Writing Toward Home

Writing , Ideas, and Encouragement

Month: March 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Marvelous Metaphors

Word Play Wednesday   # 5       Marvelous Metaphors

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Metaphor: a figure of speech which makes an implied comparison between things that are unrelated but may share some characteristics.

 

Welcome back! Last time we played around with similes . Today we are going to tinker with metaphors.

 

Similes and metaphors both shape and strengthen our thinking and writing as we seek to create our own new and fresh expressions rather than relying on those we have heard many times.

I believe that of the two, metaphors have more power and actually lend themselves to more creativity. By omitting “as” or “like”,   you actually say that one object is another.

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There are several compelling reasons to use metaphors in your writing. They allow you to:
~Create original, eloquent description.
~Transmit complex ideas in a few words.
~Stimulate readers to deeper thinking and interpretation.

 

Metaphors often employ a form of the verb “to be”, by saying something is or was another, different object.

Shakespeare used many metaphors:

 

“All the world’s a stage.”

“ It is the East and Juliet is the sun.”

“ Now is the winter of our discontent.”

 

Song writers do as well:

 

“ You ain’t nothing but a hound dog.” ( Elvis)

” Baby, you’re a firework.” ( Katy Perry)

 

Metaphors are often used by both poets and fiction writers to create memorable or striking word pictures.

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For instance, in this line from “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes, “The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas”, creates a dramatic mental picture of a stormy night.  As the opening line of the poem, Noyes’ metaphor sets the tone and mood of the piece.

 

An implied  metaphor omits using “is” or “was” . Rather it compares two things without directly mentioning one of them.

 

Sarah barked orders to her children. ( compares Sarah to a dog.)

Mary fluttered about the house anticipating the party. ( compares Mary to a butterfly)

 

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Here is a poem by Beverly McLoughland that uses implied metaphor.

Night Story

When the blue page of day,

Is turned into night,

An alphabet of stars

Is printed, small and bright,

On dark and ancient-storied skies-

 

We read the universe

With wondering eyes.

 

Metaphors can be lots of fun to create.

 

Right now I am looking out my studio window. I can see trees, sky, flowers, and the traffic moving by on the road. I am going to come up with some metaphors for the things I see.

 

First I need to notice the characteristics of the objects I am going to describe and list adjectives.

Road- busy, noisy, well-traveled

Sky -blue, partly cloudy, bright, large

Flowers- colorful, white, red, pink, yellow

Trees- tall, large leafy, green

Next, I must decide on the mood I wish to convey with my description since this will inform my choice of things to compare them to. Since it is a beautiful day I want to use nouns, verbs and adjectives that are more positive and bright.
Then I use think about other objects that may share some of those characteristics and see if I can come up with a good phrase.

The trees reach toward the sun , their limbs raised in prayerful thanks. ( implied metaphor)

The dogwoods are ballerinas in their tutus of fluffy white ( metaphor)

The road is a swift river. ( metaphor)

The sky, the bright banner of heaven. ( implied metaphor)

 

Try creating some original metaphors.

 

Using colors is an easy way to get started. Choose a favorite color and then think of things to compare it to.

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Blue is kindness.

Blue is serenity.

Blue is a soft blanket.

Blue comforts me with a gentle hug.

Blue is electricity.

Blue is an intense flame.

Blue is power.

Blue jolts me into action.

 

What can you come up with?

 

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My Manifesto Part 2

My Manifesto Part 2 :   The Why, How and What of Writing

 

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In Part One of my Manifesto, I stated that a “ Writer is someone who writes.”
My intent was to promote writing as a something everyone can and should do.
Today I am going to address some anticipated questions.

 

Why should I write? Who do I think I am to try writing?

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Writing is the great equalizer. No matter our age, background or experiences we all have stories to tell. Our experiences and stories are as unique and individual as we are. They need to be written down, if only for ourselves. Your story, your dreams, your ideas deserve to be written down.

