9/20/20

2020 Writing Exercise Series #262: Title Mania Plus 40


The Notebooking Daily 2020 Writing Series is here! These are 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.
#262
Title Mania Plus 40

For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. Before you write, first read the poem from which the titles are selected. For a bonus challenge use the additional exercise of five random constraints.

Today's titles come from "Calexico" by Michael Juliani from Sixth Finch. Go read it!

Titles:
  1. A Hearse Parked Outside
  2. In Sunday School I Remember
  3. My Father
  4. The Buoys, A Hundred Yards From Shore
  5. Make Me Believe
  6. The State Police Brought Him Down

Bonus Exercise: Three Things
(Your piece must also include the following three 'things')
  1. A Dentist
  2. Aloe Vera
  3. A Golf Ball
------------------------------------

If you'd like some background music to write to, try W.A. Mozart: Piano Quartet No. 1

9/19/20

2020 Writing Exercise Series #261: Six Word Shootout 27


The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

#261
Six Word Shootout 27

For today's writing exercise write a piece that includes the following six words. While it perfectly sets you up for a sestina, and I am a sucker for homonyms, feel free to write whatever you'd like (but ya know, maybe 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.

This one's for the hive!

Required Words: 

1) Match
2) Cool
3) Wrench
4) Flour
5) Steel
6) Palm

-
Bonus Exercise: Include the following three things in your piece: A Tulip, A Cigarette Filter, A Rolled Up Rug.
------------------------------------

If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Last Airbender" lofi mix.

9/18/20

2020 Writing Exercise Series #260 Don't blame Anaphora—Repetition Files 13


The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

#260
Don't blame Anaphora—Repetition Files 13

For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which focuses on repetition. In this instance we will work with anaphora. It's a handy little bit of poetic craft that goes a little something like this:

the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines to create a sonic effect.
Take a moment and read the above-linked Poetry Foundation article, even if you know the term. For even more fun check out this longer article called Adventures in Anaphora.

Your mission is to use the following phrase to begin at least 5 sentences.

The word or phrase we'll use for our exercise today is:

"Don't blame..."

    There are a number of ways you could approach this bit of anaphora. Just be sure that the repeated phrase earns its worth in your piece, and it should in some way build upon what came before it. The repetition should be necessary and not merely redundant.

    Bonus Exercise: Include these five words into your piece "Monstrous" "Blinking" "Frothy" "Mustard" and "Oak".
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try Dizzy Gillespie's classic 1955 album "Groovin' High"

    9/17/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #259: Three Things Together 41


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

    #259
    Three Things Together 41

    F
    or today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following three things, Nice and simple.
    1. Igneous Rock
    2. Rome
    3. A Flute
    ------------------------------------

    Bonus 'Beginning and Ending' Exercise: Begin your piece with silence being punctuated (broken) by a short loud sound of some sort, and end it with someone eating a specific type of berry.

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Study on Clouds" lo-fi mix from Feardog.

    9/16/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #258: Erasing Roger Ebert 8 "The Frisco Kid"


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

    #258
    Erasing Roger Ebert 8 "The Frisco Kid"

    For today's exercise we have split paths for fiction and poetry, though I highly recommend that even fiction writers try the poetry exercise, because erasures can be a blast!

    For poetry do an erasure or black-out poem from the following:  Roger Ebert's review of the 1979 film "The Frisco Kid" (2 stars) starring Gene Wilder.

    Roger Ebert has been the stereotypical film critic for decades, and he's written thousands of reviews. Because of their nature, almost their own bit of ekphrastic art, this series of erasures will be lots of fun!

    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 'bingo' occurs multiple times and could be a good touchstone for your piece.

    If you insist on fiction (or just feel like writing a "Title Mania" piece), write a piece with one of these six titles taken from this section:

    1. Once, a Long Time Ago on the Champs Elysee
    2. The New Land in 1850 (or Thereabouts)
    3. Almost Exactly Zero
    4. Costume Jokes, Puns and Double Entendres
    5. The Unsuccessful
    6. Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother

    Erasure Selection:

    Roger Ebert's review of "The Frisco Kid"

    Once a long time ago on the Champs Elysee in Paris, of all places, I saw "Cat Ballou" and was forever after spoiled on the subject of comic Westerns. I laughed, indeed, at a great deal of "Blazing Saddles" but was that really a comic Western, or just an extension of Mel Brooks' all-purpose comic vision? But I haven't seen anything else to even approach "Cat Ballou" and Lee Marvin's drunken horse, and that includes the new Gene Wilder movie, "The Frisco Kid."

