Saturday, September 29, 2007

September 28 Prompt

Good morning writers.

"Eighty percent of language lies to us."
--Deena Metzger

I have a tendency to over extend myself.
I over booked September and entered 4 art shows and signed up for two extra art classes. Plus all the usual stuff that goes with life. So I dropped one show and one class. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in something that I want to do it all. It happens with my writing too. I want to enter contests and send stuff off to magazines and take a class from Mike Foley. Take some more classes from UCLA's writing program and do the prompts and a blog. It can go on and on.
I need to stop myself and realize that I can't do it all. At least not all at once!

Here is a good book for keeping you writing every day. "The Write-Brain Workbook", 366 exercises to liberate your writing, by Bonnie Neubauer

We have set today as national hug your dog day. Or hug your cat.
We have 3 cats and one dog. They are part of our family.
My cat has habits that I laugh at and then remember that I have habits/rituals too. No I don't get on the bathroom counter and drink from the faucet. I don't get tissues out of the trash and drag them around either. I do however, sit on the love seat in the evening and read the mail or a book or a magazine. I iron my t shirts the same way each time. I brush my teeth before I shower. You get the idea.
Do you have some habits/rituals? Are they ones that you can write about? Are they ones that help you write?
If you are not into realism, try this one.
"I could have used a kick in the seat of the pants the day that..."
from The Write-Brain Workbook

Here are a few art shows that you might like to see.
"Off The Beaten Path" Mono prints.
White's Studio and Gallery
1232 Monta Vista #10
Upland, CA
Opening reception Oct. 5 6-9pm
Closing reception Nov. 2 6-9pm
by appt. 909.982.3349

Oct 11 to Nov 2
Pomona Valley Art Assoc.

26th Annual Open Juried Show
Oct 13-Oct 27

Both shows are at the Soho & Progressive Galleries
300 A South Thomas Street Pomona
Thurs. Fri. 11-4 Sat. 11-10pm (on 2nd Sat.)
Oct 13 6-10pm Artist reception

Assoc. Artists of the Inland Empire
23 Annual Fall Open Juried Art Show and Sale
Saturday Sept. 29 9am-6pm & Sunday Sept. 30 9am-4pm
Central Park Community Center
11200 Baseline Road
Rancho Cucamonga

Have a good weekend.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

September 24 Prompt

Happy writing to all Writers.

"It is the first shower that wets."
--Italian Proverb
I might have used that quote before but I thought it fitting after our rain.

"When I use a word, it means what I choose it to mean--neither
more nor less."
This is a quiz. It is from something that Lewis Carroll wrote. Now we all can go on the internet and find this really quickly. But try to remember this.
It's from our childhoods and a poem that maybe our parents or our kindergarten teachers lovingly read to us.
Let me know if you figure it out.

I have always wanted to be a ebullient person. I do have fits of being zestfully enthusiastic about something but I'm not generally that way. I'd like to be. But my inner
critic talks me down. I am enthusiastic about my writing and art most of the time. But I wish that I was a more ebullient person about things. It can get trying.
You know those people that are bubbling about everything. I begin to feel like I'm sick or something because I'm not gushing all over things. But for some they are, and it seems to be their personality. So, I'm happy for them... -- sorta, I guess. I can't get bubbling today. I feel too relaxed.

Today or whenever you make time to write. Use the word "ebullient". Be careful ebullient people can be "...wearing in a small place" (Deirdre McNamer)

Have a great week.
Make time to write every day.

Friday, September 21, 2007

September 21 Prompt

Good morning Writers.

Heres to a great weekend and try to write every day.

"I love the solitude of reading. I love the deep dive into someone else's story, the delicious ache of the last page."
--Naomi Shihab Nye

Have you all read and finished "Self Storage" by our Gayle Brandis? If you have and want to discuss it let me know. We could have a little on line book club chat.
I loved it. It took me awhile because I was forced to only read just before bed and I'd get so sleepy that I'd have to re read some paragraphs more like 4 times before I'd give up and go to sleep. But I finished it the last week and then couldn't go to sleep. I was so awake I decided to write something.
There are some books that I ache after I have read the last page. I just don't want them to end. I like the other life that I have been sucked into. It pulls me to the edge and I jump without being pushed. Now that's a good book.
If we write from the heart we can't go wrong. Let the words run out our minds, down our arm/s and out our fingers to the keys or pen.

So for today...Write about your favorite book. One you just finished or one you are reading now. Dig deep to find all the words that are locked in your heart about the book or author. What has that author done for you. Did they pull at your guts and make you cry, get mad, give you an ahhh moment? What is the line or paragraph that kicked you wide awake and start your mind humming?
If you have chosen a CA author, and you have even just a few paragraphs send it to Laura for Fresh Ink.
Don't like that prompt?
Write about an old man that hangs out at a cemetery putting flowers on the graves that have been forgotten.

See you at the meeting on Saturday.
Bring a friend even if they don't write.
Have a good weekend.

