Sunday, May 31, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 31, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.



Today's thread is...


You didn't scream when you saw the blood, but your heart began beating much faster.


Whether you use the sentence verbatim somewhere in your story or you re-write it in your own style, start here and figure it out. Whose (or if not a who that is bleeding, what's) blood, what drew the blood, what is the situation and how is it imminently going to be much much worse? Involve some stakes in this piece, unless you have a very specific reason to make the stakes low, I mean, who am I to tell you exactly what to write?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 30, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Five Random Constraints.

About today's writing prompt genre: This is an exercise to make your brain work within a confined space. There will be a few constraints pressed upon your writing, some meant to help drive narrative, some meant to slow the process of the ever-flowing feed of words that stream through the mind. To make you meditate on specific word choice not necessarily at the most important plot places, but irregularly so that even connections can dictate concern and consideration at the word-level.

Today's constraints are...

1) The piece must discuss (at least briefly) some aspect of one of the 59 US National Parks.
2) You must include at least one color in every paragraph (or stanza) longer than five words.
3) At least five sentences/lines must begin with a word that starts with "Bl"
4) You must include one list with at least six items in it.
5) Your title must be at least seven words long and include a proper name.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 29, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Ekphrasis.

Ekphrasis is from Greek meaning the description of a work of art as a rhetorical device. That's actually pretty straight forward, but another way to look at it, is it's highfalutin fan fiction, usually about paintings or pieces of music, but it can be about virtually anything. Look at or listen to the following piece of art and write a piece of prose or poetry that is inspired by some aspect of it.



Today's artwork is...

Dean Potter traversing a high line in Yosemite Valley as the moon rises (photo by Bryan Smith).


Whether you write about the metaphoric tightrope walking, you spend some time remembering Dean Potter, the amazing physical artist that recently passed in the same valley where this photo was shot, you imagine a daredevil character and set him up with an astronomer or the grand daughter of an astronaut, or you invent a world filled with the sort of amazing formations that occur in Yosemite Valley where climbing and flying are commonplace, or whatever this photo inspires you to write is completely up to you. Here are some more photos of Yosemite if you want additional geologic stimulation.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 28, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Fact-Based Piece.

Legendary comedian Phil Hartman
was murdered on May 28, 1998
About today's writing prompt genre: Take a fact or find a fact in the following database and do some research on it, then use it in some way in your piece. Be sure to use your Google-fu to flesh out the piece with some interesting information and so it doesn't come off as too 'one note' or surface level.

Today's fact is...

Use this wonderful resource from History.com to find an event that happened today. Subscribing to it isn't the worst option either, as historical facts can be very useful in your notebook for later use.

Some examples of things that happened on May 28th are: Volkswagen was founded (1937), Maya Angelou died (2014), the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers were allowed to relocate (1957), Belgium surrenders to the Nazis (1940) among many others.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 27, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.
Photo by James Johnston

Titles:

1) You'll Know
2) Toppled Idols
3) Floodgates
4) Avalon
5) In Abandoned Hallways
6) Halfway Down

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Exits
2) Set
3) Brawn
4) Frost
5) Closing
6) Further

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Alex Lemon talks about his poet's notebook at Profane

Alex Lemon is a tremendous poet, memoirist and just a general good writer. I was first drawn to his work in an 'introducing' feature in Pleaides (25:1), and ever since have always gotten a little excited when I see his name in a journal's table of contents. His work isn't as straight-forward as a writer like Billy Collins, nor as opaque as someone like Lisa Robertson. Here are two of his poems in Post Road Magazine (titled "Below the Nearer Sky" and "Silt"). Here is one from The Kenyon Review called "Your Life is the Bed I'm Gonna Lay Down In" (which strikes me a little as being sort of Dean Young-like, and definitely not in a bad way. I wonder if I associate the two poets more because of their medical ailments than their somewhat similar styles—Lemon's brain surgery and Young's heart transplant). Here is another from the Missouri Review called "I Knew You Before You Were".

But aside from just reading some of Alex Lemon's work, I was intrigued by this little bit of audio from him that was posted in the first issue of Profane Literary Magazine. Aside from the poem "Preparing for the Cure" which was published in the journal, he also has an audio clip simply titled "A Talk" where he discusses why he's drawn to poetry, he briefly discusses his writer's notebook and how his poetry notes are different from his notes for essays and nonfiction, and how he deals with inspiration.

