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.