Monday, April 30, 2012

Three Minutes with the Inventor of the Wheel

Normanday #26: A round of questioning

Spend three minutes conducting an interview with the inventor of the wheel.

Email what you wrote to woof at bright dot net by the end of the day May 6 (put “Norman is Stylish” in the subject line). I’ll post as many of my favorite entries as I want next Monday. Include your first name (or, even better, use a pen name) and age (unless you’re tortoise-old). If you’re a published children’s or young adult writer, include a biography to be posted with your entry.

Here are the entries from last week when I asked you to…

…spend three minutes writing down everything you hear.


They’ll be the death of me, these clocks. At least of my sanity. The unending tick-tocking, like a bomb counting down to an explosion that never happens—a building of suspense with no release.

A metronome tick-tocks, but it serves a purpose. It helps you keep rhythm for a period. Then you silence it, place it carefully in it’s velvet-lined box and stow it on the top shelf of the linen closet.

There’s no rhythm kept with a dozen clocks each marching to the beat of their own drummer.

Downstairs the grandfather clock bong-bong-bong-bongs, sounding more like a doorbell than a timepiece.

Timepiece. Ha. A timepiece brings no peace. It’s tick-tocking bores into my brain, nestles there to accompany me wherever I go. Standing near a frozen lake on a windless day or lying in a hotel room (a digital clock on the nightstand set to wake me the next morning), the ticking of those clocks echoes in my memory, itches my inner ear like a cricket crawled in there and is rubbing his legs together.

The clock right outside my door is a cuckoo clock. I admit, it might be fun to hear the cuckoo announce the new hour, but that bird hasn’t popped out on its roost in years. I can’t remember what he looks like, but I have a good idea how he got his name.

What I’d rather hear is the sound of those clocks being smashed against the floor. The pendulums clanging, the wood splintering, the gears rolling to a stop down the hall. That bird coo-cooing one last time.

The rest is silence.

Roy Tep

What does wind sound like? It is the sound of air shaking evergreen branches. It flaps broad leaves—like a thousand green flags they snap. It thrums along the side of a building. It squeals with delight as it swoops down the steep roof and turns the weathervane in need of oiling. It rattles the gutters and shimmies the shutters. It twists the clunky wind chime, makes it mimic cow bells and rusted mufflers. It funnels along the curve of my conch-like ear, carrying the sound of the ocean from hundreds of miles away.

Tren Rewy Steb

Howling. More like singing to my way of thinking. A drawn-out note, operatic almost. Then a pause to catch a breath, and back at it again. Starting low and ending on a higher note. An alert.

Rowr rooooooow!

Like morse code, one long, three short. Pause. Begin new word. Spelling out: “Come see the squirrel! It’s a squirrel! I’m not lying about this, there’s really a squirrel out there!”

Softer now, as she moves to another room, another window.

Row, row, row!

“Now he’s over here. Comesee-comesee-comesee!”

More frustrated now. A long howl ending with a huff of exasperation.

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