Linking Both Ways - Vacation

For this penultimate day of finding metaphors using linking words, you will have free reign over the link you find between the source and the target. The prompt is vacation, so think of a quality a vacation has, and then another thing that shares this quality, and then write about this thing as both the source and the target metaphor of the vacation.

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Vacation - Ends too soon - dying young

The breathing becomes as shallow as the waves lapping the shore as the end approaches. We came here hoping to heal, to convalesce. Doctors ran in offering us a steady IV drip of sunshine while nurses talked us into a hazy calm with compassionate whispers. We saw the end coming, but were far from prepared. This time, this life, taken too early from us. We can already smell the brimstone and phosphorous, the light at the end of the tunnel is fading into the hot flame of the daily grind. The diagnosis was terrible, but we never lost hope. We value each breath of fresh ocean breeze as if it was our last, and it soon will be. We are taken too soon, we had more to offer, more to experience. One last sweet sip of frozen daiquiri to coat our throats with comfort prior to our final goodbye.

Dying young - ending too soon - vacation

The disinfectant is pine floating on the breeze, infecting his nose. In his short time here, he did everything he hoped to, but still had so much left to experience of the culture. When I get home, I know my photographs will all be blurred, but memories will smooth them out, filling in the gaps. This hospital bed is our hot tub next to a cabin on a scenic mountain, just a short walk to downtown center with boutique shops and affordable dining. We force ourselves to stay up all night, fighting the forces trying to clamp our eyelids closed. We want to take in one last sunrise together here before returning to our lives. I will go back to the job, responsibilities, and reality. He will be going home, reuniting with all history and posterity. I rub his head, damp with his attempts to try to make his vacation here last a little longer. He shuts his eyes, hands in his wadded boarding pass, and I half-smile-half-cry wishing him well after such a short holiday in this crazy place.


Vacation - Fresh scenery - A new job
A thousand handshakes and unfamiliar faces. Already feeling exhausted before lunch and knowing the day will be long you embrace the freshness of it all. Finding yourself a booth to call your own for awhile you set up all the familiarities in the new space. Windows wearing windex perfume encapsulate rolling high rises and brightly coloured cars buzzing in the streets below. Taking every opportunity to just sit and take it all in. Overwhelming but exhilarating you wish this feeling will never end but eventually reality will have to set in and the mundane creeps back in.

A new job - Fresh scenery - Vacation
The longer than expected drive raised the blood pressure like a kettle coming to a boil. Looking up at the trail leading to the pinnacle of the mountain, one that has to be climbed in order to look down on the world and feel a sense of purpose. Other campers wave and greet you in a overly friendly manner, disingenuous you can see their exhausted faces. They have made a long journey here to. Taking in a deep breath you begin the arduous task of setting up your tent, your new temporary home.

(This took like 4 attempts I find these really really difficult!)


WOW! these are beautiful. Lots of senses involved and eloquently written. And both using the language of the other to clearly convey whats going on. the steady IV drip of sunshine is beautiful! I’m jealous! This is my favourite thing you’ve written

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You are really getting the hang of it. In the first one, the exhaustion before lunch, but anticipation of more fun to come is really effective and completely relates to vacaction and a new job. And the idea of making your little vacation spot into your office like a home away from home is really cool.

This is my favorite line. I see and feel it all with this sentence.

It is cool how you switched perspectives in the second one. The fresh scenery being a scary, foreboding thing as opposed to the excitement before. A vacation to a mountain that you really didn’t want to go to, but felt like you needed to tick it off of your places visited is a really neat idea to compare to a new job.
Well done.

Lunch break (target) - Time off - Vacation (source)
As my stomach begins to rumble, I take off from my desk and soar down the corridor runway of my office. Stepping outside feels like foreign soil and I gaze onto waves of people crashing into each other before landing on the urban beaches of greasy fast food stands. The tall buildings are a parasol to shield me from the blistering sun as I dive into this cool refreshing sea. My lunch break is a holiday where I can put my feet up on an exotic park deck-chair with a cocktail of soda and a platter of cheaply packaged sandwiches.

