Writing Exercises

Break a Window: a writing exercise

  You’re cruising along on schedule and then stuff happens. This morning I discovered someone had thrown a rock through the laundry room window. I called my AAA Glass & Mirror Repair people and they came out instantly and fixed it. But then I discovered another broken window in the bathroom on the second floor…

A Confession

This is one of my favorite quotes for writers: “We don’t tell ourselves, ‘I’m never going to write my symphony.’ Instead we say, ‘I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.’” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art I use this quote a lot in my writing workshops. I even…

Home

  We’re home after a quick wonderful visit to Purdue University in Indiana, where the weather was freezing (and I mean freezing) but the reception couldn’t have been warmer.  R. gave a talk at the celebration for Dr. Arvind Raman becoming the Robert V. Adams Professor of Electrical Engineering. All of Arvind’s family was there,…

The Poem In My Pocket

Tomorrow, April 26th is national Poem in Your Pocket Day. The idea is to carry a poem in your back pocket to share with family and friends and co-workers. The poem in my pocket will be Jane Kenyon's, "What Came to Me".  I used the poem in a writing exercise today in class and my…

Why Keep a Journal

Here's an excerpt from the book I'm working on now,  Kicking In The Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises for Fiction, Memoir & Personal Essays. If you do the exercises I'd love to hear if they worked for you.                                          * "The journals are a way of finding out where I really am…They are…

Kicking In The Wall

Just before the holidays I sold a proposal for another book entitled Kicking In The Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises for Fiction, Memoir & Essays.  I'm at work on it now and New World Library will published it in Spring 2013. The title comes from a quote by Patti Smith: “I would go as…

A Writing Prompt for the 4th of July

Dear Readers – Happy July 4th weekend! Summer has finally come to Southern California and we're having sunny mornings instead of the June gloom. Here's a writing exercise for your journal this weekend: Write about a past 4th of July. Write about the sounds, the temperature of the air, what you wore, what you ate,…

Memory Exercises For Writers

  This week on NPR there was a program about memory exercises and it occurred to me that the exercises were perfect for writers The first one was to remember the past – pick a year and write down everything you can remember about that year.  The second was about sense memories – close your…