Thursday, September 10, 2015

Inkling Explorations Link-Up // September 2015

It's time for our September Inklings!

And our topic for this month is: A Funny Story Opening in Literature

September specific notes: literary entries only this month

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My selection comes from that lovely story Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse. (One of his earlier works, it's also one of my top favorites, oft times the top favorite.... depending on how recently I've read it. ;))

"Inasmuch as the scene of this story is that historic pile, Belpher Castle, in the county of Hampshire, it would be an agreeable task to open it with a leisurely description of the place, followed by some notes on the history of the Earls of Marshmoreton, who have owned it since the fifteenth century. Unfortunately, in these days of rush and hurry, a novelist works at a disadvantage. He must leap into the middle of his tale with as little delay as he would employ in boarding a moving tramcar. He must get off the mark with the smooth swiftness of a jack-rabbit surprised while lunching. Otherwise, people throw him aside and go out to picture palaces..."

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As always, entries are open through the end of the month and I can’t wait to see your selections. Remember, you can write as little or as much as you like!

Naomi @ Wonderland Creek
"Gambit" by Rex Stout (Hamlette @ The Edge of the Precipice)
Olivia @ Meanwhile in Rivendell
Rose @ An Old Fashioned Girl


1. Post the Inklings button on your sidebar.
2. Do a post on your own blog relating to the month's selection/subject (a literary excerpt as short or as long as you like AND/OR—if specified that month—a screencap from a film with an explanation of how the scene builds/develops the story). Link back here somewhere in your post.
3. Come back here and paste your link in the comments box and I'll add it to the post. Then enjoy visiting and reading everyone else's contributions!

That's all there is to it!

(And note: you can visit here for buttons and links for previous months. :))

Up next month: A gypsy scene in literature or film


  1. You can't get much funnier than P.G. Wodehouse.
    I was actually saying to Rosie the other day that it's really a shame Wodehouse never seems to be included in any serious anthologies of English literature--he was truly a masterful writer and storyteller and he deserves more attention. I suppose he's just too cheerful for the "serious" literary critics. :(

    1. jessica,
      No, you can't. At least I don't think you can. ;D

      And I have absolutely no idea why that is. I'll have to look this up, but I did read one person once who said that with a couple of his books Wodehouse was deliberately inviting comparison with Shakespeare... and that he made it off well. :) Maybe his work just isn't old enough yet? Or it's too popular?

  2. Ahhh! This is going to be fun. I already have one in mind. And yes, it's also Wodehouse. :-)

    1. Yay! I did mine! T'was so much fun, thanks!

    2. Naomi,
      I LOVE your selection!! Out and out hilarious, m'dear. :) And you've just added a new book to my TBR list.... all of which is most excellent.

  3. Mine is up! I've shared part of a Nero Wolfe mystery, the opening that I almost shared a couple months ago :-)

    1. Hamlette,
      Oh good -- I was hoping you would! :)

  4. Haha! Thanks for a fun prompt!:)

  5. To all and sundry,
    I also received a story opening for this month's Inklings via email from a non-blogging friend and am posting it for her in the comments. (Thank you so much, Mrs. W.E -- I'm so happy you joined in! ;))

    From The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett:

    "Some things start before other things.
    It was a summer shower but didn't appear to know it, and it was pouring rain as fast as a winter storm.
    Miss Perspicacia Tick sat in what little shelter a raggedy hedge could give her and explored the universe. She didn't notice the rain. Witches dried out quickly.
    The exploring of the universe was being done with a couple of twigs tied together with string, a stone with a hole in it, an egg, one of Miss Tick's stockings (which also had a hole in it), a pin, a piece of paper, and a tiny stub of pencil. Unlike wizards, witches learn to make do with a little.
    The items had been tied and twisted together to make a.... device. It moved oddly when she prodded it. One of the sticks seemed to pass right through the egg, for example, and came out the other side without leaving a mark.
    "Yes," she said quietly, as rain poured off the rim of her hat. "There it is. A definite ripple in the walls of the world. Very worrying. There's probably another world making contact. That's never good. I ought to go there. But...according to my left elbow, there's a witch there already."
    "She'll sort it out, then," said a small and, for now, mysterious voice from somewhere near her feet.
    "No, it can't be right. That's chalk country over that way," said Miss Tick. "You can't grow a good witch on chalk. The stuff's barely harder than clay. You need good hard rock to grow a witch, believe me." Miss Tick shook her head, sending raindrops flying. "But my elbows are generally very reliable." *
    "Why talk about it? Let's go and see," said the voice. We're not doing very well around here, are we?"
    That was true. The lowlands weren't good to witches. Miss Tick was making pennies by doing bits of medicine and misfortunetelling,** and slept in barns most nights. She'd twice been thrown into ponds.
    "I can't barge in," she said. "Not on another witch's territory. That never, ever works. But..." she paused. "Witches don't just turn up out of nowhere. Let's have a look..."
    She pulled a cracked saucer out of her pocket and tipped into it the rainwater that had collected on her hat. Then she took a bottle of ink out of another pocket and poured in just enough to turn the water black.
    She cupped it in her hands to keep the raindrops out and listened to her eyes."

    (*People say things like "listen to your heart," but witches learn to listen to other things too. It's amazing what your kidneys can tell you.

    **Ordinary fortune-tellers tell you what you want to happen; witches tell you what's going to happen whether you want it to or not. Strangely enough, witches tend to be more accurate but less popular. ")

    1. Ahhhhhh, Terry Pratchett. Between this and his collection of children's stories I just read, I'm feeling like maybe it's time to start his Discworld novels for real instead of just hopping about in the series.

  6. Great prompt this month! We can always use more laughter.
    I loved your choice, very few surpass Wodehouse in humor.
    And I got mine up ;)

    1. Rose,
      I'm so glad you enjoyed it and yes, indeed. ;) I loved your selection!

  7. Weeelll, I wanted to join in with this, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to skip this month. Sorry, Heidi! :( I know the month isn't over yet, but I have many other blog posts in the works right now, plus schoolwork and other "life happenings." Just wanted to let you know. I'll look forward to next time! :)

    1. Oh, and, the scene you selected was funny! I just can't wait to get my hands on a Wodehouse book! :D

    2. Natalie,
      Don't worry, I quite understand. ;) And I'm so glad you enjoyed the scene! And yes, YOU SIMPLY MUST... as soon as ever you can. *cough cough* If I might make a recommendation, Damsel in Distress is one of his earlier ones, but it would definitely be one of my top titles to start with. :)


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