Monday, September 23, 2019

Fall Writing Exercise Series #23: Title Mania Plus with a Accordions 04


The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.
#23
Title Mania Plus with Accordions 04

For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge use the additional exercise of five random constraints.


Titles:
  1. En Route
  2. Cobwebs, Dust, Broken Windows and Other Signs
  3. Recklessness
  4. Floating on the Lake, 4 a.m.
  5. A Christmas Present Shaped Like a Baseball Bat

Bonus Exercise: 5 Random Constraints
  1. Your piece must include at least one paragraph or stanza that is four words or fewer.
  2. You must include at least five words which begin with the letter combination "Fl".
  3. You must include one section of at least four consecutive words (from / to /) from the poem "Hotel Monterey" by Yongyu Chen with its great enjambment from the newest issue of Diode Poetry Journal.
  4. You must include a homophone that has at least three different meanings, and it must be used at least three different ways.
  5. You must describe something being planted (literally or metaphorically).


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If you'd like some background music to write to, try this mix of Norwegian folk music (accordion trigger warning).






Sunday, September 22, 2019

Fall Writing Exercise Series #22: Thirsting for Repetition


The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


#22
Thirsting for Repetition
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following phrase at least four times (non-sequentially):

"I'm thirsty," she said.

    Since today's repeated phrase is dialog, feel free to remove the tag and just use "I'm thirsty" as the repeated phrase. Just be sure that the repeated phrase earns its worth in your piece. It should be necessary.

    Bonus Exercise: Also include at least one list that has 4+ items, and include the words "Cactus" "Popsicle" and "Abrade".
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor, Op. 18".











    Saturday, September 21, 2019

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #21: Ekphrastic Empty Streets


    The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

    These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.

    #21
    Ekphrastic Empty Streets

    For today, we're going to write a poem or prose piece inspired by another piece of art or an ekphrastic piece. The piece of art in question is the following image of an eerie empty Chicago freeway by artist Michael Salisbury.




    If nothing right off strikes you try the following exercises along with the image.


    1.  Whenever you see an empty city in the movies it indicates some traumatic or cataclysmic event. Make a list of five possibilities that are plausible (if unlikely) and five extremely unplausible reasons for the empty streets.
    2. Write at least five vignette paragraphs that each describe different types of businesses (bakery, Kinko's, Police station etc) and what normally occurs in them if you were to be looking at them on a normal day. Be specific and if what you're describing isn't inherently interesting, be sure to use a couple good words.
    3. Try to imagine the exact opposite locale. Whether you think of it as a super crowded place or somewhere very rural or both. Write two vignettes describing this imagined place first from a positive perspective, as though you (very much like the place) and then from a negative perspective (as though you hate the place).
    4. Pick your two or three favorite paragraphs from #2 and your favorite vignette from #3 and find a way to combine the four. 

    ---

    If you'd like background writing music try La vie Parisienne, French Chansons From the 1930s & 40s.





    Friday, September 20, 2019

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #20: Spontaneous Six Word Shootout 02


    The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

    These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


    #20
    Spontaneous Six Word Shootout 02

    For today's writing exercise write a piece that includes the following six words. While it perfectly sets you up for a sestina, feel free to write whatever you'd like (but ya know, give that sestina a shot!).

    Required Words: Sight, Date, Palm, Rose, Park, Ring

    Bonus Exercise: As all of the words are homonyms, even if you aren't writing a sestina, include at least 2 different versions of each of the words (cite/site, date-fruit/date-occasion, palm-tree/palm-of-the-hand/psalm ring-phone/ring-finger/wring etc).
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try Bobby McFerrin's "Spontaneous Inventions" performance.











    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #19: 3x5x10 Wordbank 03


    The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

    These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


    #19
    3x5x10 Wordbank 03
    For today's writing exercise complete the following steps.

