10/21/19

Fall Writing Exercise Series #51: Ekphrastic Anonymity


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.

#51
Ekphrastic Anonymity

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 "Where No One Knows Our Names" by artist Tim Murray. Here's a place to buy his prints. I get a sortfuturistic Roy Lichtenstein from his work, especially District Dark.




If nothing right off strikes you try the following exercises along with the image. There are many nice details about this image. Notice the multiple empty 'beer' cans and the man's recently cut face bearing a fresh bandage, the star tattoo. Multiple humongous advertisements, there are numerous stickers/decals on the speeder bike and a series of repeated pyramid-shaped buildings in the distance topped with gigantic satellite dishes.
  1.  Tell us the story of the previous two hours where the man got that cut and subsequent bandage—leading to this image, and then one more scene. Was it a gang fight, bar brawl, falling scaffolding, attack alien pitbull defending the junkyard where he'd broken into to steal parts for his racer....
  2. These young lovers are a pair of professional thieves waiting for their mark/their employer to contact them with information. Give us a short scene to get to know these two then send us on an adventure including a high speed chase on their speeder and one of those huge advertisements being destroyed.
  3. The characters that are the main focus are all green, however the faces in the advertisements are all red. In this world there is a division between two races which are green and red and there is a cultural/caste divide. Show us an evening with these green folk navigating the futuristic alien city.
  4. The couple is spending one last night in the city before they board a ship and leave the planet. Where are they going and why? What do they do during their last night there? Are they both leaving or only one? Bring us all the way to the departure.

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If you'd like background writing music try the album Kings of Ska by the Skatalites.


10/20/19

Fall Writing Exercise Series #50: Three Things and a Random Title 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.

#50
For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following three things, using a title generated by the random title generator linked below. Nice and simple. If you're not intimately familiar with these things do a little reading and see if a piece of info sticks out.


Title:
 Use this phrase/idiom generator. Get a look at the 3 things below that you must use and generate phrases 10 at a time. Add on 1-3 words if you'd like, as idioms alone make for kind of boring titles.

  1. A bus stop
  2. A bottle of sparkling water
  3. A chullo (hat)



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If you'd like some background music to write to, try lo fi producer Jinsang's album Solitude.




10/19/19

Fall Writing Exercise Series #49: Backstory 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.

#49
Backstory 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):

"There's a reason ______ never learned to ______"

    Imagine either a real or fictional person who has not learned many common life lessons or how to do or use common things, and make your reasons be interesting/outlandish or very concise. Try to use this as both a lead into the reason, and as a summation, as in, tell the narrative that explains why the character never learned to do something, and finish it with the repetition. 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 two instances where rhyming words appear back to back, and include the words "Wrestle" "Flick" "Mosquito" and "Caterpillar".
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    If you'd like some background music to write to, try the toe album the book about my idle plot on a vague anxiety.














    10/18/19

    For Your Enjoyment: Friday Flash Fiction #1 | 10-18-19


    There are hundreds upon hundreds of journals out there publishing fantastic writing, and it's impossible to read everything. I'm not collecting every great piece, just some. Good reads. Good, quick reads. For this first issue I'm focusing on microfiction and the very shortest end of flash fiction, cutting off around 250 words. Enjoy the hint fiction, micro fiction, flash fiction, sudden fiction, whatever you want to call them, and maybe try your hand at some of the exercises.




    Johnnys On The Half Shell
    by Mark Pearson

    Salty winds stung his scowling face as he reviewed the Dear John Snapchat, the shore pines resolute before the cliff. A dark blue seascape beckoned 20 fathoms below. Jump, said the purple starfish on the inter-tidal rocks, basking in the cool sun. Don’t you have enough smartphones? asked the seal. Not an iPhone X with a charged battery, said the echinoderm. Dibs on his eyes, said the crab, clinging to the barnacle covered basalt, seaweed hanging like long green Jheri curls. You Cancers are all the same, said the Octopus. The cephalopod flashed JUSTDOIT in red letters across his body.
    %%%%%%%%%%%

    Originally published in the newest issue of Micro Fiction Monday Magazine (88).
    There's much to admire about this piece. I like the surreal world of the sea life with the starfish collecting phones and a rivalry between octopus and crab. The new tech version of the same old goodbye it's over letter, and some good nature description sprinkled in with the humor. It also has that second layer dipping into the mindset of someone suicidal, in that moment, seeing signs to do it everywhere.

