Acts of a Thief and Bishop Acts of a Thief and Bishop | Shades of Crimson

Acts of a Thief and Bishop

by Davina on August 15, 2010

Writing Challenge #2

Hi everyone. Give a hearty welcome to a new face here at Shades of Crimson.

Rebecca Dempsey from WritingBec’s Blog has been published as a book and film reviewer, has won short story contests, attempted screenplays (including, eek, fanfic) and had novel ideas and ideas for novels. Her site is full of random musings and things that fit nowhere else.

She says, “I’m about yay high, with green eyes and live in Melbourne, Australia. I like cats, Gloucester cheese and don’t drink coffee.”

Rebecca shares her thoughts about the creative writing exercise that used these nine words: Fly, Magnitude, Timothy, Typography, Death, Closet, Swell, Rena, Jerome:

“These words seemed biblical and bookish to me but there was also something quasi-sci-fi I thought I could play with. And I did. Hope you like it. However, The Process is the same as usual, open document, type like the flowing of some majestic flowy thing. Think, retype, edit. Smile. Frown. Unthink some changes. Make other changes. Research. Word number check. Edit. Add title, edit title. Laugh a bit. Submit. Then the Creeping Doubt and The Wait.”

Apocrypha 451: Acts of a Thief and Bishop

The Commentarium of Jerome, with its florid typography, reeked of yellowy death and musty closet. Timothy, awed by the magnitude of Rena and her actions, caressed the jewelled binding, wondering at the distance it’d come. Did-it-it arr-arr-fly here unremarked? Rena nodded, feeling her heart swell with pride. If she could rescue an old man and steal a book crucial to Western development, what next? Timothy winced at changing history, but what did he know, old Timótheos, Bishop of Epheus and now almost-long-ago martyr? He devoured the words, shaking at their inadequacy to his memories, before flinging it into the fire.

* * * * * * * *

Thank you Rebecca for joining in this creative process. It’s so nice to see a new face.

I love your use of adjectives and descriptive imagery, not to mention the dramatic ending! I shudder at the thought of tossing any book into the fire; even one with florid typography, that reeks of yellowy death — what a great line — theatrical-like.

Love your description of your process. I imagine you hunched over your keyboard with a furrowed brow, writing, revising and writing again, lol. Your piece shows how this exercise continues to invite unique expression, despite using the same nine words. You can let that “Creeping doubt and the wait” rest now. :-)

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Barbara Swafford August 15, 2010 at 2:01 am

Hi Davina,

Like you, I also enjoyed reading Rebecca’s description of the process. Isn’t that the truth? We doubt and wait.

Hi Rebecca. You are truly talented. I don’t know how you ever came up with such a powerful story in 100 words. Your creativity shines.
.-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Turn Your Blog Into A Book =-.

Joy August 15, 2010 at 9:18 am

Thank you for this challenge..amazing to read..such talent and flow!

I read, then reread your words. What imagery, what flow..and in 100 words! You are gifted..thank you for sharing your gift with us..Awe-some!

Rose August 15, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I found myself reading this several times. I’m in awe at Rebecca’s ability to weave all the words into this dramatic write.
.-= Rose´s last blog ..Effective Online Communication =-.

Alien Ghost August 16, 2010 at 3:35 am

Hi Davina,

It is really amazing at how many things can be done and how many approaches can be taken depending of the personal vision of different people using just the same nine words!

I like Rebecca description of the process…how true! Although each one can follow a different system, the process seems to be the same for everyone.

Great story in just under 100 words :)

.-= Alien Ghost´s last blog ..The Bird and The Shotgun =-.

Tony Single August 16, 2010 at 5:17 am

Davina, you really do have excellent taste when it comes to writers. I’m so glad you brought Rebecca to my attention. Thank you!

Rebecca, I nearly threw my writing book and pen away in disgust after reading this… that’s how much I admire it! And a fellow Australian to boot. I need to lie down and die in my shallow grave of shallow ideas now. Please excuse me… :P

Davina August 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

Yes… we should wait to doubt ;-)

It never ceases to amaze me what a writer, such as Rebecca can say in so few words.

I know! I almost feel like I’ve just finished reading her novel, with this being the last paragraph.

She did a fantastic job. Interesting what you’ve noted about personal vision. There are so many ways these nine words can be used and I love seeing how each person has approached this. Funnily enough, there have been nine submissions… coincidence? :-)

You’re welcome. Lol… please don’t throw your writing book and pen away in disgust! At least, if you are to toss it away, do it with good spirit :-)

vered August 16, 2010 at 10:24 am

“Laugh a bit. Submit. Then the Creeping Doubt and The Wait.”


Lori August 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

Hi Davina and Rebecca!
Davina, I finally made it here — so sorry it took me so long. I’ve been admiring you from afar for months and months. I want to come stay for a week and hang out with you. I’ll bring the coffee, paper, pencils, and spinach salad for lunch! I love what you’re doing here.

I agree with Tony, Rebecca is amazing. You’re all inspiring me to continue my walk on the writing path. I have no idea where I’m going, but the view is gorgeous! ;)
.-= Lori´s last blog ..No Tom Toms in Trottersville =-.

J.D. Meier August 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

> steal a book crucial to Western development
Now that’s one powerful and thought-provoking premise!
.-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Day 16 – Use Metaphors to Find Your Motivation =-.

