Tag Archives: writing challenge

Looking for Stimuli? No Writer’s Block Here!

abstractIt’s week four for our graduating capstone. 

July 13 – 19: Sit a Moment and Write!

From July 13 through 19, this post includes writing stimuli and optional writing prompts.  It’s designed for writers to complete within minutes.  There are photographs and video.  Choose a stimulus and play the video, or engage a photo for one minute (click on photo to enlarge).  The intent is to engage your creative mind.

Each stimulus is followed by four incomplete sentence beginnings and endings.  You writing does not have to pertain to your chosen stimulus but some prompts do include a possible connection. Write for at least one minute but no more than five.  Either free write to your liking, or embrace constraint by using the beginning and ending prompts.   In constraint, combine any beginning with any ending.  These can be a single sentence or multiple paragraphs.  Feel free to massage and combine prompts  to the liking of your radical self!

My neighbors are speaking in Korean, and Cantonese, and Hindi, and English and motorcycle, and honking cabs, as Lexington Avenue sidewalks sigh under the pining humidity. And then there was the salt shaker.

From Stimuli 1…great tool to stretch your creative writing skills.

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Want to write that 3-part Novel/Movie deal dream?

sentencesIt starts here. It’s Week #3 of our graduating capstone project. Quick writing experiments that helped me pay closer attention to crafting my sentences with intentions.

Plenum. Enter here. Disappear. 

 

 

 

Writer Can’t Read Her Own Notes

“Nothing says xxxxxxx like a chocolate boob.”

Did I write celibate or celebrate?

 

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Assignment: More Advice for the Student Writers

In preparation for my third residency, we were assigned with a welcoming task/event/gesture for the incoming MFA-ers.

1. Quote of advice: “I enjoy posting feedback because that was important to me when I started–before I knew faces, and families, and quirky quirks. We cared. We heard you. We encouraged and laughed. After we met, we laughed deeper and true.”

2. A visual piece: my abstract of a journey and family/ familiarity/inclusion. Toes reveal a lot about a person–where they’ve been or where they’re going, personal priorities, definitely personality, and definitely a heightened perspective of one’s future writing goals. (I am the fourth generation to inherit a hooked left ring toe…is there a ring toe? You know, like if someone were to get it totally wrong and place an engagement ring on your toe, yeah, it’d be that one.) I think my point was toes:  journey, starts with the first step, individually not much, but together you could evoke a deep humpphh from Michael Ballent when you landed the perfect kickball in his stomach during the second grade.IMG_0512

 

 

So You Want to be a Buddhist Monk, I mean, a Writer?

Lotus-flower

The first step is recognizing the Noble Truth: that some dissatisfaction comes into our lives and alternatives are sought. For many, there is something that registers as ‘interesting’ – or even inspiring – and we all come back to writing.

The process of training a monk or nun or writer is one that involves time and is not just about ‘learning the rules.’ There is much that can only be learned by patient observation.

The new novice is expected to commit to a stay of one year’s training under the general guidance of the sangha (Mentors). The ordination ceremony itself is quite simple. It would usually be in the evening on a full moon day, as part of the community’s usual observance, and the candidate would have had help learning the necessary chanting and the ‘choreography’ of the ritual. (I was planning on editing this out, but it’s actually true–chant and perform away young novices! You’ll be amazed how it can affect your writing!)

Respect for elders is a significant part of defining the monastic ‘container.’ As a novice, or junior member of the sangha, one obviously arrives with a range of preferences and views. In a mentorship life, there must always be a readiness to relinquish these and ‘bow’ down to the lead suggested by more senior members of the sangha.

The general process is one of patience, calmness, and humility. Monasteries and mentorships are blessed in that they don’t have production quotas, and training is able to be seen as a lifetime’s work. There is no hurry. Relax. Write. Create.

This Morn

Exhausted like a country song
Fell asleep on my face with
The keys in the door

I’ve Waited 28 Years For This

http://www.calderaarts.org/caldera/

The Caldera Arts Center, Sisters, OR.

Shhh… it’s really quiet here. It’s only 11:18pm and I think everyone’s had a full first day at Oregon State’s Cascades’ MFA’s first day of residency!   See what happens when I’m absent from my blog? The creative writing process must have been festering in my silent fingertips, and I just had to apply–and guess what? I got in!

On Colleges and Universities:  We’ve taken three of the five kids to colleges, and set up their rooms, purchased university sweatshirts and other college paraphernalia, but now it’s my turn! I can finally say that I went away for school on the “mainland.” I was raised in a time where only the sons were afforded a private school education and universities abroad. But tonight I am here. After 28 years of life and children and work,  it’s finally my turn. So I don’t mind if I’m the only student awake, writing and creating by lamp light in my room. I don’t mind that tomorrow’s Saturday and we have to be in class by 800am with sessions until 8 or 9pm. I’ve waited so long. I know no matter how thin and smokey your farthest, farthest away dreams may seem, it’s never too late. Wish me luck, everyone!

My very own!

My very own!

A quiet, potential writing spot.

A quiet, potential writing spot.

Walking Tour of Caldera

Walking Tour of Caldera