    The movie's based on a good idea, yes: Wilder plays a Polish rabbinical student who places so far down in his class that the Jewish elders decide there's only one place for him, and that's San Francisco. So he's sent to the New Land in 1850 or thereabouts, and he's expected to make his way through the Wild West and eventually serve a congregation in the midst of the Gold Rush.

    What are the chances of this naive, unexperienced schlemeil making it across the continent? Almost exactly zero. But then along comes a gunslinging desperado (Harrison Ford, of "Star Wars") to take pity on the poor rabbi and help guide him through the deserts and the Indians and a goodly supply of other gunslinging desperados.

    As I say, a good idea. But what approach do you take to this material? What's your comic tone? "The Frisco Kid" tries for almost every possible tone. It has slapstick (Wilder, on a railroad work gang, consistently slamming his sledgehammer down on the toes of the biggest member of the gang). It has poignancy (Wilder and Ford get to like and respect one another, and it's a shame when they have to part). It has dialect jokes and costume jokes, puns and double entendres, romance (a bride awaits Wilder in San Francisco) and action (Wilder is taken captive by Indians).

    But what it doesn't have is a consistent comic logic to lead us through its Western smorgasbord. The movie's director is Robert Aldrich, who is one of Hollywood's most consistent craftsmen and who, theoretically, should have been ideal for this material: He's made a semispeciality out of action-oriented semicomedies about bands of men (his credits include "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Longest Yard" (1974) as well as the unsuccessful "The Choirboys").

    But Aldrich's best movies have had a certain ironic, satirical tone to them: "The Dirty Dozen" was a study in cynicism. "The Frisco Kid," on the other hand, has a certain softness at its center. The Wilder character has a sweetness, a niceness, that's interesting for the character but doesn't seem to work with this material.

    It's really nobody's movie. The screenplay has been around Hollywood for several years, and Aldrich seems to have taken it on as a routine assignment. What's poignant about the film is that Wilder's performance is such a nice one. He's likable, plucky, versatile. He is, in fact, as good an actor here as he's ever been before, and at his own brand of complex vulnerability Gene Wilder has never been surpassed. The challenge is to find the right vehicle, to find a character like Sherlock Holmes' smarter brother. Wilder needs that certain cynical edge to play against. In a character of mostly pleasant dimensions, he gets lost.
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try "kit kat morning" our friend Feardog.

    9/15/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #257: First Line Bonanza 12


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

    #257
    First Line Bonanza 12

    For today's writing exercise write a piece that begins with one of the following first lines.

    1. It began with one peck.
    2. Real humans interacting naturally—that's the goal.
    3. The children ran together under the growing buzz of streetlights springing to life in the twilight.
    4. Music from next door softly vibrated through the wall.
    5. "Mostly innocuous," she teased before turning off the light.
    -

    Bonus Exercise: You must include the following five words in your piece: Toad, Plate, Bluntly, Claim, Skate.
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Studio Ghibli Jazz Beats" lofi mix.

    9/14/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #256: 3x5x7 Wordbank Sprints 35


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.
    #256
    3x5x7 Wordbank Sprints 35
    For today's writing exercise complete the following steps. The wordbank exercise has changed so be sure to take a peek at the new 'rules'. I recommend using the timer on your phone or computer and setting it for 1 minute. Each time you write a sentence, quickly reset the timer. If it goes off before you're finished with the sentence—wrap it up ASAP!

    In order to complete the large number of sentences demanded of this exercise it is imperative that you write fast. Don't think too much at all until you've reached the final exercise. The process of this quick production is to thrust past second guesses or other stumbling blocks that sometimes impede your writing. You're aiming to write 23 sentences in at most 20 minutes so you have ten minutes to organize and write that actual piece, so you're going to be writing more than a sentence a minute.

    WRITE FAST, DON'T OVERTHINK


    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. Repeat the process five (5) times using different combinations. No dawdling! 
    2. Now write three (3) sentences that are six (6) words or fewer in length that use any two (2) words from the wordbanks.
    3. Now write three (3) sentences that use four (4) or more of the words.
    4. Now write five (5) sentences which begin with one (1) of the words and contain a second one (1) of the words.
    5. Now write five (5) sentences which are fewer than ten (10) words in length and conclude with one (1) of the words from the wordbanks. Remember, keep up the pace! Don't overthink!
    6. Now rephrase two (2) of your sentences from exercise #1 in either a more efficient or more descriptive manner.
    7. Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least three (3) of the sentences you've written throughout this process of exercises. 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:
    • Drooped
    • Fragmented
    • Eroded
    • Zero
    • Quartz
    Wordbank 2:
    • Doorknob
    • Jumpy
    • Pear
    • Carrot
    • Uprising

    Wordbank 3
    :
    • Outlet
    • Green
    • Velvet
    • Polaroid
    • Criminal

    Bonus writing exercise: Include the word "Triumph" (or Triumphant) in your opening sentence, and in the piece you must include a type of tree by name.

