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Showing posts from September, 2009

"60 vs. 16"

Exercise #65 : "60 vs. 16"

Suppose you re, or your character, is 60 years old. In your (or his/her) opinion, in what ways does a 16-year-old lack wisdom and/or perspective?

I can always tell when I don't really like an exercise when I type it into the little entry box in blogger and immediately open facebook in another tab... I mean, this is a good exercise. It gets me to thinking about the perspective of a 60-year-old. If I ever plan on writing older characters, this is good... so why am I having such a hard time simply sitting down and writing this? Being that it's 4pm, I'm already running late on this post. Well, I guess it's time to wing it.

I am going to do this exercise (and probably all of October's exercises) in preparation for my NaNoWriMo idea. I've actually decided to take my current work in progress and transfer it to NaNoWriMo. You see, the problem with this particular story is that I have a good portion of the plot figured out, I know my ma…

"A Little Scene" & an Announcement

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I'm going to be a jerk and make you wait until the end of this post for my announcement. teehee

Exercise #64 : "A Little Scene"

The aunt loves to play the piano, but she has arthritis. Her niece comes to visit. The niece offers to play the piano. Write the scene.

This seems very mundane to me. Or... at least it has the definite ability to be verrrrrrrrry boring. So I guess I'll just try to spice the crap out of this prompt and try to add as much conflict as possible.

Go.

Maria Petrakova slid her hands gently over the ivory keys of her antique Steinway. The keys were well-worn, but that was to be expected. She had played on it since she was young. Closing her eyes, she began to play Rachmaninoff's Nocturne - op. 10, n°1 - feeling the music rush through her like a tidal wave, making the tips of her fingers tingle with excitement. A few minutes into the piece, she neared the climax. The notes became more dense, the dynamics rose dramatically, her breathing intensified, b…

"Princess Di"

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Exercise #63 : "Princess Di"

This is an exercise to explore and help round out one of your characters. Take one you have already written about - or one that you have a mind to write about - and answer the following questions in a single sentence. The first thing that pops into your mind is usually the most revealing.
What would he or she think of Princess Di?If he or she were to have met Princess Di in person, how would he or she have behaved? Be as specific as possible.If he or she were to come across a book about Princess Di, what would he or she do with it?What would he or she think of Princess Di's marriage?Of Princess Di's affair with Dodi al Fayed?What would he or she believe about Princess Di's death?What would he or she do or say (and to whom?) upon learning the news of Princess Di's death?If you have time, make up and answer more questions along the same lines.

I'm going to go with a character who is, at this point, unnamed. She is a part of my work…

Additionally.......

My recital went wonderfully yesterday. :) Thanks to all of you who were sending good thoughts my way!

I know some of you want to see the footage, so I'll have a few clips posted from it sometime next week. :) Yay! I'm so glad to be done.

Peace.
Stef.

P.S. Blog hits have been extra dismal for the past few days. Help spread the word for 52 Weeks of Wordage!!! :)

"The Piano Tuner"

Uhhhhhhhh... I forgot today's post! Whoops! :) Well, here it is.

Exercise #62 : "The Piano Tuner"

Describe the piano tuner. What did he do to the piano bench?

I feel like I'm missing part of this exercise... I mean... Why does the piano tuner mess with the piano bench? But I guess that's the point...........?

Uhh... Start?

Geoffrey Martin stepped out of his company van, his tool box in tow, and began to walk down the sidewalk that lead to a large, mahogany door with ornately carved lattice work and clear glass. Another one of those yuppie families... he thought. Knocking on the door, he prepared himself for the worst. Would it be a cold and calculating wasp or an overly outgoing woman with newly acquired money?

After a few moments, a young woman - probably in her mid-20s - opens the door. She is tall and thin with blonde hair and brown eyes. She smiled.

"Hi," she said. "Geoffrey?"

"Yes, ma'am."

With a quick gesture, she beckoned him insid…

"Orange Traffic Cone, etc..."

It is my pleasure to announce that I am not writing today's blog. hah I called on Dan from The Man Who Painted Agnieszka's Shoes to help me out with my stress level today, and he has kindly agreed to complete the requirements of today's exercise. Everyone, go look at his blog! Also, read his book! It's wonderful! To get a little info, read my last post.

It is without further ado that I give you Dan!!

Exercise #61 : "Orange Traffic Cone, etc..."

Write a brief scene that incorporates the following: an orange traffic cone, a miniature cat, fried fish, velcro, Teddy Roosevelt, and polkadots.

"Exercise Video"

Tom put down his beer and picked up the remote. He flicked through the usual channels, through the fake gold necklaces and football games he'd seen so many times even the commentator's voice seemed to have slowed. Through the self-help and the freak shows, plastic surgery and miniature cats.

He watched the rolls of fat ripple down his front as he …

Fun News!

Since tomorrow is going to be so busy for me, I am pleased to announce that Dan from over at The Man Who Painted Agnieszka's Shoes is going to provide us with our daily writing exercise! Very exciting as I have never had a guest blogger before. Dan is a wonderful writer with an amazing amount of talent, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with. I very highly suggest that you check out his blog. He also wrote Songs from the Other Side of the Wall, an interactive facebook novel which is available for free via smashwords.com.

"18 year-old Szandi is part of Budapest’s vibrant, cosmopolitan art scene, sharing a flat and a bohemian lifestyle with her lover and fellow sculptress, Yang. Then a letter arrives that threatens everything, and forces her to choose once and for all: between the past and the present; between East and West; between her family and her lover."
from smashwords.com

I'm in the progress of reading it, and it's great. It's thought provoking a…

"If... Duh!"

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Exercise #60 : "If... Duh!"

This is a simple exercise in writing comedy. In an interview in Esquire a couple of years ago, actor Benicio del Toro said, "If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle." The other week on TV, I heard actor Jimmy Fallon say (more or less), "If George Washington were alive today, he'd be, like, oh my God, I'm 274 years old, what's wrong with me? Why can't I die?" The exercise is this: take some phrase that begins with "if" and then, as did del Toro and Fallon, tack on the "duh," the absurdly obvious conclusion. Do as many as you can in 5 minutes.

I very rarely make immediate decisions about anything. I like to approach a topic from all sides before giving it the thumbs down. That being said, I am not going to do this exercise. I like to think that I have a sense of humor, but it's comments like del Toro's and Fallon's that simply don't make sense to me. I get the fact that they&#…

"Born on February 29th"

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Exercise #59 : "Born on February 29th"

Use this as your opening line:
I was born on February 29th.

Un, Deux, Trois...

I was born on February 29th, 1964, and I am technically only 11 years old. You don't even know how many times I have been jokingly refused a drink. I can't even laugh at the quip anymore. I used to have the willpower to force myself to smile at least when someone thought they were the first one to think of such a hilarious joke, but now... Well, now I just sneer. Either that, or I completely ignore them. I'm not sure which is the better response.

Everyone assumes that, since my technical birthday only happens every four years, I only celebrate my birth every 4 years. That's crazy. I mean, absolutely crazy. I usually celebrate my birthday the day before unless someone has planned something special on another day. I consider myself lucky. Who else has such a flexible birthday?

END

Today's was a bit short. Sorry about that. My mind is kind of elsewh…

"So Terrible. So Awful."

Exercise #58 : "So Terrible. So Awful."

In the women's locker room at her health club, C.M. Mayo overheard this scrap of dialogue:

A: Therepists, what they charge...
B: Horrible. That's why I quit.
A: So terrible.
B: So awful.

She says, "I love the shape of this, the way the women echo the sounds and rhythms of each other's words. Notice the rhyme of 'horrible' and then 'terrible;' the repetition of 'so.' Another interesting aspect is B's interruption of A."

Here's the exercise: take this dialogue; add some names, descriptions, gestures, etc, and flesh out the scene. You might change therapists to "dentists" or, say, "contractors," or "piano teachers" -- what have you.

GO!

