LATE Club – January ’17


Soo nearly wrote ’16 and flipped myself into a Groundhog Day spiral… no, not doing 2016 again, ta.

Okey-day. Happy Friday! It is in fact Friday 13th and I am inordinately happy about that. And the prompt is Look around your desk or room, choose an item you can hold in the palm of your hand, and write about it until you run out of things to say or run out of time. This came out of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which everyone should read if they have a spare week or so – if you’re keen, hit me up, I’ve got a DRM-free ecopy I can send your way.  It’s confusing until you work out who Phdrus and Chris are, but so, so worth it.

I’ve found an object, and I’m giving myself until dinnertime. (Pizza.  No way am I missing pizza.)

This is a little pin badge that my good friend Walter sent me from Waterstones. (At this point I could legitimately segue off onto Waterstones if I felt like it.) The badge is a little over an inch across, just the right size to balance the ‘no circular reasoning’ pin on the denim jacket where I keep my collection of patches. (At this point I could legitimately segue off onto the contents of the jacket and what they all mean.  I have to do this most times I wear it anyway.) It appears to be paper under a hard plastic laminate, crimped onto an aluminum backing.  The pin is stiff to open, on a safety-pin loop with an elegant simple bend clasp rather than a cage. (At this point I could legitimately segue off onto safety-pins, the history, uses, and manufacture of.)

The aluminum is very shiny, and I can see the sky reflected in it.  The plastic crumples a little where it gathers at the edges, and has a pleasingly milled feel to run one’s fingers over. (At this point I could legitimately segue off onto milling, coins, and the reasons for either or both.)  Around the edge, the paper under the plastic is a rich deep black, curving upwards to join the perfect circle framing the design of the badge: a fine green ring, around a buttery pale-yellow disc.  The words say “To read or not to read… never a question,” in a subtly serif font in mint-green for the first line and black for the second.  (At this point I could legitimately segue off onto Hamlet, or Shakespeare, or commonly understood literary references if I felt like it.)

And now there’s pizza, so I have run out of time.  (Green olives, yum.) But – did you notice the ‘legitimate segue’ tags? The general idea of Pirsig’s theory is that the small thing is to start you off, and once you’ve kicked the idea that only big things are worth writing about, you can go literally anywhere.  I could comfortably have written a full-on essay off-the-cuff, no references or extra research, on any of those tags except maybe Waterstones.  And if I felt like doing extra research (I don’t, I don’t usually do for fun what I’m also doing for work at the time) I could write about aluminum or circles or (a little tenuously) geometry.

The point of this exercise is that it isn’t hard and doesn’t require you to go read anything.

So k’oya’cyi, Walter, you didn’t realize you were sending me a blog topic!

Next month’s topic, for which I will be posting on the 13th and with which you may do as you like, is: Write about chocolate.  This can be literally anything about chocolate: your favorite, your least favorite, a comprehensive review of every chocolate candy bar you’ve eaten in the last year, cool recipes to share, amusing facts, interesting fiction… you get me.  Sure, it’s a lame prompt – I wanna do one really fun and stupid one before I turn 21 and have to pretend to be more grownup.

Thanks for reading.


About coruscantbookshelf

"A writer is an introvert: someone who wants to tell you a story but doesn't want to have to make eye contact while doing it." - Adapted from John Green
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13 Responses to LATE Club – January ’17

  1. I just turned sixteen… I might write for the prompt anyway because chocolate and fiction is just too good to pass up. Chocolate leads to fluff, fluff leads to happy parties at the Big House, happy parties at the Big House lead to me falling in bed so happy I can’t sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sarahtps says:

    Storm it all, I forgot about LATE Club. Oh well. I’ll shove it in somewhere this weekend. Right now I need to get a Friday 5s written up . . .

    Pizza is delicious and should not be missed for anything.

    Also, what exactly is this Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about? Exactly what it says on the tin? Or is it one of those books where the title has nothing to do with what’s actually inside?

    I like your pin. I’d never wear it, because I don’t wear pins, but I like it all the same.

    Final thought- turning 21 does not mean you can no longer do stuff that’s fun and stupid, at least not if various youth leaders I’ve met are anyone to judge by. (They were excellent leaders, for the record, but part of what made them excellent was that they knew when to be serious and when to let everyone throw marshmallows at each other, which is probably about as fun and stupid as you can possibly get without doing something legitimately risky.)


    • Your 5s were awepic. And never late, that’s the point.
      It does roughly what it says on the tin. It is also about the pursuit of Quality. And the pursuit of a better relationship with one’s family. And the pursuit of shims for motorcycle handlebar grips. And it touches briefly on mountains, English Composition, and insanity.
      Also I shall bear that firmly in mind when I next want to be silly, so thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sarahtps says:

        I know it’s never late, but I do like to do them at least close to the day or else I tend to forget about them for ages and ages.

        Interesting. Perhaps I shall look into it. We’ll see. (My main concern is that half the title is something that I have no experience with, little interest in, and no motorcycle-riding characters who would necessitate research on the topic. So. Yeah. ‘m sure it’s an excellent book, but I’m having trouble overcoming that hurdle.)

        You’re welcome.


  3. WM says:

    Norex rashl! Glad you can see the sky reflected in it–not, presumably, always, but wouldn’t that be nice?


  4. Chocolate…. I suppose I could write about the milkshake bar that the boys opened downstairs.


    • Oh dear. Should I be concerned, or jump in the car and come straight on over?


      • If you want a milkshake, sure. It’s an all-ages establishment and rowdy behavior is strictly forbidden. The Doctor makes really good milkshakes–Eight says he’s discovered the Secret of the Perfect Milkshake. It took him long enough. Six is the bartender and keeps insisting that you have to shake a milkshake to make it a milkshake every single time Eight tries to use the immersion blender, and Eight always tells him to keep his shakers to himself in the present tense. Ace is thoroughly amused by the interplay. I think she really knows more about milkshakes than either of them. Captain Jack Harkness is always spiking his milkshakes with vodka. I keep telling him it’s only really going to make them thicker, since alcohol is acidic, but he won’t listen. And Peter Quill keeps telling long and confusing stories while nursing a beer. Literally no one ever has any idea what he’s talking about, ever.


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