Monday, February 28, 2011

Details of the Day

“I forgot what things were called and saw instead what they are.”
-Margaret Atwood

During your movement through the day, describe people and objects rather than name them.  When you greet someone, go beyond the name.  Try, "Hello sparkler.  You ike the gleam off bubbles today."  Use fresh metaphors, color and emotions to relate to relationships and make connections.

Notice buildings, birds and bushes.  Let them come alive for you with all your senses.

What does weather taste and smell like?

Enjoy a day of details!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring into Writing!

It still feels cold outside as spring tugs at winter's toes. Notice the daffodils and crocuses pushing up from the earth. Fruit trees shed blossoms in whites and pinks. Seeking sun above the ice or snow, green shoots abound. Herons, ducks and geese gather nesting materials while song birds polish their spring songs.

It's time to nurture your spring writing process. Do you need a new notebook or special folder on your computer where you can play with ideas and write about writing?

Here are questions to "spring" you into action:

Why do you need to write?

Are you aware of a seasonal or daily rhythm in your writing? Begin to track on a calendar your times of peak performance in writing.

Do you journal? How often?

How do you define play? Does it show up in your writing?

Which sense dominates in your writing? Add others.

What distracts you from writing? How do you deal with it?

Do you have a writing ritual? What will you “get into the write mood”?

Describe how reading affects your writing.

A return to basic questions may spark additional ideas. Spring into your writing!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Regenerate and Dwell in Novelty

I believe that the creative individual not only respects the IRRATIONAL in himself, but courts it as the most promising source of NOVELTY in his own thoughts. He rejects the demand of society that he should shun in himself the primitive, the uncultured, the naive, the MAGICAL, the NONSENSICAL; that he must be a "civilized" member of the community. Creative individuals reject this demand because they want to own themselves totally and because they perceive a shortsightedness in the claim of society that all its members should adapt themselves to a norm for a given time and place.
   The truly creative individual stands ready to ABANDON all classifications and to acknowledge that life, particularly his own UNIQUE life, is rich with new POSSIBILITIES. - 
Frank Barron, research psychologist at UC Berkeley in The Psychology of Imagination.

Take a day to let your imagination lead you to dwell in novelty.

Let curiosity pull you in several directions.

Squint and search in the white spaces.

Write your name with water from puddles.

Have conversations with sparrows and statues.

Befriend animate objects and name them.

Examine trees and their leaves in detail.

Overturn rocks and see what wriggles.

Design the food around your plate.

Consider the nonsensical, write a line or two of made up words: Trenkle, Wraptle, Frodoodle

Become a character in a realm of magic.

Write your discoveries with the flow of chartreuse ink.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Play with paraprosdokians?

Paraprosdokians play with double meanings of words. This figure of speech occurs when the latter part of a sentence surprises the first part in an unexpected way.  It causes the reader or listener to reinterpret the first part.  Often used for humorous or dramatic effect, it creates an anticlimax.

Here are a few:
Do not argue with an idiot.  He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
Share a few of your own with us.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Give Habits a Break

Hua Chi, a Buddhist monk, says 3000 prayers at the same spot each day in his temple.  While it's a good practice and habit for his meditative needs, where's the inventiveness?  Does he play when he's done? Does he ever walk or run while praying?

Consider daily routines you follow.  Do you brush your top teeth first before you shower, take the same route to work, put your right shoe on before the left?  Become conscious of your rituals and vary them.

Break the habit for a day. Pay attention to the details and write about your discoveries.

Invent.  Innovate. Imaginate!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Misperceptions into Story

Everyone experiences initial interpretations when meeting people. We judge others’ appearances, observe behavior and body language, then make decisions. This occurs long before words communicate thoughts and feelings.

Attractions or rejections as a result of chemistry, push and pull us toward decisions about another individual.

What happens if premature judgments turn out flawed?  What if the cranky person seated next to us on the airplane turns into a great conversationalist when we meet again on a bus tour at our holiday destination?  Or someone who talks too much at a first encounter focuses in a crisis situation to help us?   The "know it all" actually listens to our concerns once common ground is achieved.

Think back on negative reactions to people and how your opinion did or did not move in a different way as the relationship developed.  How could you turn these interactions into stories?

Start with a situation of first contact and see where it takes you.  Use this as fodder for fiction!

