Read Local by Tag: saturday starter
School Library Journal calls Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within part writing guide, part Zen philosophy, and part personal diary. It is composed of 65 short "chapters" with titles like "Obsessions," "Listening," and "Use Loneliness," each a meditation on how to tap into who you are and how to tell your stories.
Make a list of the homes that you have lived in. As you make this list jot down anything special about the structures.
What kind of home is it (house, apartment, car, duplex)
What are its physical traits (one or two stories, shuttered windows, attached garage)
When you stand on the porch, what do you smell?
Look up. What do you see?
Look left. Look right. What do you see?
Open the door. What's there?
No fooling, now--it's April. And for readers and writers, April means poetry. As in: National Poetry Month. This is our time above all others to celebrate the music of language, the vividness of imagery, the power of concision, the depth of spare emotion. This is our time to celebrate the poets among us, and to join them for at least a little while.
In the chapter titled “Obsessions” in Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg says “When it becomes an obsession, you will naturally write about it.” To help her students identify what to write about, those things they “unconsciously (and consciously) spend their waking hours thinking about,” she asks them to make a list of their obsessions.
Dadaist Tristan Tzara tried to break down the conventions and traditions of art by composing poems using words cut out of newspapers and then pulling them out of a hat at random. While that's a little extreme for a lot of us, injecting some randomness into our writing can help spark our imaginations and break us out of creative ruts.
So many books languish unread, hidden away like the $20 bill my demented Alzheimer-ruined, depression-era Grandmother hid beneath the shelf paper under the good china. Gems undiscovered, simply because they are shelved with the children’s books. And we are too sophisticated to read children’s books, aren’t we. Aren’t we?