    Micro Fiction Monday Magazine is a monthly magazine of micro fiction only (100 words or fewer). They are a very eclectic journal, barring extreme experimentation perhaps, but 100 words is a very short space, and their stories are very varied.

    Potential exercise: Write a short piece in which a person in turmoil begins to see signs everywhere in nature (perhaps exploring the idea of signs themselves, and how perspective comes into play).


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    Rehearsal
    by Thomas Michael Duncan

    Turns out there’s always work for a corpse. I’m talking movies, TV, emopunk music videos, texting-and-driving commercials, crime scene reenactments, all that jazz. If you’ve turned on your cable box in the last month, you’ve seen me dead. Most of my appearances are in the first two minutes of police dramas. Sometimes the script calls for me to be naked, washed up on a beach with seaweed in my hair. Sometimes I play a woman corpse; they position me facedown, shave my back, and put a red curly wig on my head. Open casket scenes are best because I wear a clean suit and coffins are lined with satin. More often I’m discovered in a dumpster, bloody with shackle bruises on my ankles and wrists, or bunched up and stuffed into a front loader at an abandoned laundromat. I get really into my parts. I can keep my eyes open for almost an hour without blinking. I can breathe for a whole day without expanding my chest cavity. When I’m dead, I think dead people thoughts, like what year is it? and where am I buried? and how many ounces in a pint? I block out my surroundings so well that I don’t always come back to life when the scene ends. If this happens, the production assistant dumps a glass of water over my head. That usually does the trick. Last fall I costarred with Dwayne Johnson. It was during his Dwayne Johnson phase. I played his dead brother. DJ cradled me in his gorilla arms and cried and shook like a paint can mixer at Home Depot. I acted dead. DJ didn’t stop crying until after lunch. My agent says I’m the most convincing corpse he’s ever seen, and he’s seen actual corpses. Auditions can be tough—the competition is stiff. Sorry. That’s an industry joke. But really, casting is uncomfortable. The directors shout at me, kick me, call me names, eat plates of linguine off my back. But I am dead as a dinosaur. They usually apologize after. My girlfriend decided we should try role playing, but she always wanted me to play the same part. We broke up. It was mutual. Now I have the apartment to myself so I can rehearse whenever I like. I play loud music and leave all the widows open and door unlocked and shower running in hopes that someone will discover me. That’s my one fantasy. It would be the absolute height of my career to be mistaken for a corpse by a pedestrian. I imagine being declared dead, fooling even the coroner. I would remain in character until the first shovel of dirt hit the mahogany.

    %%%%%%%%%%%

    Originally published in Conium Review and was a finalist for their 2016 prize. This piece was featured on their online compendium. I was intrigued by the unusual occupation, which carries you through the piece with quirky, believable details. The confessional nature of the piece is also compelling, with the little fourth wall break for an admittedly cheesy joke. 

    Conium Review is a quirky print journal with an online component that, in their words: "publishes innovative writing. We lean toward unconventional plots, bizarre settings, and experimental language. Get weird with it."

    Potential exercise: Write a short piece which is a person telling the reader about their interesting job. Not what I'm suggesting, but the concept does remind me of the story "Orientation" by Daniel Orozco.

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    #20 
    by Brendan Connolly

    at a bar in brooklyn late at night, a woman taps me on the shoulder and asks if she heard me correctly, that i/d seen hamilton twice? 

    i had made a joke to jackie the woman overheard and apparently she took it very seriously

    well, i say, only once really. the second time tom brought giselle and the kids, but they started crying and we had to leave early

    excuse me, she says, tom and giselle?

    yeah, i say sipping my beer casually, my cousin tom. you might know him, tom brady?

    on the subway back to her apartment, jackie leans her head against my shoulder and i can see her reflection in the glass across the car

    you know, she says closing her eyes, in the whole time i/ve lived here, i dont think i/ve ever seen someone so likely to be stabbed for a good reason



    %%%%%%%%%%%

    Originally published in the first issue of Chestnut Review this micro fiction is the story of a good date told in two snippets. The first one shows a person being a smart ass, something very relatable to a lot of writers, or, at least this one, and of the couple riding the subway home, the 'she' resting her head on the narrator's shoulder and closing her eyes—a definitive gesture of closeness and comfort, I'd recommend that whole issue, it's short and filled with good stuff.