Monday, September 17, 2007

September 17 Prompt

Good Afternoon,
Hope all had a good weekend. We have a CWC meeting this Saturday the 22nd. Don't forget to enter our contest. Deadline is Sept. 29th

"Writing involves a commitment greater than illness."
--Bernard Malamud

Our back door was always locked. It was in the kitchen and opened onto the screened in patio. The screen door on the patio was locked by one of those hook and eye things. I would come home from school and sometimes the doors would be locked. I'd hunt around the yard for a stick that was thin enough to slip in the screen door and flip off the hook. And as you can guess, it didn't always work. The stick would break or the hook was wedged and wouldn't release. If I found a good stick I'd hide it so if I got locked out again I'd have a stick ready. A Popsicle stick worked the best.
Once I'd get through the screen door the kitchen door posed another problem. The key was suppose to be in a drawer in a cabinet that was on the patio. The drawer was full of rags and I think that my dad thought that no one would ever guess that a key for the house would be in there. But sometimes he would get worried, or he might have thought that my mom was going to be home, so he'd leave the key in the kitchen drawer. So I'd have to find a way into the house without a key. I'd "break & enter". When I was skinny, (I know, hard to imagine now) I'd climb up on the washer and go in the thin window that was over the hot water tank. The window was four feet long and about a foot tall. I'd make it somehow. Then once I was in the window, that opened into the bathroom, I'd have to get down. I would slide on my stomach over the medicine cabinet until my foot touched the toilet and I'd step down.
By the time I was in Jr. High School this was not the way I could get in. I was too tall and was a bit too thick to fit through the window. I talked to my parents and they'd nod and tell me they were sorry for forgetting or whatever else was the problem. But it seemed that more times than not I was breaking into our house. When my dad thought that it was too dangerous to leave a window open and if I could get in then anyone could get in, he started going around locking all the windows before he'd go to work. Yes he was OCD. Still is.
I got creative in leaving a window open that I could fit through. And I always managed to get in somehow.

Today, take a piece of paper and pen. Turn the paper sideways and write. This is a good break for being blocked. Try this even if you're not having problems getting started.
You will have a back door through which to escape.
Write about a memory of being locked out/in. Was it really being locked out like I was or was it a group you could not join. Did you loose your keys or were there no keys?

Friday, September 14, 2007

September 14 Prompt

Hello Writers,

"The words! I collected them in all shapes and sizes, and hung them like bangles in my mind."
--Hortense Calisher, Extreme Magic

My grandfather continued to do some work after he retired. He had been a carpenter by trade and when remodeling was done in downtown Chino the contractors called him for the "fine" work. He would remove nails carefully from deep carved banister or paneling and doors. The wood was saved and could be used someplace else. Sometimes things were left behind and would be thrown out so my grandfather would ask if he could take them home. He would then fix or strip paint off of desks, chairs, or doors and moldings. He gave me a beautiful desk and chair. He kept the doors. He'd put legs on the them, get foam rubber and make a couch out of the door. My grandmother would sew covers for the foam rubber cushions. There were enough couches for my brother, aunt and our patio. After the door couches he'd start to make other things out of the doors. Some were so nice that he'd replace the doors in his home with the beautiful oak ones that he salvaged.
He was using things that others were going to throw out. Things that someone didn't want were still good. And with a little effort the things were beautiful. Their found beauty was discovered under nicked paint.
I have many paintings that I did when I first started. They are crap. But some I have torn up and used in collage pieces. Some are so bad that my teacher told me to take them home and soak them in the bathtub and paint something else over them. Then some I have just painted on the other side.
We can do this with our writing too. Maybe someone told you that something was lacking in one of your stories/articles/poems. I hope you didn't throw them out! I hope that you went back to them and worked on them or turned them into something else. Maybe it was better, maybe not. But don't throw them out. Hide them under your bed. Dig them out and look at them again. They can be salvaged.

This prompt will take a little leg work unless you have an old desk, dresser or cabinet at home already. If not you'll have to go to a 2nd hand store or antique store. Look at the desks, or dressers. Open the drawers. Are there seals from the manufacture? Old pieces of paper? Notes, letters? Write about and old desk and what was in one of the drawers.
You can sit and imagine all this but to go out and find one is a good Artist Date. If you don't care for this idea go for a walk in a downtown area. Chino, Claremont, Upland, LaVerne, San Dimas or Pomona. You will find some interesting things to write about in the old stores there.
For the definition of Artist Date look up Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. This book is good for ALL artists that want to do something to get inspired.
Have a great weekend. Enter our contest! Write every day.

p.s. I found and old wedding ring in the desk my grandfather gave me. It was very worn and whatever had been inlaid in part of the ring was gone. No diamonds just a peachy, gold and brass color with little flowers around the band.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 12 Prompt

Good evening Writers.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I took a little drive to Idyllwild. I haven't been in the town before. It was so pretty. Beautiful weather! I felt inspired as I walked the town and through the galleries. I had lunch at a cafe with very good food.