Vacation (target) - Time off - Lunch break (source)
The beach is filled with frantic people, bathing suited and sandal booted, rushing between appointments in the sea and important meetings at the bar. Bottles of cool water sit on the bar top like conference room refreshments, promising a cure for the piercing thirst, with tears of desperate condensation dripping on the sticky wooden surface. The holiday is just a lunch break from my tedious existence, as as soon as I have sat down and unpacked my thoughts, the clock strikes and it is time to make my way back to my dreary desk.

These read so naturally, you make it look so easy! Really nice stuff in here, the source and target flip over so well to provide two really rich descriptions - very well done!

Congratulations on finding a really strong mapping that flips over nicely. You’ve got the polarity of the metaphors ironed out today, and I particularly like the camping and expedition descriptions of the new job - very well done!

And don’t worry - I’m finding these absurdly difficult as well, but they’re 100% building the right descriptive muscles!

It is cool that you made yourself the plane, the engines rumbling, taxiing down the runway… That is a neat twist. The hustle of people is and greasy beaches is a nice contrast to a nice, relaxing oceanfront getaway. This is really good, but you could have followed up on that last sentence to really open up taste and smell (it is kind of begging for it).

The “bathing suited and sandal booted” is a fun turn of phrase. Rushing between appointments and meetings is a great way of bringing the target and source together. Both of your write ups are strong, but this one offers more feeling and sensing. The condensation gets that temperature conflict really well which offers ambient environment tactile sensing (hot day) as well as immediate tactile sense (cold and wet water bottle). The sense of time passing, to me, is a super strong sense, and you capture it with your last sentence. Well done!

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Thanks for this! I think I might spend some time this weekend making some lists of sensory words - whenever I hit the point where I want to go into more sensory detail my mind just isn’t forming the connections that I want it to so I feel I need to go and connect those synapses up more!

You got the flip down! I agree both are strong on this one. The waves of people crashing into each other nad the urban beaches of greasy fast food stands is disturbingly accurate! Well done! These are a challenge but we are getting our reps in and improving which is the most important thing.

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Vacation (target) - Escape - Prison Break

The room is overcrowded and the temperature is rising. In the corner, my boss is barking out orders,
berating us for our performance. I’d defend myself, but have witnessed him punishing others for insubordination. Beads of sweat start to drip down my spine beneath my thick cotton suit.
I remind myself that I only need to endure three more days of this corporate prison, then I am a free man, bound for the coast. I imagine cool, salty water swirling around my ankles, as I walk down miles of sandy beach. No obligation, no pressure, no one breathing down my neck… just pure escape and relaxation.

Prison Break (target) - Escape- Vacation

In my notebook, I’ve meticulously planned every detail. Supplies, timeline, directions and route, and destination. It’s been a long time coming, but I am close to breaking free. The idea of freedom has consumed me, breathing in fresh air, memorizing the colors of the sunrise, and experiencing an entirely new life. I love to imagine all the new sights I’ll see outside of these prison walls.
Just a few more details to grind out, and the open road will be my home.


Nice writing Crysty! One thing I do with these exercises is first make lists of visceral words in each of the domains. For example prison: inmate, parole, chains, handcuffs, bars, jail, custody, riots etc. It would be really cool to get some more of these domain-specific words into the mix. You have started to do this with words like “berating, defend, punish”, but as these are slightly more generalised terms they don’t quite pack as much of a metaphorical punch. The structure of the metaphor is really great though, an interesting perspective on escaping the office! I would give similar feedback on the second paragraph; you’re taking off on a flight out of there, running across the long sandy beach of the prison yard and jumping into the sea of freedom etc. Both pieces capture a clear feeling and have some lovely words so overall well done!


Interestingly, I think your second one is executed a little better than your first as far as the target/source match goes. They are both well done. But the second one makes me want to hear more. I am already lost in the convicts head and feel what s/he feels. I really like the “memorizing the colors of sunrise” line because it has visual cues and internal cues (the “seeing” of the sunrise, as well as the “remembering” and “storing” the memory). I really enjoyed this!

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Thank you both for the feedback! This is a good idea about the visceral words, I am going to try that next time.