    1) Pick one word from each of three groups and write a sentence that includes all of the words, feel free to change tense, pluralize, gerund etc. 
    2) Repeat the process ten (10) times using different combinations. No dawdling!
    3) Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least three (3) of those sentences. Try to use as many of the sentences as you can, or parts of the sentences if the whole thing doesn't fit or works better altered.


    Word Bank 1:
    • Fifteen
    • Zoom
    • Flick
    • Quaint
    • Pluck
    Wordbank 2:
    • Lily
    • Boulevard
    • Bayou
    • Cul-de-Sac
    • Barracks
    Wordbank 3:
    • Juicy
    • Journey
    • Priory
    • Mulch
    • Zero

    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, why not get a little weird today and listen to the Weird Science soundtrack?










    Wednesday, September 18, 2019

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #18: Erasing The Crystal Egg 8


    The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

    These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


    #18
    Erasing The Crystal Egg 8

    For today's exercise we have split paths for fiction and poetry, though I highly recommend that even fiction writers try the poetry exercise.

    If you insist on fiction, write a piece which includes the phrase "a matter of opinion" at least three times, and ends with the phrase "matter of fact."

    For poetry do an erasure or black-out poem from the following selection of H.G. Wells' short story "The Crystal Egg". An Erasure/Blackout is really simple: you take the given text and remove many words to make it your own new piece. One way to go about the erasure that I like to do is to copy the text and paste it twice into your document before you start erasing or blacking out (in MS Word set the text background color to black), that way if you get further into the erasure and decide you want a somewhat different tone or direction, it's easy to go to the unaltered version and make the erasure/black-out piece smoother. Another tip is to look for recurring words, in this example Cave and crystal both occur many times and could be good touchstones for your piece.


    Erasure Selection:

    from The Crystal Egg

    Such were the first general impressions of Mr. Cave. The story is curiously direct and circumstantial. From the outset, when the valley first flashed momentarily on his senses, his imagination was strangely affected, and as he began to appreciate the details of the scene he saw, his wonder rose to the point of a passion. He went about his business listless and distraught, thinking only of the time when he should be able to return to his watching. And then a few weeks after his first sight of the valley came the two customers, the stress and excitement of their offer, and the narrow escape of the crystal from sale, as I have already told.

    Now, while the thing was Mr. Cave’s secret, it remained a mere wonder, a thing to creep to covertly and peep at, as a child might peep upon a forbidden garden. But Mr. Wace has, for a young scientific investigator, a particularly lucid and consecutive habit of mind. Directly the crystal and its story came to him, and he had satisfied himself, by seeing the phosphorescence with his own eyes, that there really was a certain evidence for Mr. Cave’s statements, he proceeded to develop the matter systematically. Mr. Cave was only too eager to come and feast his eyes on this wonderland he saw, and he came every night from half-past eight until half-past ten, and sometimes, in Mr. Wace’s absence, during the day. On Sunday afternoons, also, he came. From the outset Mr. Wace made copious notes, and it was due to his scientific method that the relation between the direction from which the initiating ray entered the crystal and the orientation of the picture were proved. And, by covering the crystal in a box perforated only with a small aperture to admit the exciting ray, and by substituting black holland for his buff blinds, he greatly improved the conditions of the observations; so that in a little while they were able to survey the valley in any direction they desired.

    So having cleared the way, we may give a brief account of this visionary world within the crystal. The things were in all cases seen by Mr. Cave, and the method of working was invariably for him to watch the crystal and report what he saw, while Mr. Wace (who as a science student had learnt the trick of writing in the dark) wrote a brief note of his report. When the crystal faded, it was put into its box in the proper position and the electric light turned on. Mr. Wace asked questions, and suggested observations to clear up difficult points. Nothing, indeed, could have been less visionary and more matter-of-fact.
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try Dvorak's "New World Symphony".



    Tuesday, September 17, 2019

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #17: Literary Mad Libs Episode 02 "Summer Song"



    #17
     Literary Mad Libs Episode 02 "Summer Song"

    For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with a mad lib. It happens to be a mad lib of a relatively famous short poem, but don't let that sway you. Fill out the following word or phrase requests then click down and plug them into the mad lib below the jump.