    Chestnut Review is a promising young journal with just one short issue, and one issue hot off the digital presses so far, but it is very solid. I get a nice vibe from their aesthetic, many of the pieces falling under the wide umbrella of Ultra-Talk or Stand-Up Poetry, accessible, often somewhat personal, narrative-based with some wit. My kinda writing!

    Potential exercise: Write a short piece which tells the story of the relationship between two people (romantic or otherwise) in two very short, very telling scenes which are at least 1/3 dialog, more like 1/2 being ideal.

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    La Gorda
    by Nick Mansito

    Help me move this dresser to clean behind it.

    Why? No one’s gonna see back there.

    She looked at me like I had three heads.

    No one’s gonna see your ass, but you still wash it, right?

    I was seven. Her anger, a flashbang. I braced for the beating. Behind us, the TV reported another child abduction and murder in Hialeah.

    If someone grabs you, you yell and scratch his face, dig your fingers into his eyes like nails.

    She painfully got down on one knee. Eye-to-eye: And squeeze his nuts. She mimed the action, her hand holding the world.


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    Originally published in 100 Word Story this micro fiction shows a glimpse into the complexity of parenting. Where the parent won't shy from dealing out a beating, the thought of someone else harming their child (and to be fair, murder is hardly comparable to a 'whooping' in terms of severity, but the violence exists in both) pushes the mom into momma grizzly mode. The nature of family and other, survival being the intention of the beatings after all.

    100 Word Story is a fun journal where each story has to be exactly 100 words. In their words 
    The 100-word format forces the writer to question each word, to reckon with Flaubert’s mot juste in a way that even most flash fiction doesn’t. At the same time the brevity of the form allows the writer “to keep a story free from explanation,” as Walter Benjamin wrote. For life doesn’t lend itself so easily to our elucidations. “Incoherence is preferable to a distorting order,” said Roland Barthes. None of us will ever know the whole story in other words. We can only collect a bag full of shards that each seem perfect.

    Potential exercise: Write a short piece which tells the story of the relationship between two people (romantic or otherwise) in two very short, very telling scenes which are at least 1/3 dialog, more like 1/2 being ideal.

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    Fall Writing Exercise Series #48: Six Word Shootout with Jim 06


    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.

    #48
    Six Word Shootout with Jim 06

    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!). Also feel free to make slight alterations to the required words if you want to avoid that eye-pokey repetition you can find in sestinas sometimes.

    Required Words: Grown, Won, Curve, Blue, Less, Ball

    Bonus Exercise: That's right, you're perfectly set up for a baseball piece (insert Cubs joke). For a little bonus inspiration, try including a baseball game playing on the radio/streaming audio.
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    If you'd like some background music to write to, try Jim Croce's Greatest Hits.














    10/17/19

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #47: Erasing The Crystal Egg 10


    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.

    #47
    Erasing The Crystal Egg 10

    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 either "The Condition of Things on Mars" "Causeways and Terraces" "Among Certain Lichenous Trees" or "Neither More Nor Less Than Our Own Familiar Earth".

    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

    And where was this other world? On this, also, the alert intelligence of Mr. Wace speedily threw light. After sunset, the sky darkened rapidly — there was a very brief twilight interval indeed — and the stars shone out. They were recognisably the same as those we see, arranged in the same constellations. Mr. Cave recognised the Bear, the Pleiades, Aldebaran, and Sirius; so that the other world must be somewhere in the solar system, and, at the utmost, only a few hundreds of millions of miles from our own. Following up this clue, Mr. Wace learned that the midnight sky was a darker blue even than our midwinter sky, and that the sun seemed a little smaller. And there were two small moons! “like our moon but smaller, and quite differently marked,” one of which moved so rapidly that its motion was clearly visible as one regarded it. These moons were never high in the sky, but vanished as they rose: that is, every time they revolved they were eclipsed because they were so near their primary planet. And all this answers quite completely, although Mr. Cave did not know it, to what must be the condition of things on Mars.

