This week it's all about lists.
Lists are marvelous things and provide endless fodder for all kinds of writing. Answer them quickly or take your time to ponder.
This is only the beginning!
In a time before internet, social media and blogging, Victorians liked to amuse themselves by playing parlour games, one of which was questionnaires. These were recorded in a confession album and some became quite famous, like this one by the French writer Marcel Proust. (Have a look here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proust_Questionnaire if you are interested in Proust's responses)
Here is Proust’s Questionnaire:
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your current state of mind?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
9. On what occasion do you lie?
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
11. Which living person do you most despise?
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
16. When and where were you happiest?
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what
would it be?
21. Where would you most like to live?
22. What is your most treasured possession?
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
24. What is your favourite occupation?
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
26. What do you most value in your friends?
27. Who are your favourite writers?
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
31. What are your favourite names?
32. What is it that you most dislike?
33. What is your greatest regret?
34. How would you like to die?
35. What is your motto?
I have written so many lists over the years, some quite ordinary, others more creative. Here are two from 2008 I believe.
Use the list titles to write your own.
What to bring to a creative writing workshop
Bring hopes and desires but leave any expectations under the mat. Bring all your senses and something precious. Strange objects and weird photos are handy. Fountain pens make writing feel special…bring different ones in case you don’t know which colour to choose. Bring paper or a notebook, scissors and glue, a scarf to keep your neck warm, something delicious to share and a favourite teacup. Bring a lucky charm. Bring your own writing to read or someone else’s, an old book, some music and a candle. Bring plenty of answers and a few questions.
Things to do while watching a sunset
Listen to a man playing bagpipes.
Marvel at the wonder of it all.
Stare at the horizon.
Wish you could do this everyday.
Search for dust trails.
Say a little prayer.
Write a list of things to do while watching a sunset.
Collect something from nature.
Hug a tree.
Close your eyes and see what smells you recognise.
Do a little dance.
Sip some sweet tea or wine.
Smile like an idiot.
Read some poetry.
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.