    First: Imagine someone whimsical or mysterious, not of ill-repute (in fact a good person in their way) but not the ordinary person. This is Person A. Whenever Person A is referenced, think of this person.

    Your words:

    1) Verb with an -er suffix that you'd associate with Person A (something you'd imagine them doing that speaks to the characteristics we've focused on in Person A):___________________________
    2) Quantitative Adverb (mostly, slightly, partially, wholly etc):__________________________
    3) Adjective you'd use to describe Person A:_______________________________
    4) A positive (affirmative/good) adjective:____________________________
    5) Positive/romanticized way of describing something damp or moist:____________________
    6) Adjective:__________________________
    7) Adverb:____________________________
    8) A manner of purchasing something (charge, buy, order, venmo etc):_____________________________
    9) Article of clothing:___________________
    10) An accessory or smaller item of clothing:_________________________
    11) A movement verb:________________________

    Now write out the following poem with your words in the indicated places and we'll get to the meat of the exercise.


    Monday, September 16, 2019

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #16: Counting More Repetition


    The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

    These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


    #16
    Counting More Repetition

    For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following phrase at least four times (non-sequentially):

    "Again we counted."

      Think of various things that are done repetitiously. Whether it's something like setting the table for dinner, starting a fire, gutting a piece of livestock, washing hands. Try to use either the same one thing multiple times or use multiple things to show the difference between things regularly done and things that are unique. Or do something completely different. In today's case, I would suggest adding "And" or "So" to the beginning of the sentence occasionally to switch it up just a little bit. Just be sure that the repeated phrase earns its worth in your piece. It should be necessary.

      Bonus Exercise: Also include at least one list that has 4+ items, and include the words "Chute" "Frozen" and "Elicit".
      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the album "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel.











      Sunday, September 15, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #15: From Lime to Climb Beginning & Ending 03


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.
      #15
      For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with one image, scenario, line of dialog or place and ends with another, and an optional additional requirement.


      Begin With: The image of a citrus fruit in someone's hand.

      End With: A description of Alpenglow.


      Extra Credit RequirementsInclude a green car including its make and year or model, and the words: "Eclipse", "Trooper" and "Supine".
      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the Daytime Ambiance and Music from the game Skyrim.






      Saturday, September 14, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #14: Title Mania Plus with a Dive 03


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.
      #14
      Title Mania Plus with a Dive 03

      For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge use the additional exercise of five random constraints.


      Titles:
      1. Inhale
      2. Watching The Princess Bride for the Hundred and Third Time I Have a Revelation
      3. Trinkets for Sale
      4. North Las Vegas, 3:25 a.m. 
      5. Chinese Finger Traps, String Cheese and Pixy Stix

      Bonus Exercise: 5 Random Constraints
      1. Your first sentence must be five words long and end with the word "End".
      2. You must include at least six words which begin with the letter combination "Str".
      3. You must include one section of at least five consecutive words from the poem "On October 15th, a boy got me drunk and ever since," in the newest issue of The James Franco Review.
      4. You must include a question that is no more than three words long.
      5. You must describe the smell of something sweet.


      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the Tycho album "Dive".







      Friday, September 13, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #13: Ekphrastic Moon Service


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


      #13
      Ekphrastic Moon Service

      For today, we're going to write a poem or prose piece inspired by another piece of art or an ekphrastic piece. The piece of art in question is the following image entitled "Full Moon Service" by artist Erik Johansson.




      If nothing right off strikes you try the following exercises along with the image.


      1.  Who is the boss of this service company? Show us some behind-the-scenes of this moon service company.
      2.  Write the scene happening, a commonplace moon servicing, and invent some interesting conversation which has little or nothing to do with moons.
      3.  What was the moon like before this service? Write of the company's origins.

      ---

      If you'd like background writing music try the album "Bullfrog Blues" by Rory Gallagher.





