“Prompted” or “Line Crossing”

I once read a friend’s blog post  in which she shared a prompt from A Year of Writing Dangerously” by Barbara Abercrombie: “What is your own metaphor for fear of writing that first line?”

Duly “moved to act; spurred; incited”/”inspired”, I wrote this (which took me forever to share here with you, but hey, it’s every bit as relevant now in the throes of NaNoWriMo as it was many moons ago).


It’s not that first line that’s so hard. It’s the second.


A first line can go anywhere;

It’s the step that brings you to the crossroads, all paths spread out before you.

The second step is the commitment.

It’s the choosing; the saying, “This is the road I’ll follow, to whatever end.”

“The End” is the easiest line to write, and the hardest line to get to;

So many lines lie between the opening and close.


It’s the second line that requires determination; the third line, even more than that…

The starting is easy. Anyone can start a thing (though not all will),

But seeing it through? Continuing on? Walking step by step, writing line by line, no stopping, no excuses ‘til journey’s completion?

Far easier to amass a collection of beginnings, no endings in sight.

So much simpler to pen a quote than a novel.

A blank page intimidates less than the opening phrase followed by, “Now what?”

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and… and… shoot, give me a minute.” – Robert Frost, sort of
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and… and… shoot, give me a minute.” – Robert Frost, sort of

Now come the missteps. Now come the stumbles. Now the erased graphite and scratched-out scribbles of the pen.

Now we see the marks of our mistakes, and now we fear.

Now we know how little we know.

Now we wonder how much we have to give, and how much of this we can take.

It takes a lot to mar a pristine page beyond the words of which of you’re sure,

To creep and crawl, and trip and fall, and double back until you find your way.


To cross the starting line is easy.

Now for the finish line.


Feeling prompted, anyone? I invite you to share your response!

“Tralatitiously” or “Swordsmanship, Kangaroos, and You”

It’s Save-a-Word Saturday! For any who need a reminder of/never knew what that means, here’s how it goes:

Save-a-Word Saturday

1) Create a post linking back to the hosts, The Feather and the Rose.

2) Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in the post. (If you find yourself in want of options, Feather ‘n’ Rose recommended a site that may have some word-lovers drooling. Luciferous Logolepsy. Even its name is old and delicious!)

3) Provide a definition of your word, and use it in a sentence/short paragraph/mini story vaguely related to the particular week’s chosen theme.

4) Sign up properly on the host post’s linky list so participants can easily find each other and share their logophilistic joy.

5) Be a hero by sharing these retro words with the world!

As mentioned in a post o’ the past, I’ve been participating in the weekly fun via my Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” Facebook page, giving myself the extra challenge/fun of relating every word I pick to my re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend (a.k.a. the magnum opus to be self-published after the completion of “The Wilderhark Tales”). But today I figure, hey, I’ve got this week’s vignette all pre-written and ready to go – no reason I can’t post it here for the blog-inclined to see!

So, without further delay, here’s my word-saving civic duty of the day.

The theme: Kangaroos.

The word: “Tralatitiously”, an adverb meaning “metaphorically; figuratively”.

The example: “Stop.” Will’s curt command came almost at once. “You did it again.”

Allyn’s face reddened in frustration and shame. “I know. I’m sorry.” He didn’t mean to keep stepping backward, but the sight of the Merry Men’s most brilliant swordsman bearing down on him, even with only a practice wooden blade, sent the skittish beginner into retreat every time.

“You need to be more aggressive,” Will told him. “Look, remember the commercial I showed you the other day? The one with the car cruising through the Australian Outback like an all-terrain boss?”

“I’m to approach you like a vehicle with relentless off-road capabilities?” Allyn guessed.

“No, forget the car. Be a kangaroo.”

“W-what?” Even understanding that the instruction was meant tralatitiously, it didn’t make even the usual low amount of Will Scarlet sense.

“Yes.” Will gave a decisive nod. “Kangaroo. That’s your mindset. Why? Because they are physically incapable of jumping backward. Sword up,” he ordered. “We’re doing this until you get it right. It’s Avalon, minstrel boy; we’ve got nothing but time.”