*         *         *

Profane Literary Journal is currently reading for their second issue. Be sure to read the journal here, and if you like the cut of their jib and feel your work would fit their aesthetic, give them a shout through submittable here. All submissions are text only, and they even have a nice feature where you can pay $5 and they guarantee to respond within 48 hours. This allows you quick feedback, as well as helps the journal stay afloat.

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 26, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.

Today's thread is...

Leaving a 24 hour diner you notice a young (presumably) homeless man sitting by a sign holding a sign that offers a fantastic tale for just $1. He notices you scoff slightly, and says "It's a true story." As you walk past he adds "And you're in it."

There's the thread, a frame tale or merely leading into an interesting exchange, there is definitely an opportunity for some slipstream or magic realism if that sounds interesting, or maybe it's someone from your narrator's past that they no longer recognize. Many ways to run with this.

Aside from the prompt, here is a place where you can donate to help the homeless it's called the National Alliance to End Homelessness, it has a very low overhead and every little bit helps.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 25, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: The How-To.

Today we'll work with the good old 'how-to' genre. Write a 'list poem' (or a regular poem) or a piece of prose that explains various ways or steps in how-to do something.




Today's how-to is...

How to unbreak ___________.


As opposed to "how to fix ______" this piece will look at undoing something unfortunate. Whether you look at the large scale from the start (with something like How to unbreak a life) or it starts with the small broken thing that potentially escalates (How to unbreak a plate). Or maybe it has more to do with redemption than with the desire to turn back time. However you choose to approach the unbreaking, spend some time thinking about consequence and reaction before doing any actual writing.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 24, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Fact-Based Piece.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take a fact or find a fact in the following database and do some research on it, then use it in some way in your piece. Be sure to use your Google-fu to flesh out the piece with some interesting information and so it doesn't come off as too 'one note' or surface level.

Today's fact is...

Use this database of disasters and tragedies and find one that occurred on your birthday. If you can't find one for your exact birthday, try to find one within a few days. Whether you use the fact of your later (or earlier) birth in the piece is completely up to you, this could just be the way you find your topic/event for today's bit writing. Just be sure to be respectful of the dead, or be ready to been seen as a jerk using tragedy for your own benefit.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 23, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Ekphrasis.

OK, you got me, that's Ryne
Sandberg not Carl Sandburg,
but Carl's first book of poems
was called "Chicago Poems"
so the Cubs jersey is fitting.
About today's writing prompt genre: Ekphrasis is from Greek meaning the description of a work of art as a rhetorical device. That's actually pretty straight forward, but another way to look at it, is it's highfalutin fan fiction, usually about paintings or pieces of music, but it can be about virtually anything. Look at or listen to the following piece of art and write a piece of prose or poetry that is inspired by some aspect of it.


Today's artwork is...

The poem "Grass" by Carl Sandburg.

Grass

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
                                          I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
                                          What place is this?
                                          Where are we now?

                                          I am the grass.
                                          Let me work.

**
There are many ways to respond to this poem, whether imagining a particular battle's long aftermath, a fictional campaign or whatever. The exercise I used when teaching this poem in my recent war poetry class was:

Imagine yourself one aspect of nature, and how you concern yourself (or, as in Sandburg’s case, don’t) with the affairs and wars of humans. Perhaps trees, a river, the ocean…

But however you decide to respond, read the poem at least four times. It's quite short and uses repetition very well. Repetition/refrain/anaphora is the most prominent device, but listen to the musicality of the line "Shovel them under and let me work." Sho-vel, them un-der, and, let, me-work. Have at it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 22, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:


1) Generous Portions
2) Begging for Some Sort of Assistance
3) Incomprehensible
4) Refraction at Victoria Falls
5) A Book Read by a Bear
6) An Untitled Year

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Amiss
2) Lines
3) Glass
4) Balls
5) Exception
6) Baboon

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 21, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.

Today's thread is...

Describe a horrible birthday party.


In honor of my brother's birthday, let's create an awful party! (Sorry AJ). Whether you go with a horribly depressing party, maybe no one showed up, only the wrong people, the plans fall through, or maybe carefully planned events happen and they're utterly boring. Maybe it's a sort of birthday party gone wrong: the candles catch someone's hair on fire, the pinata string breaks and gives a partygoer a bloody nose, someone poops in the pool, the dog runs away and then the drunk clown gets hit by a car as he's walking across the street without looking. Whatever angle you like, run with it and make it just cringingly awful.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 20, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Five Random Constraints.

About today's writing prompt genre: This is an exercise to make your brain work within a confined space. There will be a few constraints pressed upon your writing, some meant to help drive narrative, some meant to slow the process of the ever-flowing feed of words that stream through the mind. To make you meditate on specific word choice not necessarily at the most important plot places, but irregularly so that even connections can dictate concern and consideration at the word-level.

Today's constraints are...

1) The piece must discuss (at least briefly) the truth about one myth regarding Sweden.
2) You must include at least one long /O/ sound from this list in each sentence except one.
3) At least three sentences/lines must begin with the phrase "This was"
4) You must include one sentence that includes at least five commas.
5) The word "List" must appear within either in the first or the last four words of your piece.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 19, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.


Today's thread is...


After the lights have been turned out, all the punctuation in a book gets together and gossips about the words.

There could be a sort of class separation of words and punctuation, similar to the bar in Antz where worker ants and soldier ants have their own hierarchies, perhaps punctuation marks stick with the words that they're attached to and are either buddies or maybe even like conjoined twins. Maybe the punctuation from multiple books get together, similar to how video game characters interact in the movie Wreck-It Ralph. (Why I'm on a cartoon kick, I'm not sure, but this thread seems to lend itself to the non-real). How do the similar marks react to each other? Do commas have a clique that picks on em-dashes? Are periods know-it-alls? Do commas from lists have a chip on their shoulders, or is punctuation used stylistically as opposed to 'correctly' picked on or made fun of behind their backs? Many options for this, but I would definitely be sure to have fun with it.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 18, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Ekphrasis.

Ekphrasis is from Greek meaning the description of a work of art as a rhetorical device. That's actually pretty straight forward, but another way to look at it, is it's highfalutin fan fiction, usually about paintings or pieces of music, but it can be about virtually anything. Look at or listen to the following piece of art and write a piece of prose or poetry that is inspired by some aspect of it.


Today's artwork is...


Abtei im Eichwald (The Abbey in the Oakwood) by painter Caspar David Friedrich.

This painting is of the ruins of Eldena Abbey, one of Caspar David Friedrich's favorite subjects, or at least one he painted multiple times. Here is the wikipedia page about the Abbey which had a pretty fascinating history. I definitely don't think it would go against the spirit of ekphrasis to use history or research in your response piece. Although, this also looks dystopian, like a scene from the original Vampire Hunter D anime or something, so fantasy or science fiction might be appropriate here even if it's not your normal genre. It's always nice to stretch your little-used literary muscles as well as your favorite ones.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 17, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Wordbank.

For wordbank exercises take a few minutes to look through the following links which will have various lists of words. Pick out a dozen or so words that you like, whether you are drawn to them for their uniqueness, their sound, their meaning, whatever the reason, pick a bunch of words, at least 12. If any of the words' meanings are not crystal clear spend a little time both checking it out in the dictionary but also check through wikipedia for history of the word and its usage, if it's the name of a place or has some significance in the world aside from just its meaning. In your notebook take note of anything interesting that you come across. Be sure to look through all the related words and antonyms. You won't need to use all the words now, just some of them and it's good to have a pool to choose from.


Once you have your list, have done some research and have at least a half dozen notes try to following exercises.

1) Use three of the words in the same sentence. Then take those same words and use them in a new sentence but in the reverse order.
2) Use two of the words in a sentence that also includes the word "Terrible."
3) Write two separate sentences that each use one word from the wordbank and the name of a river from the country you live in, and also one in a different hemisphere.
4) Use two of the words in a phrase or sentence fragment that is under six words.
5) Either use the phrase from #4 as a title and write either a poem or a piece of short prose to fit it, or the sentence from #2 as the first line of your poem or story. If you feel extra adventurous, use the name of the river from either sentence from #4 in either the title or the last line/sentence.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 16, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:

1) With Broad Strokes
2) Cement Mixers and Screwdrivers
3) Flippant
4) Cornwall Blues
5) Countless Slivers of Glass
6) Spinning Teacups

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Sick
2) Mercy
3) Posture
4) Shaded
5) Yesterday
6) Quilting

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 15, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Five Random Constraints.

About today's writing prompt genre: This is an exercise to make your brain work within a confined space. There will be a few constraints pressed upon your writing, some meant to help drive narrative, some meant to slow the process of the ever-flowing feed of words that stream through the mind. To make you meditate on specific word choice not necessarily at the most important plot places, but irregularly so that even connections can dictate concern and consideration at the word-level.

Today's constraints are...

1) The piece must be under 360 words (in keeping with the length restrictions of Flash).
2) At least one door must slam or shut.
3) The word "Pineapple" should appear either in the title or the first sentence/line.
4) Someone must say a single word in dialogue (there may be more dialogue, but one time only a single word must be uttered).
5) A time that is not noon or midnight must be mentioned twice.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 14, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.


