Laughing Dolphins

Writers’ Trigger:

Generally speaking, writers should avoid writing a string of prepositional phrases. But look at what Joyce Carol Oates does in the first paragraph of You Must Remember This:

“Not once upon a time but a few years ago. Last year. Last week. Last Thursday. On Union Street, on Cadboro, up in the Decker project, up behind the high school in that alley. In Kilbirnie Park. Out by the reservoir. In the middle of the night, at six in the morning. In broad daylight.”

  • Notice the energy and the suspense generated by the short prepositional phrases. Using Oates’s beginning as a template, begin today’s journal entry in the same fashion.
  • Up the ante and share your string of prepositional phrases in the comment box below.
  • Continue where Oates left off. If it happened in broad daylight, whatever it was, it must have been quite scandalous.


AKROTIRI FRESCOES in the Cyclades – Minoan culture 3,500 years ago.

I’ve been in a funk- a funk that has extended over several days. Last year, leaning over the bow of our boat (not actually our boat but the boat on which we were guests), I took some great pictures of dolphins surfing the bow wave. As to where those pictures are, I have no idea. Did I not save them? How could I have been so careless? And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I can’t find the YouTube video of an illegal round-up of dolphins in the Sea of Cortez. Clearly, my record keeping leaves a lot to be desired.

I love seeing the dolphins in the wild- outside of a Disneyfied entertainment aquarium. Bahia Delfin (Dolphin Bay)San Carlos is (as the name suggests) a great place for watching the dolphins. It is illegal to play or harass the dolphins, but they very definitely play with you.

It is not unusual to intercept them in your kayak. At which point they toy with you. Coming to the surface, they roll to one side and give you the eye. You think that the dolphins are in front of you, but one of them will dive, swim beneath the kayak, and then surface behind you with a burst-pulse that sounds like a nose-blowing snort. Their behavior feels like a game of hide and seek, and the snort is the equivalent of “Boo!”

They are laughing, and we humans are their amusement.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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