Capture Dream Time

"There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."  George Carlin

Emerge out of dream time with attention, slow moves and care. Enjoy the re-entry into reality. This may help jumpstart your day.

Let your dreams provide ideas also for your write life. Use the clusters of imagery as mosaics for the development of stories or poems.

For a few days, keep a tablet by the bed and take notes about your dreams as soon as you awaken. If you wait too long they will escape. Capture images as quickly as you can.

Don't try to interpret or judge the images, just make notes of amusements and strange connections.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Animal Stories

What do you say to a white egret about its yellow feet?

Where and how do a turtle, squirrel, or pelican learn to relate in the world?

Do you have a favorite animal to use for storytelling?

Or, have fun with writing from an animal's perspective.

Play with the development of a fable or poem and stay open to insights that arrive.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Stay in the Silence

For a day, resolve to stay in the silence. Set a time limit of several hours, if a day seems too long.

During the selected time period, listen, truly listen to those around you. Hear their conversations without responding with judgment. Keep a notepad with you and WRITE your concerns to what's said directly to you. Also, keep notes on words and meanings as they float in dialogues around you.

If you feel the urge to speak, say to yourself, "Write it; don't say it." Then write it with vigor.

Remember, when you feel a response coming from your lips, write it instead of verbalizing a response. Smile and do not engage in commentary. See what happens.

How long can you accomplish your listening? Can you stay in the silence without spoken words and express yourself only in writing?

You may discover humor along the way. Share what happened during your "stay in silence." Post your process and progress.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Delving into Familiar

What does familiar feel like?  

Close your eyes and observe the "feeling" of a person, place or object that you know extremely well.  

Do you find comfort in areas of life that appear not to change even though subtle differences occur as a reality of life?

Observe and make notes of the details from sound, scents, taste and texture.  Go beyond the visual to define your choice.  Keep moving from familiar to change as you go about the day.  Turn your view upside down.

Write your discoveries about familiar and change.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Notion of Escape

Consider the emotional meanings of escape.
Do you get away or get free? Do you elude? Do you escape from or to?

Let your mind wander around all ideas of escape: growing beyond, pushing past 'de fence,' like the roses or discovering self-defense.

Escape into a new way of thinking of escapage!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bombarded with Bad News?

Most breaking news fills us with sights, sounds and words expanding everything that's going wrong in the world. Do you feel this affects your writing?

Today, sift through the negativity and create the first lines of a story you'd like to see on a front page, the first online news you see, or positivity from the mouths of reporters on television.

Today, choose your words to show us what's working on our planet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Playing in the Dictionary

“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”           
Vince Lombardi 

Did you know that Fun comes after fumble and fumigate and before function? This reveals you need to have fun to function.

Turning another page at random, my eyes found Grave. Now that word has several meanings so I looked to see that it comes after Gratitude but before Gravy Train. The dictionary defines Gravy Train as a situation where someone can make a lot of money for little effort. That goes against Lombardi’s philosophy.

Humerus comes before humorous and could tickle the funny bone of the hummingbird. Perseverance arrives ahead of persimmon who still finds persistence up ahead. Doofuss and doohickey wait before doorway with doorsteps and doorstops ahead.

I found a photo of a pontoon already landed and waited for a pony to arrive with a woman in a poodle skirt whose hair played in a poof. She wanted to meet the Pooh Bah as he walked off the plane to a plateau of possibility. A paramour played possum and purchased a postage stamp.

Stroll with your eyes in the dictionary.  Play with words today!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Risk Taken

Think about a time you moved to the edge of experience.

A hike in the wild to a place of mystery, job change or a new personal relationship could draw out an experience of edginess.

Life on the tip of discovery sparks aliveness, a perspective you can't have where everything is safe and predictable. Your self-reliance becomes tested and strengthened.

Scan the years of memories. Notice if what first comes to mind, first brings smiles and laughter, involves times you felt uncomfortable, really lost or frightened.

Write about discovering a different rhythm felt or how you engaged self-reliance skills.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love for Writing Two Weeks Completed!

Happy Valentine's Day. Celebrate your dedication to writing!

After devoting thirteen days of love to your writing, what have you discovered about the process?

Today, focus on your motivation to continue your Write Habit. Write about reasons to continue for another two weeks.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love for Writing Week Two

Love for Writing Day Nine

Take time to tickle your curiosity. What aspects of life inspire questions? How can you delve into unknown areas? Where could you explore?

