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.
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?
Climb every mountain, buried treasure and earthy bits.
Mountain – this was last month’s challenge theme for the #areyoubookenough creative bookbinding community. Each month I am awe struck with inspiration as I admire bookish creations from all curves of the globe. What is your experience with mountains? What memories or sensations do they evoke within you? Are you the mountain? Let your free writer spirit climb the rocky ridges and soar above the clouds!
X marks the spot
Do you remember the last time you made a treasure map?
What was your treasure?
Create a new map; will you encode the legend, include a key and a rose compass? Will the path be smooth or are there monsters and booby traps beyond the edges of the page? What adventure will you take us on?
A companion for slow living
by Anna Carlile
Once again, I praise books (it won’t be the last time, so you better get used to it!).
Once again, I found this one at the library and after only having flicked through the pages; I knew that I loved it! It wanders through the seasons with thoughts and simple activities to help you replenish your being.
This is the year of many things, and despite everything, it is not all bad. This lovely local publication, (the author hails from Melbourne), emerged this year, so it is rather timely, being that we all have more of it or that we have had to reorganise our time.
A suitable time for reflection and redirecting our roots. When do you feel most grounded? What helps you feel grounded? If you think like a tree, how do the elements assist you and which ones do you feel most in tune with?
For a raunchy spring-fling read…
How well rooted are your earthy bits?!
Courage, hope and the traces left behind...
I find that when I am focused on something, I see or hear it everywhere! This works with writing too. It is on my mind and I see correlation all around me, whether it is a few words I overhear, lyrics in a song or even random thought patterns while mixing a cake! Somewhere in this process, courage popped into my head. Is it an idea, a concept, a virtue or a strength and where does it come from? Can you describe or define courage?
Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson
During this topsy-turvy year where little has gone as we imagined, what thing is hope for you?
Last week we described the art of trying, a title inspired by a short reflection by Paulo Coelho from his book Like the Flowing River. This week, we change the angle of focus and reflect on the traces we leave behind us or that are left upon us, as we attempt to master the art of trying. Are they visible scars or invisible tracks? What form do they take? Do they define you? Do you make them with intention and wear them with pride or are they cause and effect of life?
How to try, artful thinking and play dates.
The Art of Trying. Write a description for this title.
There is art in much of what we do, from making tea, to hanging out the clothes and brushing your hair. Look at your daily art-scape. What are your rituals, your particularities?
Have you hung out with your inner child lately?
In her book The Source, Judith McAdam explains that in order to find alignment with source energy, we must first heal and nurture the child within us. With time and age, we often forget, repress or neglect the child we were, even though that child is always present and an important part of our true essence.
Find a childhood photo of yourself and free write your play date. How in touch with her are you? How will you reconnect? How is she feeling? Does she need fixing?
Branches, nonsense and contemplative curiosita.
Stretch out your branches, extend your roots and free write to this theme:
If I was a tree…
And just because you can, check out your Celtic tree sign
The more I read the more inspiration I find.
The more I make, the more I do, the more I share…it is endless!
Sharing is one of the main reasons I (re)created Amotisse. It gives me a special kind of joy and the inspiration I receive from your participation is magical!
Eva (aka Freda) recently shared some of her spoken poems with me, recited in their original German to music, emphasizing sound and rhythm, wonderful!
Once again, we will follow her lead and write some nonsense poems. Here is her one below. Seems like good timing for being nonsensical!
Man könnte weisse Mäuse züchten und einen Papierbrief schreiben, Nelkenzigaretten rauchen und den Brief per Taube schicken, Raupen aus den Nelken fischen und vernichten
oder einfach in der Wanne liegenbleiben.
Man könnte Raupen sammeln und in Briefen schicken, Tauben züchten und den Mäusen schreiben, Zigaretten in die Nelken legen
und die Blattlaus in den Tiefschlaf giften.
Man könnte Tauben räuchern und mit Nelken, spicken Raupen mit den Läusen schlafen schicken,
rote Knöpfe an die Maus verfüttern
Briefe züchten und im Vollbad rauchen.
Doch was tut man?
Unversinnzapft ein Gedicht.
You could breed white mice and write a paper letter, smoke clove cigarettes and send the letter by dove, fish caterpillars from the carnations and destroy them
or just stay in the tub.
You could collect caterpillars and send them in letters, breed pigeons and write letters to the mice, put cigarettes in the carnations
and put the aphids into dead sleep.
You could smoke pigeons larded with cloves, send the caterpillars to bed with the aphids
feed red buttons to the mouse
Cultivate letters and smoke in the tub.
But what do you do?
Spin around a poem that doesn't make sense.
(Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version))
Our final Curiosita exercise, follow as below.
In an age of sound bites, contemplation is becoming a lost art. Attention spans grow shorter and the soul suffers. To contemplate, as defined by Webster, is “to look at with continued attention, to meditate on.” It comes from the root contemplan, which means “to mark out a temple” (con, “with”;
templum, “temple”) or “to gaze attentively.”
Choose any question from the previous exercises—for example: What people, places, and activities allow me to feel most fully myself?—and hold it in your mind for a sustained period, at least ten minutes at a time. A good way to do this is to take a large sheet of paper and write the question out in big, bold letters. Then:
Find a quiet, private place and hang it on the wall in front of you.
Relax, breathe deeply, allowing extended exhalations.
Just sit with your question.
When your mind starts to wander, bring it back by reading the question again, out loud. It is particularly valuable to do this contemplation exercise before going to sleep, and again upon waking. You will find that if you practice it sincerely, your mind will “incubate” insights overnight.
As the laptop does it’s internal thing,
I’m surrounded by the hum of the fireplace, (old, noisy, yet efficient),
radio tunes and the ever succulent thrum of wind and rain.
Sounds soaking down,
through and within,
bringing green transformations,
future abundance and
ease to the farmer’s mind.
Three faithful furry companions curl up beside me.
My eye is caught by reflections of birds flitting,
enjoying the winter shower outside.
My mind wanders,
nothing unusual there.
I’m prone to distraction and
grey, wet skies make me pensive.
Natural cleansing and replenishing
as nature washes and refreshes her pores,
she extends her transformative energy out to us.
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.