"Oh for the wonder that bubbles into my soul."
--D. H. Lawrence

I have been listening to some music from my era, 60s and 70s rock and roll. As a teenager I listened to the words but never really listened. There were some great poets posing as rock stars.
The next time you can take a few minuets kick back with some Beatles, Rolling Stones, Heart or any others you think you might like. Really listen to the words.
The poetry is wonderful.

So for today pick a song that you like or one you haven't hear before. Really take a risk and try Rap. Some of it is great. See if you can pick out a few phrases and
write them down. I like,
"You can't always get what you want, But if you try sometimes,
Well you just might find you get what you need!"
--Rolling Stones
These are simple words. But how could you turn this into a poem or a story about a young girl running around looking for all the wrong things to make her happy.

"Like the beat beat beat of the tom-tom
When the jungle shadows fall
Like the tick tick tock of the stately clock
As it stands against the wall..."
--Cole Porter
That one could be fun.
Have a good week.
Keep writing.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Hello Writers,

"I tell a story the way some people eat an Oreo cookie."
--B. E. Zalman

Did your parents want you to be something? Did they want you to be, say a math teacher and you wanted to be an astronaut?
Write about who you were and who you wanted to be.

My parents told me that I couldn't be a vet because I wasn't very good in science. I told them that I could be good but wasn't that interested. My mom said that if I was going to be a vet I'd better get interested. She also said that seeing how I liked to play school when I was young I should be a teacher. I thought that if I couldn't spell I couldn't be a teacher. So we went around this all through my jr. high and high school years. I really loved art and they told me that there was no way to make any money doing art. As a kid I didn't really care if I made money or not. I guess that's because I didn't need any at the time.
My parents told me to pick something and I couldn't. I liked a lot of things and was interested in many other things. But I didn't know what I should do.
I went to Europe just out of high school and that help me decide. I wanted to be an artist. The idea that I could die penniless and alone worried me though. Things where pretty good in the 60s and 70s for artist. But I was no Peter Max -- just a want-a be. So I settled on graphic arts. Wound up silk screening circuit boards for Xerox. Not anywhere close to what I really wanted to do or what I studied.
What did you do when your parents told you that they thought you should be a ...
Getting to know ourselves and who we are helps us write better. I remember this from Barbara Ed Marco-Barrett.
Set your timers for 15 minutes and write.

Have a great weekend. Do some writing and enjoy the cool weather.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

September 4 Prompt

Good morning writers.
"When we lived closer to fire, when our lives depended upon the careful tending of the hearth, we had before us a symbol of the need for nourishment that lay deep in our souls."
--Anne Scott

One of my chores at a young person was to not only take out the trash but to burn it when the incinerator became full. I hated the burning part. When I was much younger I remember standing at our living room window and watching Mr. Baldy burn. I could barley see over the window sill but I remember the flames jumping and dancing over the mountain. It seemed that every year or so, some dumb person with a camp fire would set fire to the mountain. I didn't like fire. I saw it too many times and it always seemed that our house would be next as the flames came over the ridge.
When I was about 7 or 8 I was trained in how to light the fire for the trash. There was a way to hold the match and strike it. Fingers too close to the match head for me. Then wait just a moment to make sure it was burning and then place it on a piece of paper. If the fire didn't catch I had to light it again. I hated the fact that I was "playing" with the same thing that would burn our Mt. Baldy and threaten so many lives. But it was one of my jobs so I tried to do it without getting too involved. I'd strike the match and not wait. It was one fluid motion. Lighting the match and letting it go, in hopes it would land on the spot that would catch fire. Some days I'd go through a whole book of matches just to get one to catch. The act of throwing the match many times would put the fire out and I'd have to throw the match slower or hesitate a little longer to make sure the match was lit. I was under so much stress that my stomach would ball up and I'd sometimes loose my breakfast after the chore.
I still don't care much for fire. I do have a overly healthy respect for fire. And every time there is a story on the news about the "fires of summer" I worry about all the people and the land that will take so long to recover.

If you have any memories of fire write about those. Maybe a personal story or belief about fire.
Hope you all have a good week. It will be shorter so enjoy.

Friday, August 31, 2007

August 31 Prompt

Good morning Writers.
I'm thinking of changing the days of our prompts. I know that some of you don't get around to read and write them on Mondays and Fridays.
I seem to have Mondays that leave little time to write. The prompts might come on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday and Friday.

"How much more cruel the pen may be than the sword."
--Robert Burton

What is the first recollection of someone doing something nice for you? I read about a man that said his grandfather built him a kite out of paper and some scraps of wood.
the author said that this act of his grandfather's was the first he could remember.
Can you remember when someone did something nice for you? How far back can you remember? Remembering is like retracing your steps when you have lost something or misplaced your keys. Start with one act of niceness and go back to another one.
After you have made notes and written about the different things you can remember, write a poem, short story or non fiction piece about the nice things or your remembering them.