      Wednesday, September 11, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #11: 3x5x10 Wordbank 2


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


      #11
      3x5x10 Wordbank 2
      For today's writing exercise complete the following steps.

      1) Pick one word from each of three groups and write a sentence that includes all of the words, feel free to change tense, pluralize, gerund etc. 
      2) Repeat the process ten (10) times using different combinations. No dawdling!
      3) Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least three (3) of those sentences. Try to use as many of the sentences as you can, or parts of the sentences if the whole thing doesn't fit or works better altered.


      Word Bank 1:
      • Fraught
      • Humbly
      • Trinity
      • Flatten
      • Hay
      Wordbank 2:
      • Thorn
      • Heir
      • Climactic
      • Fit
      • Fender
      Wordbank 3:
      • Chute
      • Hedge
      • Lilac
      • Tarnish
      • Fasten

      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the 1980 album No Problems by the Chet Baker Quartet.









      Tuesday, September 10, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #10: Erasing The Crystal Egg 7


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


      #10
      Erasing The Crystal Egg 7
      For today's exercise we have split paths for fiction and poetry, though I highly recommend that even fiction writers try the poetry exercise.

      If you insist on fiction, write a piece titled "Lichenous Trees and a Jeweled Fan"

      For poetry do an erasure or black-out poem from the following selection of H.G. Wells' short story "The Crystal Egg". An Erasure/Blackout is really simple: you take the given text and remove many words to make it your own new piece. One way to go about the erasure that I like to do is to copy the text and paste it twice into your document before you start erasing or blacking out (in MS Word set the text background color to black), that way if you get further into the erasure and decide you want a somewhat different tone or direction, it's easy to go to the unaltered version and make the erasure/black-out piece smoother. Another tip is to look for recurring words, in this example Cave occurs many times and could be a good touchstone for your piece.


      Erasure Selection:

      from The Crystal Egg

      Mr. Cave’s statements, Mr. Wace assures me, were extremely circumstantial, and entirely free from any of that emotional quality that taints hallucinatory impressions. But it must be remembered that all the efforts of Mr. Wace to see any similar clarity in the faint opalescence of the crystal were wholly unsuccessful, try as he would. The difference in intensity of the impressions received by the two men was very great, and it is quite conceivable that what was a view to Mr. Cave was a mere blurred nebulosity to Mr. Wace.

      The view, as Mr. Cave described it, was invariably of an extensive plain, and he seemed always to be looking at it from a considerable height, as if from a tower or a mast. To the east and to the west the plain was bounded at a remote distance by vast reddish cliffs, which reminded him of those he had seen in some picture; but what the picture was Mr. Wace was unable to ascertain. These cliffs passed north and south — he could tell the points of the compass by the stars that were visible of a night — receding in an almost illimitable perspective and fading into the mists of the distance before they met. He was nearer the eastern set of cliffs; on the occasion of his first vision the sun was rising over them, and black against the sunlight and pale against their shadow appeared a multitude of soaring forms that Mr. Cave regarded as birds. A vast range of buildings spread below him; he seemed to be looking down upon them; and as they approached the blurred and refracted edge of the picture they became indistinct. There were also trees curious in shape, and in colouring a deep mossy green and an exquisite grey, beside a wide and shining canal. And something great and brilliantly coloured flew across the picture. But the first time Mr. Cave saw these pictures he saw only in flashes, his hands shook, his head moved, the vision came and went, and grew foggy and indistinct. And at first he had the greatest difficulty in finding the picture again once the direction of it was lost.

