On the Streams of Consciousness – The Death of a Guide, Writing 101, 6-14, link-post 1

On the Streams of Consciousness – The Death of a Guide

Once upon a time, there were four people on a boat. The boat was floating down an overgrown jungle canal. There was the captain, a native of the area, two grandparents, and a young girl – Malody. Interestingly enough, the boat was floating down a stream, a branch of the Amazon River. The boat was more or less like a large canoe. The captain used a huge pole to help guide the vessel’s floating path.

Malody’s grandparents were on a vacation. They took two or three trips every summer, and Malody actually got to come along this time. “How many books have you written, grand-ma?” asked Malody. “Over seventeen, now,” said her grandmother. Her grandmother wrote books about old ladies, their lives, and what they chose to do for fun. Many of her novels included natural tragedies, death from terminal illness, and handsome men.

“So, what was your motivation behind writing?” asked Malody. “Him,” said her grandmother, playing around. Malody’s grandfather was looking through his binoculars at the “jungle to come” from the front of the boat – there was really nothing to see other than large old trees with mosses and vines. He himself was in the spirit, nonetheless. The occasional wild bird could be seen, and the passengers saw what they thought to be an orange Macaw, at one point. The native was in the back, steering.

Malody’s grandfather, Baron was working on his first novel. A retired salesman who used to work for an oil company, Baron did his own reading and writing all of the time. His wife and Malody’s grandmother, Maurine, was an actual novelist. She wrote and sold three books upon retirement; found a nice young male agent; and even began writing her novels for a major publisher. Baron wrote a few articles for a hunting magazine; he decided that he, too wanted to write a book. He brought an empty notepad to journal with during this trip. “I will not stop writing my daily thoughts until I have 100,000 words to revise for additional commentary,” said Baron, one time.

The boat turned and held good speed as its motion was guided by the native captain, Julio. The three tourists asked Julio questions from time to time about things like the rain and his home village. Malody was happy to be enjoying the ride. She was a huge fan of her grandmother and thought it to be an impressive rarity that she knew a famous published author. Malody wanted to know more and appreciated her grandmother’s commentary.

“You wrote one or two books a year there for a while,” said Malody, “Why have you not written anything for over a year, now?” “Well, Malody,” said her grandmother, “I love to write, we both know that, I just have not been inspired, lately. I have written a bunch of long stories people must have enjoyed, however I have not endured any reason for writing in some time. I will again, just not too soon.” “Have you seen any good movies lately?” asked Malody, “Are those not some form of inspiration?” “Well,” said Maurine, “Some movies have inspired me, like ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’, however the last movie I saw was ‘Austin Powers’.”

Baron, at that time, decided to jot some prose in his journal. There was an amount of violent activity beneath the surface of the stream. Julio saw it. The others saw it, too. “What is that all about?” asked Malody. “Those are piranhas,” said Julio, “They swarmed up on something in a school – possibly a long snake.” The swarming school would be the most exciting thing Baron could describe so far.

Julio looked over to Baron. Malody saw Julio; he was “pitching a tent”. Julio said to Baron, “With all of your writing about the trees and your words on wildlife, I have something you can describe right here.” This infuriated Maurine. Malody took one look at her grandmother, who had blushed red in hatred. There was a docking rope behind Julio; Malody saw that Julio and Baron were about to fight.

Malody ran over to Julio; tied him up with the rope; and submerged his head underwater. He shook violently as Malody manhandled his bound body. The swarming piranhas devoured the natives’ wet flesh. Julio’s neck and jaw where showing, and by the time Baron could figure out what Malody was doing to the guide, the small carnivorous fish had eaten the brain of the native, entirely. Malody pulled the brainless body back up, and her grandparents were astonished. “Well,” said Malody, “That was at least on occurrence you guys can write about.”

link to writing 101

a piranha picture

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