This Blog post has been sitting in my draft box for about a week. So as you can see, I have a really big problem with deadlines. I think the problem lies in the fact that they are called deadlines. Maybe it’s the impending doom that the connotation of the word invokes. As soon as I hear it, my brain starts going into overtime, I start sweating and my mind starts reeling. I have something to do, and I have a date in which it has to be done. Or else… well? or else what? I’m not going to die, so why’s it called a deadline? Perhaps it should be called lifeline.
This seems to have more or less a similar connotation, except that it feels more like I’m hooked up to a respirator without which, I would die –Lifeline as in lifeline or flatline- But it also has a salvation connotation to it, as if I had been floundering and someone has thrown me a lifeline. Thus, thinking of a lifeline instead of a deadline, only works when I have managed to get myself in a state of paralysing fear, so it isn’t quite useful here.
I have come, perhaps rather late, to the conclusion that it might be better I called it openingline. This has a rather nice ring to it. For me, an opening line is very important, most of my stories and poems start with an opening line I like. They are where inspiration lies. One great opening sentence can carry me through a whole story or poem. And when that fails, when inspiration deserts me, I can always turn to the classics and perhaps learn from the best.
My top 3 favourite opening-lines are:
1)Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”
Ever since I read it I thought it was great, it succinctly introduces the reader to the main character and also tells the reader what is going to happen.
2)Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca:
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
It might not tell me much but it is just a great sentence to start a novel.
3)Out of Africa by Karen Blixen:
“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”
I like this one probably because it reminds me of my Grandma’s house in Africa.
What’s your favourite?