The key, Hey Presto & making pilgimage.
What are your key words?
What does this image open in you?
What would your key look like?
Use your key words to open all those free writing doors...
Ever dreamed of making inanimate objects real?
Here is your chance.
This is a cute book to use with students or to offer to a young wordsmith. It is fun, colourful and informative, set out with space to write directly in the book!
Try it out with this little test run on personification.
We continue to explore our Fruitflesh with Gayle Brandeis.
What and where are you made up of?
Follow the prompt and take us on a tour…
The witching hour, more bones and flesh.
There is a time in the day that is just right, your time, when all is quiet and your mind has room to move…or not.
I tend to be a night owl, pottering into the night without realising. Others are early birds and love to watch the sun come up. Maybe there is a time related quote that resonates with you, if so share it with us and free write your time away!
Back to basics and Natalie Goldberg, (among others), has it covered.
A little bit of stress often creeps into our creative endeavours. Wondering if we'll get it right, have natural talent, understand or fear of the blank canvas or white page.
Overthinking it makes you more anxious, so ...
go with the flow,
set achievable goals like keeping the pen moving,
writing the first thing that comes to mind,
not worrying about spelling and grammar,
remembering that there is no wrong or right,
and most importantly, enjoy yourself!
I have pretty much read similar advice in many of the creative writing books I’ve come across. Finding your time, choosing your tools, creating your rituals…its all part of the process.
So lets perform a little experiment.
Grab a handful of as many different writing tools and materials as you can find at hand.
Experiment writing with them all.
Write in different locations, with or without music, with incense or birdsong or complete stillness. Make a feather quill and dip it in some real ink, dribble those slurps of tea onto the page and tell us what works best for you.
yle Brandeis’ book Fruitflesh is divided into earthy chapters following the cycle of life: seeds, roots, trunk, branches, leaves, buds, flowers, fruit, seeds.
Within each are little stories and anecdotes, connecting this same cycle back to the lush richness of our bodies and all the rites of passage of life, turning each thought into a moment of reflection, a metaphor, a writing prompt.
If you read the Intro last week, you will have a sense of the fruitfulness she speaks of; perhaps you feel it within yourself already. It is beautifully crafted and incredibly inspiring, celebrating each step of the feminine voyage.
This week we are rummaging around in our cellars...
Check the images for the prompt.
Inspiration, bones and fruit flesh.
For as long as I have felt the urge to write, I have discovered and been inspired by other writers.
You may have guessed by now, that inspiration comes to me from all around; lists, words, sounds, the senses, nature, books, views, everyday routine, art, people… Really it is endless, anything and everything!
Let’s go with that idea.
Free write a list of what inspires you.
Writing down the bones by Natalie Goldberg
I bought this book in august 2001 and my copy is in French. It was exactly what I needed at that moment in time and I have underlined and highlighted many pages.
Writing is a wonderfully tactile activity. I have always enjoyed the preparation, the tools and the materials as much as the physical act itself.
Sometimes ritual is involved, sometimes it is spontaneous. Ultimately, getting the words out is the most important, though it is lovely to linger on posture, on place and position, on how your hands move with your chosen tools, of the sounds you make and the rhythm you create. Much inspiration comes through our processes, through those beginning moments, where Natalie Goldberg explains we choose the tools that work best for us, whether by desire or necessity.
What are your tools? Do you use a special pen, a certain journal, a typewriter or laptop? How do you make your marks? Check out Youtube for some feather quill instructions!
Fruitflesh by Gayle Brandeis
This is a luscious book.
This is one of those books that I wish I wrote for so many reasons and I know it will appeal to many of my creative sisters out there!
To whet your appetite, I am including just the intro and the very beginning of chapter two, for you to work with.
If you can find a copy, buy it for sure!
Teinei, recipes and Samhain
I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date! It's been a busy week here full of wonderful distractions and inspiration...here are your prompts, ripe with reflection, a little history and plenty of imagination!
Words hold meaning.
Some words hold whole patterns of thought and philosophy.