    Indeed, it seems an exceedingly plausible conclusion that peering into this crystal Mr. Cave did actually see the planet Mars and its inhabitants. And if that be the case, then the evening star that shone so brilliantly in the sky of that distant vision was neither more nor less than our own familiar earth.

    For a time the Martians — if they were Martians — do not seem to have known of Mr. Cave’s inspection. Once or twice one would come to peer, and go away very shortly to some other mast, as though the vision was unsatisfactory. During this time Mr. Cave was able to watch the proceedings of these winged people without being disturbed by their attentions, and although his report is necessarily vague and fragmentary, it is nevertheless very suggestive. Imagine the impression of humanity a Martian observer would get who, after a difficult process of preparation and with considerable fatigue to the eyes, was able to peer at London from the steeple of St. Martin’s Church for stretches, at longest, of four minutes at a time. Mr. Cave was unable to ascertain if the winged Martians were the same as the Martians who hopped about the causeways and terraces, and if the latter could put on wings at will. He several times saw certain clumsy bipeds, dimly suggestive of apes, white and partially translucent, feeding among certain of the lichenous trees, and once some of these fled before one of the hopping, round-headed Martians. The latter caught one in its tentacles, and then the picture faded suddenly and left Mr. Cave most tantalisingly in the dark. On another occasion a vast thing, that Mr. Cave thought at first was some gigantic insect, appeared advancing along the causeway beside the canal with extraordinary rapidity. As this drew nearer Mr. Cave perceived that it was a mechanism of shining metals and of extraordinary complexity. And then, when he looked again, it had passed out of sight.
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    If you'd like some background music to write to, try the album Share What You Got by folk punk rockers Defiance, Ohio.





    10/15/19

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #45: 3x5x10+ Wordbank 07


    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.


    #45
    3x5x10+ Wordbank 07
    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 five (5) sentences that are five words or fewer in length that use any two (2) words.
    4) Now write three (3) sentences that use four or more of the words.
    5) Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least three (3) of those sentences. Try to use as many of the (good) sentences as you can, or parts of the sentences if the whole thing doesn't fit or works better altered.


    Word Bank 1:
    • Treachery
    • Knoll
    • Gauze
    • Slice
    • Yosemite
    Wordbank 2:
    • Tornado
    • Basil
    • Broth
    • Rebound
    • Camisole
    Wordbank 3:
    • Rim
    • Hefty
    • Coarse
    • Avenue
    • Cadence

    Bonus writing exercise: Include in your piece something making a loud noise approaching and passing without being seen.
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    Want some different background writing music? Try the album A Groovy Thing by Flamingosis.














    10/14/19

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #44: Breakage Beginning & Ending 07


    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.
    #44

    Breakage Beginning & Ending 07
    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 container of liquid falling and smashing/breaking.

    End With: The narrator watching construction equipment breaking up the ground.


    Extra Credit RequirementsInclude at least one mixed up idiom from this list (mostly right, but part of it misremembered), and the words: "Bounding" "Tussle" "Homecoming" and "Wolf".


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    If you'd like some background music to write to, try the side street lofi mix from The Jazz Hop Cafe.









    10/13/19

    Fall Writing Exercise Series #43 Title Mania Plus Combat 07


    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.
    #43
    Title Mania Plus Combat 07

    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. The Last Croquet Wick
    2. Two-Week Furlough 
    3. Open Aperture 
    4. To the Homeless Man Quietly Eating BBQ-ed Pigeon over the Garbage Can Fire at 4:15am
    5. Fight or Flight

    Bonus Exercise: 5 Random Constraints
    (I recommend picking any required words or lines before writing with a little surplus for options, but with your chosen title in mind)
    1. Your second paragraph must be a single sentence of no more than three words.
    2. You must include at least six words which begin with the letter combination "Cl".
    3. You must include one sentence (or at least 5 consecutive words) from the bipedal poem “How Do I Know When I’ve Suffered Enough?” by Ace Boggess in Notre Dame Review's online component.
    4. You must include one sentence that has five words that end with either a hard t or hard k sound.
    5. You must describe the smell of at least 2 things.