 

It is through writing that we take a journey of discovery, finding out how the world looks through our eyes and through the filter of our thoughts and feelings. It is what makes us human and also humane.

 

Writing helps us discover what we really think, feel and want. We can use it to uncover lost dreams, memories, or passions that we may have forgotten or perhaps never understood. Writing brings us home to ourselves.

 

How do I get started?

 

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One of the wonderful features of writing, is how easy it is to begin. Unlike many creative pursuits, there are few start-up costs. No fancy tools, elaborate supplies or equipment are needed. Do you have some paper and a pen or pencil? Then you have all the supplies you need. If you have a computer, you can use it. I choose to compose by hand for much of my writing practice. I will elaborate on the reason for that preference in a future post.

 

Another feature that writing offers over many other creative pursuits is that you need no special place. Writing can and does happen everywhere: libraries, coffee shops, waiting rooms, carpool lines, on the bus or subway, sitting in the bleachers during a child’s sport practice and so on.

 

You also do not need large blocks of time. John Grisham wrote his first novel, A Time to Kill, during court recesses, before work and during his lunch hour while working 60-70 hours per week as a lawyer. Find 10 minutes in the morning, or write during your lunch break at work. Schedule a few minutes before bed, or give up one 30 minute show on TV or Netflix episode and write instead. You have time to do the things you want to do.

 

 

What do I write?

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So you have paper, pen, a table at the coffee shop and 15 minutes. Now what?

Here are some ways to incorporate writing into your life. Pick a form and stick with it for a while and see if it resonates with you. If not, try another. Sometimes it takes a few false starts until we discover the structure our writing wants to take. I will elaborate more on each of these writing forms in future posts.

 

~ Keep a diary. Write about your days. What you do, who you see, what the weather is like. Keeping a diary helps you slow down and pay attention to your life. It also helps you keep count of your days and remember them. Start with just a few sentences.

Start with “ Today I…..”

 

~ Keep a journal. A journal is different from a diary. In a diary you record what you do. In a journal you record what you think. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, and other books on writing and creativity, recommends writing Morning Pages. Morning Pages are three handwritten pages in which you record your thoughts, worries, annoyances, emotions and ideas. You write whatever is on your mind and see where it leads you. Morning Pages, when done regularly, often lead to insight, clarity and even new projects or inspiration.

Start with “ I am …” or “I wish…” . In doing Morning Pages the idea is to just keep your hand moving and write whatever emerges in your thoughts until you have 3 pages written by hand. No editing or second guessing allowed. You may be surprised with what emerges. To find out more on Morning Pages, you can go to www.juliacameronlive.com or search for Morning Pages on the internet.

 

~ Keep a gratitude journal. This idea has many proponents including Oprah, Sarah Ban Breathnach and Anne Voskamp . In a gratitude journal you list those things that you are thankful for each day. This is often done at the end of the day. It can foster feelings of contentment and well-being and also make you more attuned to your life.

Start with “ Today I am grateful for…”

 

~ Thinking on paper. Often if I have a project I am working on or an idea to explore, I get a legal pad and just write. Writing down my chaotic thoughts and ideas often helps me to begin to see connections or holes in my thinking.

Start with “ My idea is…..”

 

~ Write your memories. Writing a memoir for yourself or for your family is a valuable and satisfying endeavor. Writing your memories helps you recall forgotten incidents, people and events and to reflect upon them. It is also a way to record your life for those you care about. It is a way to declare “ I was here. This is my story.” It will be yours and yours alone. If you don’t write it no one will.

Start with “ When I was 10…”

 

There are many other writing forms to explore: opinion pieces, personal essays, food memoirs, book/movie/restaurant reviews, travel logs, letters, science or nature writing, poetry and fiction. In future posts I will about each of these in greater detail.

For now, grab that spiral notebook or legal pad, a pen and a cup of coffee and give yourself a few minutes of writing time. Start today!

Happy writing!