Today's thread is...


The Fire Marshall in your small town begins requiring businesses to keep very odd items in addition to extinguishers and emergency exits and regular fire safety implements.


This could be a study of the slow descent into madness, it could be a milder look at quirky town and the Fire Marshall is just a small aspect of it, it could be a reminiscence of an elderly relative showing the first signs of Alzheimer's, or maybe this Fire Marshall is somewhat prescient and is actually insuring that certain useful items will be there when they're needed. There are dozens of other ways to approach this narrative thread, of course, and if you come up with a good unique one I'd love to see it! Good luck notebooketeers!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 13, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Ekphrasis.

Ekphrasis is from Greek meaning the description of a work of art as a rhetorical device. That's actually pretty straight forward, but another way to look at it, is it's highfalutin fan fiction, usually about paintings or pieces of music, but it can be about virtually anything. Look at or listen to the following piece of art and write a piece of prose or poetry that is inspired by some aspect of it.



Today's artwork is...

"African Sonata" by photographer Vladimir Kush.


There is a lot going on in this piece of surreal art by the Russian born artist so I'll refrain from suggestions here, but I do very much like the clef and notes coming from the erupting volcano and the bramble of horns in the foreground. Have at it everyone!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 12, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:

1) Asunder
2) The Neverending Game of Sorry
3) Tomatillo
4) Undue, Undone
5) After the Pacing of an Ant
6) Nausea Again

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Dust
2) Floudering
3) Fault
4) Done
5) Sharp
6) Again

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 11, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.

Today's thread is...

Tell the life of an apple from seed (or bud) to consumption.

Be sure to consider different ways which an apple may be consumed: by bugs, animals, humans, time. If humans, it can be juiced, turned into apple sauce, apple pie, an apple fritter, an apple vinaigrette. Consider the circumstances of the apple leaving the tree it grew from, the times it has seen since forming, the potential consumers that in the end were not the end of the apple. Maybe even follow one of the apple's seeds after the flesh of the fruit is eaten or processed. Maybe consider that an apple tree grown from an apple will have completely different apples than the one the seed came from.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 10, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: The How-To.

Today we'll work with the good old 'how-to' genre. Write a 'list poem' (or a regular poem) or a piece of prose that explains various ways or steps in how-to do something.




Today's how-to is...


How to answer the phone.



Whether you're answering the phone differently based on who is calling, you're showing the progression of telephone technology, you're taking the term 'phone' to be less the actual telephone and more of a non technological mode of communication (ie letters, smoke signals, facial cues etc), you're discussing various ways that different people might (or do) answer the phone) or you're showing how your mood at the time changes how you answer the phone (words, tone, volume of voice), there are many ways to approach this seemingly simple 'how-to'. You might even look at how poor signals (whether through the phone itself, or the place where there isn't much service) affects your ability to answer/understand incoming calls. I think back to the old Married With Children "Fox Viewing Positions" which mocked their networks' notoriously poor signal (my how times have changed).

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 9, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Five Random Constraints.

About today's writing prompt genre: This is an exercise to make your brain work within a confined space. There will be a few constraints pressed upon your writing, some meant to help drive narrative, some meant to slow the process of the ever-flowing feed of words that stream through the mind. To make you meditate on specific word choice not necessarily at the most important plot places, but irregularly so that even connections can dictate concern and consideration at the word-level.

Today's constraints are...

1) You must begin and end this piece in less than 30 minutes.
2) You must include at least two sentences about a thunderstorm in your piece.
3) You must begin at least three sentences with the same non-article word.
4) You must end your piece with the same 3-5 words as you began it with.
5) You must spend ten minutes immediately following your composition going back and changing out individual words and phrases for ones that have more assonance and consonance. Look at the surrounding words and use the thesaurus. Like with wordbank exercises, if you're tempted to use a word you're not 100% familiar with, be sure to do both a wikipedia search and a google search on it as well as looking up its exact dictionary definition to be sure you understand its connotations ("slither" and "glide" are synonyms, but slither has a much more negative tint to it).

Friday, May 8, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 8, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Ekphrasis.

Ekphrasis is from Greek meaning the description of a work of art as a rhetorical device. That's actually pretty straight forward, but another way to look at it, is it's highfalutin fan fiction, usually about paintings or pieces of music, but it can be about virtually anything. Look at or listen to the following piece of art and write a piece of prose or poetry that is inspired by some aspect of it.


Today's artwork is...


