Uncategorized, Writing Prompts & Craft Articles

Day 19: Bonus Sabbatical Prompt–The Rite of Spring

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

~Cynthia Occelli

I love this quote. And, in the midst of everything happening, we might be forgetting that it is spring! Even if we are still in a strange spring hibernation, our bodies and mother nature is turning on the spring switch. And growth–whether it’s the seed or our own internal growth–is usually messy.

Another spring story I find fascinating is the one about classical composer Igor Fyodorovich Stravinksy, whose Rite of Spring ballet/orchestral piece, which takes us through the eruption of spring (and which you may recognize pieces of), prompted riots–actual riots!–when it premiered in Paris in 1913–and Stravinsky was actually run out of town! The audience was completely unprepared for the primal drums and the slicing of violins–even though that is what is happening right now under the ground…

Your prompt today is a musical prompt:

Listen to The Rite of Spring (about 35 mins–I mean, what else do you have to do today?? Ha.)

Then write.

PS: If you aren’t used to listening to classical music, I suggest not watching the video–just listen and allow the waves of sound to move your emotions in that mysterious and wordless way that only instrumental music can.

rite-of-spring_5_tanztheater-wuppertal-pina-bausch_pc_stephanie-berger

xoxo Nancy

Uncategorized, Writing Prompts & Craft Articles

Day 17: Bonus Sabbatical April 1

Today’s prompt is specifically for those of you feeling creatively stuck and needing to just crack the ice and get your fingers moving. And it makes for a great warm-up on a regular basis, too.

Your prompt:

Open a book by a favorite author to any page. Then retype that page, word for word.

This exercise is great for not just warming up or getting you in the chair and typing, but there is also a lovely intuitive understanding of language and style that happens on a cellular level when we’re entwined with someone else’s actual syntax. Like osmosis.

Biggest hugs!

Nancy

xoxoxo

Uncategorized, Writing Prompts & Craft Articles

Day 13 Prompt: Bonus Unexpected Sabbatical March 28

From the essay “On Being Ill” by Virginia Woolf:

“Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to light, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us in the act of sickness, how we go down into the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist’s arm chair and confuse his ‘Rinse the mouth—rinse the mouth’ with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heaven to welcome us—when we think of this and infinitely more, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love, battle, and jealousy among the prime themes of literature.”

This is the iconic, 186-word opening sentence to Woolf’s essay, a gorgeous, dizzying arabesque of syntax that launches us into her treatise on illness.

So…you’ve probably guessed: Today we are going to write creative nonfiction.

Here is another “treatise” essay that I love and share with all my students:

On Dumpster Diving by Lars Eighner

Your prompt:

Write a treatise. The title should begin with “On _________.”

Feel free to keep this “flash” essay length or not.

xoxoxo

 

Uncategorized, Writing Prompts & Craft Articles

Bonus Unexpected Sabbatical: March 26

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” ~Søren Kierkegaard

There are so many dizzying moments in life, times (like now) when we feel that we’ve been knocked off our equilibrium. I tend to find, looking back on those times with distance and perspective, that they were also moments of grace when I softened, opened, grew. A great book to read (or re-read) by the way, is Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. She speaks of these moments of grace like particles up in the air, still weightless, still defying gravity. Eventually they will return to the ground, and eventually we will be “grounded” again, but sometimes in the dizziness is where we find breakthrough.

Therefore, today’s prompt is:

Write a story using only one sentence.

Any other punctuation fine as long as there is only one official period.

m682-52

In love and solidarity!

xoxo

Kathy fish, Writing Prompts & Craft Articles

Bonus Unexpected Sabbatical: March 25

I hope you are enjoying our daily prompts! But today my friends I want you to know this: It’s okay to press pause if you need to.

You don’t have to write every single day. Maybe you read somewhere that that is what “real writers” or “successful writers” do. Nonsense. Down time has its value too. And times are challenging enough right now. Don’t put that burden on yourself. If you’re feeling creative, go for it! But if you’re feeling scattered, used up, exhausted, stressed, numb, it’s okay to simply rest and recharge. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s good for you. 

All over the world, there is evidence that our beautiful planet is responding favorably to the decrease in human activity. If the earth can take a breath, certainly you and I can.

Your “prompt” for today then is to hit the pause button, if only for 15 minutes. Breathe. Close your eyes. Turn off the news. Let these 15 minutes of your life go unrecorded, un-Instagrammed, un-Tweeted. When you are rested and ready, I promise you, the page or the keyboard will still be there waiting for you. 

Rest and be well, my friends. Here is some beauty for you to enjoy: