Friday, February 05, 2010

Writing Day with Marty

I took the ferry over to see my friend Marty (aka Martha Silano). We wrote and talk in Starbucks for 4 1/2 hours. They could have charged us rent. People bought coffee, came and went and we sat at our table while the landscape around us changed.

We did a few writing exercises.

One fun one that generates a lot of interesting lines is this. I originally learned it from Naomi Shihab Nye at a writing class on Bainbridge Island, I believe.

What you do--

1) Write down as many questions as you can in 5 minutes. These can be anything from "Does God exist?" To "What should I have for dinner?" Just write as many different questions as you can.

2) Now write as many things that did or saw in the last 36 hours. It can be as basic as "Carried groceries in from the van" to "my dog limping in the garden."

Once you have two lists, begin to combine your questions and answers in interesting ways.

For example, if you wrote "What does God look like?" You could combine that with "A small child holding a balloon." Or "A lone tulip in a flood field." See what interesting combos these questions and answers bring up and write a poem from that.

It's a fun way to get interesting lines, and even more fun to do with a friend.

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