An Exercise (in writing)

As I read various novels, poems, blog posts, etc., I am entranced with the ability of writers to capture the essence of mundane or everyday tasks with such descriptive language that acts such as moving wet clothing from the washing machine into the dryer become almost poetic.  Do you know what I mean?  I love reading with the need to somewhat decode and decipher what a writer is talking about through his or her descriptions of actions, items, or individuals.  When I find writing like this, it sinks into my soul and brings me joy.

So…today I offer a writing challenge for your writers out there…and as an example, I will post a description of sorts as part of this post.  Your challenge is to write about something seemingly insignificant–and to give it meaning through language.  Here goes my effort:

After a two-hour-old slice of dry toast and a spicy sausage link, the thirst is almost unquenchable.  Fingers find their way to a white plastic handle holding onto a shiny, serrated slice of metal, as if life depended on it.  Another hand selects firmly the brightly colored sphere, holds the little-larger-than-a-tennis-ball shape firmly to avoid rolling as the blade cuts into the sunshiny flesh, peeling back layers of skin.  Slice, slice, and slice again.  Juicy, acidy, sticky liquid pools onto the dark granite countertop.  Pulling flesh apart from pulp, zest embeds itself under once-long fingernails.  Liquid Vitamin C runs down fingers to wrist as a section brushes lips.  Tongue is moving back and forth, back and forth, sweeping bits and fragments and juice from side to side.  Teeth are grinding, grinding, grinding pulp as juice begins to trickle down a sandpapery throat.  More!  More!  More! Throat screams, and another section grazes incisors, wondering why the wetness of dry mouth propels stickiness while fingers absorb it.  Rinsing the throat with orange while washing fingers with water, both body parts are finally satisfied.

Well, it’s not fantastic…but it’s an exercise, after all.  If you feel so inclined to participate, link back so we can connect and learn from one another, or comment your description exercise at the conclusion of this post.

Happy Writing! 🙂

The Product of NaNoWriMo 2012

As promised, I am recording for posterity (and my lovely blog readers) the lessons I have learned over the past weeks since I made a spontaneous decision to enter NaNoWriMo 2012.  (I was serious blogging about whether or not to do it…having done no outlining or anything…and just did it on a whim thanks to the encouragement of a few lovely voices!…& I thank you sincerely Marissa and Darcy!)  Here we go, in no particular order…:

  • Prayer works.  (Not that I didn’t know this prior to Nov. 1, 2012; it was just reaffirmed to me….)
  • Productivity produces energy.
  • Support from those you love is vital for success!
  • Goals can be accomplished…(and a lot more, too!).
  • I CAN WRITE!!!!!
  • Being purely creative is energizing.
  • My family, friends (& I) love me!
  • Even with road blocks (scheduling, sickness, holidays, etc.)~keep moving forward….! (See Meet the Robinsons for more info on this topic.)
  • God is aware of me and loves me!
  • I HAVE A VOICE (and an important one, at that)!
  • I can cultivate creativity…and a writing mood.
  • Breaks are important.  (I took every Sunday off…and a few other Thursdays sprinkled in the month, as well.)
  • When all else fails, have a dance party with the kiddos (…or with friends…or by yourself…)!
  • Have munchies around always.  (I had a Swiss Cake Roll emergency…luckily for me, I did have some left-over Double Stuf Oreos which satisfied the chocolate/creamy craving.)  🙂
  • Buy back your kids’ Halloween candy and use it for NaNoWriMo snacks…and to last until NaNoWriMo is over and you start making Christmas candy.
  • Spotify created great mood music when I needed it…and was a great resource for the karaoke scene I wrote.
  • You can always edit later.

In the past few days, I have listened to some of the songs on Alicia Keys’ new album–and the chorus and several lines of this song resonate with me.  I do feel like a “Brand New Me.”

The only time I recently felt this kind of growth and accomplishment is when I worked and trained for (& completed) a half-marathon with a dear friend of mine…something about measurable success.  Hopefully, though, I will write more novels than the number of races I’ve run…! 🙂

Hugs!

Epitome…& other words I once loved

I wonder if my husband ever gets jealous.

Salisbury-74copy

I think some of my children do.

You see, I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last month staring at a glowing rectangle, my fingers and fingernails tapping in wild patterns across a dark keyboard with white letters, numbers, and codes painted across them.  Each time I tap a key, WORDS flow from my brain through my fingers and onto a large screen that sits in my kitchen at a desk.  The process has been transformative for me…but that story is for another day.

You see, I used to write quite a bit of poetry.  Poetry can be written quickly when inspiration strikes, recorded with relative speed, and even edited fairly quickly compared to something of, say, 170 pages or so.  I don’t think I’ve ever written a poem over a couple of pages.  And, considering only time, I could write a poem in the time I could write a grocery list…and no one would be the wiser.

Fiction is different for me.  I write pages upon pages, developing characters, rethinking dialogue, and editing.  Always editing.  And the time this past project has taken so far (and I’ve just begun editing)…well, let’s just say it’s taken a little longer than writing a grocery list.  🙂  But the lessons learned and the growth I’ve achieved in the past month have been worth the time commitment.

To me, WORDS ARE POWERFUL.  I live on them.  I breathe them in; I feel them with every fiber of my soul.  They speak to me.  When I watch a movie, the words expressed are what make the movie meaningful for me.  When I receive cards from friends, I read them repeatedly to feel the expression of their words.  When I listen to music, the words–even more than the music–speak to me.

As of late, I’ve been trying to teach the power of words to my children.  They are often flippant in their conversations and remarks to one another…but, I know (and try to actively teach them) that what they (and I) say to one another carries weight and power and can hang in a mind forever.  (Don’t you hold onto words and conversations–for good or ill–which make a nest in your brain that invades your present psyche every now and then?  I do.)

Anyway, in light of the power of words, I wanted to share a few that I think are fun to write (and say) in today’s post!  (If you don’t use them or know how to pronounce them, dictionary.com is a great resource and will also pronounce words for you…and they have an app!)

epitome

onomatopoeia

Terpsichore

and while we are talking Greek Muses, Calliope

juxtaposition

enamoured

iambic pentameter

polysyllabic, and

antidisestablishmentarianism.

You?