After I read about the author's grandfather my mind jumped to things that my grandfather did for me. He was strict and harsh, but whenever I went to his house for the day, or weekend I'd have so much fun. He was building something for my grandmother once and there were scraps of wood at the base of his table saw. I think he was worried I'd get hurt. I was hanging around the saw and playing with the sawdust. ( I was about 7 or 8 years old.) He pulled out some nails, an old hammer and gave me the wood scraps. "Here, go build something of your own. and get out of the way."
I didn't know what to do. The wood was all different shapes and he was building "something" wonderful. I hammered a few nails in one piece of wood, knowing that I could never really make anything. As I played with the wood I saw furniture in the pieces and how I stacked them. I built a bed for my Barbie doll. It was a very crude bed, one you might find in a crude mountain cabin.
I built other things with the wood and was sorry when the scraps ran out. My grandfather recognized what I had built and he praised me for what I was able to come up with.
I will always remember those kind words. I knew he really meant what he said and the rest of his harness was softened a bit.

Hope you all have a good weekend and say cool.
Drink lots of water and don't go out in the heat of the day.
This message brought to you by, Dr. Possecoullie.


Friday, August 24, 2007

August 24 Prompt

Hello Writers,
"Memory is a net."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A pair of black velvet shoes hung onto me. I was deeply in love with them. I can't remember now why my parents would buy me such a frivolous thing, but I wore them to something special, and then wanted to wear them every day. I'd come home from school, take off my school clothes, and play dress up. The clothes I'd put together were anything but chic, but I always finished the garb with the black velvet shoes. To me they really were the only thing that mattered.
When the shoes were no longer nice enough for special occasions, I wore the them every where. My mom had given me permission, so I took it. I wore them every day and even put the shoes under my pillow at night.
I'd have wonderful dreams of princesses and queens. There were balls and parties where me and my shoes were the attention.
My mom, being the killer of all joy, told me one day that the shoes had given into their end. They were too old and the construction was so broken that, my wonder shoes would kill my feet if I continued to wear them. I was forbidden to every put them on my feet again. As an act of defiance I continued to sleep with the black velvet shoes under my pillow for the dreams that they seemed to bring. I still used them for dress up and -- if no one was looking -- I'd sneak out of the house with the shoes and change into them to go to school and to feed our animals. I didn't see what my mom saw, the shoes were decomposing with every step. I only notice that every time I wore the shoes my feet would hurt.
I didn't take my wonderful shoes to school one day. I thought I'd be kind and give the poor old things a rest. When I got home the shoes were gone.
My mom had thrown them away. I found the beautiful things in the incinerator, waiting to be burned the next day. I rescued the shoes and took them to my room to clean the soot off and hide the poor shoes in my closet. The next day I found them in the compost pile. It was hard to get rid of the potato peelings and the smell of old coffee grounds. I used an old brush in the garage to scrub my black velvet shoes, that now looked like there would be no reviving them.
Before I went to school the next day, I pleaded with my mom not throw the shoes away. I promised that I'd never wear them again, but I just wanted them for the dreams. Eventually, she gave in.
A few months later I threw the black velvet shoes away. My mom had bought me a pair of lilac satin shoes for a wedding I was to be a flower girl in. And they were gorgeous!

When you write for this prompt, choose: a red velvet dress and how you feel when you wear it. How someone looks in the dress. What you would do for a red velvet dress. You hate red velvet. Red velvet with a blood stain, ( for the thriller writers).
Have a good weekend and don't forget about the CWC meeting on Saturday. Boarders Montclair, 10:15 am

Monday, August 20, 2007

August 20 Prompt

Good Evening Writers,
I feel like Hitchcock.
Wild morning for me today. So I hope that you don't mind that I'm writing in the cool of the evening.
It's still Monday, right?

"No matter how individual we humans are, we are a composite of everything we are aware of. We are a mirror of our times."
--Louise Nevelson

My son, Eric has many of my dad's traits. Eric even looks like my side of the family. Our son, Brandon looks like his dad. A big happy go lucky Swede. Eric has a short temper and is wiry. He's tall and slim and loves to eat anything Italian. Brandon is slow to anger and eats, white bread and potatoes. He's tall too, but built like his dad. Sorta a small linebacker. The things we inherit from our parents and grandparents we don't get to choose. All those weird and wonderful things that came from a family member we might not have ever met. I have a little toe nail that is split down the center, just like my grandmother. It's almost like we have extra lives like cats. There are pieces of us and our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles that live on. We don't choose those things but we do choose the clubs, friends, communities, and organizations that we associate with. Do you belong to the PTA, Kiwanis, CA Writers Club, a church? These groups you choose to belong to. How many groups or clubs do you attend? Are they all the same? Do you enjoy the group you are a part of?
These organizations and your family reflect in your writing. They are a part of you and you don't even realize how they influence your work. I have found that I love to watercolor paint hardware things like washers and bolts. I enjoy making them look old and rusted. My dad was an electrician and my grandfather was a carpenter/plumber. I might have got something from them.
Paint with words today, the things that come from the family, clubs and groups you belong to.
Did you go to a family reunion this summer? Did you see some cousins that look just like you? Did you join a new club? Are you active in a club? Or do you sit and take it all in? (Not a bad place to gather writing material.)
Hope you all have a good week.
Keep writing!
Don't forget the CWC meeting this Saturday.

