Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Writing Great Visual Description
Writing great visual description is similar to taking an artful photograph. The focus of the description must be clear and present to the eye. In a photograph, we perceive the relationship between foreground and background. Our eye is guided by the structure of the image. Our senses respond to rich, vivid, colorful details. When we write, we pay attention to these same elements and fabricate them in our descriptions with carefully chosen language.
Posted by on 11/9/2013 12:30:00 PMComments 0
Support for Your Writing Journal
Every single day, dozens and dozens of writing ideas pass us by. Take a moment to snag some of those ideas to write about later on. I suggest using a practice similar to Oprah’s gratitude journal. Keep a Post-It tab beside your bed and each night before you go to sleep, write down three ideas that caught your attention during the day that you could write about in your journal the next morning (or whenever).
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:25:00 PMComments 0
Explore Your Senses and Write
Want to write and don’t know what to write about? Explore your senses and write about the experience as fully as you can. Put a strawberry in your mouth. Let your mouth feel it before you bite into it. Take a bite. Relish the flavor. Is there more than one taste? Does it taste sweet? Wild? Slightly sour? Refreshing? Healthy? How many ways can you describe the flavor?
Posted by on 11/2/2013 1:11:00 PMComments 0
Journaling across the Disciplines
Fresh from teaching this past month, I am reminded once again that daily journaling is central to loosening and energizing the creative flow in students. Every class I teach, whether literature or writing, begins with journal writing. This writing is a nonstop, free-flow of thoughts for ten minutes, sometimes called free writing. As each course begins, I observe students often starting this process of journaling with the attitude that they can’t think of anything to say. By the end of the course, they are complaining when I call time because they have more to say.
Posted by on 11/2/2013 1:00:00 PMComments 0
Childhood Road Trips
My earliest road trip memories come from when my family traveled a couple of time a year from western North Carolina across the Smokey Mountains to visit my father’s parents on the family farm in eastern Kentucky. Interstates 40 and 75 didn’t exist then, so we usually followed U.S. 25 north across the southwestern tip of Virginia into eastern Kentucky. U.S. 25 was then a narrow two-lane road that wound and twisted through steep mountain passes and along the French Broad and Cumberland rivers. Drop-offs on the outer edge of the road plunged down steeply into valleys into what were called “The Nars,” small narrow gaps between the mountains. Sometimes we drove through the “The Nars” and other times we wound our way to the top of a steep mountains then and down again.
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:41:00 PMComments 0
Mind Drift and Writing Prompts
Letting our minds drift is a good way to stir our creativity. A major pull of reflective writing is the freedom to drift, letting one idea, one image connect with another–seeing a rocking chair in a magazine ad and having it call up a memory of rocking on a screened porch in the South, sipping sweet tea and snapping green beans. Thinking about green beans brings the memory of the rows of beautiful home-canned green beans my mother put up every summer and stored on the pantry shelves, saving them for delicious meals later in the winter. That memory makes me wonder whatever happened to home canning? Do many people still home can their vegetables, or is it cheaper and easier to get them at the grocery stores?
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:43:00 PMComments 0
Holiday Reflections
Deferring my reflections on the word reflect until after the holidays, I pause to consider how this season offers many opportunities for reflection. Topics we could reflect on: past holidays we remember fondly (or not so fondly); holy days and times of spiritual reflection; the value of traditions; festivals involving lights; feasting and holidays; holiday gifts, the solstice, holiday photographs, I’m always intrigued by the memories a photograph evokes. The list goes on. Let’s take ten minutes out of our busy day to write. Choose a topic, one of these or your own, and see where your mind and your memories take you. Share it with us if you like. Guest posts are welcome. 


Free Christmas Clip Art retrieved November 27, 2013 from

Posted by on 10/20/2013 9:30:00 AMComments 0

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