Saturday, March 5, 2011
"It is rare that the summer lets an apple go without streaking or spotting it on some part of its sphere. It will have some red stains, commemorating the mornings and evenings it has witnessed; some dark and rusty blotches, in memory of the clouds and foggy, mildewy days that have passed over it; and a spacious field of green reflecting the general face of nature - green even as the fields, or a yellow ground, which implies a milder flower - yellow as the harvest or russet as the hills"
- Henry David Thoreau
Life leaves marks on us. Scars pucker and glisten on our skins. Every wrinkle, freckle and life challenge provide insight to what we've experienced and where we've traveled. If we alter our skins with tattoos, they also have stories to reveal.
1. Tell a story your "marks" reveal. Choose a scar and explain how it decorates you.
2 How did you choose a tattoo and what does it tell about you?
3. Recall time you first recognized freckles. Did you connect the dots?
4. Do the wrinkles of your knuckles crinkle into faces? What do they tell you?
5. How has laughter carved commas on your cheeks?
Explore the textures of your skin. Let the blank skin of the page reflect the shade and grain of your skin.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Recall the times in your life when you've felt an intensity or the attraction of an enchantment.
Return to the feeling of total infatuation with a person, place, or moment. The sense of wonder often returns in a familiar song, a scent wafting on the breeze or when revisiting a location.
Take us along with you as you relive an experience of wonder.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Denise Leverton knew from childhood that she wanted to be a writer. At age 17, she had her first poem published in Poetry Quarterly. She wrote, "One is in despair over the current manifestation of malevolent imbecility and the seemingly invincible power of rapacity, yet finds oneself writing a poem about the trout ...lilies in the spring woods." She discovered ways to get beyond abstract words and share her emotions with images from nature.
Do you ever feel that your writing provides a way to release frustrations and reach a higher level of understanding of yourself and life?
Choose a metaphor and imagery that moves beyond words like: despair, malevolent imbecility and rapacity. Write to discover imagery among the daisies!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The creative process requires exploration, joy, confusion and revelation. Revision moves in rollercoaster peaks and dips. Nothing about the 'courage to create,' as Rollo May calls it, moves in a linear fashion. Most scientific and creative breakthroughs occur during the rest period after intense work.
The mind needs to percolate ideas. Synapses require relief from constant firing.I love discovering a spark and attracting others until the fire blooms into focus. At some point the focus requires more writing and word choices. I prefer to 'dwell in possibility' (thanks Emily Dickinson for the line) forever. Play time keeps me searching and making connections. Words badger me like rust that never rests. Intensity requires a rest period while the process continues its diverse ways.
In yoga we have rest poses for a reason in between those that push the mind and body. After working on a project, I force myself to relent. Of course with a click of the computer button, the words still shriek and pound their fists in my head. I rest by running in natural setting and photographing ideas. Cat naps after reading passages of sensory writing also assist.
Upon returning to tame the words into less rambunctious behavior, I'm refreshed; brain connections rewired.
Creative Write: With a project that requires revision, put the pages in a drawer or save your file and turn off the computer. Get as far away as you can. Give yourself a break and rest or divert from the words. When you return, you'll amaze yourself.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
What's the fear of winter beyond the bite of cold air? While we wait for spring, nature reveals the landscape in an array of bare bones. Auxins have drained into sycamores' roots and squirrels scamper to store their cache of nuts.
Everything moves into its simple form as a gesture for us to follow.
Search for your skeletal soul where ideas percolate and words wrap in layers. Creation continues in the exhalation of trees sculptured by the season's challenges. Creativity thrives in the spaces among the skeleton of branches.
How the words of winter entice with their requests for ways to adorn the emptiness. This begins the search for mysteries in your own enrichment and growth that will blossom by spring.
Revel in this time just before the season's change into spring. It provides an opportunity to consider the basics. The slower pace stimulates a search inward.
Creative Write: Call on your winter courage. Get to the basics of your writing as art. Use a winter theme to explore what weighs you down. What will it feel like to remove the excess and rest in silence? Write about the skeletal beginnings of your art.
Monday, February 28, 2011
“I forgot what things were called and saw instead what they are.”
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.
What does weather taste and smell like?
Enjoy a day of details!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
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!