Talk about close observation.

There's homework with this one. Sol Stein says to include "a little unobtrusive poetry". Natalie Goldberg says "detail is the only poetry you need". Children are amazing at observing the little details and it's what brings life to your writing. Spend 10 - 20 minutes per day writing what I call a "close observation exercise". To do this, you can think of some memory or some moment in your day. Freeze frame. Now describe it: sights, smells, the quality of light. Name things specifically: Instead of "We talked about _____ over lunch", "We talked about _____ over cafeteria burritos." See the difference? Set aside 10 minutes/day and you'll awaken your senses. What's more, it will overflow to your fiction. Let's share our favorites or just talk about the experience if you are uncomfortable reading your work aloud. Rule #1: no editing. Just keep your pen moving. You'll break through to "first thoughts", i.e. the good stuff in your subconscious.
I have more success when I schedule it. A lunch break is long enough, or waiting at the doctor's office, over morning coffee.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    OK, just talked with the Otherlands lady. She said that she is happy to reserve the back area for us but everyone who comes must consume. She says she needs to pay the bills. And if we weren't there that space would be filled with coffee drinkers, so even if you aren't a coffee drinker, they have bottles of water, tea, cookies, etc. Thanks! See you tomorrow!

    2 · July 19, 2013

    • Ron C

      I can never find a place to park.

      July 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      OK, options: back to Bronte Cafe or we can reserve a room at Newk's or a library room. Any other ideas?

      July 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, Everyone, so sorry I was not able to attend yesterday's group. I look forward to the next one.

    July 21, 2013

  • Ron C

    Good to see everyone. Enjoyed the meeting. I finally started the story. Anyone up for an in between meetup meetup?

    July 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds like a good plan I'll try to be there when I get the details. ~b

      July 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Oh poo, I'm a brand new member, just discovering this group and your next Meetup is in 3 minutes. I guess I'll have to catch you next time around.

    1 · July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have no homework done, but I will try hard to get back to these 'meetings' I plan to be there Saturday.

    July 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey! If you didn't get this homework done, no sweat. Please join us anyway. We always have loads to discuss. Bring your ideas and topics. Let's have some fun!

    July 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone have a favorite prompt that you can share? (Rick, help us out here!)
    Sarah Selecky's lists are great for opening the creative suitcase.
    Write a list entitled "Other People's Kitchens"
    List things that are square (children of the 80's, remember Now-N-Laters?)
    Things that appear to be raining
    Green things
    Things I wish I knew when I was 18 (Ha!)
    Ron: Items You Will Need In Case of Zombie Apocalypse

    Have fun! Keep your pens moving for 10 minutes. Don't look back.

    June 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Set the timer for 10 minutes and keep the pen moving. NO editing. Write first thoughts. Don't sensor yourself! Just observe and write. 10 minutes of close observation. Don't reread or edit. Trust.
    Need a prompt?
    -Write about a hallway you went down. Where was it? Where did it lead? The light? The smells? Textures? Anyone else there? Doors? What did you do?
    -You are sitting at a table. Where? Who's there? The light? What are you doing?
    -Write about a moment when you had a world tilting realization. Where were you? With whom? How did you respond physically?
    -Describe your best memory or worst memory.
    -Describe a place you never thought you'd find yourself or a place you love to go or go to often.
    -A first time.
    -A comforting ritual.

    Set aside this time each day and guard it. It's a building exercise. If you show up for this small time, you'll make time for bigger projects - like a novel! When we come together in July we can share our favorites and discuss the impact.

    1 · June 10, 2013

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