Posts Tagged ‘fairy tales’

Sometimes, We’re Mute, We Writers (with Resources for Dreaming Writers)

SOMETIMES, WE’RE MUTE, we writers. Sometimes, we drift, dream, words floating above us, like sunset clouds in fantastical shifting shapes—now a ship, now a sheep, now a swan and his wife. Sometimes, it’s twilight, and we’re quiet, content. Sometimes, we choose not to cast our nets to capture those words, glittering like so many stars in the broad night sky of our imagination.

My writer friend and co-author Tia Levings signs off emails with this quote:

But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they may think their dreams into reality with open eyes. —T.E. Lawrence 

So, yes, sometimes, it’s enough to read what’s in our own hearts, and let the words build castles and angels and half-memories, undisturbed. Sometimes, we have no need to chase them and jar them, like fireflies, but, instead, simply watch the words flicker into tiny, brief constellations that mean just what they mean to themselves, while we allow them—and ourselves—to be mysteries that remain unsolved. At least for now.

These may be times to read fairy tales or peek into other writers’ journals to see how they dream and drift on the page. Here are some stories and pages that may flutter beside your own quiet heart right now.

Reading resources for dreaming writers

A GIRL GOES INTO A FOREST, short stories by Peg Alford Pursell

MAGICKAL FAERYTALES: An Enchanted Collection of Retold Tales, by Lucy Cavendish (edited by me!)

SPILLING OPEN, a visual journal by Sabrina Ward Harrison

THE DIARY OF FRIDA KAHLO, by Frida Kahlo

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The cloud painting, above, is from my art journal—where I dream in color and shape and brushstrokes … and sometimes in words.

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Making Stone Soup from Words and Breadcrumbs: A Writing Prompt

AS A CHILD READER, I hungered for the dishes fictional characters devoured. British kids in Noel Streatfeild’s SHOES books breakfasted on “fry ups” of sausage, eggs, sliced bread, and kippers, while Hansel and Gretel feasted famously on marzipan windows and cookie-dough sills.

Back then, fairy godmothers impressed me less than huge castle feasts, the treacle from Alice’s well, her little cakes and comfits, and the Snow Queen’s Turkish delight.

And then there was “Stone Soup.” A ravenous little girl, I salivated when clever Fox, after declaring to the other Animals that he could make soup with just a stone, enticed his guests to add herbs, lentils, carrots—a stalk of celery, here, a grand, round potato there—until, voilà! Boiling in Fox’s cauldron was a magnificent soup made (almost) from a single stone.

Now that I’m a still-peckish adult, the journal ALIMENTUM: The Literature of Food feeds my need for pages of pasta, potatoes, porridge. Publishing fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction exclusively about food, ALIMENTUM delivers a tasty meal, complete with napkin, right to your inbox.

Writing prompt

Dig into the cupboards of your imagination and the crisper drawers of your creativity and cook up the story of an unexpected soup. Metaphorical or actual, let whatever you dish up have unexpected benefits—or unexpected consequences!

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Thanks to U.S. Games Systems, Inc., for kind permission to use the image of the Seven of Disks, from the ANCESTRAL PATH TAROT.  

A version of this prompt appeared on a previous blog, Workshop Porkchop.

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Besting the Beast: A Tarot Writing Prompt

MAKE NO MISTAKE: SWEET AS THIS SCENE may appear, that lion has teeth. And claws. And a ravenous hunger! Oh, my!

Most days, we could catch sight of him happily slurping the blood of his prey. But not today. Because, with kindness, skill, and patience, this character has tamed the beast, creating an ally of him—and becoming his ally as well.

Tarot writing prompt

So. Who’s the beast in your or your character’s world?

And what clever trick do you or your character pull out of your or her backpack to turn that beast into a purring pussycat?

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Thanks to U.S. Games Systems, Inc., for kind permission to use the image of Strength from the DREAMING WAY TAROT. 

Writing Prompt: The Sharp Edge of Your Tongue

IF MY SISTER’S SNOW WHITE, THEN I’M ROSE RED.*  She: All dew drops and diamonds, pearls from her lips. Me: Devils and demons, nothing but thorns when I speak. She, of the kids, the dogs, the big heart. Me, of the razors, the sandspurs, the scars. Yet, alone on the prairie, marching my march, I’m glad to be this and not that: Not the good one. The kind one. The precious, big-bosomed home. Not Queen of the Hearth.

Tarot-ist pal Laura Mary Fitzgerald responded to the recent Queen of the Courtyard prompt with this: Right now, she says, I’m Queen of the Unexpected. I’ll write something about that when I can do it from a place of gratitude.

But why? Why wait until we can sprinkle powdered sugar and fairy dust on our attitude, our circumstances? Why not embrace the dark, sing it loud? Of course, we’re all Snow White and Rose Red. This week, though, let’s let Red have her way. Allow our lizards and toads to splatter out onto the page. Sure, doves and powdered sugar have their place. But this week? Add a little blood to the mix.

Writing Prompt

33adaf7e6f0f4cda59731c1c7556a131Write about a situation that makes you—or a character—less than happy. Be sure to dip the rough edge of your tongue in the ink before you start.

* Oops. Wrong fairy tale. The story I was thinking of is “Diamonds and Toads,” by Charles Perrault. But you know what? I like my opening the way it is. And my creative license is up to date.

 

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