 

 

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Word Play Wednesday # 4

Word Play Wednesday # 4   Similes

As Creative As _____________________

 

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Today’s word play is about using similes in your writing.

 

Simile: a figure of speech that expresses the resemblance of one thing to another of a different category, usually introduced by as or  like.  A well-known example would be: “ my love is like a red, red rose.”
We are all familiar with many common similes:
As busy as a bee
As snug as a bug in a rug
As happy as a clam
As strong as a an ox
Like a moth to  a flame

 

Similes add depth to our language by creating images. Writers and poets often use them to  quickly communicate a specific meaning to their readers.
Similes are such an integral part of our language, that we often use them without thinking. We have unconsciously incorporated them into our thoughts,  speech, and writing merely  by hearing them so often.
I will provide the beginning of some common similes. I’ll wager that you can complete them without too much thought.

 

As American as __________________
As stubborn as _________
Like two peas ________________

 

While such expressions help us quickly communicate meaning by their common usage, they often become old, tired clichés. They become so overused they have little impact.  When you use a clichéd expression, often your reader may simply skim over your writing and perhaps miss your intended meaning.

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 As  writers we should  be creating fresh,  new similes.  When you employ  original similes in your writing it causes your reader to pause and think about the comparison you have just made and it has more impact.
Today’s exercise is on developing  new similes to replace some tired, worn out ones.
This exercise requires a bit of brain work and an attitude of whimsy and discovery.
Try filling in blanks in these phrases with new comparisons.
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 It rained like_____________________
As cold as _____________________
As sweet as ___________________
As old as _______________________
As big as ____________________
As light as ___________________

 

Now we will try a bit of poetry. Here is the beginning of a poem by Robert Burns.
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            My love is like a red, red rose,
            That’s newly sprung in June.

 

 

Use this pattern to describe your eyes.
My eyes are  _________________________________
That _______________________________________________.

 

Here’s mine:
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My eyes are as brown as a chocolate bar
 That’s  melting in the sun.

 

You also can try writing other two-line similes to describe seasons, feelings, animals and so on.
Or go back and rewrite some of those familiar similes from the beginning of this piece.

 

My joy Is _________________________________
That_______________________________________
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Spring  is  as _________________________________
That _____________________________________

 

I’m as happy as ________________________
That _______________________________________

 

I am as __________________________________
That _____________________________________

 

The key was as ___________________________
That ______________________________________________

 

When you write and are tempted to use a clichéd simile, stop,  do a bit of creative thinking and come up with your own original phrase.
You may have as much fun as  dogs  off-leash at the beach!
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One Writer’s Beginnings

One Writer’s Beginnings: How Creativity Can Flourish Anywhere and The Power of Encouragement

            Today is St. Patrick’s Day, which happens to be my younger brother’s birthday.  It is also an anniversary of sorts for me. It was on this day, over 50 years ago, that I began to pursue my avocation as a writer.
            I was sitting in the first seat of the first row of desks in Mrs. Gudger’s third grade class. I was sitting in this prime spot, not because my teacher liked me, but for the opposite reason. I was a  bossy, opinionated, chatter-box at age eight and my teacher  had attempted to tame me by putting me up front where she could quell me with her steely-eyed stares.  She had given up on making me write lines for punishment .  100  written repetitions of   “ I will not talk in class” on multiple occasions had not put a dent in my talking. So there I sat, with a wall on one side and no one sitting behind or next to me. I was in exile.
            Driven to entertain myself another way while Mrs. Gudger droned on from her exalted position in front of the board, I began to draw and then write on the piece of paper in front of me.
This was a major infraction right up there with talking. My teacher,  in a desire to be in complete control of her class , I suppose, did not allow us to keep paper or pencils at our desks. At the beginning of each lesson she would choose two helpers. One child would pass out a single piece of paper to each classmate while the other would walk around with a box of  pencils for us to choose from.   You may be sure that I was never chosen for this honor.
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  While she was teaching we were supposed to sit with our hands folded in our lap awaiting instructions for what we were to do with the paper in front if us. We were always warned that we would only get this one piece of paper, so we needed to work neatly and not mess it up.
Fortunately for me the teacher rarely even looked in my direction so I was able to quietly slip my pencil from the desk tray and begin to create. I was thinking about my brother’s birthday and St. Patrick’s Day and there on the paper a poem about leprechauns took form.
By the time Mrs. Gudger had finished her lesson and told us to begin the assignment, my paper was filled with my poem and little drawings of leprechaun , toadstools and shamrocks.
I was thrilled with what I had written until belatedly I realized I would have to ask for another piece of paper to complete the assigned task. I raised a trembling hand and when called on I told her I needed another paper. By this time my teacher was seated at her desk as the class silently worked. She frowned ( and likely rolled her eyes) and told me to bring my paper to her. She took the offending paper, placed it on her desk and lectured me, once again, about paying attention in class and following directions. I am not sure but I may have heard some weariness in her tone. I was given another piece of paper and sent back to my desk.
Later that day she asked me if I had written that poem all on my own. I assured her that I had. She gave me a look I did not understand and then told me she was keeping the paper for the time being. I assumed she would be attaching  it  to yet another note  home to my parents.
 The next day we unexpectedly began a poetry writing unit and I was a happy and engaged participant in class for probably the first time that year.  A day or so later my poem was displayed in large print on the main bulletin board in the lobby of the school. I received praise and attention from former teachers, the principal, parents and friends.
I was hooked! I was a writer. I penned many poems, a neighborhood newspaper, stories, comic strips and more after that. Records and copies of those early  literary efforts no longer exist. What remained and flourished was the love of writing and the realization that my thoughts, words and efforts matter.

My message to you is two-fold:

Do not let circumstances dictate your dreams or crush  your creativity.

Remember that a bit of encouragement to a child or adult who is testing the waters of creativity can make all the difference.

Go create!

Word Play Wednesday # 3 Awesome Amazing Alliteration

Word Play Wednesday # 3   Awesome Amazing Alliteration

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Today’s Wordplay will win you over to the wonder of alliteration.

Alliteration: “the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.”

Using alliteration is a great way to have fun and play with words. We are all familiar with some examples of alliteration from childhood tongue twisters:

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Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

She sells seashells by the seashore.

Alliteration is not merely a device for tangling our tongues and charming children. It has an important function in the lyricism of prose, poetry and songs. It creates a rhythmic, almost musical effect, enhances flow, and brings attention to a piece of writing.

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Consider the following examples:
Scrooge was secret, and self-contained and solitary as an oyster.”   From  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dreamed before.” From “The Raven” by  Edgar Allen Poe.
 Paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”   From “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell

 

Of course children’s literature is filled with examples. Dr. Seuss’ ABC Book uses this device for each letter of the alphabet to great effect. Here is a sample:
 “David Donald Doo dreamed a dozen donuts and a duck-dog, too.”

 

Another important function of alliteration is in the world of commerce to help customers remember the names of products or businesses.

Krispy Kreme       Dunkin’ Donuts     Bed, Bath and Beyond

 

There are also many familiar phrases that use alliteration:
   tempest in a teapot    wild and wooly    It takes two to tango      leave in the lurch
 back to basics         make a mountain of a molehill
Here’s a word play activity:
Take the first letter of your name and create a list of at least 12 words beginning with that letter.
Make sure you include nouns, verbs and adjectives in your list. Include some geographical names as well.
Then try creating some sentences or phrases using as many of your words as you can.

Here is my word list.

Dana               dusty              dance              dream             Dalmatian      Detroit

dinosaur         dirty                dodge             dash                doodle                        dour

dragon            dotty               disturb           dazzle             doff                 distracted

dilettante       dingy              drink               dare                deepen           deafening

daisy               doubting        dazzle             dwell               douse              delay  

 

 Here are a couple of sentences I created.
Dana daringly dwells in dazzling dreams.

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The drawing dilettante doodled daisies on the Dalmatian’s dots.

 

You may want to keep going with this idea using other letters of the alphabet or take your words and create a poem, chant or song. You might want to illustrate your sentences with drawing or painting.

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If you are feeling absolutely alliterative, create an alphabet book and add your own illustrations.
Share your sentences in the comments. I would love to see what you come up with.

Are you an alliterative ace?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Manifesto Part 1 Everyone Can ( And Should) Write

Everyone Can ( And Should) Write 

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A teacher is someone who teaches, a baker is someone who bakes, a swimmer is
someone who swims and…..
 A writer is someone who writes. Period. If you write, then you are a writer. I  fully subscribe to that idea.

Writing is not some mystical, magical activity that is reserved for those who have been blessed by the Muse.

A writer is someone who writes.

I have noticed that people usually have  two different reactions to this statement:

1. Those who do not think they are writers get a wild, nervous look in their eyes and hold up their hands in protest, lest they be forced to create a sonnet or a 5 paragraph essay on demand. They immediately look for the nearest exit, shaking their heads all the while. They believe the lies told to them by red-marked papers and over- zealous teachers. They are the victims of meaningless assignments and nonsensical prompts, i.e. “pretend you are a pencil.”

2. Those who think they are Writers ( yes,  the capital “W” is intentional), get a judgmental , steely look in their eyes and hold their pens in a tight grip.  They shake their heads and begin to give rules about who can call themselves a writer, as if they are the gatekeepers to a secret club. They are victims of too many writing  workshops , books and quotes that tell them how hard it is to be a writer. They believe that writing is only for the chosen few who must “bleed” on the page and be tormented and miserable day -by -day as they eke out their precious, profound words.

To both groups I repeat: A writer is someone who writes.

The twentieth century  author and writing instructor Brenda Ueland said,

 “ Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say.”

I heartily agree.  Notice the first word in her statement: everyone. That means YOU.

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You are talented, you are original and you have something important to say. There has never been, nor will there ever be again someone with your unique outlook on the world. Only you can share your talents, your original ideas and thoughts. If you do not express them, they will go unwritten.

You owe it to yourself to write your story down. It is only in committing our jumbled thoughts, ideas and memories to paper that  can we begin to make sense of them, to see what they mean.

Does that mean you have to publish those thoughts? Create a blog? Write a book? No, of course not. If you want to do those things, go for it! The world always needs to hear new ideas, fresh stories, and honest insights.

But in truth, publishing is beside the point. It is not the reason for writing.I have been a writer of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and essays for over 50 years, but I have only  one publishing credit to my name.  So why do I keep at it and why do I teach creative writing classes to others? Because writing matters.  Words matter. Thoughts matter. Stories matter. Ideas matter.

Writing should not be something we do in school for a grade and then leave behind in relief when we graduate. Neither should it be merely the province of  the professionals, the Writers.

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Writing is for all of us because creative expression is part of our core. We are made in the image of God, which means we are like Him in essence if not always in action. What is God’s essence? He is the Creator, the Maker, the Originator of language and story. He has been writing His story since the beginning of the world. In the Gospel of John it says, “ In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  Psalm 33:9 says, “ For when He spoke the world began.”

Words have power: to create, to change, to  transform.

As His creatures we are characters in the grand narrative He is telling and we all have our part to tell, to write, to add to the story. We need to create in order to transform ourselves and perhaps the world around us.

Your story, your words, your ideas matter. 
Grab some paper and a pen and begin. Write!
A writer is someone who writes. 

Next week I will post Part 2 of my Manifesto.

Thanks for reading!

Lexicon Writing: Creating a Poem

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On Wednesday I wrote about my Lexcion and how I use it to collect special words I love and want to remember. I quickly paged though my book and chose 4 words to give as examples.

 

They were: frippery, resplendent, talisman and shimmering

 

I decided to challenge myself to use those words in a poem. They are all words that have power because of both the visual images they conjure for me and the way they feel when I say them aloud. They have rhythm and music in them; perfect words for poetry.

 

Here is my poem. I wrote it this morning sitting outside in my sunroom as I listened to the birds and observed the flowers and buds that are beginning to appear.

 

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Promenade

 

Spring is tiptoeing back into the world

the daffodils and forsythia leading the procession.

In their garments of yellow

they are the bridesmaids, the handmaidens

heralding what is to come.

The cherry trees are resplendent

in their pink frippery that flutters,

then scatters in the breeze,

a wild dance of celebration.

The bride, the empress,

arrayed in  rose, coral and alabaster  of

 the azaleas and dogwoods

glides in.

 Her tresses of shimmering  leaves sway,

reaching skyward

to pay homage

to her talisman

the sun.

Dana Kumerow 2016

 

 

 

Wordplay Wednesday # 2 Word Collecting

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Word Play Wednesday # 2 Word Collecting

Lexicon: “the vocabulary of a person, language or branch of knowledge; a wordbook.”

Last week I wrote about making a weather word list and then using it to spark an idea for a piece of writing. Later in the week I posted my story, “Rainy Day Walk”, which was the result of my word list.

This week I want to talk about what to do with the words you collect in your lists and in the other exercises I will reveal on subsequent Wednesdays.

 

Every writer who desires to grow and improve should keep a Lexicon, a word collection book.

 

Why keep a Lexicon?

The only power and currency a writer possesses is her vocabulary. It is her sword, her paintbrush, her wand she brandishes to create and conjure the magic and artistry of stories in her readers’ minds. Writers who create powerful and brilliant stories spend time gathering words. A writer should constantly and consciously be collecting words as a habit.

 

Here are the names of some well-known word collectors: Annie Proulx, John Updike, James Joyce, Tim O’Brien and Leonardo da Vinci . Writers known for their craft and expertise gather words to keep their writing alive, fresh and growing.

 

Which words do you collect?

You gather words that resonate with you, words that are fun to say, words you like. You collect words you hear and words you read that you don’t want to forget.   Here are a few words from my Lexicon: resplendent, talisman, frippery, shimmering. I love how these words sound when I say them. They conjure up images and make me smile.

 

You also make word lists: weather words, color words, sound words and so on.

Collecting words should be an ongoing practice. It is a way of filling your well and increasing your repository

 

What should a Lexicon look like?

My Lexicon is not elaborate , although you could choose to make one as fancy as you like. I use a plain, sewn composition book from the office supply store. I keep it on my desk with my other “go-to” writing supplies and resources.

 

In the Lexicon I have a section for my generated word lists, as well as a section for interesting or unusual words I come across in my reading that I want to remember.   I have sections for nouns, verbs and adjectives. I do not attempt to alphabetize my lists, I just let them collect, page after page and then I let them simmer. Occasionally I page through my lexicon just to immerse myself in I words I love.

 

The best place to find good words is by reading widely and reading well: novels, non-fiction, poetry, newspapers, and magazines. A great resource for specialty words is in garden supply, art supply or seed catalogs. They are filled with special and specific words for their niche. Also wandering around in hardware stores and perusing paint names, tool names and so on are great places to discover new words.

 

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So grab a small bound book and begin collecting words. Put in words that  are fun, juicy, that you don’t want to forget. Write down unfamiliar words and then look them up. Make word lists and go on word hunts.

 

Happy Word Collecting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings: 20 Things I Have Learned in Life

 

 

Monday Musings :  20 Things I have Learned in life

 

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            Today I am musing on what I have learned in life so far. This list came from a prompt we were given in my Wednesday night writing group last week. When I read it aloud, all of the ladies around the table nominated it to be a blog post. It is a mix of serious and not-so serious gleanings from 60 years of living.