Anne Marie put one leg up on the wooden bench, reaching down to tie her sneaker. She was just pulling the knot tight when Julia Chase walked out of the bathroom, water dripping from her wet hair. Anne Marie had never seen Julia righ…

Today's Blog Post...

I did not manage my time well and, as a result, have not planned for things that I need to get done today... So sadly, I must claim defeat. Today's post will be postponed until tomorrow.

I have a reason. I promise. I have a recital coming up on Sunday (I study opera performance at Belmont University.), and all of my extra time is being devoted to preparing for said performance. Lots of stuff still to do, and my run-through / dress rehearsal is this evening. Oy gewald. Shoot me now, please.

Anyways, I appreciate you all and hope that my lack of planning hasn't altered your day too much (hah!!! I'd be a little concerned if that were the truth, guys. I mean, they are just writing exercises! teehee).

Much love to you all, and I will see you tomorrow!

Peace.
Stef.

P.S. I have had requests from some of my readers to post the video of my recital online (It's 30 minutes long.). Would that be something you guys would be interested in? If so, let me know. I'll be happy to add a li…

Marathon Post #3 : "Down into the Cellar"

The final entry for today, thank goodness. This one is a little later than previously planned, but who's counting. Give me a break, eh? hah

Exercise #57 : "Down into the Cellar"

The ancient door creaked open, and from the darkness she caught a whiff of something like old apples. She pulled the string to the lightbulb; the stairwell remained dark. "Bulb's dead," he said.

Write on!

"Apparently mom and dad don't like to replace lightbulbs," she said. "Isn't there an old gas lantern down here somewhere?"

"How should I know?" he said. "I haven't been down here in years."

She paused for a moment, picturing how the stairwell looked if there had been light.

"Ok," she said. "The lantern should be... here." She reached forward and grasped blindly in the dark. At first, there was nothing, but after a bit of reaching her fingers touched something cold and metal. "Ha!" she cried.

Reaching to grab …

Marathon Post #2 : "Wondrous Winter"

Exercise #56 : "Wondrous Winter"

Your character is an adult who has never before seen or experienced winter. He (or she) arrives in a large, mid-western city today. Describe his or her journey into the city.

You know, up until I moved to New York in 2005, I was certain that everyone in the United States had witnessed at least a tiny bit of snow fall. Even I, who had lived in Arizona, Mississippi, and Tennessee, had seen the lovely snow fall. I've always been told that, since I've lived in the south my whole life, I was more appreciative of snow than, say, people from Michigan, and I guess that's true. I don't know... I love winter. It's my favorite season. There's just something about the crispness of the air that gets to me. There's also nothing better than sitting in front of a fire, snuggled in the deepest recesses of an oversized armchair, and reading a novel (or writing one!). Sighhh... Only a few more months, and the weather will be better her…

The Beginning of Today's Blog Marathon

I'm behind. Harumph... My internet connection, as stated in my previous quick post via my cellphone, has been shoddy at best for that past couple of days (Thank you, Comcast for your stupid, inconvenient upgrades...), and things seem to be back to normal. But that's neither here nor there. In an attempt to catch up, I will be participating in an exercise posting marathon: 3 in one day!! hah Either way, check back regularly today for updates.

And so it begins.

Exercise #55 : "The Ironic Fortune Cookie"

The fortune in the fortune cookie read, "Elegant surroundings will soon be yours." This turned out to be ironic. How so?

Oh, depressing. So many thoughts immediately started flying around in this crazy brain of mine... The poor sap that I'm going to be writing about today is going to hate me. Really...

Time to write. Buhn bah BAH!!! (That was my attempt at onomatopoeia-ing a trumpet fanfare... And yes, I just made a verb out of onomatapoeia.)

5... 4... 3... 2..…

Blargh...

I have been having internet connection problems on my computer for the last two days, which is why there has been radio silence. I called and complained, so we should be back up and running tomorrow. Stupid comcast...

