Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

No Frills Prompt 1

So instead of posting these long-winded specific prompts with additional options and whatnot, I'm going to have a series/tag of prompts which are just that. Only prompt. Quick and easy, if you want to build on it give yourself an additional self-constraint. This will be the only explanation.

Exercise 1: Write a piece in which a person speaks to a cat.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April 10, 2018 National Poetry Month Daily Writing Prompt: Five Words and a Rhyme

Welcome to National Poetry Month 2018! 

I don't want to exclude anyone, though, so all prompts will be written so that they can be either poetry or prose.

Today's exercise (4/10/18) is to write a piece that includes A) the following five words as end words (if you're writing prose, it has to be the last word of the sentence): Stopped, See, Broken, Close, Drop, and B) either written in rhyming couplets AA//BB//CC//, or tercets ABC//ABC//DEF//DEF etc. If you're writing prose you have the same assignment, the rhymes just won't be noticed.



Bonus exercises (either in conjunction with the official exercise or stand-alone):



1) Describe two smells as well as one flavor (the flavor being something sour).
2) Set your piece (at least half of it) in the evening.
3) Use a quote from the lyrics of the song "32 Flavors" by Ani DiFranco either as an epigraph or in the piece.

Friday, April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 National Poetry Month Daily Writing Prompt: Childhood Friends

Welcome to National Poetry Month 2018! 

I don't want to exclude anyone, though, so all prompts will be written so that they can be either poetry or prose.

Today's exercise (4/6/18) is to write a narrative or partial narrative about 'playing' with a friend during childhood. Whether it's an adventure, something dull, a great memory of playing Nintendo etc.


Bonus exercises (either in conjunction with the official exercise or stand-alone):


1) Describe the shape of a particular type of tree.
2) Include a character falling.
3) Use a quote from the lyrics of the song "Gerry is Strong" by The Bruce Lee Band either as an epigraph or in the piece.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018 National Poetry Month Daily Writing Prompt: Cooking with a Pet

Welcome to National Poetry Month 2018! 

I don't want to exclude anyone, though, so all prompts will be written so that they can be either poetry or prose.

Today's exercise (4/5/18) is to write a narrative in which you are cooking something and are either interrupted or joined by a pet. Include at least one line of dialog spoke to the pet (or from if you want).

Bonus exercises (either in conjunction with the official exercise or stand-alone):


1) Begin at least 5 sentences with different words starting with the letter F.
2) Describe three different smells and include one of the things described in the title.
3) Use a quote from the lyrics of the song "Mandy" by Barry Manilow either as an epigraph or in the piece.
4) Set your cooking narrative somewhere outdoors.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018 National Poetry Month Daily Writing Prompt: Half Full or Empty

Welcome to National Poetry Month 2018! 

I don't want to exclude anyone, though, so all prompts will be written so that they can be either poetry or prose.

Today's exercise (4/4/18) is to write about 'the glass' being either half-full or half-empty using something other than a glass, cup or bucket. Use a number of concrete specifics for the situation you're describing.


Bonus exercises (either in conjunction with the official exercise or stand-alone):

1) At some point describe the contents of a garbage can or pile.
2) Tell your reader to do something (an imperative ala Rilke's "You Must Change Your Life".
3) Use a quote from the lyrics of the song "Moondance" by Van Morrison either as an epigraph or in the piece.

4) Write the piece from opposite perspectives in a 2-part poem or flash fiction.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 National Poetry Month Daily Writing Prompt: Speaking with a Grandparent

Welcome to National Poetry Month 2018! 

I don't want to exclude anyone, though, so all prompts will be written so that they can be either poetry or prose.

Today's exercise (4/3/18) is to write about a conversation (at least two exchanges) with a grandparent (whether your own, a friend's or a stranger). If you don't want to use actual dialog you may summarize, but two separate recountings.


Bonus exercises (either in conjunction with the official exercise or stand-alone):

1) Have one section that includes four consecutive words beginning with the letter B.
2) Describe at least one sound and one smell.


3) Use a quote from the lyrics of the song "Bright Eyes" by Art Garfunkel either as an epigraph of in the piece.

Monday, April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018 National Poetry Month Daily Writing Prompt: Shoreline

Welcome to National Poetry Month 2018! 

I don't want to exclude anyone, though, so all prompts will be written so that they can be either poetry or prose.

