twigs and silver wiresections my skin goosebumped 'n a very special woman once told me to pay attention to goosebump moments...they occur because they are reminding you to pay particular attention to that moment...
am finding I speed read Griffin's wondertales the first time..'n then slowly read the next...as is my way of life...joyously gobble initially...
by the way dears...if anyone is interested in the photo that was taken immediately after the twig brooms against mosstree snap...send me a PM...'n I'll email the photo to you...was going to post it here..'n then thought ..nope...one, stand alone image is how this scrumptious thread is developing...
already know what's next ...'n boy oh boy am I looking forward to the tale that will curve from it! ....................goodness knows
the process for me is quite remarkable...almost as though the selected image is a form of a key for Griffin...each a different size shape texture...and wordsmith that he is...he picks up each and every key offered and lets that can-I-believe-it storytelling commence..
'tis almost like some form of magic..all this! and darling viewers/readers...have you any any any ANY idea of how much fun I'm a havin'!!!! _________________ "I've never accepted the external appearance of things as the whole truth. The world is much more elaborate than the nerves of our eye can tell us." - James Gleeson
I once decided that instead of 'Once upon a time...' I'd have to come up with a more original beginning. So I did use - 'A long, long time ago, when cats wore hats and dogs wore clogs and mice wore pink pajamas...'
However, this time, Madame has really done it. I'm stuck. What can I possibly write in response to such a strange image? My imagination has decided to take a holiday and I am lost... besides I keep looking at Carla Bruni and wondering what on earth she sees in Sarko... maybe she's a fan of Mort Sahl... I am stuck I cannot write a single thing.
What to do? What to do? Other than think about how I keep my greens fresh and where to get a salad spinner... and is it like those rotary clothes dryers in the back gardens that you clip your wet clothes to dry on?!
Woe! Alas and thrice woe with a side salad of woe on it! I am undone, my writing ability dies, languidly and on a chaise longue.... oh alright I'll stop hamming it up and get on with it!! _________________ Confusion comes fitted as standard.
There was once a long time ago three very bored children. They were so bored they actually got to 'helping' their parents around the house. Their mama after a while, dearly tho' she loved them finally had enough.
"Children," she told them, "You must go out and play, for the day is bright and lovely. It is too beautiful to be indoors. Build yourselves a tree house or something."
The children sighed but went out into the garden. I should tell you about them really. The oldest was called Sam and she wore a white dress with flowers on it, sneakers and her dark hair was down to her shoulders and kept getting in the way of her face. The middle one was called Tam and he always looked cross, which he was. If you call your child Tamburlane you must expect such things, even if that child insists on being called Tam. The youngest, they called Raspberry Jam or Jam for short. That was because he was small, red-faced and very sticky. He was always dashing about which made him red in the face and no matter how often he was scrubbed and washed he always managed to become sticky. That's children for you.
At one end of the garden was a large shed with all kinds of things in it. Boxes of fabric, bits of leather, old pieces of wood and the like. The children decided that they would make a camp in there and use the stuff to make furniture and secret things, which was not a bad idea at that.
But beyond the bottom of the garden was another garden with a house attached. It was said that a witch lived there, but the children's mother was unimpressed by such nonsense.
"Just because Miss Hexham is an old lady living alone with her cat and wears black it does not mean she is a witch. That is just a lot of nasty prejudice. It's no wonder she can be a bit snappish at times." she said.
Sam did not say it, but she thought that it did not mean Miss Hexham wasn't a witch either. But it was always wise to let her mother have the last word when she was in that kind of mood. Miss Hexham's old cat was black, long-haired and generally amiable to polite children, so the children did not mind him at all.
When they opened the shed door they noticed that a window was open and Sam sighed. No doubt her father had left it open. They trooped in and left the door open to air the shed, which smelled of dust. First thing Tam decided was to move things so they would have room to move in the shed. He went under a very tight space between boxes and found himself face to face with the cat.
"Oh, hallo cat. Sorry to disturb you." Tam said politely.
The cat closed both moon eyes slowly and purred. Tam reached out and gently stroked the warm fur of the old cat's head. _________________ Confusion comes fitted as standard.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum