Friday, May 4, 2007

The Power of Words: Invitation to Write #3

For Writers:

Writers must believe in the power of words, but where does the power come from? What gives words strung into sentences the force to change reality? Of course, some might choose to argue that words don’t change reality. Some might say that words can describe changes in reality, but reality itself simply “is.”

In an age inundated with constant visual images, some have claimed that the power of the written word is a thing of the past. Authors of the postmodern age believed that language itself was “exhausted.” And yet, without words to communicate their philosophy, how would we have ever known what they were thinking?

Words, of course, work on various levels. They can be spoken or written, saved or forgotten, true or false. Human beings have a natural ability to learn words at a very early age, and anyone who has ever spent any time with small toddlers must be impressed every time they hear them add a new word to their vocabularies.

Words are magical. Whole worlds are contained within each one.

Today write about words. Explore the sensations you feel as you write. Where do the right words come from, and why do we feel so frustrated when we have a word on the tip of our tongues that remains hidden? Count to five and start with the first word that enters your head. Write until you reach the end of the page.

Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Do Not Remove: Invitation to Write #2

For Writers:

We’ve all seen and joked about the tags on pillows that warn us not to remove them under penalty of federal law. When I was young and ornery, I would tear the tags off every pillow I would run across. Secretly, I thought about federal agents kicking down my door, catching me with tags in hand. These “pillow police” would throw me in a cell with only a pallet for a bed – and no pillow.

No one on pillow patrol ever came knocking on my door, but my mom was never happy when I would tear the tags off her favorite pillows. She knew the practical reason for leaving the tags alone: tear off the tag and risk tearing the lining of the pillow. It never stopped me, though, and soon enough I had graduated from pillow tags to tags on T-shirts. More than one shirt developed a peep-hole that allowed others to see the back of my neck.

Unlike pillow or shirt tags, other things cannot be so easily ripped off without serious consequences. These are the things that really need warning tags.

Think of a person, place, or thing of you choice. What would happen if it were removed from your life? Would you be able to continue, or would the hole it left be too big? Would your lining begin to fall out as a result? Today, explore the meaning of removal for 2 full pages without stopping.

“Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and fans flames.”
Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Clouds: Invitation to Write #1

For Writers:

On lazy summer afternoons in the park, I like to look skyward at the friendly, puffy-white clouds. Something about cloud gazing centers me, making me feel as though the world and I are one. Sometimes the imagination wanders, and clouds take the shape of animals, faces, or other objects. Sometimes clouds are not puffy white at all. These other kinds of clouds are black, mean, and menacing.

What I remember most about my first airplane ride as a child is the unique experience of looking down on the clouds. Clouds, as I found out, are not the top of anything at all. They simply rest between the earth and eternity.

Write about clouds today. What is the most unusual cloud you have ever seen? Why does the image stay with you? Do you tend to remember the “friendly” clouds or the “mean” clouds more? Explore why that is.

“Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,
That sees into the bottom of my grief?”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Roots

Do you remember 1977? I was 4 years old, and the one event that stands out in my memory is my family's nightly watching of the miniseries "Roots." It must have been on every night for a year -- at least that's what it felt like to me back then.

It's 30 years later, and it's now being released on DVD. To tell you the truth, I'm excited about it. I never really watched it when it was first aired, but I can't wait to watch it now.

In a related note, I just finished watching Carl Sagan's 13 part "Cosmos." Awesome stuff. Just awesome.

http://www.amazon.com/Roots-Four-Disc-Collectors-Maya-Angelou/dp/B000NA21S6/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-9006419-7689721?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1178067344&sr=8-1

http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?page=proframe&prod_id=68383&IID=prod68383

Monday, April 30, 2007

Disc Golf (aka Frisbee Golf)

Don't call it frisbee golf. That's the first thing to learn.

Now that you know that, anyone care to play a round? On my way home from work Friday, I ran into a couple of the pyschology instructors, just back from a game. Well, this raised my interest, and I went out this weekend and bought a few discs.

This could be fun. Let me know when you're free to play, and we'll head out. If you don't have any discs of your own, I'll even let you borrow mine. :)

http://www.discfly.com/