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    If you'd like some background music to write to, try the 1994 release of France's most famous emcee "Prose Combat" by MC Solaar.







    10/12/19

    Know Your Literary Journals: Mochila Review (Undergraduates only magazine)



    Mochila Review is an annual international undergraduate journal published out of Missouri Western State University. The editors/readers are undergraduates and they only accept submissions from undergraduates. In there words "Our goal is to publish the best short stories, poems, and essays from the next generation of important authors: student writers"

    Know any writers that are currently undergraduates?: Encourage them to polish up some work and submit!

    Here is their Duotrope Page.


    Mark your calendar: Their regular submissions are from September 1 - May 1. They also have a contest, the Undergraduate MoRe Prize (for short fiction) with a submission window of October 1 – December 1.
    What it costs to submit: Regular submissions have no fee. The Undergraduate MoRe Prize costs $5 to submit and has $50 prize. That is a prize of only 10 submission's entry fees, so they probably don't receive many submissions, making your chances better.
    What to submit: Five poems or one piece of prose (fiction or essay).
    Do they have a podcast?: They do! And there's a lot of episodes to check out here.



    -


    I've emailed them a few questions about their aesthetics, we'll see if they respond.



    Fall Writing Exercise Series #42: Seeding 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.


    #42
    Seeding 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):

    "Another seed planted"

      Think of not only actual plants that grow from seeds but also those seeds as a metaphor. The chrysalis of concepts, the spark of imagination, the impetus of invention. Think of seeds that are planted in unusual ways or inadvertently. 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 two instances where rhyming words appear back to back, and include the words "Grip" "Shift" "Jerry-rig" and "Funnel".
      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the 1985 debut self-titled album of the "Minneapolis Sound" pop band from Minneapolis The Jets.














      10/11/19

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #41: Six Word Shootout with Jetpacks 05


      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.


      #41
      Six Word Shootout with Jetpacks 05

      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!). Also feel free to make slight alterations to the required words if you want to avoid that eye-pokey repetition you can find in sestinas sometimes.

      Required Words: Tell, Poker, Flop, Weak, Club, Squirm

      Bonus Exercise: That's right, you're perfectly set up for a gambling piece. For a little bonus inspiration, try setting your game on a picnic table in either a very busy city park or a deserted one.
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      If you'd like some background music to write to, try "These Four Walls" from Scottish indie rockers with one of the best band names around dealing with the disappointments of the past's 'future' We Were Promised Jetpacks.













      10/10/19

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #40: Three Things and a Random Title 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.

      #40
      For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following three things, using a title generated by the random title generator linked below. Nice and simple. If you're not intimately familiar with these things do a little reading and see if a piece of info sticks out.

      Title: Use this simple title generator. Click adjectives until you find one you like and then click through nouns until you have something intriguing. That's your title.

      1. A Pier (or Dock)
      2. A Yellow Carnation
      3. A Butterfinger Candy Bar



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      If you'd like some background music to write to, try Amerigo Gazaway's Bizarre Tribe - A Quest to The Pharcyde



      10/9/19

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #39: 3x5x10+ Wordbank 06


      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.


      #39
      3x5x10+ Wordbank 06
      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 five (5) sentences that are five words or fewer in length that use any two (2) words.
      4) Now write three (3) sentences that use four or more of the words.
      5) Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least three (3) of those sentences. Try to use as many of the (good) sentences as you can, or parts of the sentences if the whole thing doesn't fit or works better altered.


      Word Bank 1:
      • Flash
      • Stream
      • Pew
      • Cheetah
      • America
      Wordbank 2:
      • March
      • Eclipse
      • Froth
      • Frenzied
      • Whimsy
      Wordbank 3:
      • Snuff
      • Lime
      • Escalator
      • Coaster
      • Wasp

      Bonus writing exercise: Include in your piece a description of something moving fast in the narrator's peripheral vision that startles them but turns out to be innocuous.
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      Want some different background writing music? Try this collection of pan flute music by Costantin Moscovici .