Some foreign words hold a sensation or capture an idea or emotion in a way other languages cannot.
This little book is full of such words, Japanese words that express this mindful magic as only Japanese can.
Teinei - courtesy expressed through attentiveness.
What does attentiveness look and sound like for you?
A recipe for everything!
So much fun in this book!
Simply follow the recipe on page 213-214…(above)
Samhain/Halloween…the witching hour
There is always something worthy of celebration, and when we forget why, there are plenty of good books to remind us!
Halloween is around the corner and though we groan about all the in-your-face marketing, beyond all that is history rich in seasonal magic, so let's get back to source, call on your inner witch or wizard and cast a few spells!
Of course, in Australia the seasons are the opposite!
Check out this little book, 'Sunwyse' for a down-under comparison and here is a little reading to get you started.
What are you celebrating?
Pre web leisure, Tanka and juxtaposition.
Monday afternoon…leisurely sipping cups of tea and enjoying a few chapters of a steampunky adventure.
I started downloading my next audio book, discovering sometime later, that my internet connection is flashing red instead of green.
So far the usual remedies haven’t worked, so I am off line for the evening and find myself slightly frustrated and wondering (though I kind of know really because I was there), what did we do before we became ensnared in the world wide web? Do you remember life pre-internet? Tell me about it. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting till tomorrow to send our weekly prompts out there!
In the book Write Every day by Harriet Griffey,
a Tanka is described as a short poem of five lines and a rhythm of (usually) 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 beats.
In the book, Rip the past Adventures in Creative Writing by Karen Benke,
One way to write a Tanka is:
1. name an object from nature
2. choose three words that describe your object
3. What does your object do? Or how does your object move?
4. Where is your object in time and space? Be as specific as you can
5. What do you have that your object doesn’t have?
No___________, no______________, no___________________
Here is our classroom group effort
Light yellow bright
Twinkling eyes in the sky
Millions of night guardians
No sadness no anger no worries
Formulas are an amusing way of getting started with something. A little like a recipe, follow the steps, then wait and see the results! I really loved this one from Rip the past Adventures in Creative Writing by Karen Benke
Take a piece of paper and fold it in half lengthwise.
With the crease on your right:
Write down ten words you like.
Add a descriptive word in front of each word, if you like.
Flip the paper over (don’t unfold it) so the crease is on the left.
Write down the month or season you were born.
Write down a day of the week.
Write down ‘the past’, ‘the present’ or ‘the future’.
Write down a favourite colour.
Write down ‘my heart’.
Write down ‘my imagination’.
Write down a feeling state (joy, sadness, amazement)
Write down a type of weather (mid-week rain, smooth sunshine)
Write down a small sound (tiny whispers, puppy snores, grunts…)
Write down a favourite food.
Unfold the paper and write ‘Poetry is’ at the top (or ‘My imagination is’, ‘Inside my heart is’, ‘My life is’, ‘Creativity is’…), then combine your list from either side of the page with the word ‘of’ sitting between each column. Mix and match from each side of the page until you find an example of juxtaposition-putting two unlike things together (side by side) to wake up your ears and make your mouth smile.
the present moment
and my wine red heart.
Poetry is restless leaves,
my imagination painting
a tempest of awe and wonder.
Poetry is hopeful murmuring,
intuition and universal symbols.
Poetry is moist petrichor
and weightless olives.
Poetry is being.
The way of tea, ocTAROTober & stillness
The way of tea
After a long day or a trying moment…nothing like a cup of tea to find your zen space. There are more quotes and musings about tea than we could count, not to mention the art of the tea ceremony!
Use your free writing to share favourite tea quotes and to describe your tea ceremony and why not throw in a tea drinking photo too!
I love opportunities to learn and practice my tarot skills, so when I saw this little challenge by @newagehipster333 on Instagram, the timing was right on.
I am intrigued by universal symbolism, which is why tarot appeals to me so much. Your task is to find and share a tarot image that speaks to you and let it inspire some written wanderings.
