occasionally updated blog

  • NiProWriMo 7/30: In Relationship To

    I drive a lot. But let’s come back to that in a second.

    Can you think of a relationship you had, have, or want? Any kind: familial, romantic, platonic, complicated, self-centered.

    First, prepositions. A preposition describes a relationship between other words in a sentence. A prepositions “establishes a grammatical relationship that links its complement to another word or phrase in the context. It also generally establishes a semantic relationship, which may be spatial (in, on, under, …), temporal (after, during, …), or of some other type (of, for, via, …).”

    The key idea is that prepositions add meaning to a sentence by establishing and clarifying relationships.*  

    Remember that list of common prepositions?

    about / above / across / after / agains / along / among / around / at / before / behind / below / beneath / beside / between / by / down / during / except / for / from / in / in front of / inside / instead / of / into / like / near / of / off / on / onto / on top of / out of / outside / over / past/ since / through / to / toward / under / underneath / until/ up / upon / with / within / without

    We can’t - or don’t usually - describe relationships without calling prepositions into action. How can one be above with that describing one’s relationship to the thing below?

    So I drive a lot. This week, at about 4:45pm, I saw a group of deer in a field. 6, maybe 7. They were listening to the cars and the trees and each other. And I knew, then, that Winter was over. Not because a date on calendar passed. Or a temperature on a thermometer was hit. Or the requisite number of days since our last snow had past. But because of the deer in the field.

    The prompt for today go in two very different directions. Both start with a relationship.

    1) Choose your favorite (or most challenging) preposition(s) from the list (above or out there in the wild world of the internet) and describe how you knew you were [preposition] that relationship. In? Over? Between? How did you get through it?

    The challenge here is to juxtapose the relationship with something unexpected. For example, it’s easy to think of Bernadine getting over her marriage by lighting her cheating ass husband’s things on fire, but what smaller thing might actually be more significant?

    The relationship with yourself, your body, your past, your emotions are all valid relationship worth exploring. How did you get into, on top of, or under your guilt, your joy?

    2) Describe the relationship using no prepositions at all. When they crop up, as they will if you think in language, replace them with [that’s the exciting and murky part.]

    *This isn’t a grammar lesson, so if you want more detailed info, here’s the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preposition_and_postposition

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