Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baguettes and brie and wine

She went to Machu Pichu, to Egypt, to Rome. She ran her hands along the weathered travertine and tuff of the Colloseum, still solid after so long. The monuments had lasted. They stood through the centuries, mighty and stubborn, as humans never could.

“I want to come home,” she said again. Fog swelled in the narrow alley beneath her open window. The air carried traces of mildew and old wood and the faint odor of rising dough.

 “Don’t come home, Diana. Don’t come to see me like this.” On the phone her father sounded far away. He was already fading.

“Let me see you one last time.”

“I’m not me anymore. That man is gone. I’m just pain and anger now.”

With the last of her money, she went to Paris. She rented a studio on the fifth floor of an elevatorless apartment building on rue Charlot in the third arrondissement. She bought baguettes and brie and wine. She crossed bridges and gazed at the golden light painting the surfaces of churches. She washed her clothes by hand in a tiny sink that had separate faucets for hot and cold water and hung them on the backs of chairs, on the windowsill, on the radiator. Puddles formed and dissipated. Rain came and went. Her father died.

What's Peanut eating? A cotton ball with medical tape on it. I fished it out before he swallowed.


  1. Replies
    1. This is an attempt at a draft of Cyberlama written chronologically in third person as opposed to jumping in time and told in first. I think all of the work I've been doing on it over the last couple of months has helped me to see the story more completely. As I rewrite, I can more strategically choose the details and see what is coming ahead. I'm still debating on the point of view.

    2. I would've said a month ago that 3rd-person wouldn't work for this book, but it really works here, in this style of narration. It's very cinematic. You couldn't get away with these sorts of observations in first person.

  2. I like the contrast between transitory things and monuments that endure. I like that you don't point out that you're making the contrast. I like "the weathered travertine and tuff of the Colloseum." I like "With the last of her money." I like the specificity of " a studio on the fifth floor of an elevatorless apartment building on rue Charlot in the third arrondissement." This is all very nice indeed.

  3. Thank you, Scott. Yeah, I kept developing my main character, trying to give her personality instead of having her be an everywoman. I wanted her voice to be more colorful, but I couldn't connect with anything other than simple language. This let's me be more poetic. I can always revert if I don't like it.

  4. This really is some of your best work.

  5. Love this, Davin. Truly. I really do hope I get to read this book when you are finished. Like Scott, I love how you don't point out what you're doing. I see that far too often in the books I've been reading lately. Candy books, I call them. Sometimes I just want something I can sink my teeth into more. And I'm not sure, but I love the detail of separate faucets because that seems like a normal thing, but you pointing it out makes me stop and look at the entire paragraph a little differently.

  6. Michelle, I recently read a book called Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. It reinforced how a writer can build a story without really needing any road maps. He just gives scenes with no explanation, no set up, but over time you start to see the clues and patterns, you start to figure out the themes without having to be told. I think it takes more words to tell a story this way, but I liked the emotional power that came behind it. I'm trying to do that now. It will be a big revision!