So I’m in the doctor’s office reading ON BECOMING A NOVELIST by John Gardner (if you haven’t read it, get your copy now! ) Gardner suggests a particular game, and says that writers ought to be good at it.
I certainly hope so, because we're going to play it today. Actually, some friends of mine have already started, so let's see how good I am at metaphoring . . . and how good you are at guessing.
The game is called “Smoke.” A starting person (that’d be me) thinks of some personage living or dead and gives her fellow players a starting clue. Then any willing player asks a question in the form of “What kind of ---- are you?” (What kind of smoke, what kind of vegetable, what kind of weather, building, part of the body, etc.)
As the answers come in, everyone playing the game finds he/she has a clearer and clearer sense of the personage whose name we are seeking. And when someone guesses the right answer, we all will have a mystical revelation.
Okay--the first clue is "living American." And here are the questions and answers that came in during round one:
What kind of cat are you? I am an elderly, friendly mongrel .
What kind of spice are you? I’m cinnamon.
What sort of book are you? I am a coffee table book: a photographic collection of children.
What kind of car are you? I’m one of those old ‘50s Cadillacs . . . the ones with the fins.
What kind of country are you? I’m a flag-waving democratic republic, of course!
What kind of art or craft are you? I am a child-sized pair of plaster-of-Paris handprints
What kind of house are you? A traditional, two-story Dutch colonial. With shutters. And a welcome mat on the patio . . . in case I want to throw a house party.
What kind of career are you? I am a heartwarming, feel-good about America daytime talk show.
What sport are you? I'm sure you'd find me on the links.
Helpful? You can guess the person's identity below . . . and we'll reveal the answer tomorrow.
Angela Hunt lives and writes and plays games from Florida . . . but at the moment she's on vacation in Alaska. That's why she's playing games. www.angelahuntbooks.com.