"Jamilla, Joyce, and Larry"

Exercise #54 : "Jamilla, Joyce, and Larry"

In no more than 10 words for each, sketch the characters named Jamilla, Joyce, and Larry. Once you've done that, answer these questions quickly, without thinking:
Where are they?What do they want from one another?Jamilla - redhead, earth mother, fiery, striking, kindhearted, deeply sensitive, enabler
Joyce - blonde, deceptively ditsy, genius, sorority girl, cat-lover, snobby
Larry - angry, technophile, WOW player, low social skills, average intelligence

They are in Larry's living room.

Larry wants to bonk both of them, but neither of them are interested.
Joyce wants to do experiments on Larry and is using her feminine wiles and her knowledge of Larry's horny nature to get him to take part in the experiments.
Jamilla simply wants to meditate, sitting cross-legged on her yoga mat.

That was less than 5 minutes. But I guess since I've gone over the time limit on a few of the previous exercises that I can allow a shorter post this…

#Fridayflash Attempt - Be Merciful

As promised, here is my first attempt at a #flashfriday submission... Wahoo.

(DISCLAIMER!: I had a really hard time with this one simply because I have always had a problem ending stories, and this one was no exception. I think I also chose a topic that wasn't really good for a less-than-1000-words limit, so I pretty much kicked myself in the butt on that front. Either way, please be merciful with your reviews. I am a mere fledgling #flashfriday participant and hope to improve.)

Many years had passed since the bomb had dropped, but the city had not been rebuilt. At the time, there had been no resources to repair the damage, and efforts to restore it were soon forgotten, the surviving inhabitants moving to other nearby establishments. The area was large, spanning nearly 100 miles, and the dismal landscape was dominated by the charred ruins of buildings that seemed to have been thrust violently through the earth's surface in a sudden, catastrophic upheaval.

But there were those tha…

"Hank & Helen: The Beachfront Condo"

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Exercise #53 : "Hank & Helen: The Beachfront Condo"

This is a dialogue exercise. Hank and Helen are married. Hank is a pessimist. Helen is an optimist. They discuss whether or not to buy a beachfront condo.

GO! Tick tock, tick tock...

Helen: It's beautiful!

Hank: Yeah, it's nice.

Helen: "Nice? Nice? This is better than nice, Hank. This is luxurious!

Hank: I mean, it's beautiful and all, but I don't know... I'm not sure this is a good idea.

Helen: Sure it's a good idea. What don't you like about it?

Hank: It's so... open. There is absolutely no cover here on this veranda. Great view and all, but there's not a single bit of privacy.

Helen: It has plenty of privacy. It's high up enough on the beach that people won't really be looking at us. If it bothers you that much, we can always add tints to the glass paneling surrounding it.

Hank: I guess that's sufficient...

Helen: But?

Hank: But can we really afford this? We're not Bill Ga…

Ahhhhhhh!!

So I'm not at my house. Not only that, but I don't have my list of writing exercises with me... So... No writing exercise today. :(

Here's how I've decided to justify this:
It gives me more time to work on my #fridayflash!I can work on my WIPI can work on editing both of those stories ("Meet Chuck" and the story that was spawned by one of the exercises)I can plan ahead and think of some more really friggin' awesome ideas for future blog posts...That's all I can come up with right now, but I'm sure I'll add to the list later on. If you guys have any thoughts about what you'd like to hear from me in the future, drop me a comment. It'd be fun to see what you'd like me to write! Also, if any of you want to guest blog, ask away! I'd love to highlight people doing the writing exercises, or if you have a better idea, let me know.

Can't wait to hear from you.

Peace.
Stef.

"Airplane"

Exercise #52 : "Airplane"

This is an exercise about generating specific sensory detail. On a typical flight, what are:
5 things you might see5 things you might smell5 things you might touch5 things you might hear5 things you might taste5 Sights:
the stewardess with an overly perky, blindingly white smile, directing me to my seatthe grey / cream, plastic interiors that house the storage unitspeople sitting in plush seats, praying that the seat next to them will be left emptya woman clutching the hand rests with her eyes closed (She's afraid of flying.)the fancy business people sitting in first class5 Smells:
the sterile, just Lysoled smellthe smelly dude in the seat next to methe minty gum of the teenager sitting behind methe poopy diaper of the crying baby in front of methe mothball-y scent of the clothes of the old lady who just walked past me
5 Touches:
the coarse fabric of my carry on bagthe velvety fabric of the seatthe air bursting from the overhead ac onto my facethe fee…

"Extremely Famous"

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Exercise #51 : "Extremely Famous"

You (or your fictional character) are suddenly extremely famous. In what ways does your (or your character's) life change?5 minutes start now.

It's official... I don't like being famous. I'd always known that fame wasn't worth it, that it ended up eating out your soul, but this quickly? The novelty has worn off, and the people staring is an annoyance. Yes, I know you know who I am. Good for you. Now leave me alone!

Of course, there are certain perks to being famous. If I show up at a restaurant or hotel (I've been spending a lot of time in hotels as of late...), I am immediately ushered in - usually through the back door - to their best space, their most secluded table or their largest suite. People give me gifts, too. A new skin care line that has diamonds in the paste to help exfoliate (It costs a whopping $3,000, folks.), a dress designed by Vera Wang herself, thousands and thousands of fan-sent teddy bears... All of …

Welcome & "The Unwanted Gift"

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First, let me express my thanks and gratitude to those of you who have recently begun to follow my humble little blogette here. I am so excited that you found something about my blog to be of interest and can only hope that I keep you entertained as the year progresses. If any of you, my lovely readers, have suggestions as to making the site run more smoothly or just writing critique in general, please let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Now on with the exercise!

Exercise #49 : "The Unwanted Gift"

Make a list of 10 unwanted gifts. Then choose the one you find most intriguing, describe it, and start writing.

You know, I have been blessed thus far in my life to acquaint myself with people who think seriously about the gifts they give. As I think back on it, I can't really think of any gifts that I was really unhappy with. Nothing came from out of the blue, I've never received a re-gifted fruit cake, etc... So I guess I'm lucky in that respect. Of course, m…

"Zizi and Zulie"

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Exercise #50 : "Zizi and Zulie"

This is an exercise in plotting. Assume you are writing a children's story. Zizi and Zulie are miniature dachshunds. One day they dig their way under the fence and escape into the next door neighbor's garden. The neighbor is a very lonely old lady. She takes Zizi and Zulie into her kitchen and feeds them and pets them. All afternoon they watch TV together. But then, when Zizi and Zulie's owners return home from work, the neighbor cannot bring herself to return the dogs. What happens? In outline form, plot the rest of the story.

Oh, outline form. I love outlining. It makes me feel like I'm actually getting something accomplished. haha Yay for bullet points! The only thing I'm kind of worried about for this one is that children's books and I don't really see eye to eye. To be completely honest, the young mind completely evades me. We simply do not understand one another.. Either way, time to start!

And START!!!!!!

I. Zizi…

"Your Best Friend is a Mirror"

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Exercise #48 : "Your Best Friend is a Mirror"

Make this old saying your first line - and start writing.

This must be a very, very old saying, because I've never heard of it. Now, I've played that game where you stand facing someone and then either you mimic them in your movements, or they mimic you, but I have never used it as a saying. Time to go looksie on the internet because I'm intrigued.

And the internet search proves - drumroll, please - zilch. Great. I have no idea what that saying means, so I'm going in blind. Oh well... I'll just make it up as I go. If anyone has heard of this phrase, please enlighten me.

Here goes.

Begin 5 minutes.

"Your best friend is a mirror," Melissa says, mindlessly twirling her fork in the angel hair pasta on her plate.

"Wait," I say. "What? What does that even mean? He's a human being."

"Well, of course she's a human being," she says, rolling her eyes at my confusion. "But tha…

"Windy Weather in the City"

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Exercise #47 : "Windy Weather in the City"

With specific detail that appeals to all the senses - sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell - describe windy weather on a city street.

This episode reminds me of the 2 years I spent in NY, so I'm going to base this exercise on some memories I have there.

5 minutes start now.

There's nothing better than New York City in the fall. The whole city is transformed into a crisp, clean-feeling place which is greatly appreciated after a humid, rotten-smelling summer filled with sweat and armpit stained shirts.

There's something about the wind as it rushes through seemingly endless skyscrapers. The way that the buildings are situated turns each space in between them into a wind tunnel capable of knocking you over if you're not prepared. It whips at your face, blowing tendrils of your hair every direction possible, and you feel as if you're being lifted gently from the pavement below. Every once in a while, trash from the street i…

Revisiting the Past

So I was through my portfolio the other day, and I came across an old short story of mine that I wrote for English class in high school. I remember thinking, at the time, that it was awesome, but looking back... shewwwwwww! I like the idea, so I may very well be revisiting this story later on to rewrite it or just do some edits, but man alive. It's in dire need of reworking. I am posting the story below to give all of you a nice, hearty laugh, sans edits, so please forgive the grievous errors I committed when I was a mere sapling of a human.

And without further ado, "Meet Chuck."
A shiny, black beetle scuttled across the linoleum flooring at an alarming pace, flailing its legs as quickly as it could; it was in open territory and needed even the smallest amount of a refuge that it could find. Then, there it was. A shadow caused by an industrial sized metal shelf appeared ahead, so the beetle made a mad dash into hiding. Unfortunately for the beetle, however, Tilly Montreau…

"Falling Snow"

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Exercise #46 : "Falling Snow"

With specific detail that appeals to all the senses -- sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell -- describe falling snow.

Snow, white and pure, floats downward from a light, cloud-filled sky, soundlessly settling on roofs, tree branches, ground and enveloping the world in a cozy comforter of bleached down. It's my favorite part of the winter, when time seems to hold still for the briefest of seconds, allowing all who are willing to take a moment to acknowledge the beauty. I frequently stand in the middle of my back yard, arms out stretched, mouth opened wide, and sticking my tongue out. The flakes land lightly on my tongue, cold and wet, and I can't help but to smile. With eyes closed, visions of Christmas flash across my eyelids, and, despite the cold weather, I am warm from the inside out.

5 minutes up.

Sorry for the late post, my lovely readers. Today would not have been qualified as a good day, so I was bogged down with a lot to do. Hopefully…

Charlamagne, the Boy Cat From Upstairs

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I'm playing catchup, because this was supposed to be done this past Saturday, and we all know I wasn't here for that. :)

This is Charlamagne, the chill cat of the house. He is my upstairs roommate's cat, and he's a total teddy bear. You can do pretty much anything to him, and he'll just sit there. He may even give you kisses every so often. His meow is unique; it almost sounds like a cackle, and it makes me smile.

As you can see from the picture, Charlie is a little bit of a tubbers, but it's so cute that it's ok. He's on a diet, though, and we have to make sure that he doesn't eat any of the food I set down for Kitty Kitty and Lily.

He's an affectionate cutie, but don't let the adorable-ness fool you. An antagonizer at heart, he finds joy in pouncing on Lily and fighting her until she scratches the crap out of him. He learned quickly that his battles with Kitty Kitty were not only unnecessary but harmful to his person, so he doesn't pick f…

"Shelly's Scene Objective"

Exercise #45 : "Shelly's Scene Objective"

In The Power of the Actor, Ivana Chubbuck shows actors how to use their emotions to empower a goal. Actors identify their characters' overall objective, as well as their scene objective. Applying this to writing, assume your character is "Shelly;" her overall objective is to get married, and her scene objective is to get "Kyle" - whom she has just met, say, in a coffee shop - to ask her on a date. Write the scene from Shelly's point of view.

I don't understand Shelly's type of woman. They just don't make sense to me. The manipulation, the I-have-to-get-married syndrome... It's all a complete enigma that evades my thinking processes. Not only that, but it infuriates me. Maybe I'm just bittered by the lingering break-up sadness, but it's ridiculous. IhavetogetmarriedIhavetogetmarriedIhavetogetMARRIED!!!!! Ludicrous. What's the point? Someone please tell me.