Tom Volkar / Delightful Work August 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Thanks Rebecca, it’s always a pleasant sojourn to stop by here and see what mind-stretching possibilities arise. I’m never disappointed. What a muse you are Davina!
.-= Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog ..Hope Floats … Temporarily =-.

Patricia August 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Oh Davina I love how these 9 catty words keep coming to life and stretching me into new sunlight of imagination…your tease is a brilliant challenge come to life.

Rebecca I can understand why your words are delighting many people in many forms and you flow and play well upon the mind. I truly enjoyed your words of process and think the Doubt and Wait is such a grand description of the creative delivery process…we all know it too well “smiling”.

You just turned up the volume on my creative dial and inspired my desire to find my own voice and flow. Thank you it was so much more fun than yet another kick in the pants.

And to the commenters who wish to think about throwing in the towel….or the pen and paper to fire of it’s own….tsk tsk….for shame…find the de – light and turn on yours….remember this is a challenge to you to shout out your own voice, we need diversity or this world would be no ” ” at all. I am looking forward to higher vibrations and radiation treatments from all of your blogs now…and I will be coming by to read and read…You know I will!

Davina August 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm

A little like Dr. Seuss :) I like the varied long and short sentences.

Nice to see you here. Hey, I’m guilty of not getting out and about to more blogs too. :) I’m glad you’re inspired to stay on the writing path. Half the fun is not knowing where you’re going and then being pleasantly surprised when you get there. It’s definitely a process… and coffee certainly helps! :)

LOL. I agree :)

Hello, sir and thank you. Come back anytime and we’ll sculpt your mind with rhythm and rhyme :-)

Isn’t this fun? It’s really interesting how Rebecca’s description of the process itself has caught the attention of so many readers. Just goes to show there is more than inspiration to the art of writing.

I love your pep talk! :-) Right on! Worth repeating: “…this is a challenge to you to shout out your own voice, we need diversity…” Thank you!

Patty - Why Not Start Now? August 16, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Wow, I’m getting a Dan Brown vibe here. I want to know the whole story! Such intrigue! Such mystery! Very fun, Davina, and Rebecca, your writing just sucked me right in.
.-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog ..Meaning Mondays- The Smallest Things =-.

Hilary August 17, 2010 at 12:10 am

Hi Davina and Rebecca .. what an amazing story and turn around for nine simple (?) words .. that is brilliant .. and I love your process .. until you doubt and wait ..

Really different approach – but as Patricia says .. we are such varied human beings with wonderful novel ideas .. this one is great – well done Davina for bringing Rebecca into your Shades ..

Love it .. thanks – Hilary
.-= Hilary´s last blog ..Seven Sisters – what would these mean to you =-.

Davina August 17, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Yeah, you’re right, Patty!
Good call. Would be cool if Rebecca writes a little more about this.

I’m glad you enjoyed Rebecca’s creation. That last line gets me every time I read this.

Jim August 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Rebecca, all I can say is WOW!
A lot of imagination and flow with your 100 word storey.
You managed to say more in 100 words than most writers could say in 500 words.
I’m not a writer, so this challenge is not going to involve a short story.
I have had writers block since grade twelve.
If Davina could get one out of me, that would be a miracle.

Rebecca August 18, 2010 at 1:59 am

Hey everyone! I want to say thanks to Davina for publishing my piece. I found inspiration in her challenge and I really appreciate it. What I never expected is all the kindness. It’s knocked the wow out of me and brought tears to my eyes. So much of what any writer does is lonesome and struggly, but there’s joy too and it’s here and oh so unexpected. And I’d forgotten. So thanks everyone for reminding me.
As for wanting more. There’s always more! I’ll be writing stuff about inspiration & influence at my blog, since I’m all fired up now. So come over and have a look-see:)
And don’t anyone throw in the towel because of what I wrote! I don’t want the responsibility:( Reading has at times challenged me, wrestled me to the floor and pounded me into the ground, but it never stopped me writing, even when I’m the only one reading my stuff.
And Jim, you just wrote that. And it told me a kind of a story. A single post can turn into something.
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Inception- Alice in Slumberland =-.

Davina August 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm

You have to want to get a story out of you. The rest… just happens as soon as you put one foot in front of the other.

I loved your comment to Jim. Right on!

And as for the writing challenge, thank you for contributing to this. Your work was inspiring to a lot of folk and it seems… very inspiring to you too :-) A writer’s life can be lonesome and struggly; I agree. Have you read Julia Cameron’s “The Right to Write”? She talks about this in that book.

Blogging has certainly helped a lot of writers to come out of the closet, so to speak. I’m glad for it. We see so much more now than we ever had the opportunity to see before. We have more opportunities to write it seems… motivated by the opportunity to have more people to share with and receive feedback from.

I’m very very glad that you have been reminded of the joy in writing. :-) Very glad indeed.

Jannie Funster August 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Whoa, that is a ‘way cool piece!! Very “National Treasure” and “The DaVinci Code”-ish.

Loved the forceful energy and sense of immediacy in this! Wonderful imagery too in this and want to know where the story goes next.

Rebecca might not like coffee, but she likes cats as I do,and how can you not love a cat lover with such great writing!?

.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..10 Great Mysteries of The Universe- 3 =-.

Davina August 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Yah, I agree, Jannie.
Very DaVinci Code-ish. This leaves me feeling sad, thinking of the burning book. I love books. :)

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