Today's exercise (4/2/18) is to use the following five words in your piece, at least three must begin sentences:

Iguana Shoreline by Native Stew

1: Shoreline
2: Reach
3: Pulse(d)
4: West
5: Jubilant


Bonus exercises (either in conjunction with the official exercise or stand-alone):

1) Include the word "Elevated" in your title.
2) Describe something that is a shade of the color Purple.
3) Use a quote from the lyrics of the song "The Three of Us" by Streetlight Manifesto (here is a perhaps better, acoustic guitar version by the writer who performs as such under the nom-de-plume Toh Kay. I highly recommend the whole album The Hands that Thieve) either as an epigraph of in the piece.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018 National Poetry Month Daily Writing Prompt: Plums?

Welcome to National Poetry Month 2018! 

I don't want to exclude anyone, though, so all prompts will be written so that they can be either poetry or prose.

Today's exercise (4/1/18) is to use the single word question "Plums?" somewhere in your piece. It must be dialog, whether you're writing prose or poetry.




Bonus exercises (either in conjunction with the official exercise or stand-alone):

1) Include the word "Bat" in your title.
2) Use one verb at least 5 times in a close proximity (whether anaphora or not)
3) Use a quote from the lyrics of the song "Fourth of July" by Sufjan Stevens either as an epigraph of in the piece.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

For Your Enjoyment: The Baghdad Zoo by Brian Turner

The Bagdad Zoo
     Is the world Safer? No. It's not safer in Iraq.
                                       -Hans Blix

An Iraqi northern brown bear mauled a man
on a street corner, dragging him down an alley
as shocked onlookers shouted and threw stones.

Tanks rolled their heavy tracks
past the museum and up to the Ministy of Oil.
A gunner watched a lion chase down a horse.

Eaten down to their skeletons, the giraffes
looked prehistoric, unreal, their necks
too fragile, too graceful for the 21st century.

Dalmation pelicans and marbled teals
flew over, frightened by the rotorwash
of Blackhawk helicopters touching down.

One baboon escaped the city limits.
It was found wandering in the desert, confused
by the wind, the blowing sands of the barchan dunes.

                       by Brian Turner

--

This tremendous poem is in Brian Turner's wonderful first collection Here, Bullet, at the moment there are a good number used for under $6 with shipping and I highly recommend it, as well as his second collection Phantom Noise. Before being collected this poem appeared in the journal Natural Bridge which is produced by the University of Missouri in St. Louis, Missouri.

Bonus writing exercise: The surreal scenario of a zoo, or more specifically, zoo animals in wartime is a great place to start from. Imagine your own scenario where something that seems normal in the everyday could become very different. Perhaps flooding fills a subway, a fairground is struck by a tornado, the aquarium is abandoned... Once you have your scenario brainstorm a number of aspects of the scenario, at least 6. Then put each of those six aspects up against at least three different situations (the brown bear could have attacked a car, plundered a street vendor etc). Pick your favorites and you have the scaffolding for the poem, the raw bricks just waiting for the mortar.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 12 2017- National Poetry Month: How to #1

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH IS BACK!


During April I will try to update daily with new writing exercises and tips, links etc. Go National Poetry Month go!

For today's "How to" exercise, consider both the actual process of the following action as well as things that could be in the narrator's mind or happening surrounding the objective.

How to remove a staple from a foot.

Definitely include the "victim's" reactions, ways used to calm the person or if it's a non-incident, how the reaction might be different at a younger age.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

April 9 2017- National Poetry Month: The List Poem #1 Madlibbing

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH IS BACK!


During April I will try to update daily with new writing exercises and tips, links etc. Go National Poetry Month go!

For today's poem I want you to write a list poem about vacation.

To formulate the poem I feel that it's important to get a few lists to base it off of. So, here's what we're going to do: Make some lists, then write the poem. Sounds simple enough.

Step 1: Lists
List 1: List 5-10 items that you brought with you (as the narrator) on the trip.
List 2: List 5-10 items that you either purchased, or considered purchasing on your vacation (this isn't just trinkets and souvenirs, but food, toiletry emergencies, first aid stuff, large items like boats, condos, cars, unique items etc).
List 3: List 3-7 negative or distasteful notions of the place or people of where the poem vacations or where the narrator is from (stereotypes, weather, geography, shopping, whatever negative you can think of).
List 4: List 3-10 things that you missed while on vacation or which you miss from the vacation once returning home (at least one from home).
List 5: List 3-7 specific place names at the vacation location. Don't be shy about googling.

