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Nested Vignettes

Like Russian matryoska (nesting) dolls, each sketch is enclosed in the next.
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As my swan song, I dare suggest a chain of brief, scene-setting tales, each maybe with a twist or cliff hanger aspect, and each a part of the next, by some medium of communication. Each vignette may have no relation to the others or the whole chain may constitute a narrative not manifested at first glance. Feel free to add on your own or chew it up and spit it out.

…The family was lined up in their Sunday best, on the sidewalk in front of their house. The colors were pale as if it were sunrise. The father stood stiffly with broad, working hands. The mother proudly cradled a baby girl behind a stairway made of three boys in uncomfortable suits and polished shoes. They were jumpy with pancakes in their bellies and yearning to return from church to read the ”funnies” and then to run to the mulberry trees to lounge in the limbs for hours of munching…

…the old man looked up from the photograph and wiped his eye quickly on his sleeve. He placed the memento in the last cardboard box and taped it shut. His thoughts went to his wife, buried only yesterday. She had first lost her breasts, then hair, but never her dignity and kindness. He felt an intense love for his life-long companion as he mounted the pile of boxes and pressed his head through the noose. The doorbell rang…

…”No he turned the page!” the 16 year-old girl had been reading over a passenger’s shoulder on the bus. She turned towards the window and smoothed her blouse as she anticipated her blind date. She was finally going to meet the young man she had chatted with the last six months. Slightly nervous, she strained to view the charming and intelligent boy who promised to stand at the square holding a single, blood red rose. As they neared the bus stop, her heart seemed to stop when she spied the red flower and then saw that the man holding it was short, fat and probably twenty years older than her. Then she saw another holding a bouquet and then many others, hundreds, bearing flowers and she chuckled as she read the banderole over the square, “City Floral Day”…

…”I think that’s enough story telling for today Grandma,” said the little girl sitting behind the rocking chair. My foot’s worn out from rocking you, and you look like you need a nap. As the girl rounded the chair, the frail woman looked startled and fiddled with her fingers at one ear. “What’d you say? I’ve had my hearing aid turned off, wait.” The hearing aid squeaked and whistled…

…He slowly woke from the dream, but he fought to return, to imagine the rest or at least remember it. Something was waking him. Was it the packs of wild dogs that wandered the streets at night with a howling that he likened to human screams from hell? The dogs had become fewer since the long drought had made the people less picky. No, it was mosquitoes that angrily buzzed into his ears. He was sure he had checked the windows last night. He squinted through the darkness and saw that the screen on the hall window was torn. It was a big tear. He heard a bump in the room and stretched out his arm across the bed to see if she was up but touched her sleeping form. Quickly raising and turning his head the other way, he discerned the dark form of a man bent over the bedside table, rifling through his wallet…

FarmerJohn, Jun 06 2002

Internet Writing Workshop http://www.manistee.com/~lkraus/workshop/
Post and critique all forms of creative writing. [pottedstu, Jun 06 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Net Author http://www.netauthor.org/
Critique groups and resources for aspiring writers. [pottedstu, Jun 06 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Zoetrope http://www.zoetrope.com/
Resources, critiquing and discussion for screenwriters (and other cinematic arts). Part of Francis Ford Coppola's empire. [pottedstu, Jun 06 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The Invisible Library http://www.invisiblelibrary.com/
A collection of books that only appear in other books. Featuring such classics as George Stark's "Machine's Way", T.S. Garp's "The World According to Bensenhaver", and of course, the collected works of Oolon Colluphid, author of "Well, That About Wraps it Up for God". [waugsqueke, Jun 06 2002]

The Neverending TV Show http://www.halfbake...rending_20TV_20Show
"Create a real show around a 15 minute character lifespan." [phoenix, Jun 06 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Collaborative Fiction Brainstorming Kit http://www.FoolQuest.com/fiction.htm
Common projects with resources [AaronAgassi, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Collaborative Fiction Brainstorming Kit http://www.foolquest.com/fiction.htm
Common projects with resources [AaronAgassi, Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       //swan song// You have set a timeless place for the ideas you've posted now and again. The refrain of the swan song obscures the text which follows. The sentiment which is contained within your ideas, and the ideas within the sentiments themselves are worthy. Please remove the thought of a swan song from the post as well as your mind.
thumbwax, Jun 06 2002
  

       Stories within stories are not uncommon.
waugsqueke, Jun 06 2002
  

       It's not really a valid idea, even though it's great writing. But don't let it be your swansong, FJ - either of yourself or your writing style. If they don't like it, tough!
yamahito, Jun 06 2002
  

       I'm not sure any one got this idea. It was supposed to be a form of collaborative writing but no one's taking the bait. The svan song refers to my "literary" flights of fantasy in this arena. I'll play by the rules, but the rules seem somewhat rigid and conservative for a site that purports to strive after inventiveness and thinking outside the you-know-what. Too much criticism, negative and positive, can be a bad thing so to give everybody a rest, I'll reign in my urge to illustrate with text.
FarmerJohn, Jun 06 2002
  

       I remember the days when you could go and watch the telly for an hour and only have one annotation added to your idea. The newbie bakers prefer to idea-at than annotate, so they get all the time to load ideas onto this beast, and we have all the time to frantically keep up with other ideas on the system, while trying to keep up our own. Its a hard life, being a 'baker...
[ sctld ], Jun 06 2002
  

       Point the finger at yourself, Blissmiss, as you start lamenting the reason things around the Bakery seem to have become far more conversational and endlessly repetitive. You routinely respond four, five, or more times to any single posting, and have already spoken up twice on this posting without adding anything of substance to the original idea . I was one of the first to stand up for your "Synchronicity" idea, but I'm seriously beginning to ponder the wisdom of that support. Don't get me wrong, Bliss; I think you are wonderfully sweet and I find much to admire about you (excluding spelling, of course), but this forum was not intended as a chat room. Make your point and move on.
jurist, Jun 07 2002
  

       FJ, I hope you have not taken my comments as criticism. They were not meant as such. Your writing style is obviously well liked by many of our cohorts, and I would probably enjoy it more as well were it not for the sheer volume of ideas here, as bliss points out. As I said, I appreciate the effort you put into it as well as the knack you clearly have for the style. It's just not my cuppa, s'all. And that makes it my problem, not yours.   

       jurist, I could be wrong but I don't believe bliss was looking to point fingers anywhere, and I find it a little harsh that you have done so.
waugsqueke, Jun 07 2002
  

       I think the moral is that we all find different halfbakers more or less congenial to our tastes. But the halfbakery is a broad church, to which most people have something to contribute, certainly including blissmiss and FarmerJohn.
pottedstu, Jun 07 2002
  

       No, YOU suck.   

       --Signed, the Mean People.   

       <this is not a personal comment, it's a bumper sticker my brother had.>
StarChaser, Jun 10 2002
  

       Welcome!
beauxeault, Jun 10 2002
  
      
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