Today ask, "Why?" at every opportunity. Don't become satisfied with answers. Keep "whying" for additional possibilities. Try, ". . .and then what?"

Have fun and write about your search and discoveries. Put Curiosity to work.

 Love for Writing Day Ten

What do you notice in the shadows today? What shapes and shades do you see? How do the spaces turn among them? Will they assist in a story or poem for you?

Love for Writing Day Eleven










Create triads similar to those listed above. After you have created your own sets, draw arrows and play with words for fifteen to twenty minutes. Then take your lists for a walk around the block, to the beach or another natural setting.

Continue to observe the world around you and add to your triads. Find a place to sit, take a breath, read your list and write for fifteen minutes. Permit observations and distractions to take you beyond the obvious into new thought patterns.

You will discover a prose piece or a poem!
Love for Writing Day Twelve

Do you gravitate to a theme or subject to write about again and again?

Investigate these ideas today.

Spin them:

1.  Write the opposite emotions the ideas generate.
2.  Write from an objective observer with a different slant than your own.
3.  Move beyond into new areas in a freewrite.

Love for Writing Day Thirteen

Write from your Funny Bones!

Dave Barry, a universally appealing humor writer, feels humor relates to fear and despair. The series, M*A*S*H, delved into these stressors of life and played with dark humor. Having the ability to add a humorous twist to any tragic situation, Shakespeare must have had strong stomach muscles from chuckling as he wrote. Even scientific research has shown the benefits of laughter in the healing process.

If we didn’t have laughter to keep us buoyant in a world that twirls way beyond our control, gravity certainly would keep us grounded. We need to stimulate our funny bones to release fears and anxieties.

Observe or create a predicament, laugh and write your way through it.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Love for Writing Day Eight

If you've written in response to the creative writes for the past week, you're on a roll.

One more week until Valentine's day.

During the past week:

Have you experienced a surge of words each day?

Did you think about writing after reading each day's "love"?

How did ideas percolate into your pen during the day?

Where does your writing grow today?

What will you plant?

Do you discover tuberoses for scent? How about eggplants for color? A taste of lemon? Would you prefer a desk plant to water each day?

Creative Write: Choose a seedling, flower, fruit or vegetable to examine with words.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Love Your Writing Week

February is LOVE month!


Make a pact with yourself to Love your writing for the next seven days. Extend all the way to February 14 once you're on a writing roll.

Respond to your emotions and senses and expand your possibilities.

February First - A focus on pure potential

Find a place where you can devote an hour away from clocks, watches and digital reminders of time. Bring your writing pad or computer and just BE.

Take a few breaths and write about how you will devote yourself to a Love of Words each day up to and through Valentine's day. How will you reinforce this daily commitment?

Love for Writing Day Two

What gift have you received from life's experiences?

Write about your gift of words. Show your appreciation with a write of wonder. 
Choose your favorite meal of the day and bring it to the page with all your senses.
Love for Writing Day Three
Each time you send words to the page or screen, you create energy that stimulates more ideas and sentences. 

Choose success with your paragraphs today. Make them flow with fun and wonder.
Write about a first emotion experienced. Do you remember what FUN felt like in your body? Recall that first feeling of true happiness and connect it with a sound or scent. Turn abstractions into concrete images. Make us feel them along with you.
Love for Writing Day Four

Observe today with the least effort. Accept the day, people, situations and events as you meet them. Keep a notebook of the situations that pique your curiosity or irritate you the most.

Tonight, freewrite about the day. Let go of any need to defend your point of view.
Love for Writing Day Five

Today write way beyond your comfort zone. Reach wide for the improbable. Catch the unpredictable. Race to the edge of your writing cliff. 

Love the sense of flight in your words today as you soar beyond your limitations.
Love for Writing Day Six

Don't force words today.  Let detachment from results and uncertainty rule.  Write with the freedom to reveal dimensions of yourself in words.

Select a time you wore a disguise.  How did you select the persona and costume?  Show how it reveals your freedom to become another individual. Write to reveal what that identity meant to you.  Could you turn it into a story?

Love for Writing Day Seven
Let your seventh day explode with a sense of humor.  Find fun and fancy in each interaction and situation.  Spread your smile and mystify with mirth.
Where will your funny bone take you?

Write Results:  Do you love your writing more now that you've made a total commitment each day?