Wordsmith Wednesday: Stephen King’s IT

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Today’s Wordsmith Wednesday is from Stephen King​’s “It.”

The passage reads:

“The energy you drew on so extravagantly when you were a kid, the energy you thought would never exhaust itself—that slipped away somewhere between eighteen and twenty-four, to be replaced by something much duller, something as bogus as a coke high: purpose, maybe, or goals, or whatever rah-rah Junior Chamber of Commerce word you wanted to use. It was no big deal; it didn’t go all at once, with a bang. And maybe that’s the scary part. How you don’t stop being a kid all at once, with a big explosive bang, like one of that clown’s trick balloons with the Burma-Shave slogans on the sides. The kid in you just leaked out, like the air out of a tire. And one day you looked in the mirror and there was a grownup looking back at you. You could go on wearing bluejeans, you could keep going to Springsteen and Seger concerts, you could dye your hair, but that was a grownup’s face in the mirror just the same. It all happened while you were asleep, maybe, like a visit from the Tooth Fairy.”

Known in pop culture as a master of modern horror, King’s ability to evoke the magical, endless quality of childhood relationships and events may be his true gift. His ability to make tangible the formless, vibrant feeling of growing up naturally builds characters you invest in because you can see yourself and your life in those experiences, regardless of the setting. Children and characters with mental abnormalities often occupy a role connecting the rigid adult world and the supernatural in King’s stories precisely because they have not been boxed in by the cold comfort of dead logic, but rather view logic as just one tool in conquering fear in all its forms.

I’m currently past the backend of King’s aforementioned transition period and, thus, lie squarely in early adulthood. Reading this passage gave words to something that’s been happening in front of my mind for the last few years. I’ve felt the air leaving my wheels, in morning commutes, pointless meetings, endless deadend job applications. However, I feel fortunate in that I at least have known there’s a hole to be patched, with friends, art, learning, love. I know the kid in me will keep leaking out, slow and steady, but I’m going to keep rolling as long as I can.

– NR

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Wordsmith Wednesday: Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower”

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Our words this week are the first sentence to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.

The sentence reads:

“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.”

These words set the tone for the book series that spanned Stephen King’s entire career and skill set. These lines, as the series itself, draw the reader into an epic yet simple story of a man’s pursuit of his enemy as well as his obsession. In twelve words, King submerses you in the world he is about to create in your head, into a scene expansive yet full of suspense. This series was the first Stephen King I ever read and has connected me to my father, friends, girlfriend, and other fans of the gunslinger’s journey since early adolescence. I’m looking forward to returning to Mid-World some time soon, whether on screen or on page.

Thankee sai.

– NR

KIng

Kiss in the Dark

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Stephen King wrote in the introduction to his short fiction collection Skeleton Crew:

“Reading a good long novel is in many ways like having a long and satisfying affair…a short story is a different thing altogether–a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.”

A great short story is a snapshot, vivid and engaging, which can often have more of an impact than access to the whole album.

At Sobotka, we believe that the shortest embrace can provide the most enduring warmth.

Don’t be shy. Give us a kiss at sobotkalitmag@gmail.com.

– NR

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