Friday, August 17, 2007

August 17 Prompt

Hi Everyone,

"I don't think anything is the opposite of love."

--Anne Lamott

And in the end...
Endings are things the we don't want to "give away". Don't read the ending first. If you know the ending you might not want to read the book, see the movie, or go to the play.
But today we are going to write nothing but endings.
Ending for plays, poems, short stories, etc. I hope that you feel free enough to go a little crazy with this. It can be a lot of fun and sometimes very revealing.

So...what is your favorite book? Or pick something that you don't care for. But it needs to be something that you know. Something that you remember.
Now, rewrite the ending. If need be go back and check the book and maybe use one of the last sentences to give you a jumping off place.
And really jump. If the book is an old classic make the ending a Si-Fi, if it's a humor story, make the ending a blood and gore ending.

Let me, or your other writer friends know what you re wrote and if you had any fun.

Have a great weekend and hope you stay cool.
Remember to KEEP WRITING!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

August 13 Prompt

Hello Writers.
"Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all."
--Ernest Shackleton

Today is about something spelled wrong.
But you need to write about the tension around the misspelling.
Think about buying a birthday cake for someone very special. The bakery misspells the name on the cake. You pick the cake up, and without looking at it you rush off to the party. You are late and the party is a surprise. When you get to the party the other guests hurry you into the kitchen with the cake. No one looks at the cake until it's time to light the candles. Someone then notices the misspelling.
Set your timer for 15 minuets and write about the the tension around trying to "fix" the mistake, or leaving it alone and what could be said to the birthday person.
What do you do? Write about your feelings and what others are saying.

Other ideas; a road sign that is misspelled, directions to a lawyer's office, your name misspelled on your driver license, some misspelling on an important report to you boss.
You get the idea.

Here's to a good week. Hope you all make time to write. If not every day at least 2 times a week.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Auguast 10 Prompt

Good morning Writers.
Did you have a good week? I for one, am so glad that it has been a bit cooler. My house and dog sitting job goes on until Monday. In some ways I'm glad that it is ending.
It's weird to sleep in someone else's home when you hardly know them and it's even weirder to sleep there when they aren't there. My daughter is taking care of 5 animals at another home and spends her nights there. She is doing much better with this than I am.

"The moon develops creativity as chemicals develop photographic images."
--Norma Jean Harris

Many times poets use photographs for inspiration. There are many stories in one image. Texture, story, and colors can incite ideas. Then if the viewer has a connection to the photo, or another experience, that brings another connection.
In honor of Laura's poetry swap and our photographers in the group, take out a photo from a trip and recall the day, time, mood, and anything else you can come up with.
Was it a warm day/night? Who is in the photo? Did you take it and where you taking it for the place or the people in the photo? Can you remember the feeling or the experience of what the place is like?
You can compose and image and/or idea.

Today or when you sot down to write next time, take out one of your photos and look at it closely. Study it and see what comes to mind. Write down words or phrases and after a few minuets put the photo away and read the things you wrote.

If you need a photo go to Katheryn's or Cyndy's photos. Click on the link to the right next to this post.
There is much inspiration there. If you can form a free verse poem, do it! Send it to a writing buddy and see if they can send you one back.
Or if a whole story comes out...good! Send that to Laura for Fresh Ink.
Take a good 15 minuets for yourself and write. You deserve to write because you are a writer.
Have a great weekend and

Monday, August 6, 2007

August 6 Prompt

Good morning Writers,
Sorry I didn't post anything for Friday, 8/3/07.

"What I fear in writing is the safe decision."
--Anne Rice

I use to worry what people thought about my writing. Now I write what I want. It's not to say that I don't care about what people think, it's about writing from my gut.
Somethings seem like I'm writing in the zone. I talked about that before. But if I try too hard and wonder what people might think I'm not writing in the zone. Funny, I thing that's why I keep doing the prompts. I've asked before if you would like changes but I only get one e mail back so I keep going. I do hope that this is still working for you and that you can use these prompts. So don't be safe. Write me and let me know how things are going, in your life, the prompts, the pets, whatever.

Speaking of pets, I'm pet sitting a dog that is a "scaredy cat". She is big and lean. But I have to spend the night at her house because she "can't be alone."
So every night I pack my overnight bag and go spend the night with Diana. She won't go outside without me. If she has to "go", she will wait until I go out in the back yard with her. In the house at night I thought she'd bark if there where noises. But she looks up and acts interested, and then looks at me as to say, "So, you going to go check on that?" If I don't move she drops her head back to the floor and goes back to sleep.
But, when we go for a walk she is strong and confident. She pulls the retractable leash all the way out and acts like she is walking me. Diana carries her head high and trots with her chest puffed out. I feel and look weak compared to her. I wonder if it is the "secure thing." Being tied to me she has twice the power so to speak. It's like a united front; we walk together and she knows I'm right behind her. Diana is not afraid to go up to other dogs. She pulls and barks to show she is confident.
I guess there is something to be said about tying things together for more strength.

