When I search my memory for my first engagement with words, I recall two instances. I remember tracing the raised letters on a bathmat in a New York hotel - The Statler. Written in cursive writing, the texture of the "S" and "t" and "a" and "l" fascinated my fingers. Before that my father found me sprawled on the floor trying to copy out the squiggles from a big red book. I had watched my ballet teacher doing something similiar and it intrigued. When I asked, she said, "I'm writing."
Over the years I have collected a variety of words that attract me by their appearance, sound and meaning. I also have lists in French and Spanish. Pajaro will always feel more like a flyer than "bird." When I need a break, I return to the lists and play. Nothing has to make sense.
The jostling of words encourages my synapses to make amusing connections.
Creative Write: Begin your own list in four columns. Choose nouns and verbs. Avoid adjectives and adverbs. To start playing, circle a few and see what adventure they will take you in a freewrite. Draw lines in different colors to connect across, down or diagonally. Discover arrangements.
BOYSENBERRY OASIS SPRITE FEROCITY
FRACTURE SCRAMBLE DRAGONFLY PLUME
LIGHTNING SAPPHIRE CONFETTI TAPIOCA
SLITHER AUBERGINE ARMADILLO CUMULUS
FANDANGO ZIGGURAT HAYSTACK PUPPY
PETAL CANOODLE FLUFF VELVETEEN
SURGE ARTICHOKE DREAM FINGERS
SIDEWINDER ELOPE JOUST SUNLIGHT
WOMBAT SILLY FIGMENT AUGUST
STRUT RUBY WOLVERINE GRAPEFRUIT
RELENT JACKHAMMER LOVE PARACHUTE
BAMBOO SWAGGER MOON TWILIGHT
ANGER PERSNICKETY LINOLEUM VELOCITY
SEAHORSE SPINDRIFT PLATINUM WHISKER
STAR GAZER NUANCE GLITTER RELAX
SPANGLE DIAMOND TREASURE PERIDOT
AUTUMN SUFFOCATE DANGLE DUCKLING
HYBERNATE KITTEN TSUNAMI PARSLEY
WHIFF LOVE PLUTO RUST
CABOOSE PYRAMID CONGEAL CINNAMON
TURTLE FEAR GUPPY HERON