Book Report: A Beginning, A Muddle, and an End

bk_begin_140I wanted a nap, but I had a deadline. So I tried to stack my rocks knowing I’d have to do it over again tomorrow anyway. The laptop battery ran down before I had written 300 words, and that was excuse enough to stop. Then I remembered an overdue library book: A Beginning, A Muddle, and an End by AVI. It was supposed to be about writing, and I was paying 25 cents a day to keep it.

It turned out to be a story about a snail trying to become a writer with the help of his ant friend. It was kind of an allegory about writing, but mostly it was a collection of puns and wordplay that ranged from the painful to Shakespearean sublime. A lot of it was just what happens when grammatical words are taken literally.

“I’ve always thought it would be best if I kept my writing on the light side.”

“Writing in the dark is harder,” agreed Edward.

“Besides,” said Avon, “if I wrote in the dark and came upon something good, I’d probably miss it.”

“I can see your point.”

The rhythm of the language matches Frog & Toad, and eventually the invertebrates have something like an adventure.

“Look! There are two seagulls flying by.”

“Is the second one a sequel?” asked Avon.

There were writing tips scattered throughout, with a few pages dedicated to the importance of proper punctuation (so be punctual), and aphorisms like

Never take shortcuts in your writing, but once you’ve written, it’s wise to make lots of short cuts.

There were references to Alice in Wonderland, not only in the discussions of nonsense, but in the story, for example, a long fall with time to get hungry. But mostly the book was a running joke about how very little time writers spend actually writing, and how much bellyaching they do about it.

Which was exactly what I deserved.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s