 

 

 

  1. I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did.

 

  1. Being an adult looks better from a child’s point of view than it does in the middle of the muddle.

 

  1. There’s only so much time. It is finite, so don’t waste it.

 

  1. You can do most of the things you want, just not all at once.

 

  1. Being kind is more important than being right.

 

  1. Sometimes having the last word comes at a heavy price.

 

  1. Most people are kindhearted and just want to live their lives in peace and take care of their families.

 

  1. Most things you think are really important won’t matter in six months.

 

  1. People are more important than things.

 

  1. Always say I love you when you leave. You never know when it will be your last chance.

 

  1. Some things just have no explanation this side of eternity.

 

  1. In spite of the evil in the world, it is still important to hope and work for good.

 

  1. Dogs love you without reservation. We could learn something from them.

 

  1. Everybody is important and has something to teach you, if you will pay attention.

 

  1. Everyone is unsure of themselves. Some people just cover it better.

 

  1. There’s nothing like clean sheets to help you sleep.

 

  1. When people say they want your honest  opinion , they really don’t.

 

  1. A warm cookie and a glass of milk could possibly bring about world peace, or at least make everyone sit quietly for a few moments.

 

  1. “ Books are a uniquely portable kind of magic.” One of my favorite quotes from Stephen King. Take a book wherever you go.

 

  1. “Everyone is unique, talented and has something important to say.”  This is a quote from the wise writer, Brenda Ueland. She thought, as do I, that everyone can and should write.

 

What have you learned?  Make a list and share it with someone. You can even  share it here by posting in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Weather Word Writing: A Walk in the Rain

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In yesterday’s Wednesday Wordplay post,  I proposed making a list of weather words and then using it as a springboard for a piece of writing  ( or perhaps artwork). Below is my story based on this exercise.

A Walk in the Rain

One of my favorite memories from early in my marriage is the time my husband and I took a long walk on a stormy, fall day. At the time we did not have a lot of money for entertainment or going out. What we possessed was an enormous love of spending time together and a powerful sense of adventure.

It had rained steadily for a number of days and that Saturday the rain was still coming down. The streets and storm drains were overflowing and yards were muddy messes. After several days of being indoors in our tiny duplex, my energetic husband was restless to go somewhere. He proposed an adventure: to go for a walk in the rain to the large central park in our city and see how the lake at its center and the creek that flowed through it were faring.

We donned old jeans, sweatshirts, boots and raincoats and he grabbed his massive golf umbrella. We set off toward the park, which lay about 2 ½ miles from our home.

We squished, splashed, laughed, and talked all the way there as we shared the umbrella, clasping the handle together, his large hand over my small one. As we slogged along through the flowing streets, we reveled in the stares of folks driving by us.

By the time we arrived in the park, the rain was pounding us in large drops. We sloshed to the bridge overlooking Little Sugar Creek and exclaimed at the height and swiftness of the usually trickling stream. It had overrun its banks and the powerful current roared as it swept limbs, logs and detritus away and spirited them downstream.

We traipsed to the lake and were astounded to see that it had also escaped its confines and was rapidly surging toward the creek. We picked our way to a higher vantage point on a small hill in order to witness the imminent convergence of the two bodies of water.

When they merged moments later, we exchanged looks and exclamations of wonder. The raw power of nature and the water thrilled us. We stood in silence watching the swirling, churning merger for several minutes until the reality of the cold and wet pulled us from our individual reveries. “ Let’s go home,” he said.

As we journeyed toward home we decided to take a small detour, which led us to the doorstep of the local Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. We were already as wet as we could possibly be, so a few more blocks did not matter.

When we entered the shop, the looks we received   from the server and the few customers made us smile. We were a bedraggled pair with our mud spattered clothes, damp hair, and faces and hands red with cold. We ordered hot glazed doughnuts and large hot chocolates and headed to an empty corner, where we dripped ,sipped and sank our teeth into the gooey gloriousness of those sugar laden treats.

Later at home after taking long, hot showers and donning warm, dry clothes, we enjoyed the rest of the day dozing under blankets in front of the TV. Almost thirty years later we still recall that adventure as one of the most memorable and fun days of our life together.

 

 

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