Open Book
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The crowds gathered for the keynote speaker. A dark stage and maroon drapery were the only obstacles between him and and his eager audience. He appeared to raucous applause and noticed how they were truly desparate for something. Something they hadn’t thought of. Their collective compass waiting to be lead towards his everlasting north star, wherever he may decide to place it amongst the bevy of galactic burnings. He approached the first words of his prepared lecture, creeping closer to the ledge from which he would fall over wholeheartedly and delve into the entire history of Spanish literature. They would be waiting to catch his fall at the bottom. How weak and submissive they were. He could tell them anything. Their bright eyes were begging for it, the fire inside them waiting to be misled like an errant star. How cliché, he thought. I’m scrapping the story. He backpedaled and jumped off the cliff ledge behind him, the dangerous one that was cornered off from all visitors, but was begging for one daring adventurer.

“If you know one thing about Spanish literature,” he blurted out, “let it be this; backstory first – In tenth grade I took an art class. No, that’s not meant to impress you or make you think I’m about to relate to something in the art world and that I am, chested out, legitimizing my merit in that world. It’s more specific than that. I have forgotten more important information than I would like to admit during my academic career. But one particular, trite but beautiful assignment in this tenth grade art class was not one of them. My professor – excuse me – teacher, was a cute, recent graduate who did not yet know how to handle children yet. But she tried and I appreciated her for that. She told us, that to cap off our recent education on shading, we had to create, with only one utensil, an uninterrupted block of back-and-forth lines from light to black. The caveat; upon squinting at the picture, if transition lines were seen, your grade was lowered accordingly.

“Moral of the story? I got an A. Okay, real moral of the story? For some reason this assignment stuck with me for a long time. I have realized that that subconscious, quick and enduring decision to store it in my memory by my younger self was prompted by the fact that this assignment is beautifully versatile in its application. And it will stick in my memory from here forward for that reason, now that I have made this connection to the equally beautiful and versatile world of Spanish literature. Yeah, Spanish literature and art. Whoda thunk they’d be related somehow? Backstory finished.

“In Spanish literature, plots are so amazingly developed that they are spread out within the work and establish themselves almost at will. Like a honey bee only pollenating the finest flowers on the sunniest of days in the lushest of flower fields in the richest of soils. They are a finely shaded block of lines. And even upon scrutinizing with the squintiest of eyes and the gnarliest of crinkles in your upper nose and eye brows, you cannot detect the exact moment that the plot is forced upon you. It’s an incredible and rare occurrence in literature to be truly accomplished, and entire generations of authors born of a particular tongue accomplished this feat.

So if you know one thing about Spanish literature, let it be this; in my opinion, what makes Spanish literature so great, is everything you can’t see. It’s the absence of the dark, black lines and only the presence of the ripples they make. Sometimes the shade provides more light than the light itself. And if my opinion counts for anything else, I’ll offer this; there are many a publicized work that are rampantly marked with dark, ugly lines. They surely don’t grade highly upon assessment. And not only that, they produce bad students. So although I write mostly in English, I’ll try my best to emulate that of the Spanish literature I have come to love and appreciate. I’ll try my best to blur my lines so that the end result is a beautifully versatile composition that allows room for interpretation for where the lines truly are. Draw them yourself. I will try my best to provide the spaces.”


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Sandy Dodge

Sensory writing for making sense of the nonsensical. My two cents are your free samples.

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