Today write about safety. Or being safe. the feeling of not being safe. What did it feel like? When you feel safe what is that like?

Have a great week.
And keep writing.

Monday, July 30, 2007

July 30 Prompt

Good morning,

"...Facts can obscure the truth."
--Maya Angelou

I'm cutting right to the writing today. Have a full basket of things to take care of that sadly do not include writing.

Write about a significant thing that really happened. Look for the truth you got form that event.
If you want to go on...Write a fictional event that exposes a truth. If the ideas that you come up with
all seemed "fixed", that's okay. It can take a few tries to get a real type result. Keep trying.

Hope everyone has a great week. We had a very good speaker, on Saturday, if you didn't get a chance to attend.
Hope to see everyone at the next meeting.

Keep writing!

Friday, July 27, 2007

July 27 Prompt

Hope you all had a good week. I'm not sure, but have we been doing these prompts for a year? I can't remember when we started, but I have really enjoyed do this, and I hope that you all have found somethings that you can write about. If anyone knows when we started e mail me. k I'd like to do a little celebration via Internet.

"Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself."

My family and I live in a neighborhood of 50 year old homes. The houses seem to have a life expiration on them. A few years ago the roofs were all being redone. Then there was a faze of the houses getting new paint jobs. (And they all were needed). In the past two years everyone has been having the main line to the street done. The plumbers show up and the owners go out to meet them. They all have the same expressions. I know, we had to have our main line re plumbed two years ago. The plumbers and owners stand in the yard. The plumber points to the extra large Ash tree near the street. I know what they are saying. "This tree is beautiful but the roots have invaded your pipes. The old pipes are terra cotta and they crack and once the water drains out the roots go for the water." The owners look sad. You can see the dollar signs floating in the air above their heads. Some have had the plumbers just clean the line and send the man on his way. Then in a few months the truck appears with a different plumber. The story repeats. The neighbor across the street from us was the first one to have the plumber replace the main line to the street. She is a wise and savvy shopper so she got some day laborers to do the digging. The process seemed easy enough but when we had the plumber out to do ours we were not as lucky. With more dollars floating around our conversation the plumber told us that we had two lines going to the street and at a "y" of piles there were nothing but shards of ceramic.
The neighbors around us are now going though the same thing. Their sad faces and the dollar signs can't be missed. We've been there before and feel their pain of loosing pipes and replacing them. The yards are dug up and burly guys unload the trucks. PVC pipes littering the yard is a sign that the main line is the problem. Sometimes small back hoes are brought in to wheel around the dirt and rocks. But the look is aways the same on the owner's faces. Sadness at the decline of their home. And that the beautiful tree in the front of their home could do such damage.

Here are some words to choose from; ranch, fence, boards, farm, birds, clay, cup, pen, paper, magnet, coaster, bike, book, bell, disk, plate.
Choose one of these word and write it at the top of the page/paper. Now do some word association and write every word that comes to mind down the center of the page. Try to go all the way down the page to the bottom.
Now pick on of the words you like and write a poem or a story that seems to go with the word. Let the stream of writing flow and do not edit! There might be some really bad stuff but there might be some very good stuff. See what happens. If you get something out of this send it to Laura, for Fresh Ink. If you don't get anything then just remember this when you feel blocked. It is a good exercise to get your writing muscle going.
Have a great weekend.
Keep writing!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hawk's Visit

New Art

There's new art work at the Claremont Museum of Art. The artists are local and the art is a cross section being produced in and around Claremont. The Museum is located at 536 West First Street. Open Tuesday through Sunday 11am to 7 pm

July 23 Prompt

Good morning (if you are up late and reading this on Sunday, Good evening).

"Only those that risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
--T. S. Eliot

Thank you to those who e mailed me about my Hawk prompt. I'll send the pics when I figure out how to do that.

Do you plan and rehearse your days, moments, life? I do. I'm working at limiting the amount of rehearsing that I do for my day. In some ways it's good to be prepared but I think that sometimes we write and rewrite our time and days until it doesn't look like us or who we really are. I have learned this almost too late. I lost the me I use to be after many years as a chameleon. Changing to fit or rehearsing what I'll say or do. But that made me miss me. So I'm on a walk about to get back to who I really am. I'm letting the wind take me, the real me, to places that I might not have visited before. I'm not literally going places. But I'm not rewriting, planning, rehearsing everything like I use to do. It's hard to make changes but it feels so much more real and true.
Think about your writing. It's easy to write in the flow and let your pen go on fire. Incomplete sentences, no punctuation, just streams of words. But do you go back and cut the words so what you first wrote has become something else?
Be careful that you don't loose the essences of your writing. If you do cut things. Keep those lines and sentences as seeds for something else. They can become a poem, short story of an opening for a nonfiction article. Don't be too quick to cut. Let it simmer a day or so. Sometimes change is not good.
Pick a part of your body. One you like or don't like. Give it a life. Sing a song of praise to the part. Try not to get sappy or use cliches.
Ode to My Toes sounds good to me.