      His next clear vision, which came about a week after the first, the interval having yielded nothing but tantalising glimpses and some useful experience, showed him the view down the length of the valley. The view was different, but he had a curious persuasion, which his subsequent observations abundantly confirmed, that he was regarding the strange world from exactly the same spot, although he was looking in a different direction. The long façade of the great building, whose roof he had looked down upon before, was now receding in perspective. He recognised the roof. In the front of the façade was a terrace of massive proportions and extraordinary length, and down the middle of the terrace, at certain intervals, stood huge but very graceful masts, bearing small shiny objects which reflected the setting sun. The import of these small objects did not occur to Mr. Cave until some time after, as he was describing the scene to Mr. Wace. The terrace overhung a thicket of the most luxuriant and graceful vegetation, and beyond this was a wide grassy lawn on which certain broad creatures, in form like beetles but enormously larger, reposed. Beyond this again was a richly decorated causeway of pinkish stone; and beyond that, and lined with dense red weeds, and passing up the valley exactly parallel with the distant cliffs, was a broad and mirror-like expanse of water. The air seemed full of squadrons of great birds, manoeuvring in stately curves; and across the river was a multitude of splendid buildings, richly coloured and glittering with metallic tracery and facets, among a forest of moss-like and lichenous trees. And suddenly something flapped repeatedly across the vision, like the fluttering of a jewelled fan or the beating of a wing, and a face, or rather the upper part of a face with very large eyes, came as it were close to his own and as if on the other side of the crystal. Mr. Cave was so startled and so impressed by the absolute reality of these eyes that he drew his head back from the crystal to look behind it. He had become so absorbed in watching that he was quite surprised to find himself in the cool darkness of his little shop, with its familiar odour of methyl, mustiness, and decay. And as he blinked about him, the glowing crystal faded and went out.
      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the album Tim by Avicii.


      Monday, September 9, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #9: Title Mania Plus with Torpedoes 02


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.
      #9
      Title Mania Plus with Torpedoes 02

      For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge use the additional exercise of five random constraints.


      Titles:
      1. Christmas on Fire
      2. A Seemingly Endless Line of Irritated Customers
      3. Clapping Off-Beat
      4. Newport Beach, 1983 
      5. A Vacant Lot

      Bonus Exercise: 5 Random Constraints
      1. Your last sentence must include an em dash (alt-0151).
      2. You must include at least five words which begin with the letter combination "Wr".
      3. You must ask and answer at least two questions.
      4. You must include at least ten words that rhyme with "Heat" (I recommend before starting your piece making a list of 20ish you might use and keeping it handy when composing).
      5. You must describe the flavor of something salty.


      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the Tom Petty album "Dam the Torpedoes".





      Sunday, September 8, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #8: From Keys to Car Beginning & Ending 02


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.
      #8
      From Keys to Car Beginning & Ending 02 

      For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with one image, scenario, line of dialog or place and ends with another, and an optional additional requirement.


      Begin With: Someone trying to find a lost ball (or keys).

      End With: The same character watching a car driving away.


      Extra Credit RequirementsInclude someone citing an idiom that they don't have quite right (like "The sun is always greener on the other side" or "Spin the other cheek", and the words: "Poke", "Yelp" and "Waylaid".
      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try some classic video game music: the Chrono Trigger soundtrack.





      Saturday, September 7, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #7: Delayed Gratification 01: A Trip Interrupted


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


      #7
      Delayed Gratification 01: A Trip Interrupted 

      For today's writing exercise you will be intentionally interrupting your writing session with a simple chore or errand that should take 10-15 minutes so think of something that you can do without too much concentration: walk your dog, clean your car, scrub the tub, organize your junkmail, whatever. Once you have that figured out, proceed.


      1. Imagine a good-tasting fruit. List words that describe its flavor or smell. Make sure you have at least ten words.
      2. Pick the word from #1 that sounds the most like a person's last name. That's your main character's last name. Give them a first name.
      3. For each of your other descriptors from #1, write down a word that rhymes with it. You must use at least three of these pairs in your final piece in the same sentence, so rhyme wisely (but also, no dawdling).
      4. Write two different sentences for each of the pairs chosen for #3 that include your main character.
      5. Imagine two cities you know at least a little something about that are at least 500 miles apart. Spend just a couple minutes perusing those cities wikipedia pages. Write a sentence including at least two geographic feature in the area (lake, mountain, river, desert etc) for each city.
      6. Your character will be travelling between the cities, or intending to, when something interrupts their plans. While you think about this, go do your chore. Come up with a good interruption, or multiple ways the trip could be waylaid, stopped short or diverted. Also think about those rhyming pairs from #3 and other sentences that can use both words.
      7. Get to chorin' while you think on your issue. Whenever you finish your errand/chore/whatever return to #8.
      8. Pick your favorite sentence from #5. The city that has that feature was the main character's destination. Work the sentence into a paragraph about not being able to see the feature because the main character never made it to that city. Include at least one pair of rhyming words from #3 (either the sentence you're written, or a new sentence). This is your piece's opening stanza or paragraph.
      9. Write the reason that you figured out stopped the trip during your chore as the second paragraph or stanza. Include another rhyming pair from #3.
      10. Your third paragraph or stanza will lament returning to the features from the home city (the city not described in #8). Write about those features in a negative or pessimistic manner. Include another rhyming pair from #3.
      11. Find a place to include at least one exchange of dialog that is at least four words from your main character and as many from another character. Expand any places that you'd like to.
      12. Finally, if you haven't touched on the why of the trip (why the character is going from one city to the other), here is where you'll find a place to include two sentences about the cause. Name the person or thing which had drawn the main character, and underplay the reasons for making the trip. The point being that the trip is a long one which obviously means it was important to the main character, and not fulfilling their intentions has to be a pretty serious bummer for them. Or does it? 

      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the 1970 album Pharoah buy jazz musician Pharoah Sanders.










      Friday, September 6, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #6: Ekphrastic Baggage


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


      #6
      Ekphrastic Baggage

      For today, we're going to write a poem or prose piece inspired by another piece of art or an ekphrastic piece. The piece of art in question is the following image by artist Asher ReTech.



      If nothing right off strikes you try the following exercises along with the image.


      1.  What caused the tear in the corner of the suitcase? Write that narrative in under 100 words.
      2.  Write three sentences that include something in the image and the phrase "thirteen foot fall", one being no more than seven words total.
      3.  Who owned this suitcase? Has it been resold? Write a paragraph/stanza that tells the transaction history of the suitcase.
      4.  Write a list of at least eight places that the suitcase has been, be specific including proper names and places.
      5.  Write three sentences about the luggage owner's experience on at least three of the places listed in #4.
      6.  Colorize the image (describe the image imagining it in color).
      7.  Pick your three favorite details from #6 and write a short poem or prose vignette about the suitcase surviving an explosion using those details within the narrative.

      This ekphrastic exercise has an even better bonus than normal. It is the September Ekphrastic Contest over at the fantastic journal Rattle. If you can wrangle a piece you're proud of send it their way! The deadline is September 30th and it's free to submit your poem (no prose, sorry fictioneers).


      ---

      If you'd like background writing music try the album "From Paris with Love" by the Skatalites.




      Thursday, September 5, 2019

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #5: The Same Repetition


      The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

      These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


      #5
      The Same Repetition

      For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following phrase at least four times (non-sequentially):

      "The same way as always."

        Think of various things that are done repetitiously. Whether it's something like setting the table for dinner, starting a fire, gutting a piece of livestock, washing hands. Try to use either the same one thing multiple times or use multiple things to show the difference between things regularly done and things that are unique. Or do something completely different. Just be sure that the repeated phrase earns its worth in your piece. It should be necessary.

        Bonus Exercise: Also include at least 3 sentences that are four words or fewer, and include the words "Bulbous" "Timid" and "Grout".
        ------------------------------------

        If you'd like some background music to write to, try something a little different with this bit of Balkans gypsy folk music from the group Taraf de Haidouks.










        Wednesday, September 4, 2019

        Fall Writing Exercise Series #4: 3x5x10 Wordbank 1


        The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

        These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.


        #4
        3x5x10 Wordbank 1

        For today's writing exercise complete the following steps.

        1) Pick one word from each of three groups and write a sentence that includes all of the words, feel free to change tense, pluralize, gerund etc. 
        2) Repeat the process ten (10) times using different combinations. No dawdling!
        3) Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least three (3) of those sentences. Try to use as many of the sentences or fragments of your sentences as you can.


