Friday, August 6, 2010

First Impressions, First sentences

I have discovered HTML in its lair and am now coding it into submission. As you can see from my uncentered "horizontal navigational bar," I still need to learn more about margins, padding and "floating". Honestly, I have always wanted to float. Now if I can just figure out how to code it so I can float in air and water...or maybe it's just for the website. Sorry for this mess this blog is in right now!

Anywho...I asked myself why I am going to the bother of buttons and images and stuff. I think it's about first impressions. I want ya'll's first impression of me to be professional yet warm, to be comphrensive yet touching the core of things (to quote from the 1995 film "Sabrina", cheap but expensive).

In the interest of always learning more about my craft, I am reading Sol Stein's STEIN ON WRITING (find it on amazon below.) In the second chapter, he talks about how first sentences and paragraphs should invite us in, pull us in and even drag us in to the story. Those all-important first impressions!!

Here's some of my favorite ones he talks about: (I've greatly added to my reading just to find a way to get books in English to France!)

"The first time I saw him he couldn't have been more than sixteen years old, a little ferret of a kid, sharp and quick. Sammy Glick. Used to run copy for me. Always ran. Always looked thirsty."  What Makes Sammy Run? Budd Schulberg, 1941

"Shortly after dawn, or what would have been dawn in a normal sky, Mr. Artur Sammler with his bushy eye took in the books and papers of his West Side bedroom and suspected strongly that they were the wrong books, the wrong papers." Mr. Sammler's Planet, Saul Bellow

"I wanted to strangle mother but I'd have to touch her to do it." Loretta Hudson
"It would have been nice if the stock had dropped me down the right chimney." Loretta Hudson

Some of my first lines from my favorite books include:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1, Holy Bible

"In my first life, I lived with my mother, and my older brother and sister, Crick and Stella, and with my father when he wasn't on the road." Bloomability, Sharon Creech  1998

"I come from a family with a lot of dead people." Each Little Bird That Sings, Deborah Wiles, 2005

"Our 1928 Willys-Knight had been climbing for at least ten miles, one hairpin turn after another, undera threatening sky." Julie, Catherine Marshall

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life." 1 John 1:1, Holy Bible

"What makes you wear such funny shoes?" Her Father's Daughter, Gene Stratton-Porter, 1921

"But now, this is what the Lord says--He who created you, O jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1, Holy Bible

"There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden." A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle

"The man, for the first time, stood face to face with Life and, for the first time, knew that he was a man." Their Yesterdays, Harold Bell Wright, 1912

"In the begining, there was a question. 'Will you write my eulogy?'" Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom, 2009

"The candle flame burned behind the glass globe of water, its light flooding Isaac Peabody's hands as he sat at work on a high stool before his littered worktable." The Dean's Watch, Elizabeth Goudge 1960

1 comment:

  1. That's a great book (Stein). Charlotte's Web has a great opening line ... "Where's papa going with that axe."