If I asked you to write an entire piece of prose solely made up of sentences that ask a question, do you think you could pull it off? Have you ever thought about the origin of the phrase pull it off ? What about the phrase that’s the way the cookie crumbles? Are you right now wishing that you had a cookie to enjoy? If so, which kind of cookie would you like to eat? Did you ever have nightmares about the Cookie Monster when you were a child? Which kind of animal would you say Grover closest resembles? Are you a cat person or a dog person? Do you, in general, find it relaxing to watch fish swim in aquariums? Are you wondering if I will ever get to the prompt part of this blog?
If you’re also wondering why I’m asking so many questions, the answer is because today’s prompt is inspired by The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?, a fascinating, hypnotic, hilarious, twisted, and ingenious novel by Padgett Powell made up entirely of questions.
The prompt involves first randomly selecting a paragraph to read out of Powell’s book, which you can do either by clicking here and asking Amazon to “Surprise Me!” or, of course, by purchasing the book and randomly flipping through. For example, here’s one paragraph I just flipped to at random:
What period of history most interests you? If someone knocked on your door and handed you the leash to a large standard poodle and said it was yours, would you resist or acquiesce in the receipt of this animal? Would you rather see a clown act at the circus predicated on cartoon violence or see a big cat get in a good swipe at the lion tamer and cut him badly? Do you recall the moment you first rode a bicycle? Do you actually handle bullies or do you just know what is to be done with bullies but don’t do it? Do you use any glue to hand or are you made nervous by not having the correct glue for this or that repair? Do you know the names of your first three lovers?
Once you’re in the interrogative mood, the second part of the prompt is this: mimic the restrictions Powell set for himself in his novel and begin to write a piece made up entirely of questions.