Picture It and Write!: The Great Library

Hi everyone, I’ve yet a again disappeared! I’m now taking an online course at Goldsmiths in Cert HE in English and man is it a challenge. I’ve decided to take Creative Writing and Introductions to English Language this year. I’m freaking out because:

1) I’m new to independent study and timing myself is a tricky and is altogether intimidating.

2) Ohmygods, the reading, the analysis, the note-taking! My head is going to explode and to top it off my textbooks haven’t arrived and it’s like 3 weeks in. Do you see my problem?

Deep breaths. I’m scared but I must try, I keep telling myself. Creative Writing encourages a regularity in writing, practice they say is essential. So I practiced on one of Ermilia Blog‘s PI&W entries (I haven’t written one in ages). Here it is.

old booksPhoto via Ermilia Blog. Click to see original post.

The sconces high on the walls sent shards of light bouncing around the large room, by the time it reached  the bottom it had evened out so that the old man, surrounded with books and parchment, could manage to read. He sat slightly bent over a scroll, eyes quickly scanning its length until they stopped abruptly on a spot almost at the end. He gasped, a little thing, and started off in a hacking cough disturbing the dust motes in a flurry.

As soon as he was settled, long nimble fingers quickly sought and sorted through flat sheets of vellum to his left. Mumbling under his breath, “Oh my … yes … yes … Interesting.” Pages shudder in the quiet, causing little echoes to ebb out the high windows and into the night.

A sudden exclamation, “Impossible!” Even faster now, with a quill in a hand stained with dry ink, the scholar scribbled away on a new sheet, tiny and precise but managed to be near intelligible, perhaps even on purpose. Given his somewhat unkempt appearance one would say he’d been here for a good many hours.

Then, “Yet again it could be! The Chinese, too, had made quite detailed observations … it could be possible …”

A commotion erupted from a few chambers away, voices raised. But the man ignored it in his excitement he kept at it, now scratching away the words could mean nothing to us. The voices became more louder, more urgent as they neared.

“Fire! Fire! The Great Library is on fire!” some demented soul screeched by, disappearing down the hall. The man froze but only for a second.

“No! No! Unacceptable!” He scrambled to gather all the material that he could in his scrawny arms, knocking over pots of ink. Out in the doorway he saw flickering orange light approaching along with the hasty noises of men running, of men screaming in abject horror of the atrocity. Without another moment’s hesitation he dodged out of the room, not daring to look back because he’d surely stand there turned to salt.

Out in the cool night he clutched the Babylonian records in trembling arms. He fell to his knees and cried as the citadel of Alexandria burned to the ground. Not only was his dream of finally uncovering the mystery of the elusive cometa turned to ashes, so had an age of enlightenment.


This is a rough draft. I’ve got nothing major to change just probably a tweak here and there. The cometa or comet I refer to is Haley’s Comet, in earlier times it had been spotted by Chinese, the Babylonians and Midevel Europeans at different points in time but it was never linked to be be the same one until in 1705 by English astronomer Edmond Halley who noted the fact of the comet’s periodic visits.

Refer to: Halley’s Comet



Filed under Picture it and Write!, Writing

10 responses to “Picture It and Write!: The Great Library

  1. In English! but you’re such a gifted writer 🙂

  2. That is good. Railing against the end of civilisation. I like it.
    Good luck with the course. Remember, if it was easy everyone would be doing it 🙂

    • Thanks, Joe. It fascinates me, just the fact of all these intelligent people from near and far that had come to contribute to the collective of knowledge. Sad, knowing such great work is lost to time … sad I tell you.

      That’s true, so true. I can feel my mind stretch around this stuff!

  3. It’s great to take a class in writing–you’ll learn so much! 🙂

    • Hi, Lorna! Long time no see. It is, never realized there was so much to it. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I registered late so I have to scramble with how I use my time. Arg! Haha, I’m happy to hear from you 🙂

      • Yes, it has been a long time.

        You’ll catch up and get into a rhythm. I took an Expository Writing course a few years ago. I learned so much. Now that I’m writing fiction, I may take a creative writing course once I move out west.

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