Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Writing Exercise # 20

Okay, this is the last exercise for 2009. We've gone through twenty of these suckers (and by "we" I mean...I have no clue) and a lot has happened since my first exercise. For one, my first full-length book of poetry, "Pink Elephant" (Cypher Books) was released, debuting at number 12 on SPD's poetry bestsellers list (what? how?! Also, if you've read it, wouldn't it be fun to review it at either Amazon or GoodReads? I thought so!) I went on a mini book tour to New England where, once again, Massachusetts made me feel like the prom queen. I have had more poems accepted by journals as well as some flash fiction and I am tightening the screws on three beasts I am working on simultaneously (in between nursing, changing diapers, baking birthday cakes, texting funny memories to my dad and brother, painting my toenails a deep wet red...) This has been an amazing year, as well as one of the roughest. More on that later. Or not. Who knows? I just hope this year has been gentle and sweet and necessary for YOU. Whoever you are. LOVE.


1. Something very hot

2. The first object you see when you close your eyes and think of him/her

3. The not enough, list them and be specific

4. The too many things, list them and be specific

5. The first thing that ever scared you. Make it up.

6. What did you change to accommodate _____ ?

7. What inside you will never budge.

8. Where does the blue sky go at night?

- - -

Now, take all of the answers you've written, and move them around. They don't have to make sense. The morning skillet. Somewhere, at the end of the woods. This bone of survival. Love and vitamins and secrets. . .

List them. Then, decide for this group the title. It will be what makes this poem come together. Make sure the title is a little too long. Like, "The other things you took from me the night you came back to the apartment to get the last of your belongings out of the medicine cabinet."

Add lines. Move them. DO NOT TITLE and then arrange. Arrange. Title. Re-arrange. Re-write. Remember what never happened. Write whatever the hell you want. This is yours. No one else could have written it but you. This last exercise was inspired by whomever and whatever and wherever you choose.