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

    Want some unobtrusive background writing music? Try this "Morning Chill Music" lofi playlist from our friends at Feardog.

    9/13/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #255: Between a Fact and an Exact Place 21


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.
    #255
    Between a Fact and an Exact Place 21


    For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following place (either as the setting, referenced or some aspect of it described) and the following fact in some way (its discovery, used as a metaphor, witnessed etc).
    Exact Place:  The Rings of Saturn 


    As an additional assignment, should you choose to incorporate it, is as follows: Also include the words "Nebula" "Fetching" "Degloved" "Helping" and "Scalp".
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "It's 5am and I haven't slept" lofi playlist in honor of the 48 Hour Film Project which kept me up until 8am last night working on a script. But I'm happy with the results and it's done so I call that a win. Can't wait to see the resulting short film. Anyway, here's that background music


    9/12/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #254: Title Mania Plus 39


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 Writing Series is here! These are 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.
    #254
    Title Mania Plus 39

    For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. Before you write, first read the poem from which the titles are selected. For a bonus challenge use the additional exercise of five random constraints.

    Today's titles come from "Artifacts of Love" by Meg Pokrass from Red Eft Review. Go read it!

    Titles:
    1. Artifacts of Time
    2. The Mirror
    3. Lingered Long
    4. Vague Approval
    5. An Endless Procession of Mornings
    6. Greyish Hair

    Bonus Exercise: Three Things
    (Your piece must also include the following three 'things')
    1. A Fire Hydrant
    2. Magma
    3. Baja California
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try Claude Bolling's Concerto for Classical Guitar and Jazz Piano.

    9/11/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #253: Three Things Together 40


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

    #253
    Three Things Together 40

    F
    or today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following three things, Nice and simple.
    1. A Glass of Milk
    2. Indiana Jones
    3. A Salamander
    ------------------------------------

    Bonus 'Beginning and Ending' Exercise: Begin your piece with something very thin being broken in half and end with clasped hands being released.

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Time" chill-fi mix.


    9/10/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #252: Six Word Shootout 26


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.


    #252
    Six Word Shootout 26

    For today's writing exercise write a piece that includes the following six words. While it perfectly sets you up for a sestina, and I am a sucker for homonyms, feel free to write whatever you'd like (but ya know, maybe 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.

    This one's for the hive!

    Required Words: 

    1) Side
    2) Rain
    3) Teeming
    4) Clip
    5) Lynx
    6) Gourd

    -
    Bonus Exercise: Include the following three things in your piece: Banana, Coffee Filter, Diving Board.
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Lofi Magic" mix our buddies at Feardog.

    9/9/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #251: 3x5x7 Wordbank Sprints 34


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.
    #251
    3x5x7 Wordbank Sprints 34
    For today's writing exercise complete the following steps. The wordbank exercise has changed so be sure to take a peek at the new 'rules'. I recommend using the timer on your phone or computer and setting it for 1 minute. Each time you write a sentence, quickly reset the timer. If it goes off before you're finished with the sentence—wrap it up ASAP!

    In order to complete the large number of sentences demanded of this exercise it is imperative that you write fast. Don't think too much at all until you've reached the final exercise. The process of this quick production is to thrust past second guesses or other stumbling blocks that sometimes impede your writing. You're aiming to write 23 sentences in at most 20 minutes so you have ten minutes to organize and write that actual piece, so you're going to be writing more than a sentence a minute.

    WRITE FAST, DON'T OVERTHINK


    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. Repeat the process five (5) times using different combinations. No dawdling! 
    2. Now write three (3) sentences that are six (6) words or fewer in length that use any two (2) words from the wordbanks.
    3. Now write three (3) sentences that use four (4) or more of the words.
    4. Now write five (5) sentences which begin with one (1) of the words and contain a second one (1) of the words.
    5. Now write five (5) sentences which are fewer than ten (10) words in length and conclude with one (1) of the words from the wordbanks. Remember, keep up the pace! Don't overthink!
    6. Now rephrase two (2) of your sentences from exercise #1 in either a more efficient or more descriptive manner.
    7. Now write a piece of fiction or poetry that uses at least three (3) of the sentences you've written throughout this process of exercises. 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:
    • Dreamed
    • Flimsy
    • Gloomier
    • Zinc
    • Wrangled
    Wordbank 2:
    • Droopy
    • Regal
    • Peas
    • Rabbit
    • Fringe

    Wordbank 3
    :
    • Rabbi
    • Peace
    • Filming
    • Violet
    • Polymer

    Bonus writing exercise: Include the word "New" (or Renew) in your opening sentence, and in the piece you must include a description of the smell of something baking or cooking.

