throughout our lifetime
over cups of tea
we told each other the same stories
as elegiac etiquette
an oral tradition where repeated
narratives were whispered
turning them into myth
a stain at the bottom of the cup
and in the retelling became gospel
a chip in the enamel
until we were finished and
we rinsed the cups, washed them
and put them away to reuse
Posted in Creativity, Short Stories
Tagged creativity, fiction, fiction friday, flash fiction, Friday flash, handwriting, handwritten, handwritten pages, writers, writing
your tissue paper frailty
folded seven times
a simple origami of valleys
turned into mountains
tucked into your breast pocket
a shield over your heart
– tissue paper frailty
They sat opposite each other in the sand, knees drawn up and toes touching.
She pressed her finger to her lips, paused, withdrew it.
“You will know me in my silence.”
He nodded in response before resting his head on his knees and tucking his arms under his thighs.
Around their feet she smoothed the sand into a clean palimpsest. She traced patterns in the mandala of silence.
Taking a handful of sand she poured it over their toes until they disappeared in a poetry of communion.
I was about to take a picture when I saw the error of a repeated word. I debated what to do: rewrite or edit? First, I scribbled out the word, made the edit. Then I looked over it again and rewrote it. Oh the glamour of artistry (letting you behind the curtain of creativity).
This is my first attempt at zentangle poetry. I have dabbled with blackout and erasure poetry in the past but zentangle poetry was unfamiliar.
Zentangle poetry is a combination form of blackout/erasure and found poetry where the author/artist adds an illustrative aspect to the poem. Think of an illuminated manuscript. But more scribbly. Google it for some quite stunning examples.
But why do it?
It’s another way of being creative; a short activity that can be done in between other tasks or in some down time, or a way to relax. There are colouring in books for adults so think of this as another form of colouring in.
The down side is the defacing of a book.
In this case it’s Jostein Gaarder’s Through A Glass Darkly. Might make a thematic approach as I work through this one or let the page decide what it wants to speak.
I love the tactile sensation of handwriting. My sister-in-law has a custom chalk wall in the foyer of her house. When I get the chance to play with chalk I do. Here are a couple of my initial experiments.
Mixed typography but I’m happy with this.
With additions from one of my nephews – this was done on Christmas Day. A little bit better than my first attempt after some research on my phone for typography.
My very first attempt; the family was watching Carols on the television so I utilised the time for some creative play. Not very good for a first attempt but giving something a try.
I have plans in my head for new designs next time the wall is cleared from her boys having fun all over it. As you can see I’m still developing my calligraphy skills but that’s the joy of creativity.
Start small, make mistakes, continue to practice and improve.
All the while I need to sort out my Major Projects list and get back to them but these are good, fun activities to continue creative play.
Go and have some creative play.
She watched the rain fall in light sheets, imagining a giant cloth wiping away the crumbs of a broken day.
Yet in the morning when the rain had ceased and the dampness dissipated a thin film of dirt remained. The skerricks of an eraser left after rubbing out the pencil marks on a sheet of paper. To make the new day fresh required more work than she expected.
SIDE NOTE: When I was writing this, transcribing it from my notebook where I first scribbled the idea, I asked myself why I ascribed the feminine pronoun to the character of the narrative. It was arbitrary, without conscious assignation.
I then reread the paragraph replacing ‘she’ with ‘he’ and saw a different reading. As a personal reflection, I think I tend to write more from a female perspective than a male one. For purely unscientific research I did a gender breakdown on the Handwritten Pages.
- “I” (indeterminate)
- Couple (male/female)
- Female (2 sisters)
- “I” (indeterminate)
- Male (2 brothers)
In examining the content of each piece, the seemingly arbitrary allocation of gender pronouns was determined by its focus. The third Handwritten Page was inspired by a friend’s recollection of her childhood with her sisters so it was a natural response to use the feminine.
In last week’s Handwritten Page I ascribed masculine pronouns, except to the “I” persona. In reality it could easily be the sibling rivalry between a brother and sister yet in my head it was between brothers; we tend to pair brothers with brothers and sisters with sisters in terms of sibling rivalry and not a brother/sister combination.
It also made me think about how the content of a narrative influences the reader’s understanding of gender. Does it affirm or subvert paradigms? Why or why not? Just asking.
But the distinction of female or male POV in a narrative made me think about how I read gender in a story (being male) and how others would read the piece above (male or female). I know men and women will read the paragraph differently based on their own gender, and their reading of gender.
Try reading today’s piece replacing ‘she’ with ‘he’. Does it make a difference in your reading? What nuances or differences are borne out of a different reading? Does it matter? I’m interested in your ideas.
Posted in Creativity, Short Stories
Tagged creativity, experimental, fiction, fiction friday, flash fiction, Friday flash, handwritten, handwritten pages, micro-fiction, microfiction, short story, writers, writing, writing tips
What I don’t do enough of is write by hand, letting the pen and paper become an exploration. Yesterday I was inspired by a blog post on calligraphy to use my notebooks more effectively.
I know writers who use Julia Cameron’s (The Artist’s Way) technique of morning pages. The idea is you free write first thing in the morning as it clears the head and channels a creative flow. Mornings don’t work for me but the concept of free writing association can be done at any time.
I want to use a specific notebook of mine for this exercise as it is unlined meaning I can use the space on the page to convey meaning as much as the words do. I can alter my handwriting style, use colour, draw shapes or doodle images. Over the coming months I will share more handwritten explorations.
Below is the first attempt at using a notebook for handwritten explorations. Nothing fancy. Just text.
“I dab the tissue at the pinpoint of blood on my fingertip, blotting the word that pools. The tissue is spattered with random words bleeding into one another in a random game of Scrabble. Another word forms and I place it on my tongue to break it down to letters and reabsorb it. The blank page waits patiently as I resist the urge to open a vein.”
Posted in Creativity, Short Stories, The Writer's Life
Tagged brain dump, creativity, experimental, fiction, flash fiction, handwritten, just because of thoughtfulness, notebook, slice of life, stupid stuff I like to write, writers, writing, writing tips
My hands are a fence
to hold you within
or keep you out
I hold out my hand
In love + trust, security + hope
a protection from fear
I clench my fist and strike
in malice; in protest
in reaction; with intent
I open my hand as a flower
A gesture of comfort and sympathy
A lover’s caress and tender touch
To soothe wounds and help you rise
In friendship we clasp and I know
Your strength and you know mine
I can close the doors against you
or open the gates
and welcome you home
Posted in Ars Poetica, Creativity, The Writer's Life
Tagged creativity, handwritten, poetry, post it note, post it note poetry, reflection, slice of life, street poetry, writers, writing