Writing Fitness – Poetry

typewriter-472849_1280I am not much of a poet, however, at my writers retreat at Interlochen College of Creative Arts, I had an opportunity to write some. One of the challenges about being a writer is to explore new genres. This is part of skill building and learning new ways to get my words out. For any writers out there, being able to get words on paper can potentially be problematic.

I’d like to share some of the pieces that I wrote during a craft talk this week. The idea was to focus on one moment of a recent experience, and, perhaps, to add emotion and end with a question?

On my walk
I interrupted a
Bathing robin.
Puffed feathers,
water all the way to skin
Shake it off.
Will he return to finish?

Here is another one:

Wind blowing
Chasing the darkness
Deep breaths
Cleansing power of nature
Why won’t it stay?

And finally:

Walking the wooded trail
Focus right foot
Focus left food
Swat, swat
Focus, left foot
Focus, right foot
Breathe in, breath out.

Again, I am not a poet but I did enjoy remembering these moments in my day. These are snapshots that I can carry with me.

Writing is like anything. It improves with practice.

Challenge – Try this exercise and use the parameters of 3-7 lines as I did.

An Exercise in Memories

DSC_0282In a previous post, I discussed my ever growing bookshelf.What I didn’t talk about was some of my favorites. You know, the books you read over and over again, even knowing the ending. These are the ones you never part with, even if you outgrow them.

As I progress with my writing, I am discovering that these books can be used for other things.

Mainly as a way to learn different writing skills. Though others have done things like this.

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This image came from dustyprettythings.wordpress.com.

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This one is from strawberryearth.com. The author has an entire post dedicated to how to turn old books into something useful.

I prefer to learn from my favorites and here is a writing exercise that has recently come to me:

Take the first line from your favorite book and use it to begin a story.

Here are a few of mine.

“It was an October wedding.” Incubus Dreams, Laurell K. Hamilton

“The difference from a person and an angel is easy.” Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn

“Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.” Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

“If anybody cares to read a simple tale told simply …” Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

book-758384_1280Books have been a part of my life since I was a child. I’ve always thought that the mark of a “favorite” book is that it would be read over and over. I can honestly say that I’ve read each of these books many times. Even now I can go to my bookshelf, pick up one of these and be lost in minutes. The story, though known, still brings me pleasure in the reading.

This is an interesting way to work up some creativity, especially if the words aren’t flowing well.

How do you jumpstart your writing?