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

    Want some unobtrusive background writing music? Try this "City Escape" lofi playlist from our friends at Chillhop Music.

    9/8/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #250: Erasing Roger Ebert 7 "Spice World: The Movie"


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

    #250
    Erasing Roger Ebert 7 "Spice World: The Movie"

    For today's exercise we have split paths for fiction and poetry, though I highly recommend that even fiction writers try the poetry exercise, because erasures can be a blast!

    For poetry do an erasure or black-out poem from the following:  Roger Ebert's review of the 1998 film "Spice World" (1/2 a star) starring The Spice Girls.

    Roger Ebert has been the stereotypical film critic for decades, and he's written thousands of reviews. Because of their nature, almost their own bit of ekphrastic art, this series of erasures will be lots of fun!

    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 'bingo' occurs multiple times and could be a good touchstone for your piece.

    If you insist on fiction (or just feel like writing a "Title Mania" piece), write a piece with one of these six titles taken from this section:

    1. Small Consolation
    2. Intended as a Ripoff
    3. A Trash Newspaper Editor, a Paparazzi and a Manipulative Manager
    4. Carriers for Inane Chatter
    5. Apparently Functional Toilet
    6. Lacking in Human Characteristics

    Erasure Selection:

    Roger Ebert's review of "Spice World: The Movie"

    The Spice Girls are easier to tell apart than the Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that is small consolation: What can you say about five women whose principal distinguishing characteristic is that they have different names? They occupy "Spice World" as if they were watching it: They're so detached they can't even successfully lip-synch their own songs. During a rehearsal scene, their director tells them, with such truth that we may be hearing a secret message from the screenwriter, "That was absolutely perfect--without being actually any good." "Spice World" is obviously intended as a ripoff of "A Hard Day's Night" (1964), which gave the Beatles to the movies. They should have ripped off more--everything they could get their hands on. The movie is a day in the life of a musical group that has become an overnight success, and we see them rehearse, perform, hang out together, and deal with such desperately contrived supporting characters as a trash newspaper editor, a paparazzi and a manipulative manager.

    All of these elements are inspired in one way or another by "A Hard Day's Night." The huge difference, of course, is that the Beatles were talented--while, let's face it, the Spice Girls could be duplicated by any five women under the age of 30 standing in line at Dunkin' Donuts.

    The Beatles film played off the personalities of the Beatles. The Spice Girls have no personalities; their bodies are carriers for inane chatter. The Beatles film had such great music that every song in it is beloved all over the world. The Spice Girls music is so bad that even "Spice World" avoids using any more of it than absolutely necessary.

    The film's linking device is a big double-decker bus, painted like a Union Jack, which ferries the Girls past London landmarks (so many landmarks I suspect that the filmmakers were desperately trying to stretch the running time). This bus is of ordinary size on the outside but three times too wide on the inside; it is fitted with all the conveniences of Spice Girlhood, except, apparently, functional toilet facilities, leading to the unusual sight of the Girls jumping off the bus for a quick pee in the woods. (They do everything together.) So lacking in human characteristics are the Girls that when the screenplay falls back on the last resort of the bankrupt filmmaking imagination--a live childbirth scene--they have to import one of their friends to have the baby.

    She at least had the wit to get pregnant, something beyond the Girls since it would involve a relationship, and thus an attention span. Words fail me as I try to describe my thoughts at the prospect of the five Spice Girls shouting "push!"
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try "Over the Garden Wall" 'chilltoons' lofi from Cartoon Network.

    9/7/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #249: Ekphrastic Music Video 15


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.


    #249
    Ekphrastic Music Video 15
    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 this music video for the song "Stemning" (Atmosphere in English) by Norwegian singer Silja Sol.



