Tag Archives: prose

Bored? Write about it….

snow.jpgAs we recover from the early December snowfall, trapped at home due to icy roads, it’s easy to feel bored.

There are only so many ways you can reorganize your pantry and entertain house-bound dogs, and yes, even watching movies gets old pretty quickly. And reading, while always stimulating, feels self-indulgent to me after days on end.

I need to be writing! New material, not just editing. As good as it feels to whittle and sculpt, there’s no substitute to the high you get by rolling out new pearls. So, on to new stuff….

When writing creative nonfiction, it’s easy to be intimidated by all the great prose out there. I recently read essays by a woman visited by the ghost of her mother, an environmentalist who protests exploitation of sea life by robbing coastal souvenir shops with his father, and a piece by George Orwell about a wild elephant on the rampage in Burma. Do you ever feel that your own experience, while certainly special to you, seems inferior when stacked up against that of others?

Don’t! Just because you haven’t survived a harrowing incident recently, been the victim of a crime (thank goodness), or saved a baby from drowning, you still have an extraordinary life, and I promise, you can find something inspirational to write about.

And on that subject, one of my favorite prompts came from a Women on Writing  newsletter. It goes like this: “Take a small, boring moment that happened and write as much as you can about it. Go overboard describing it, and make this boring moment exciting by describing it in intense detail with ecstatic prose.”

So while we all might not have an earth-shattering event at our fingertips, we all do have a seemingly boring incident to write about AND possibly elevate. You just have to be creative about it. Such an assignment might also be fun — at the very least, it’s certainly good practice to flex those creative muscles and push yourself in this way.

Humm…reorganizing my pantry is suddenly exciting again. And didn’t one of the dogs do something silly this afternoon on a walk through the neighborhood….

 

 

 

Join us on Friday for the CWP Open Mic!

FILE - In this file photo from Aug. 11, 2010, two donkeys, Napoleon, left, and Antosia, stand near each others at a zoo in Poznan, Poland. The two were separated recently because of an outcry over their lovemaking, but have been reunited. The couple, together for 10 years, got into trouble when mothers expressed outrage that children had to witness their mating. (AP Photo/Joanna Piechorowska, File)

Real-life lovers Napoleon (left) and Antosia at a zoo in Poznan, Poland.

Made plans for next Friday night? If not, plan on joining us at the Spring/Summer Open Mic for the Central Carolina Community College’s Creative Writing Program. It will be Friday, May 296-8 PM in the beautiful Chatham Community Library, Mary Hayes Holmes Room, in Pittsboro, N.C.

If you’re interested in reading your prose or poetry, please sign in upon arrival.  We’ll follow the order on the list, and you’ll have up to eight minutes. In addition to the reading, light refreshments will be served, another reason why you shouldn’t miss this event. If you don’t want to read, no worries, it’s still a lot of fun to hear the work of other local writers and mingle with the crowd.

I plan on reading 3 of my poems, one of which (“Napoleon and Antosia”) was inspired by two amorous real-life donkeys in Poland.

This piece was the result of another one of my most favorite poetry prompts  (source: The Practice of Poetry, edited by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell). You choose a story from the tabloids, write a poem in third person, and, as outrageous as it may be, take the story perfectly seriously. Oddly enough, this may lend your poem a bit of magical realism! I penned this poem during a class by Ralph Earle this fall and at his direction, wrote it with two different sets of line breaks.

While the National Enquirer and Star tend to focus more on celebrity news these days and unfortunately print less of those wacky stories such as “Alien Abducts My Wife” (remember those?), thanks to Reddit, you can find a wealth of these stories on this internet-based site, such as “Woman Lives with Mother’s Skeletal Remains for Years” or “Enchanted Creature Dances Beneath Icy Waters in Norway.”

Let your imagination run free and who knows how far you will go! Have fun writing, and we hope to see you at the Open Mic next Friday!

Fall Back To Another Hour of Writing…

Need another reason to be excited about fall? This weekend why not “fall back” into an extra hour of writing? That’s what I plan to do. I certainly won’t miss the time. What else would I be doing anyway? Laundry? Windows? Raking leaves? I can easily talk myself out of any of those chores—clothes and windows are going to get dirty again anyway and there’s certainly no point in raking leaves right now.

I’ll probably spend a little time on both prose and poetry—they are not mutually exclusive and as we’ve discussed at my writing group, a good idea can be expressed equally well in both. I’m toying with a project right now that had begun as a poem and is now nudging its way into flash fiction.

Fall is also a good time to be thinking ahead about your personal submission calendar. Many literary journals are only open for submissions during the academic year and there are plenty of annual writing competitions in progress and even more to come. My favorite source for these is the N.C. Writers’ Network (NCWN), so if you haven’t yet joined, use part of that extra hour to become a member!

I just learned that three of my own poems were accepted for publication in a special poetry anthology collection published by Silly Tree Anthologies, a publication I wouldn’t have learned about if not for NCWN.

Best of luck with your “extra writing hour!”