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List #7 – Luke Reynolds: People, Places, Things

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LISTS: LITERARY & LAUNDRY

 

Five Fictions for Truth’s Sake

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1.

When I met Harper Lee on the penultimate car of a long steam train, I asked her a question: Do you ever wish you had written another novel? Ms. Lee looked at me, winked, and smiled as if she had a marble in her mouth. Who says I haven’t?

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2.

If you say the phrase fire in the eyes, immediately Denzel Washington’s visage rises up before me like steam. When I met Mr. Washington on a land-gobbler heading from Austin to Hartford, he told me—with fire in his eyes—Don’t think you have what it takes; instead, take what you have and think.

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3.

Andre Gide, before his death, wrote me a letter. Over the course of eleven pages, Mr. Gide shared a series of thoughts that had occurred to him on a voyage from Paris into the heart of Wittenberg. One thought: Every morning, I ate strawberries—my direct line to momentum in any writing endeavor, strawberries proved that an existential act, like writing, could become an act of great faith and even worship.

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4.

On my first meeting with bell hooks, she leveled me with a glance. When I met her seventeen years later, I had to wear an engineer’s cap to shield my eyes from the brightness that poured from her fingertips like ten tiny waterfalls. Dr. hooks spoke, poetry, and I knelt on the vibrating floor to weep.

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5.

I am Ryan Gosling. My facial features, tone of voice, abode, and history have all been altered in order to prevent Perez from ever getting to the real me. Some days, I worry that I will spontaneously combust. Other days, I drink a cappuccino and think back to my marble-playing days when my vocation did not stretch itself out along the contours of my heart—like a ripe red strawberry, like a moving train, like a novel.

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Luke Reynolds is co-editor of Dedicated to the People of Darfur: Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope (Rutgers University Press, 2009) and of Burned In: Fueling the Fire to Teach (Teachers College Press, 2011). His upcoming books include A Call to Creativity: Writing, Reading, and Inspiring Students in an Age of Standardization (Teachers College Press, 2012) and Keep Calm and Query On: Notes on Writing (and Living) with Hope (Divertir Publishing, 2012). His writing for children is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. His website is www.lukewreynolds.com, and he blogs at http://reynoldsluke.blogspot.com.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Penny Blubaugh March 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Oh my god, this is marvelous.

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