    I think it's a safe bet that the majority of you out there reading this will not understand the lyrics, so take from them the feel or mood of the piece, you'll likely be relying on the visuals here. You don't need to tell the whole narrative of the fireside and soccer connections, you can just use that little visual tale as inspiration for your own tale of young love/like, or you can get descriptive and give us backstory and make this video into a full fledged piece, or you could take a snippet of it and just show us that in greater detail and context—or something completely different, you're in charge here. 
    ---

    Ideally I'd suggest to liten to the song at least 5 or six times in the background as you're writing for inspiration, but if you'd like background writing music, try this "Celtic FantasyMusic" lofi playlist.


    9/6/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #248: First Line Bonanza 11


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

    #248
    First Line Bonanza 11

    For today's writing exercise write a piece that begins with one of the following first lines.

    1. The sun winked from behind a patchy bit of cloud.
    2. Before getting braces I didn't realize your gums could itch.
    3. The neighborhood was home to four different tree houses.
    4. A siren.
    5. She held her paintbrush like a dagger.
    -

    Bonus Exercise: You must include the following five words in your piece: Doll, Charity, Spain, Creek, Strangled.
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Butterfly Hug" lofi mix.

    9/5/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #247: Between a Fact and an Exact Place 20


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.
    #247
    Between a Fact and an Exact Place 20

    For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following place (either as the setting, referenced or some aspect of it described) and the following fact in some way (its discovery, used as a metaphor, witnessed etc).
    Exact Place:  Petra 
    Fact: Igloo (Iglu) is the Inuit word for 'Home'.


    As an additional assignment, should you choose to incorporate it, is as follows: Also include the words "Turbid" "Dictated" "Flux" "Pole" and "Quagmire".
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "summer vacations" jazz hop mix from Feardog Music's channel who looks to be a future friend of the blog, as they have a lot of good mixes on their channel.

    9/4/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #246: Three Things Together 39


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

    #246
    Three Things Together 39

    F
    or today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following three things, Nice and simple.
    1. Dumpster
    2. Dust Pan
    3. A Pile of Elephant Poop
    ------------------------------------

    Bonus 'Beginning and Ending' Exercise: Begin your piece with two people arguing and end it with something flying through the air.

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Those Days" lofi mix.

    9/3/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #245: Title Mania Plus 38


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 Writing Series is here! These are 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.
    #245
    Title Mania Plus 38

    For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which uses one of the following as its title. Before you write, first read the poem from which the titles are selected. For a bonus challenge use the additional exercise of five random constraints.

    Today's titles come from Adam Day's 5 poems in the newest issue of E·ratio. Go read it!

    Titles:
    1. Hip on Hip
    2. Clouds Hanging Like Wool on Barbed Wire
    3. Rewritten in Cities
    4. Stitched Up, Blind
    5. Lost Glasses
    6. Several Centuries Simultaneously

    Bonus Exercise: Three Things
    (Your piece must also include the following three 'things')
    1. Ice Cream
    2. Tequila
    3. Aloe Vera
    ------------------------------------

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try the 1964 album "Saxful of Harry" by Guyanese jazz saxophonist Harry Whittaker with record noise and everything.

    9/2/20

    2020 Writing Exercise Series #244 Never mind Anaphora—Repetition Files 12


    The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

    #244
    Never mind Anaphora—Repetition Files 12

    For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which focuses on repetition. In this instance we will work with anaphora. It's a handy little bit of poetic craft that goes a little something like this:

    the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines to create a sonic effect.
    Take a moment and read the above-linked Poetry Foundation article, even if you know the term. For even more fun check out this longer article called Adventures in Anaphora.

    Your mission is to use the following phrase to begin at least 5 sentences.

    The word or phrase we'll use for our exercise today is:

    "Never mind ____"

      There are a number of ways you could approach this bit of anaphora. Just be sure that the repeated phrase earns its worth in your piece, and it should in some way build upon what came before it. The repetition should be necessary and not merely redundant.

      Bonus Exercise: Include these five words into your piece "Ruthless" "Bachelor" "Clam" "Rumor" and "Numbers".
      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try these two piano interpretations of "Debussy: Suite Bergamasque"

      9/1/20

      2020 Writing Exercise Series #243: Six Word Shootout 25


      The Notebooking Daily 2020 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.

      #243
      Six Word Shootout 25

      For today's writing exercise write a piece that includes the following six words. While it perfectly sets you up for a sestina, and I am a sucker for homonyms, feel free to write whatever you'd like (but ya know, maybe 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.

      This one's for the hive!

      Required Words: 

      1) Sensor
      2) Ceiling
      3) Bolder
      4) Flair
      5) Bail
      6) Ferry

      -
      Bonus Exercise: Include the following three things in your piece: Steel, Marble, Salmon.
      ------------------------------------

      If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Peaceful Travel RPG music" mix.