Sure, there's some…

"St. Valentine's Day Massacre"

Exercise #44 : "St. Valentine's Day Massacre"

This is a plot-generating exercise.
List 5 small gestures Bob makes that show he loves his wife, Betty. For example, he might do the dishes, buy her jewelry, etc.List 5 actions by which Betty reveals that she no longer loves Bob. For example, she might not pick up the phone when she sees the caller ID that shows it's him or she might travel on business when she doesn't need to.List 3 ways Betty could kill Bob.In three words -- no more -- describe Betty's secret boyfriend, Jeb.Where did Betty meet Jeb.Finally, in what way is Jeb a surprising character? Answer in only 2 adjectives.Well, goodness gracious, isn't that depressing? I don't like Betty. What a backstabbing little... Grr...

5 minutes START!

Bob's 5 gestures:making the coffee her way every morning: super strongtake her out dancing every Thursday nightfrequently buys / sends her flowers "just because"lets the dog sleep in the bed with them …

Until Tuesday.

I have had a personal emergency present itself and must take some time to be alone over the long weekend. My posts will resume on Tuesday.

I'm sorry that I am unable to maintain my normal posting schedule until then.

Peace.
Stef.

"Message for a Stranger"

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Exercise #43 : "Message for a Stranger"

Today's exercise was inspired by an essay published in the Washington Post by Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood. She wrote, "Writing, like sewing, was always for someone, even if that someone was yourself in the future. Writing was a way of sending your voice to someone you might never meet." Imagine that tomorrow a stranger will pick up the scrap of paper on which you have written something.
(Note: This exercise is especially fun if you really do leave the scrap of paper somewhere for someone to find it -- perhaps on a park bench or in an elevator.)

Interesting. I like this idea. Thanks, CM Mayo, for coming up with it.

Andddddddd... go.

To You. Yes, You!

Chances are you don't know me, and that's ok. In fact, knowing that I'm writing a letter to someone I don't know is kind of freeing. I can say whatever I want, however I want. Lovely, says I.

I guess my first order of business is to make a stereotypical "Se…

"Popol Vuh: Seven Random Bits"

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Exercise #42 : "Popol Vuh: Seven Random Bits"

I just pulled the Popol Vuh off the shelf and found these seven random bits:
sweet drink!Jaguarundoneyou tricksters!And they remembered what had been said about the East.vagabondscorn with fishWhat can you write in five minutes that incorporates all of these?

5 minutes start now... BEEP!

The vagabonds trudged through the dry sand, the sun beating directly on the top of their heads. Each step brought them closer to exhaustion.

The first vagabond, the one with the deep scar on his cheek, was sweating profusely, but he was walking faster than the other two, charging forward with the determination of a bear.

"Hurry up!" he barked. "We have to be quick!"

The second vagabond fell to his knees. "I can't," he said. "I can't go on. We've been walking like this for 3 days. We are out of water and food. If we continue, we'll be dead in mere hours."

The scarred vagabond scoffed at his fallen co…

District 9 : 2 Hours of Non-Stop Intensity

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I saw District 9 Sunday evening with my roommate, and I'm still recuperating. I was surprised that I was able to sleep that night.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE PLOT TO BE SPOILED, DO NOT READ ON. GO READ THIS.

District 9 was set in Johannesburg, South Africa and spent most of its time chronicling the last days of Wikus van de Merwe (played by Sharlto Copley), a Multi-national United (MNU) field operative. We join him as he is preparing to visit District 9, a glorified concentration camp for Prawns, a race of aliens from a distant planet who resemble the sea-dwelling Decapods.

Several years prior to the start of the movie, an alien ship appeared over Johannesburg, but instead of moving on to another city or leaving altogether, the ship stalled, simply hovering miles above the city's inhabitants. After there was absolutely no interaction from them, the government intervened and cut their way into the ship, hoping to make first contact with extraterrestrials. What they encountered was muc…