If you fancy, join the challenge too!
Despite the business of school holidays, stillness is something I ponder about regularly. I daydream (usually when I'm driving to work!), about wandering in the bush or sitting under a tree, being still and observing everything around me.
Strangely enough, when the opportunity arises to do just that, I feel restless, as if I should be doing something...seems I'm very good at being still and doing nothing in particular at home where there is always a to-do list!
This lovely library book jumped out at me, (as they do!), I've barely skimmed the pages and have already found much wisdom.
So now for a little meditation on stillness.
What does stillness mean for you? How do you achieve it?
Where is your still space or place?
Overdosing, mistakes and esoteric head wear.
What do you always do too much of?
There are probably a few things that come to mind.
For me it is books.
I am going camping for a few days and I will no doubt take more books than I can read, just as I borrow bags of books from the library, to add to the piles of books I already have at home!
Books are exciting and comforting.
Just having them there is pure pleasure, so if I have to overdose on something, let it be books! And making stuff, wandering, op shopping, writing, dreaming...the list goes on!
i am a mistake
my missed takings
are the best of me
what do you do, how do you see your mistakes?
I have discovered that my best work and discoveries come when I err...error from err...to wander, often aimlessly and without intention...perchance to dream?
noun: mistake; plural noun: mistakes
1. an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong.
"coming here was a mistake"
Error fault inaccuracy omission slip blunder miscalculation misunderstanding flaw oversight misinterpretation fallacy gaffe faux pas solecism misapprehension misconception misreading
slip-up boo-boo howler boner fail boob clanger goof bloomer misreckoning
Misunderstand misinterpret get wrong put a wrong interpretation on Misconstrue misapprehend misread miss take amiss be wrong be in error be at fault be under a misapprehension be misinformed
be misguided be wide of the mark be barking up the wrong tree get the wrong end of the stick
confuse with mix up with take for misinterpret as confound with
late Middle English (as a verb): from Old Norse mistaka ‘take in error’, probably influenced in sense by Old French mesprendre .
You may have noticed my recent post inviting you to participate in a hat making challenge...ESOTERIC may seem like a tricky theme, however, as with any challenge, it's all in the interpretation. That is what I love about creative work shopping, so much magic and inspiration evolves from our interpretations!
So please don't get caught up in trickiness, go with the first idea that pops in your head.
Describe an esoteric hat or headpiece, and then because I know you have creative bones, make it! I will be calling out to my witchy poetess energy and who better than the ancient Greek poetess Sappho to guide us!
Share as many inspiration posts as you like. I can’t wait to see what you imagine!
mid 17th century: from Greek esōterikos, from esōterō, comparative of esō ‘within’, from es, eis ‘into’. Compare with exoteric.
intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
"esoteric philosophical debates"
Abstruse obscure arcane recherché rarefied recondite abstract difficult hard puzzling perplexing
Enigmatic inscrutable cryptic Delphic complex complicated involved over/above one's head
Incomprehensible opaque unfathomable impenetrable mysterious occult little known hidden
Secret private mystic magical cabbalistic involuted
Spring-clean your handbag, circle of life, poem for the day
Vide son sac!
Empty your bag
Make a list of everything in it
Use this list to write a portrait of ownership
Circle of life…
Focusing on the deeper meanings and universal symbolism of the circle, create a mandala of words reflecting what this shape means for you.
Poem for the day
I’ve been manifesting my witchy poetess self this year; reading more poetry, studying poetry, joining a poetry book club, writing poetry, seeing and living poetry everyday…it is nothing less than po-epic!
It fits right in with my creative vibe and is a welcome reminder of all that is wondrous around me.
So have a read of Mr. Cohen’s poem, you are possibly familiar with his songs. I’ve highlighted the lower comment as our writing focus.
Where is your everyday magic? (Maybe you found it in your bag!)
“Out of the junk of everyday – ‘the garbage and the flowers’ – the magical world of the imaginative is created. There is a strong sense in which his poetry is a prodigious search of experience for the exit from the ordinary.”
Wildflowers, mud maps and bird shadows…spring is definitely in the air!
A Sunday ramble in the spring-shine bush, recalled my 19-year-old self and reminded me of a handsome young lover who called me wildflower…possibly the sexiest compliment ever! Do you sometimes recall special spoken words and past lovers? What makes you feel like a wildflower?
While we have steamy young love on the mind, why not navigate some serious contours. Keeping with the map theme, this week (and every week) you are the treasure. Design a mud map of your body. Describe, explain and give directions to the song of your curves, the blossoming of your being, what makes your skin sing…plenty of gooey clichés and juicy metaphors available.
How about the key to your heart, secret gardens, mossy caverns, tangled bushes, rolling hills, forbidden forest fruits…ha!
We are infinitely luscious and limitless!
Will your lover be able to brave the perils and unearth your treasures!
While driving to work this morning, a bird flew by in front of me and a split second later, I saw its shadow flying after it. It occurred to me that a bird shadow, when in flight, is completely separate from its body - unattached. It seems quite peculiar to me.
As far as I know, this is not the case for most shadows; they are, we are, permanently attached, (unless somehow you have figured out how to fly), they are always with us. Thoughts of Peter Pan’s mischievous shadow came to mind and all the shadow photos I like to take, stretching out in funny elongated angles. How attached are you and your shadow? What is your shadow story?
2020 is a slow fast year and I am so lucky to be part of some amazing online creative communities that help me navigate through all the ins and outs, ups and downs, highs and lows of the current age.
I believe that everyone is creative in their own unique, imperfect way.
Art isn’t only about drawing.
Poetry isn’t only about words.
Creativity isn’t only about making.
Art, poetry, beauty and creativity are all around us,
they are in the way we see and do things.
Each one of us has a spark within that keeps us alight
from the inside out.
Maybe you have many fires burning within or only one,
what matters is that something fuels you.
Creativity lies in that which gives us purpose, in what inspires us; whether you find it in the kitchen, the garden, at work, in the shed or studio, the where is not important.
The magic happens in how you nurture that spark,
how you tend your fires,
your creative energy.
It is there.
It is yours,
to keep private or share.
Embracing it is incredibly liberating.
Sharing and developing your creativity with likeminded souls is extremely rewarding. I am sending out much appreciation and gratitude to these inspiring groups that help keep my creative essence flowing!
At https://www.handmadebookclub.com/with Ali Manning from Vintage Page Designs, I continue to improve my skills, learn new bindings and share with book arts crazy creatives around the globe!
Dyed and gone to heaven paper dyeing and other wonderful bookbinding courses with Liz Constable
Easy bake Artisan Papers, course with Roben Marie https://robenmariestudio.com/
With all the writing, journaling and reading I do, I often discover links via social media feeds and sign up to interesting blogs and have found some fantastic poetry courses.
I have been a member of the Mystical Pōm Poetry group with Emily Motzkus https://www.emilymotzkus.com/for a few months now and am so happy to have found such a guide, such a group of amazing, kind women to learn and discover poetry, (among other things), with.
Emily has created a mystical poetry wonderland, of which she is the most perfect imperfect guide, full of vulnerability, excitability and enthusiastic encouragement. Her love for all things poetic is contagious and inspiring. This caring creative community has enabled me to see poetry everywhere and empowered me to embrace the witchy poetess within me.
I had great journaling sessions with:
Susan Eckert MA of https://www.thetransformationspace.com/
And https://michellegd.com/ and blogging advice with Pip Lincolne from http://meetmeatmikes.com/
My own online creative writing workshop is open to all. I post prompts Monday's on FB and my blog.
I have dabbled in more online poetry courses with:
Everyday is a poem
Free short courses with https://www.futurelearn.com/
How to make a poem
A-levels study boost: Unseen poetry and the creative process
How to read a poem
And not forgetting all the creatives on Instagram like the #areyoubookenough community, sharing incredible creative challenges.
I am constantly in awe!
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.