Odour of Chrysanthemums

Today, I bought a bar of Mulberry Leaf and Chrysanthemum Soap between class on a whim. Coincidentally, today we’re reading an exerpt from D.H. Lawrence’s Odour of Chrysanthemums in class! I want to share it with you – the scene is set so vividly!

ORIGINAL STORY SOURCE HERE – http://homepage.ntlworld.com/chris.thorns/resources/ShortStory/Odour_of_Chrysanthemums.pdf

Below’s the little excerpt from class, I really want to keep reading! Maybe tonight I’ll revisit the link myself and read the rest 🙂

The small locomotive engine, Number 4, came clanking, stumbling down from Selston with seven full waggons. It appeared round the corner with loud threats of speed, but the colt that it startled from among the gorse, which still flickered indistinctly in the raw afternoon, outdistanced it at a canter. A woman, walking up the railway line to Underwood, drew back into the hedge, held her basket aside, and watched the footplate of the engine advancing. The trucks thumped heavily past, one by one, with slow inevitable movement, as she stood insignificantly trapped between the jolting black waggons and the hedge; then they curved away towards the coppice where the withered oak leaves dropped noiselessly, while the birds, pulling at the scarlet hips beside the track, made off into the dusk that had already crept into the spinney. In the open, the smoke from the engine sank and cleaved to the rough grass. The fields were dreary and forsaken, and in the marshy strip that led to the whimsey, a reedy pit-pond, the fowls had already abandoned their run among the alders, to roost in the tarred fowl-house. The pit-bank loomed up beyond the pond, flames like red sores licking its ashy sides, in the afternoon’s stagnant light. Just beyond rose the tapering chimneys and the clumsy black head-stocks of Brinsley Colliery. The two wheels were spinning fast up against the sky, and the winding-engine rapped out its little spasms. The miners were being turned up.

The engine whistled as it came into the wide bay of railway lines beside the colliery, where rows of trucks stood in harbour.

Miners, single, trailing and in groups, passed like shadows diverging home. At the edge of the ribbed level of sidings squat a low cottage, three steps down from the cinder track. A large bony vine clutched at the house, as if to claw down the tiled roof. Round the bricked yard grew a few wintry primroses. Beyond, the long garden sloped down to a bush-covered brook course. There were some twiggy apple trees, winter-crack trees, and ragged cabbages. Beside the path hung dishevelled pink chrysanthemums, like pink cloths hung on bushes. A woman came stooping out of the felt-covered fowl-house, half-way down the garden. She closed and padlocked the door, then drew herself erect, having brushed some bits from her white apron.

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Summer Writing Plans

This post is going to give a brief update to my readers about upcoming changes/additions to the writing section of my blog. I’ll summarize quickly below, and you can continue reading if you want to see more details!

  • All entries regarding National Novel Writing Month will be categorized “Writing”, tagged “NNWM”
  • All entries with character journal related posts will be categorized “Writing”, tagged “character journals”
  • I’m collaborating with English major, friend, and recent graduate Scott Kelleyover the summer. These entries will consist first of character journals, but will include anything else we can collaborate and work on together. This could be art, one-shots, scenarios, short stories, vignettes, etc. These will be categorized “Writing”, tagged “character journal” and also whatever we end up naming our project. I’ll post separately about the project when we have named it. We will:
    • Create character journals for two unique characters. Fae is my character, Benjamin is his.
    • Try to sketch out what we see our characters like
    • Practice various character writing exercises. So dropping them into scenarios, etc.
    • Hopefully, by the end of the summer, we’ll have substantial character writing material, be really good at writing characters, and also have a substantial 50-100 page novella. Idk what page length for a novella is though. But something like that.
  • I’m picking 100 Tales back up, so you’ll see more of that this summer.

Earlier this year, my friend Melissa was blogging a lot about her character journals. I think she is (was?) taking a fiction writing class, and they spent a few weeks discussing how helpful character journals can be!

Well I read her posts about this a while ago [HERE and HERE] and wanted to try this out by myself. As I mentioned, I shall be participating in National Novel Writing Month this November (I grew up calling this Novel November) with my roommate Misha (We’re writing our own independent novels though) and also my administrative aide at work, Miss Mary. I shall refrain from posting her full name!) In order to prepare for that kind of dedication (1000 words per day for an entire month, wow) , I need to start getting in shape and begin writing more profusely! I also want to explore creating characters and get a head start on the kind of story I want to write. Hopefully, by the time I start writing my novel in November, I will already know my characters. Once I am intimate with them, weaving their life into a story will be easy. I am of the opinion that a good book is one where the reader can become the character. In order to do that, I need to be so comfortable that somebody could create a true-to-character human version of my written characters. You know what I mean? I want them to be so REAL to me that I can envision them interacting with the world the same way I can vividly and accurately imagine my best friend Nabila going to Starbucks to order a frappachino.

Tangent aside, I was busy with finals and LSAT and then the Blogging Challenge and couldn’t devote much more time to thinking about character journals. Well now things have slowed down and I have some time!

I’m looking forward to collaborating with Scott! That’ll be my summer writing project. Less intense than Poetry Paradise or Project Theme, but hopefully, just as fulfilling! I just need to come up with a catchy tag for this summer’s collaboration with Scott. Something with assonance, I think.

Woo, I’m excited! I get to work on my character writing!! I really need to experiment, because I think all of my characters end up…just being me. I need to learn how to draw from other sources of inspiration when creating characters, and how to give them their own unique voices instead of inserting my own dialogue into everybody’s mouth. Yeah seriously, they may have different characteristics and roles, but they’re mostly different me’s. I need them to be different them’s. That’s totally a distinction, don’t question it.

Melissa, if you read this, please suggest character writing books to me! I want to plan out some sort of schedule or format Scott and I can follow this summer. A set of exercises even.

I’m taking an Advanced Creative Writing Fiction Workshop next semester at school to complete my Creative Writing minor, so this summer project will whip me into shape and help me get back into the process of writing larger pieces. I’ve gotten totally lazy and just been writing Poetry because it’s quick and easy to pen emotions down into a poem. Obviously, a great poem needs much refinement, but for now, poetry has been easier. Well now, it’s time to switch back into fiction writing mode.

Thought you knew Pryanka? I know I’ve had an influx of new followers since the Blogging Honesty challenge. Well you guys are in for a treat, you get to see what I’m capable of writing!! I bet you didn’t know Pryanka liked writing so much, hm? Unless you stalked my blog back through time and saw that I love to write. My English major and Creative Writing minors are giveaways though, right? I love reading and writing. Someday, I hope to be published. I don’t want to make money off of it or anything. I just want to be published so I can say I was! It isn’t a career choice. But it sure as hell is one fun hobby.