I Like: Creative Writing #1

OK, so here's the deal. I've got a lot of stuff going on.  I really want to stick to my goal of blogging once a week, and I'm trying to not use ALL of my writing time on my blog. Have to get back to my novel! I've been going over some of my older critique group notes, my own notes and research, and I just can't let this story go.*If any of my readers (and I know there's a few):1) were horse crazy girls or boys,2) are suckers for fairy and folklore,4) own anything decorated with Celtic knotwork,5) generally geek out at Renaissance festivals (Huzzah!),

The kids are so embarrassed.

6) love nature, adventure and7) had a crush on your best friend's brother or sister, then this book is for you.

*Fate chimed in while in the process of writing this post. I had to run some errands, and while at the return desk of the library, a little girl walked up to the librarian, reluctant little brother in tow, stood with her chin resting on the countertop and asked "Do you have any Fairy books?"

I swear I did not make that up. This book has to get written.

So in order to conserve writing time while still delivering posts for you, my faithful readers, (I did it! I addressed the reader! There, I did it again!) some of my newer posts will be excerpts from my writing notebooks. I've accumulated quite a few over the past six years, and I've got a pile of material that I'm afraid I'll never get to.So I'm going to share it here.Much of it is incomplete, as in notes or ideas that were begun and never completed. And yes, everyone does that. No artist would ever have time to draw to fruition each and every one of their ideas.The purpose of this is 4-fold:

  • to provide regular reading (be responsible)
  • to get out of having to think up and edit and photograph every post (be lazy)
  • to finally go through all of my notes (do research)
  • and hopefully along the way, I'll be able to provide an idea to someone else. (I'll play the muse)

Here is your first installment:This is from the Scottsdale Library's creative writer's workshop on Fridays. Before I had to go back to work (yuck!), I moderated these meetings for awhile, and loved every minute. Creative writing workshops are a great way to get ideas flowing. You could arrange one with your study group, church group, library, or do it on your own. (Helpful links below.)The writing prompt for this day was a picture, along with a question:

You hid something here a long time ago.  What was it?  Tell why it needed to be hidden.
You found something here today.  What is it?  Tell why you are here.
For those of you who would like to do this exercise, take 15 minutes to free write a response to the photo and one of the questions. Then continue reading below.
Ready set GO

Here was my 15-minute response:

8/15/08 The morning air being crisp and fresh, I decided to walk across the field⎯rather than take the carriage⎯to the small parsonage where my dear friend Charlotte resides with her husband. He sister is to be wed in June, and the two of us have been sewing linens for her table as a wedding gift. On my way, I cut across a glen which I had seen and passed by many times as a girl, but in the morning light, something caught my eye. Vine covered ruins Crumbling ruins, set upon by thick green vines. They look to have been hidden for many a hundred years by a massive oak that now lay prone on the forest floor, a victim of wood rot and heavy wind, I presume. I gingerly picked my way around the massive fallen soldier, quite ruining my hem in the process. How ancient the stone wall seemed. I figured it a relic of the ancient Romans that once invaded our shores.

That's as far as I got. I don't even know what my character found in the ruins! The suspense! Other than a few run-on sentences and a misplaced use of the word "they":

Crumbling ruins, set upon by thick green vines. They look to have been hidden...

Here, They appears to mean the vines, when my intent was to describe the ruins. Not to mention, the first sentence is incomplete. But the great thing about writing exercises is that you aren't editing as you go. The goal is just to bring forth an idea from which to build upon.And yes, Austen fans, I believe at the time this was written I had either just re-read the book or viewed one of my favorite movies, Pride and Prejudice. And, no, my heroine would NOT have found a smoldering Mr. Darcy waiting behind that wall!

Not that there's anything wrong with that :)
Writing exercise links:
The above exercise was stolen from one of these two sites, but I can't remember which one. I will be happy to credit the source if and when I figure it out.
What are you doing? Go get your pen! Stop staring at Mr. Darcy!

For a creative writing meeting, all you need are willing participants, pen & paper, and about one hour or more. Go around the table and have members introduce themselves and speak a bit as to what kind of writing they are interested in. Give them the prompt, and let everyone write for 15 minutes. Then go around and allow the members to share what they wrote, if they wish. Then do it again with a new prompt. Your second round could be completely different, or build upon the first. And there are no rules other than to express yourself. Have fun!**This post is dedicated to my friend Sara who inspired me to 1) Use a numbered list; and 2) Let my freak flag fly.