Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Posts Tagged ‘writing

writing prompt – hands

with 2 comments

            We use our hands every day, to hold a pen, brush, needle, camera, garden trowel, glasscutter, or computer mouse.  Our hands enable us to create, reach out, touch, help, heal, stroke, work, caress, pinch, pull, hold a baby, make a fist, fold in prayer, cook a meal, make a living, craft a work of art, interpret for the deaf.  We hold hands with those we love and shake hands with those we meet.  Sometimes hands are soft and smooth; sometimes they are worn, gnarled, twisted in pain.  We experience the world through our hands.

            Think about hands – yours, your mother or father’s, your child’s hands.  Describe them, paint them, be thankful for them.  What would you do without them?  Did you ever break your hand or a finger?  How did that affect you?  Try writing with your non-dominant hand.  Wonder at the dexterity, and ingenuity of the opposable thumb.  Read you palm, or someone else’s.  We value things that are made by hand – why?  If you were going to tattoo your hand, that you see and show to others every day, what would you have inked?   When we say something is in good hands – what do we mean?

            Write, draw, collage, paint, or photograph something to do with hands.  Post it at www.pythiangames.wordpress.com.  This is a “hands-on” experience!

Kerry Vincent (c) 2008

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Written by kvwordsmith

September 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Posted in KerryWordsmith

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A writer’s Manifesto

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Why didn’t I ever see it before? Writing is all about connections – with myself, with others, with past, present, & future – connections with characters, how they interact, connections with plots, how events impact other events, how situations affect us, how we respond emotionally…

I write to speak to scream to whisper to shout to teach to learn to tell to show to try to give to share to parade to deepen to unfurl to open up to look within and see what is is.

I connect with the verbs & parts of speech with what I know, what I’ve learned what I still want to learn –

And where would writing be without readers? That’s a connection too – writers write for readers and readers encourage the writers to keep going….

I write because I can

I write because I have to get it out

Or I want to show you something

I write to create order of chaos

I write to explode safely on paper

I write to practice my talent my gift my duty my journey

I write because oh why the hell not?

I write because teachers encouraged me

I write to make people laugh or smile or forget their troubles for awhile

I write to get closer to God

I write because I wish I lived my the sea and I don’t so I just imagine the beach so I can smell the sea again and almost feel the warm sun on my shoulders and see the glint of silica in the sand

I write because I can’t experience things I want to – not enough time or money or opportunities –

I write because I can’t help writing

I write because I love the process

I love creating it keeps the blues away

or better yet it lets me face my blues and tell them which way to go –

I write because it heals

I write because it empowers me

I write to transform my pain

I write to keep from going crazy

I write to save myself from boredom

I write to please teachers and readers and myself

I write to play with words, my little friends
I write because stories help me make sense of the world

I write because what I produce often surprises me

I write to answer questions I didn’t know I was asking

I write and I keep writing whether anyone else ever reads my work

Because when I quit writing once before

It felt like my soul had been raped,

Profoundly robbed of something so very precious.

By Kerry Vincent © 2008

Written by kvwordsmith

September 2, 2008 at 6:46 pm

A Writer Without a Page

with 8 comments

She had been around the writer’s block a few times.  She had read her Natalie Goldberg and her Julia Cameron.  She knew all about writing practice and morning pages.  She had been published over the years in small press, trade mags, newspapers, poetry collections.  She’d even been paid a couple of times ($700 over a 20-year period – you do the math.)

She had a minor in Fine Arts and attended workshops and two different writer’s fellowships over the years. 

She had done freelance articles, newsletters, brochures, marketing collateral, computer program instructions, document editing/formatting/proofreading, was even making a living by hack inkslinging.  Long ago she’d given up her dream of being a paid, published serious writer, making a living at what she loved.  It was so hard to break in, find an agent, get a deal.  The publishing industry had changed.  Few independent bookstores, fewer independent publishers, no room for the less-than-mainstream.  It was hard not to be bitter.

She had been discouraged for a long, long time.  Why write?  No one cared, no one would read it.  She had given up, mostly, although she still kept her journal – it helped.  “Focus on the process, not the product” was her creative mantra anymore.  She turned to other art forms, beads and stained glass and flameworking.  She was a writer without a page.

So who was this Heather and her Soul Food Café, and why did she need to be a part of it?  She wouldn’t get paid.  No royalties.  New York publishing houses didn’t review it.  Was blogging just a hobby, an Internet-age vanity press?  She’d look into it, make up her own mind.

So she clicked here and there and found – kindred souls!  People who cared! People who still think art makes a difference.  Warm, welcoming folks, willing to share their hearts and their knowledge and wisdom.  People who understand writing is not mere self-indulgence, it is a way to nurture the spirit.  A support group for artists – an answer to the loneliness of working in isolation, as so many writers and painters do.  A world of connections, all across the globe, of people who believe in the healing power of creativity, of transforming tragedy into significant art. 

She found herself looking forward to seeing what had been posted, who said what, to challenging herself with the prompts from the Mad Challenges, to posting her own work, receiving kind words, publishing something daring, learning that it might inspire someone else to create a response in another medium, sharing pain, being comforted, making new friends, learning new things.  Heather said making a commitment to daily writing or art practice would change her – and Heather was right.  She created – and shared – and got good feedback – and wanted to create some more.  Plus she was learning computer skills while she was having fun playing with words and talking to her new friends. 

Soul Food Café put the JOY back into writing for her.

by Kerry Vincent (c) 2008

Written by kvwordsmith

March 25, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Scavenger Hunt

with 8 comments

(inspired by Mad Challenge – headlines collage)

Kerry Vincent (c) 2008

Life is like a Scavenger Hunt.  I go around collecting experiences, taking them home, dumping them out, seeing what I found.  I put a little bit of everything in my bag:  good, bad, silly, weird stuff no one else has any use for.  I recycle the bits and pieces and try to make something new. 

“Knock-knock” on a neighbor’s door.  “Do you have any sad stories to spare?  Some old memories you’re tired of dragging around?  Disapointments you’d like to forget?  Any slightly-used jokes?  I don’t mind second-hand material.  Got some characters getting on your nerves?  Dump ’em right here in my sack; I’ll find a way to use them.  Tired of your old routine?   I can help.  Timing is everything.

I’ll haul anything away, no questions asked.  I can make something out of almost nothing.  My bag can hold more than you can imagine.  What do I do with all this junk?  Take it back to the party, see what the other players found.  Mix it all up, make something new.  What’s the prize?  I don’t know.  Don’t really care.  I just like playing the game.  

Written by kvwordsmith

March 16, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Dark Muse

with 6 comments

poster
(Inspired by Soul Food Cafe prompt to give thanks to a creative ally)
He fears the blank wall but he must face it.  The pen burns his hand but he cannot let go.  The words are ghosts that haunt his body and his mind.  He does not want to see them, but there they are, a cold presence, that must be released to find peace.
She watches him.  She will not let him go.  He must face his fate, dree his weird.  He has things to say, things he does not know, that he will not know until he says them, until he writes them on the wall of his soul.
He is naked.  He can hide from himself no longer.  His way is lonely, but he must go on.
He nurses at the dragon’s teat.  He sucks the danger, spits the poison,  sacrifices himself to save his people. 
No one knows of his silent suffering,
but a few others chained to the Muse.
It is the way of the artist,
the salvation of creativity’s soul.
by Kerry Vincent (c) 2008

Written by kvwordsmith

March 14, 2008 at 1:58 am