In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Call Me Ishmael.”

I am in all truthfullness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations.

That’s the opening line of “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. I love the point of view he chose to write through. It’s amazingly appropriate for the setting of the story.

Though Zusak personifies death, I like to personify writer’s block. Block. It would be a he. Definitely. He would knock on your door, perhaps. Or maybe he’d walk right in, sit himself down next to you and start reading over your shoulder. You’d hear him breathing, feel his presence, and suddenly your pen, your pencil, your cursor, or your ribbon stops. Not a single letter persuaded to be produced. He over stays his welcome and drinks all your tea. But what can you do? he’s already here, might as well join him. Maybe he’ll leave sooner than you think. Or not.

The Block. Like that dream you wake from that felt so real, but you can’t remember a single, lonesome detail. Like Zusak’s Death, Block is invisible to all but those he comes visit. So you sit there staring, lost in thought. Daydream much? No, I was just trying hustle Block out the door.

I loved this idea of using the first line of my favorite book as the first line of my post. Then I felt his presence behind me and all I could write were the words of Zusak. Here it is a full eight hours later and I’m just getting Block out the door so I can continue. The Book Thief is my favorite book. I even made notes in the margins so when I read a second and third time I would find things I didn’t see the first time. I love books like this. They don’t happen often. Thank you Mr. Zusak.

P.S. Another of his books “I am the Messenger” is on my list of top 3 favorite, though it has my favorite ending of all.


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