        Word Bank 1:
        • Explicit
        • Triumphant
        • Tool
        • Flute
        • Harden
        Wordbank 2:
        • Swelter
        • Hunt
        • Chore
        • Flit
        • Crow
        Wordbank 3:
        • Maple
        • Tangelo
        • Chunky
        • Port
        • Planter

        ------------------------------------

        If you'd like some background music to write to, try folk musician Emmylou Harris' Greatest Hits.







        Tuesday, September 3, 2019

        Fall Writing Exercise Series #3: Title Mania Plus with Django 01


        The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

        These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.
        #3
        Title Mania Plus with Django 01

        For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. For a bonus challenge use the additional exercise of five random constraints.


        Titles:
        1. At Nine on Halloween
        2. Around a Lamppost
        3. Feeding Pigeons Stale Bread
        4. Rheumatic 
        5. Growths

        Bonus Exercise: 5 Random Constraints
        1. Your second paragraph or stanza must be one sentence of no more than 12 words.
        2. You must include at least five words which begin with the letter K
        3. You must begin three sentences or lines with the word "Tiny"
        4. You must include at least five words that rhyme with "Splat"
        5. You cannot use the words "Did" "Do, "Had" or "Has".


        ------------------------------------

        If you'd like some background music to write to, try Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli's album "I Got Rhythm".




        Monday, September 2, 2019

        Fall Writing Exercise Series #2: From Kitchen to Shoe Beginning & Ending 01


        The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

        These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.
        #2
        From Kitchen to Shoe Beginning & Ending 01 
        For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with one image, scenario, line of dialog or place and ends with another, and an optional additional requirement.


        Begin With: A character cooking.

        End With: The same character holding a bloody shoe.


        Extra Credit Requirements: Include a song lyric at least five words long, and the words: "Timber", "Quaint" and "Jalapeno".
        ------------------------------------

        If you'd like some background music to write to, try the ambiance music from Grizzly Hills in World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion.




        Sunday, September 1, 2019

        Fall Writing Exercise Series #1: Literary Mad Libs Episode 001 "Come Slow—Eden!"


        The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

        These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect.

        If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes, and you will produce dozens of sections of prose or poetry fragments you can utilize in your writing outside of these exercises, a good number of decent pieces as well as a few stinkers and some absolute gems.

        For the exercises, have a piece of paper or a word processing file fresh and ready. Working digitally is ideal for some exercises whereas others are easy to do however you'd like. If you enjoy the process I recommend keeping all of your notebooking together so you can do some of the revision exercises later in the fall. Some of the exercises are longer in this series, but background music will be at the bottom of the post if you want to scroll down and get that going while you work.

        The most important thing during these exercises is to not overthink what you're writing. Don't let yourself spend more than a minute or two without writing something new. If you're revising something you can't solve, move on and get back to it later when you've ruminated some more. More forward always.

        #1
         Literary Mad Libs Episode 001 "Come Slow—Eden!"

        For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which begins with a mad lib. It happens to be a mad lib of a relatively famous short poem, but don't let that sway you. Fill out the following word or phrase requests then click down and plug them into the mad lib below the jump.

        Your words:

        1) Adverb:___________________________
        2) A pleasant place (proper name):__________________________
        3) Body part:_______________________________
        4) Person name:____________________________
        5) Adjective:_____________________________
        6) Verb:_____________________________
        7) Type of flower:____________________________
        8) A gerund verb (ing):_____________________________
        9) Insect or animal that rhymes or slant rhymes with #4:___________________
        10) A gerund verb (ing):_________________________
        11) A place (non-proper name):________________________
        12) An audible verb:_______________________
        13) Something that can be considered "precious":________________________
        14) Verb:___________________________
        15) Slant rhyme with #12 which could be considered somewhat pleasant:______________

        Now write out the following poem with your words in the indicated places and we'll get to the meat of the exercise.