BUTT IN CHAIR: THAT’S THE CURE FOR THE writer’s most common ailment. Join the Monthly Write-In at Writer’s Atelier this Saturday, February 28th, from 12-2 pm. There’s no charge, but do RSVP Racquel at firstname.lastname@example.org (so she knows how many cookies to bake). Then drive your writer self to 336 Grove Ave., Suite B, Winter Park, FL 32789, ring the bell, pour yourself a cup of coffee, put your butt in one of the Atelier’s comfortable chairs, and hit the keys for thirty minutes. A moderator will signal a ten-minute social (cookie!) break—then you’ll write again. Because that’s the way we get writing done.
February 2015 archive
THOSE POOR GREEK GODS. IT’S BEEN EONS SINCE ANYONE’S SO MUCH AS LIT A sacrificial fire in one of their names! Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena—they’ve got nothing to do now but loll around on pillow-y clouds watching AMERICAN GLADIATORS.
But what if one of the bored pantheon peered down, spotted a mere mortal struggling to accomplish a mundane task—breaking up with a boyfriend? paper-training a puppy?—and decided to offer an (immortal) hand?
Write about it in two scenes: Scene A details the entrance of the hoping-to-be-helpful god or goddess interrupting the mortal while she attempts to accomplish her task. Scene B reveals the (predictably terrible) outcome of the god(ess)’s “assistance.”
Extra credit? Write what happens between A and B!
DARLYN FINCH KUHN is a terrific poet and a generous literary communitarian. Creatrix, since 2002, of Litlando’s newsletter SCRIBBLES, Darlyn’s debut novel, SEWING HOLES, will be available from Twisted Road Publications on March, 23rd.
SEWING HOLES tells of a girl growing up with a volatile mother, a loving but ill father, a brother who flees to evade the draft, and a foster sister consumed by waiting for her “real” parents to return. The girl survives on games she shares with father, particularly one about “sewing holes,” creating beauty out of what seems to be nothing.
Of the novel, Darlyn says, Memories are colored by perception, and the truth is pocked with holes. This is the way, after almost half a century, I’ve stitched those holes together.
Click for the lovely book trailer!
SENTENCES. THEY’RE YOUR MOST INTIMATE WHISPER, the pillow talk of your writing life, the tickle of your breath in your reader’s ear. They’re both the whistle of the midnight train and the track your writing heart rides upon. Like a bumbling 20-minute freight, your sentences might ramble on. Or they might bustle through as quick as a three-car commuter rail. No matter. Your sentences—shapely, lovely, long or not-so, curving through a landscape of ideas or driving straight at the brick wall of conclusion—sing your siren song.
One of my tarot-writer heroes, Barbara Moore, shared an article by writer Susan DeFreitas titled, “The Gift of Gab: Mastering the Maximal.” In it, DeFreitas treats us to lovely examples of long, winding sentences, then names the purposes—besides the purely aesthetic pleasure they provide—such sexy sentences might serve.
First, write a quick scene, making sure to include plenty of (visual) details of the setting. Now, rewrite the scene, describing objects in the environment using only color words in shades of BLUE: azure, cobalt, sky, robin’s egg, midnight, navy . . .
Finally, rewrite the same scene, again, this time, using only shades of ROSE: fuchsia, pink, ballet slipper, coral, salmon, clay . . .
Does changing your “palette” affect the emotional tone? Which scene conveys your intention best? What other hues could you try? Make like Picasso! Pick the atmosphere you want to create and use color to evoke it!
WRITERS HELPING WRITERS, THAT’S BEEN THE FWA MOTTO for years. Now, FWA wants to be your Valentine, too! On Saturday, February 14th, FWA presents the second annual Day at the Bay mini conference. This year, the workshops target love—and fighting. Yes, a full day focused on writing romance . . . and its exact opposite: hand-to-hand combat, guns, and crime scenes. The love (and assault) takes place at the Hilton Tampa Westshore. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Visit FWA for more details.
OUR LAST, FREE (!) ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WAS SO AWESOME (!!!) THAT RACQUEL HENRY and I decided to reprise the event. Join us at Writer’s Atelier, in Winter Park, Florida, on Monday, February 23rd, at 6:45 p.m. We’ll answer questions about your writing projects, including issues of writing process, craft, publishing, and marketing.
While there’s no charge for this presentation, do contact Racquel@RacquelHenry.com to register, as seating is limited. Oh, and let me introduce Racquel! Having earned her MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Racquel co-founded Black Fox Literary Magazine, and is now a writer and editor, an English professor, and the founder of Writer’s Atelier. Her work has appeared in Lotus-eater Literary Magazine and Zest Literary Journal, among others. (See? Awesome!!!)
HERE’S A SYNTAX STRETCHER of a writing prompt! Jot down ten random letters of the alphabet, without repeating any of them. Now, write a dozen sentences built of words beginning with those letters, in the order you chose them.
Alligators x-ray geese, killing patient-seeming noggins just when done. (Hmm. Not as awesome as I’d hoped.)
Average x-ray-ers (Hey! Have you got a better “X” word?) go kaput periodically, so, now, just walk delicately.
Ancestors’ xaphoons (Look it up!) give keening, piping sounds, not jiggly, weird droning.
Antiquated, xenaphobic guys (Sorry!) keep persisting in silly, nonsensical, juvenile woman-demeaning.
Averting xanthophobia, Gary’s kangaroo played solemnly ‘neath (???) jangly windchimes, dreaming. (Someone may be hallucinating. Gary? His kangaroo? We’ll never know.)
Why do this? Why not? Writing is supposed to be fun. Isn’t it?