Do not leave

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Another writing exercise from “Steering the Craft”, by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Exercise 2: Am I Saramago

Write a paragraph to a page (150-350 words) of narrative with no punctuation (and no paragraphs or other breaking devices). [I went a little long. So what.]

I’m leaving and won’t be back for a few hours I hope you remember everything I’ve taught you don’t forget the rules there’s no going outside after dark because of the owls and the neighbor cats and that hideous neighbor kid that saw you through the window I don’t want him to catch you I know he’s been waiting for me to leave the house when he’s home so be careful you know what to do if someone breaks in just go to your panic hole until the police gets here yes the alarm system is in place and it’s always on you know that don’t be scared you’ll be ok it’s none of your business where I’m going I just need some fresh night air and the company of people like me don’t feel bad when I say that you know I care for you very much but we always talk about the same things and I just need a break for a few hours it doesn’t mean I’m abandoning you or that I feel any less for you it just means you should also take this time and find something to do that you enjoy what did you do with your free time before I shrank you I have no idea I’ve never asked you oh really that sounds like fun why don’t you do that tonight I’ll get you some material you can use for that and when I come back you can show me what you did and you can also watch TV on my old phone when’s the last time you watched an episode of your favorite show or a good movie I always take up your time and you should do things on your own and that’s another reason I’m going this dress is new yes and so are the stockings I don’t know who’s going to be there it’s just friends and their friends I’m sure there will be men there but I’m going to see my friends that’s the point of my going I’m not going to take you with me I have nowhere to put you my purse is too thin and I’m not going to put you there remember how you wriggled the entire time when I put you there last I don’t want to be distracted that way when I’m trying to have meaningful conversations besides I already explained this time is for me and for you to spend separately stop insisting you are staying here let go of my leg I’m going now bye

5 thoughts on “Do not leave

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  1. So much going on here. There’s playfulness, exasperation, obliviousness, ominousness, real affection. For some reason, the want of punctuation didn’t make it feel hurried or rushed at all (maybe a little). I loved the blip of conversation in the middle, even if it sounded like she was setting a child up for entertainment. I had to pause then and wonder how many times I’ve been outright childish with my own giantesses, or if it’s just my size that alters their perception of me.

    Wonderful piece of work. Very thoughtful and warm, only slightly brutal and only out of necessity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, we’re all childish at some point or another. If I counted the times I’ve been a “silly giantess”, I’d have a giant load of… times. As to our perception of other Internet people’s sizes… I suppose some of them never fall out of character, but it can be exhausting to deal with someone who’s always “on”. And annoying. Thankfully I haven’t had to deal with anyone like that in years. You are not like that. There’s a big difference between being who we truly are, and trying to make it seem we are that way through dialogue we type and various interactions.

      So that brings me to the way she treats him, when she does treat him like a child even though he isn’t one. He’s not a child, but his size renders him incapable of obtaining his own “materials” (paper and something with which to write – that little one is always a writer); her reductive address comes from a place of impatience, of feelings she might never admit to herself regarding his clinginess and her own struggle to defeat her own, but at the same time there is true interest. She wants to know what he can create. He is the center of her vast universe. He’s never going to put anything down on paper she doesn’t want to see, whether she loves it or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I deeply appreciate the depth to your stories, all the aspects and characteristics that may only be hinted at in the most oblique way: it’s not just that he’s helpless, but that she sees her own clinginess in his unending need. This is what makes their tension so tense! This is what secures weeks of stories from a single moment.

        There is always the unending, guaranteed love and adoration. That’s a wonderful core to the universe. There’s plenty of room on the surface of that for anything to happen, slips of the tongue, misunderstandings, even lapses of jealousy or selfishness, but gravity will always pull everything back to the woman’s craving love for her little man, and his helpless worship of her.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This made me laugh, thanks. I can see why she needs “me time” – I don’t blame her. As for the lack of punctuation, that used to drive me nuts when I saw it on message boards. it was like, “I know where my sentences begin and end – why should I make it easier for you?” But I’ve seen it elsewhere (Angela’s Ashes, etc.) and I got used to it. Sort of.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. :)

      It still drives me nuts. I can’t stand it. This was interesting for me, though. I have a comma fetish, so I had to stop myself repeatedly from adding a comma here and there. That really was the entire purpose of this particular exercise. I need to tone down the comma abuse.

      But when I see it on forums? I still want to go on a rampage on that person’s roof.


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