Wednesday, February 10, 2010


He does a quick check of his peripheral, moving only his eyes, subtlety being a point of pride for Henry. All clear. This intersection sanctuary belongs to him alone. Slowly he raises his right hand from the steering wheel. Like a familiar dance, he twirls his index finger thrice and inserts it into his right nostril. He feels the satisfactory squish and withdraws his newest prize. holding it close to his face for inspection. He sniffs (he always sniffs), and deposits it on the dashboard with his other treasures.

I loved the reading on gestures by Francine Prose. I found it very insightful as to the nuances of everyday life. My creative response isn’t nearly as complex as the examples given in the reading, but it was inspired by it.


  1. Your example included a lot of good humor. I wonder what the protagonist's reaction would be if he was caught in his gooey act.

  2. I enjoyed the last line, especially "He always sniffs". It gave the reader a lot about the character while saying practically nothing which is exactly what the article was talking about.

  3. I found the line, "Like a familiar dance, he twirls his index finger thrice and inserts it into his right nostril." meaningful. It says a lot about the character, and also plays with my emotions. I wonder if the character is a sad one, constantly lonely and odd, or just a carefree soul.

  4. I love how much emphasis, detail and meaning is given to such a simple gesture, potentially to be written off as simply crude and unimportant to any onlookers were the coast NOT clear.

    The loving description of the act not only gives insight into the character's personality indirectly - it also dimly suggests an unusual value system. This isn't simply a bad habit or a stolen moment in which he grooms himself - "all clear" - it's a furtive and satisfying pleasure taken in a moment of private. One wonders what other pleasures this person might have.

  5. I love the simplicity involved in this descriptive piece, taking the a mundane (and even disgusting) moment and turning it into something beautiful and meaningful for the main character. Although the language is fairly simple, it pulls you in close to the character and emphasizes their values through their ritualistic nature. You see this especially in the line "this intersection sanctuary belongs to him alone," making the reader aware that the character has found meaning in the ordinary, turning a simple intersection into a place of comfort and familiarity.


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