Step 2: Expanding
For each list pick at least three to five list items and write a note (a sentence or two) about it.

List 1 expand on how that item is used back home and how it was used on the vacation.
List 2 expand on how the thing that was purchased or almost purchased was different from a similar object back home.
List 3 expand on your experience with that stereotype or idea of the place whether confirming or repudiating it.
List 4 expand on what it was that you missed about the item/thing. At least one of the list items must be something you miss from back home.
List 5 expand on either the very specific location of that place (either something temporal that you remember or imagine, like a person wearing a hot pink hat or a fruit car, or something more concrete like directions to another landmark or item from the list. Interweave place directions a couple times when possible.

Final expansion: In one or two sentences describe anything memorable about traveling whether to, from or while you're there.

Step 3: Assembling
So now you have a bunch of lists, and a bunch of sentences. This will be a messy file/piece of paper, don't worry. Insert a page break and start this with a blank canvas. There will be copy/pasting here to the general poem shape.

1: From each expanded list pick two sentences, and three other items but just the list item.
2: If a poem doesn't leap out at you from those start the poem in this general format and then mold that wad of clay into a unique piece of your own.

Warned of __(two or more List 3 items without the expansion whether or not they're expanded upon but be sure to include one that was expanded)___
I was more concerned about __(two or more list items from List 1 including one of the expanded sentences. )
Instead of ___(include a different item from List 5)
I found ____(three items from List 2, no expansion),
my ____(one item from List 1 that might be carried if applicable)
__(mode of transportation)___ down/by/past ___(two expanded items from List 5)
__(three items from List 4 including one expanded sentence)__
My __(expanded item from List 2)__
__(Expansion from List 3 item used at the beginning of the poem)
while I thought of/pined for/dreamed of __(the List 4 expanded sentence about something from home)___.
Bookended with __(final expanded sentence about traveling)__ and a little melancholy,
__(1-2 items from List 2, at most 1 used already, but switch the wording up a little when possible)__ and ___(List 4 item that was expanded upon).

Step 4: Polishing
Now this is going to be very jumpy and awkward. It needs some connective tissue. Smooth it out, and look carefully at your verbs, and be sure your adjectives really earn their worth or cut them. They're the easiest excess to trim usually. Have fun and write that piece!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

April 8 2017- National Poetry Month: Feminine Assonance

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH IS BACK!

During April I will try to update daily with new writing exercises and tips, links etc. Go National Poetry Month go!

For today's exercise we'll play around with feminine assonant rhymes/slant rhymes. Another way to say feminine rhyme is multi-syllabic rhyming, or, having two sounds rhyming instead of the standard one. Like: "If only I were just lonely."

Exercise 1: The Brainstorm
Pick two hard vowel sounds. /A/ as in Cake, /E/ as in Cheek, /I/ as in Bike, /O/ as in Choke and how about /oo/ as in Chew.



A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

For each vowel sound make a list of at least a fifteen words off the top of your head that are one-to-three syllables that have that sound. If  your multi-syllabic word or phrase includes both sounds circle it. If you need help use Rhyme Zone.

Exercise 2: The Coupling
So now you have 30 words. Find at least eight pairs (repeat each word up to three times) that can work adjacent to each other and write a snippet/line/sentence that would put it into context. These can include your circled words if you're struggling to get eight.

Exercise 3: The Meditation
Pick your favorite two or more snippets that you think you can connect and think on how they could meet for a few minutes. Look back to your original lists of words and jot down at least eight that might be of use in the poem. They will season the sonics of your piece.

Exercise 4: The Construction
Now you have Point A and Point B connect them with the narrative aid of the words you'd written and construct your poem.


Alternate exercise: Five words

Use the following five words in a piece.

Calm, Leak, Polite, Establish, Injure


Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 6 2017- National Poetry Month: Title Mania #2

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH IS BACK!


During April I will try to update daily with new writing exercises and tips, links etc. Go National Poetry Month go!

For today's Title Mania exercise I will provide three titles, pick one and write a piece that you feel goes along with the title. For additional fun, I've included an item and a color that you can try to work in as well.

Titles

1: Removing Doubt
2: Elligible
3: An Uneven Stack of Papers


Bonus stuff

Color: Burgundy
Item: A Towel