The award winning short animated film Rabbit and Deer by Péter Vácz.


I have been very taken by this short for awhile now and I do hope it is enjoyed by you fine folks. There are many ways to respond to this film, whether it's in regard to the friendship itself, the trials of the friendship, the philosophical elements of the 2D/3D world, extrapolating that to a 3D/4D world, you could simply take a snippet of the friends' adventure and put it into words, you could invent a new adventure for them. Tons of options, but mostly, I do hope that the experience is as enjoyable for you as it has been for me. I've seen it probably five times now, and I'll be watching it again soon. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 7, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:

1) The Empty Watertower
2) Cuba Libre
3) Impacted
4) Open Pit Diamond Mine
5) Shaking Oil and Water
6) Burnt Potatoes

Words or phrases to end with:

1) More
2) Closed
3) Posture
4) Lost
5) Spiral
6) Erupting

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 6, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.

Today's thread is...

An incident of road rage somehow leads you to making a new best friend.

Whether the new best friend is the person raging against you, you're raging against, a bystander, a passenger, or even someone who steps in and helps out, there are plenty of opportunities here. Don't be afraid to get creative on the cause of the rage, it doesn't have to be as simple as one person cutting off the other, maybe it's a fight over a parking spot, maybe it doesn't actually involve a vehicle and it's pedestrian road rage, or a fight on the bus about the bus driver's choices. Try to involve some ridiculous rage-induced dialogue.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 5, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Random Generation.

Random Generation exercises allow computers to help you find your prompt, you know, instead of visiting this website via messenger pigeon and cranking out the pages with your mechanical typewriter. Write a piece or fragment that utilizes the following random element.

Today's random generation is...

Random Plot

First use this random number generator to determine how many plots you will consider. If you get One or two feel free to refresh your browser and get a little higher of a number of possibilities. Then click through PantomimePony's random plot generator, writing down any plots that appeal to you. When you have clicked through as many times as the generator determined, pick your favorite and go with it. If you can mash two of the random plots together in an organic way, all the better.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 4, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Wordbank.

For wordbank exercises take a few minutes to look through the following links which will have various lists of words. Pick out a dozen or so you like, whether for their uniqueness, their sound, even just their meaning, whatever the reason, pick a bunch of words. If any of the words' meanings are not crystal clear spend a little time both checking it out in the dictionary but also check through wikipedia for history of the word and its usage, if it's a place or has some significance in the world aside from just its meaning. In your notebook take note of anything interesting that you come across. Be sure to look through all the related words and antonyms. You won't need to use all the words now, just some of them and it's good to have a pool to choose from.


Once you have your list, have done some research and have at least a half dozen notes try to following exercises.

1) Use three of the words in the same sentence. Then take those same words and use them in a new sentence but in the reverse order.
2) Use two of the words in a sentence that also includes the word "Climb."
3) Write two separate sentences that each use one word from the wordbank and a duck (in some way).
4) Use two of the words in a phrase or sentence fragment that is under six words.
5) Either use the phrase from #4 as a title and write either a poem or a piece of short prose to fit it, or the sentence from #2 as the first line of your poem or story.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 3, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:

1) Oak Oak Oak
2) Telltale Scarring
3) Much Too Much
4) Another Pointless and Wasteful Endeavor
5) Explicated
6) Oaxaca by San Juan

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Drawn Close
2) Please
3) Undone
4) Formed
5) Tickling
6) Again

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 2, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.



Today's thread is...



Describe your worst (real or fictional) cooking disaster. 



Exaggeration is your buddy, remember that. Whether you're cooking in a kitchen, over a campfire, on a barbecue, in a professional kitchen, wherever the locale, things have gone wrong, very wrong.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise May 1, 2015


Daily Exercise Genre: Ekphrasis.

Ekphrasis is from Greek meaning the description of a work of art as a rhetorical device. That's actually pretty straight forward, but another way to look at it, is it's highfalutin fan fiction, usually about paintings or pieces of music, but it can be about virtually anything. Look at or listen to the following piece of art and write a piece of prose or poetry that is inspired by some aspect of it.


Today's artwork is...

An abandoned McDonalds by photographer Andrew Murdoch.

The contrast of food from a new McDonalds in the beaten up and abandoned McDonalds is fertile ground for a piece of writing. Is it a sort of 'out of time' piece? Are you inspired by the concept of modern decay, of urban exploring, of what happens to those things we see or visit everyday without any upkeep? There's broken glass, graffiti, and perhaps even evidence of illegal scrapping at play. However you interpret this photo, run with it!