      10/8/19

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #38: Threats of Closeness Beginning & Ending 06


      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.
      #38

      Threats of Closeness Beginning & Ending 06
      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 line of dialog (after no more than eight words of exposition /description): "Not-so-famous last words."

      End With: The line: Fit so tightly together you couldn't slide a five dollar bill between them.


      Extra Credit RequirementsInclude at least one mixed up idiom from this list (mostly right, but part of it misremembered), and the words: "Pistol" "Garnish" "Fragrant" and "Granite".


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      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the side street lofi mix from The Jazz Hop Cafe.









      10/7/19

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #37 Title Mania Plus Crooning 06


      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.
      #37
      Title Mania Plus Crooning 06

      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. One Last Dropkick
      2. Wee-Wee-Wee All the Way Home
      3. Turnbuckle 
      4. Before Breakfast 
      5. Like a Parasol Sailing in the Wind

      Bonus Exercise: 5 Random Constraints
      (I recommend picking any required words or lines before writing with a little surplus for options, but with your chosen title in mind)
      1. Your last sentence must include a list of three items.
      2. You must include at least six words which begin with the letter combination "At".
      3. You must include one sentence (or at least 7 consecutive words) from the wonderful anaphoric poem "I Wake at Four & Drive to the Mountains" by Marcus Myers in Aquifer, the Florida Review's online component.
      4. You must include one sentence that describes a scene including some sort of plastic item that is very out of place.
      5. You must describe something being "like a mouth full of sand" or something very similar.


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      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the greatest hits of crooner Paul Anka.







      10/6/19

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #36: Ekphrastic Flower Shop


      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.

      #36
      Ekphrastic Flower Shop

      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 digital artist Tamaki.



      If nothing right off strikes you try the following exercises along with the image. The perspective of this painting is from quite low—who is looking up at this young lady in the rain? Is it a sunken shop or elevated sidewalk or is the person seeing this image on the floor for some reason? This will be the focus of our ekphrastic exercises if you don't have an idea immediately.
      1. Your narrator is the florist that has slipped and hit their head. The painting is a hallucination of someone from their past. Don't dwell on the fall or injury, in fact, try to avoid beginning with the fall, but don't make it a 'twist' unless you set it up properly.
      2. This flower shop is in an area with frequent flooding that has resulted in the raised walkway and a dip in business. Write a short piece that bemoans the loss of business while hoping this young woman enters your shop (speculating on why she would need flowers) and also meditating on one other thing in the mix of your choice.
      3. Describe the scene writing from a non-human perspective.
      4. The narrator is hiding in the closed flower shop hoping not to be seen, but why? You tell us!

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      If you'd like background writing music try this eponymous album by Brazillian musicians Paulinho Nogueira & Toquinho.



      10/5/19

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #35: Stupid Six Word Shootout 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.


      #35
      Stupid Six Word Shootout 04

      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: Ear, Ant, Wise, Ring, Flecks, Free

      Bonus Exercise: As all of the words are homonyms or suffixes, even if you aren't writing a sestina, include at least 3 different versions of each of the words (Flecks/flex/reflex, Aunt/ant/can't/dominant etc).
      Bonus Exercise 2: Include someone twisting their ankle.
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      If you'd like some background music to write to, try the album Stupidity by Bad Manners.












      10/4/19

      Fall Writing Exercise Series #34: Differential 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.


      #34
      Differential 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):

      "Nothing at all like _______."

        Think of various things that might be compared that are similar in one way but very different in others. Think of things that are complete opposites and then find things that are similar to the opposite thing and compare the new thing and the original. Just, you know, explore juxtapositions for a bit and find a running theme. 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 one description of a stuffed animal, and include the words "Poolside" "Radiate" "Linen" and "Ruby".
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        If you'd like some background music to write to, try the debut studio album Based on a True Story by New Zealand ska band Fat Freddy's Drop. It has a definite 40oz to Freedom vibe.