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!