SA4QE 2014 - Andrew M - Sheffield, United Kingdom

I've contributed to SA4QE over the last few years, but usually by the skin of my teeth, for various reasons. This year an archetypal 'bad day at work' left me in no frame of mind to consider choosing quotes or find inventive places to distribute them. As a result, my yellow paper quotes went out into the world the day after Russ' birthday, in the morning on my way to my necessary, but hated job. The quotations themselves were chosen not as firm favourites, but by a quite random method. I haven't re-read much Hoban lately, instead working through an endlessly replenished reading list of second-hand purchases by other authors, including the late Iain Banks 'Culture' novels. So I decided to give luck a role in choosing. To fit the date, I chose the fourth chapter from several novels, and started looking for a quotation in the second paragraph. Most of the time it worked very well.

“‘Nameless here for evermore’ she said. ‘Names are pretty useless really. If you say the name of anything ten or twenty times it scatters and falls away and the thing that’s named stands there all naked and unknowable’. 

The night before I had actually tried to nip out and plant yellow paper, but thrashing rain and wind kept me inside. I imagined a soggy yellow lump of paper, stained with black ink and thought it better to wait. If it hadn't been February I'd have said it was 'Novembering hard'.

The next morning I walked down to catch a  tram in the overcast half-light, eyes scanning for likely 'targets'. I thought the tram stop shelter looked a likely place for yellow paper discovery, with a steady flow of human traffic.  I tucked an excerpt from ‘Amaryllis Night and Day’ into the timetable board. 

"Pas the sarvering gallack seas and flaming nebyul eye, 

Power us beyont the farthes reaches of the sky,

Thine the han what shapit the black

Guyd us there and guyd us back”.

Sat on the tram, I toyed with the idea of slipping my next yellow paper into a copy of the Metro (the nation’s ‘most popular’ free newspaper) and left it on the seat beside me. But instead of someone picking it up and being entranced,  the next passenger to arrive just went and sat on it. Once their gluteous departed, I rescued the yellow paper and instead left it in the Metro dispenser at the terminus. The picture was snapped with my phone, and accurately conveys my state of mind that morning.

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