Have a great week.
Please keep writing. We need good words in this world.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hello Writers.
Another Friday, and I'm looking forward to Saturday & Sunday. Some weeks seem so long and others seem to fly by, and I can't keep up with the days. That's when I'm having a good week or having fun. It's when I'm, writing well or making art that is satisfying. Here's to a good weekend to all.

""Praising what is lost Makes the remembrance dear."
--Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

At first I was sort of upset by a hawk that has been hanging around our front yard and the few houses near us. He/She was pooping on the cars and the driveway. And if you have never seen hawk poop, it is a real mess. I'd go out and wash down the cars so the paint wouldn't come off. The bird seemed to be calling to someone. It sounded lost. There was that lonely sound to the call. When I finely had a chance to see the bird, wow, what a beautiful thing. When he/she would take flight, my jaw dropped. Such grace and glide. Last weekend the bird was on the back fence. Our dog, Wilbur and my husband, Carl went close to check the creature out. The hawk turned it's head almost all the way around to watch them approach. The three just stared at each other. When the bird was done it took off.
The hawk has been here for about 2 weeks and I keep hoping he'll/she'll find it's way back to the Botanical Gardens here in Claremont. I've seen the birds at the garden and this one might be from there. Then I wondered why he/she kept calling out. Well, it's more like a whistle. That poor bird has been calling for days. So of course I just figured it was lost. Maybe because of the building in the foothills, the bird is looking for food. We have an invasion of squirrels too, so I thought that they were run out form where they use to live. Then one day this week I saw them. There are two and they called to each other. I felt better that the one wasn't lost here by it's self. I still wonder why they are hanging around my neighborhood.
They might not be lost. I might be wrong, but to me, it seems that they should be someplace else. But why can't they just be here because? Somehow I have the idea that they are out of place. This is a residential neighborhood, and some thing, some where in my mind has said that the birds are out of place in this area.
So I have decided that for now, I'm going to enjoy the hawks and forget about what my rational mind tells me.

Write about a loss. Or something that seems lost. A misplaced loss that is not really a loss at all.
Have a great weekend.
And if you would like some pictures of these beautiful birds give me call and we'll set something up.

Monday, July 16, 2007

July 16 Prompt

Good morning writers.
Hope everyone had a good weekend. Did anyone do anything different? Did you take any pictures?
I have added Cyndy's and Katheryn's link for their photo galleries. Beautiful art!

"If you write a hundred short stories and they're all bad, that doesn't mean you've failed. You only fail if you stop writing."
--Ray Bradbury

Do you have a nutty relative? I had quite a few in my family. One was an aunt, (by marriage) was the nutty one to me as a kid.
When my uncle and aunt came to visit my cousins were young. You know, kids get dirty and out on "the farm" they seemed to get even dirtier, and more often.
My aunt Virginia, was a clean person. I mean she was very clean. Looking back now I know that she must have been a little OCD.
One day she was doing laundry again. It was just after lunch and she announced that we were going to clean up and take baths and change our clothes. I thought at the time she really didn't understand kids and playing. It was summer and we were 5 wild, fun loving kids that were not about to stop playing/getting dirty at 1:30 in the afternoon.
But her 4 did as they were told. My mom told me to just giver her some of my dirty clothes to make her happy. I was old enough that I didn't need a nap but my cousins did. I was to play along so my aunt could get my cousins down for naps.
I gave in knowing that I could go out and play while my cousins were scrub and buffed to a shine and put to bed. But my aunt had other ideas. We were all going to take naps and that was that.
I dug in my laundry basket, and pulled out some play clothes from the day before. I think she had slipped the night before, and cleaned out my basket but left two things for seed. As I was picking up the dirty clothes when my aunt came in behind me, pulled my shorts down and yelled, "Clothes! Now!" She grab the clothes I had in my hands, and made me take off the rest of the clothes I was wearing. She had preformed a magic trick like pulling off the table clothe and the dishes remain on the table. My aunt had got my shorts off me, but never knocked me down. I was amazed! After that though, I always thought she was nutty, magic trick and all.

Today write about a nutty relative. Are they nutty because you say so? They might not be nutty but they have something that is very different about them. Pick something that can be turned into a weird or different characteristic.
Have a great week and Keep Writing!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Shameless Self-Promoters

"From The Depths...!"

