Friday, September 3, 2010

How is it I've never seen this site before: ... write about someone's bookshelf, real or imagined...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Check out these photos of people reading in public. A couple of days this week, read different books in public. See how many people talk to you. Write about those conversations.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In the spring the much celebrated (and deservedly so) Gary Shteyngart will be coming to Boca to read at the MELUS conference hosted by FAU. His book trailer for his current bestselling novel, Super Sad True Love Story, is one of the best I've seen. You'll notice the cameo by James Franco...and if you've read any of Franco's stories or followed his recent artistry, you'll notice he likes to play with the idea of himself as a character. So watch Shteyngart's trailer and then write something with James Franco in it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

So I'm a big fan of "So You Think You Can Dance" (the good dancing, not the sad bad dancers) and my favorite dancer this season is former Miami City Ballet soloist (locals should definitely seek out this troupe's performances) Alex Wong. Apparently during downtime for rehearsals and backstage during performances, he and his friends make videos of cheesy choreography that they come up with just for fun:

Dancers gone Haywire

On your downtime, write something playful, just for fun.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My good friend Oliver de la Paz has a chapbook of poems in the latest Black Warrior Review and one of the things that "groups" the poems is the tone created by certain romantic words--susurrus, sepulchre, lupine, wisteria, trellis, sulfur, orchid, spindrift and my favorite ox-eye daisy. I haven't seen him do it but I suspect he collects words like that..

Keep a list of words. Or more than one list even.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happily, The Books have a new album coming out in July:

Write something with reverb.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A lot of writers of my acquaintance have a childhood love of dollhouses and dioramas (I still remember my diorama for an eighth grade book report on In Cold Blood ... yes, it was of the Clutters' house on the night they got murdered--and my report was a first person account of the murders by one of the killers which I delivered in some kind of drawl.) Anyway...I've mentioned Elsa Mora's blogs before--she now has a doll one--which very much led me to want to make doll versions of all my stories. Make some kind of visual representation of what you're writing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Here is Franz Kafka's story "The Sirens" in its entirety:
(translated by Clement Greenberg)

"These are the seductive voices of the night; the Sirens, too, sang that way. It would be doing them an injustice to think that they wanted to seduce; they knew they had claws and sterile wombs, and they lamented this aloud. They could not help it if their laments sounded so beautiful."

Notice how the first sentence defines something. The second sentence questions that defintion. The third sentence redefines it. Notice, too, how his use of "too" changes what the story appears to be about (what are the "these" if not the Sirens?).

Write your own three sentence story.
Time to make your plan for summer. One thing you will read. One thing you will write. (let's just go with one at a time, okay?)

Josh Rouse - I Will live on Islands... - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

This week The New Yorker has an E.L. Doctorow story that is all dialogue and The Atlantic has a T.C. Boyle story that has (almost) no dialogue (the characters are on a vow of silence). Read both. Then take a story that you intended to write with the traditional mix of dialogue and not and write it first with all dialogue and then with no dialogue. Try to make both versions work. Now you have two stories instead of one. Who says that the style can't be the thing that makes them different stories? Nobody, that's who.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Take a look at these samples from the book Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline. Then write your own timeline.
Apparently in Japan there is a DVD of girls crying as they tell their stories. Its title is 11 Stories of Girls Crying in a Genuine Way. Write something, doesn't have to be the obvious, with that title.

Friday, March 26, 2010

This seems to be everybody's favorite video nowadays and a Rube Goldberg machine (I love that's still a household word) isn't a bad metaphor for how many narratives operate thing leads to another ... but what I notice watching the machine in action is how quickly one thing leads to another and just how many cause-effect sequences there are. So write something in which one thing leads to another super-fast and many times over.

Then try writing something in which one thing leads to many things most of which lead nowhere, as in The Maze .

Saturday, February 6, 2010

This is the view out my parents' dining room window this morning. The advantage of being snowed in is you can't go anywhere so suddenly you get all kinds of things done at home. Treat your writing like that. You're snowed in. You can't go anywhere. You might as well write.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I found these fake captions of Dwell magazine photos really amusing. Write a story by captioning found pictures or write an essay by captioning your own photographs.