I'm part of a group called the Shameless Self-Promoters. We are having our 2nd reception this Saturday, 6pm to 10pm. 300-B S. Thomas St. Pomona
We are 18 or so artists and there are some great pieces. Our show is over the end of this month so if you can't come on Saturday the gallery is open Thurs. - Sundays 11am -4pm.
Hope to see you.
SSP Website:
I hope you all are not hiding in your beds because of today.
Get out there and see what wonderful things can happen.
I have seen our good friend and VP of IECWC Cyndy Largarticha's Photo Gallery today and just want to say she has some great photos there.
I will put her link on my blog if she's okay with that.

"Sweet are the uses of adversity."
--William Shakespeare

Have you had an experience that was so vivid that it stayed with you a long time. Something from your childhood that was an awaking or a shock or a big scare?
Or was it something that just happened? I have one from my childhood. All it takes is for someone to mention a word or a place. The word for me is "Opossum"!
Or possum. It doesn't matter which word is used, or if I see a possum, I'm sucked back to a day in my grandfather's hen house. If you have a word that pulls you back to something that ties into that word, write about it. No word or place or person or thing comes to mind? I'll give you one. Or two.
King. Or Queen. You can't tell me that somewhere in you past or right now, those two words take you to something vivid in your mind.
Set your timer and write.
Those that are bored and want to hear the story of the hen house here it is.

When I stayed at my grandparent's house for the weekend, one of my jobs was to collect the eggs. Grandpa had "Bannie" chickens in a hen house that been an old green house. The house was nothing but strips of thin wood that form the structure. I went in one morning and made my way around the house checking the nests. The house was dark and covered by grape vines. Only one area was lit by the sun. The nests were in one dark corner away from all the perches. The nests were old orange crates that were built like high rise cubbyholes in a roll top desk. Those were the /big buck/ nests. The cheep side of the hen house had old buckets and barrels turned on their sides and stacked so some where up off the ground. It was in that very dark corner of the house I was groping my hand under chickens and empty nests to find the warm fresh eggs.
One bucket was tipped on it's side and there were rags and hay lining it to make the nest soft. One egg sat in the nest, and as I reached for it a fierce hiss and snarl made me jump. Coming out from under the rags was a possum. He had egg all over his face. Not what I had expected. I dropped the basket I was carrying and ran out of the hen house.
I can't hear the word or see the animal without that vivid image jumping to the front of my mind.
Have a great weekend.
Keep writing!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Relax without drugs

When I'm stressed I go to the kitchen to eat. Bad habit. Now I'm overweight. All I needed to do was pick up a paint brush or read a book or magazine. I have been an artist all my life and after ALL this time I finally found out that I need art to calm me down. Relax me. Bring me peace.
On Mondays I go to a watercolor class. From 9:30 am to 2:00 pm I don't care if I eat or not. I even forget to take a drink of water. That's ironic. After my class I'm so relaxed that the drivers cutting me off seem to fly by like cute birds not wild, crazy, very late for everything, motorist. If you don't paint, go to a craft store and get a child's box of watercolors and pick out one wide brush. It needs to be at least 1 inch. Buy some cheep watercolor paper and take them home. After a stressful day get out your supplies and a paper cup with water in it. You don't need anything formal. The kitchen table is a great place to paint. Put on some music that is not too up beat. (You will paint with the beat of the music and this is to relax you not make you wild.) Dip your brush in water and run it over the paper. Wet the brush again and slather it in a blue or green. Get the paint really wet! Then rub the brush on the paper. Stop! Watch the paint run and skip into the water.
Wet the brush again and load it with another color. Go next to where the first color stopped running and put your brush down and watch another flow of color. You can do this until you get bored or the music runs out. No formal training for this. It is pure joy. Do not try to make the painting into "something". Who cares what it "is". This is an exercise to relax, don't get yourself up tight trying to make something out of the paint, water an paper. That's another exercise!
Have fun and let me know if it worked.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

July 9 Prompt

"What a surprise to find you could shift the contents of your head like rearranging furniture in a room"
-Lisa Alther, novelist

The idea for these bi-weekly writing prompts came out from Barbara DeMarco-Barret's (Author of Pen On Fire) speech to the Inland Empire California Writers Club.
The rules of the game are as follows:
*Assemble your writing implements, whatever they may be,
*Read the prompt,
*Set your timer for 15 minutes, and

"He's a real no-where man/ sitting in his no-where land/making all his no-where plans for nobody..."
-Nowhere Man, The Beatles

Have you ever had a conversation with yourself? Not the kind where you ask, "Where's my *%@# keys? I can't find my *%@# keys! Where'd I have them last?" and so forth...
The conversation I'm talking about is the type where you ask yourself, "Who am I? What do I love to write? Why am I here?"
I hope you're answering: "I'm here to write."

Today, ask yourself what you would love to write about and DO IT!

For those who are stumped...

"In my desk drawer, I found..."

That was your opening phrase. Write for 15 minutes.

Enjoy your week. Hope to see you here Friday!

PS- my daughter is prepared to give a gold star to anyone who can connect today's prompt with the Beatles quote above...GOOD LUCK!