Thursday, January 24, 2013

Exercise # 196 - Saying No & Not Saying No (Pt. 1)

This is Part I of a dialogue/ character exercise. Imagine a very pushy mother who is telephoning other parents with children at her child's school to get them to help with a special project that she has decided it is of utmost importance. No one else thinks so; however, some are better at saying no than others. In today's exercise, write the dialogue for the telephone conversation between Pushy Mother and a parent who may or may not be convinced to help out (you decide).
Tip: try to give each a unique voice. 


1, 2, 3, GO!

Monday, January 21, 2013

In Which I Confess Something #1

This is a hard post to write, but it needs to happen. My mother will read this and will probably be shocked because I tell her everything, and she has no idea that this is going on. Those of you who know me know that I share everything with my Mom, so my holding something back from her is a big deal, and I've been doing it for years now.

Mom, I'm sorry for not telling you, but it has been an incredibly embarrassing aspect of my life for the past several years. I have only started to be vocal about it over the past few months, and I'm trying to be more open about it for the purposes of overcoming it and educating others about a disease that not many people know about.
I love you, and I'm sorry.

That being said, this is going to be as organized as best as I can possibly manage, but even talking (or writing) about it makes me anxious / nervous. So this is more than likely to be a shit show, regardless of how much work I spend on it.

The name of the game is dermatillomania (see also its sister disease dermatophagia), and it is awful. Thankfully, I have a somewhat mild case, but it is something that has been plaguing me for quite some time now.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Exercise # 195 - Vive la France

Write a little something that includes the following:


- the smell of fresh-baked baguettes
- hot peaches
- a man in a beret
- the words "souvenir," "clink," and "lurk"


Ah, France... I have only been there once, but it was amazing. I wasn't a fan of Paris; there were too many people outwardly inconvenienced by "le stupide américain" for me to actually enjoy myself.

In Normandy, however, there is a quaint little peninsula / island (depending on the time of day or year) that grabbed my heart and took hold. It has yet to release, and that was many years ago.

Mont St. Michel
Seriously... It's a freaking fairy tale.
Mont St. Michel is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Well, that I've seen up close and personal anyway.

If you ever have a chance, go. The monastery is gorgeous, and the quaint little streets in the town below are entrancing and make you feel like you're waking through the pages of a storybook.

That being said, we have an exercise to do, no?

1,2,3, GO!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Exercise # 194 - And the Perfect Afternoon

Another emulation exercise. Here is a sentence from Katherine Mansfield's short story, "The Garden Party":


And the perfect afternoon slowly ripened, 
slowly faded, 
slowly its petals closed.

The idea is to keep the syntax but vary the adjectives / nouns / imagery. For example:


And the awful afternoon slowly shriveled, 
slowly chilled, 
slowly turned black.

Or:


And the perfect tea party slowly ground down, 
slowly began to become a tedious bore, 
slowly everyone left or else fell asleep.


Do as many as you can in five minutes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Exercise # 193 - Architectural Adjectives

Focusing on exclusively on the architecture, jot down five adjectives for the following structures:
your residence
the last religious building you visited
your elementary school
your bank
the most beautiful building you have been inside in the past year
the most recent restaurant you have eaten in
the ugliest building you have been inside in the past week
a sports stadium
the hut of a gnome

1,2,3 GO!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Exercise # 192 - Wolf, Forest, Sky

And so the New Year's Resolutions begin... Positive thinking makes it happen!!

Time to get back on this horse, shall we? It's been quite a while since I've done these writing exercises, and I'm afraid I'm rather out of practice... Bear with me and be patient.

As stated in my New Year's Resolutions, the plan is to be reasonable and start with 2 posts a week. Once that has solidified itself into my weekly schedule, I'll up it to three and so on. I think I'll top out at 3-5 per week, depending on my schedule. Kosher? I think so.

Of course, knowing me, I'll probably get excited and post 5 billion posts one week and then none the next, but we'll tackle that when it happens, eh?

The below exercise has been sitting in my Drafts here on Blogger for the last 4 months, and I have barely come up with a paragraph. Not only that, but it's terrible. So instead of letting it bug me, I'm going to post what I've got and then move on to the next exercise. Who cares if this one is incomplete? That's ok. Just let it go, Stefers.

Exercise # 192 - Wolf, Forest, Sky

Describe a wolf. Describe a forest. Describe a sky.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

In Which I Confront My Would Be Stalker

Dear Readers,

You're awesome.

Seriously.

I cannot even begin to express how wonderful all of you are and how much you mean to me.

I know I have been rather removed as of late (partly due to me letting work take over my life), but another part of it is because I have reached a point of compulsive self-editing that has brought my writing process to a completely pathetic halt.

Originally, I thought it was because I was just being picky with myself and the quality of my writing. I expect excellence, and I will not publish something of which I am not proud to share with all of you lovely people.

Sure, I've posted a few times about various random news items that have come across my radar, but I'm sure you have noticed the lack of consistency and frequency of my posts, especially when I used to post every single day. I've promised more times than I can count over the last 6 months that "I'm coming back!!" and to "Prepare for my awesome return to the blogosphere!!" But here I am, still nowhere, still suffering from a gigantic case of writer's block.

What got me here?

I'd love to say that my quest for literary excellence has been the main cause of my lack of creative process, but it isn't. It's definitely a part, but it's only a small part. The compulsive self-editing has reared its ugly head for another, completely different reason.

I've vaguely hinted at it, but over the last year I have received some unwanted attention from a person who used my blog posts in a feeble attempt to pry into my personal life life (that's what I get for posting in a public forum, so I can't really be mad about it) and gather intel in regards to a relationship I have with a close friend of mine.

I believe that my lack of posting (I also disappeared from Twitter and made my Facebook profile hidden along with blocking this particular person) has left this person bored with my inactivity and hope that she has decided that I'm not worth her time. All of that being said, I'm through with crazy stalkers and from this moment forward refuse to let them control when and what I write. 

You hear me? I don't even care if you're reading this post right now. Only I control my writing, and I am ashamed that I gave you so much power over my life, you silly, bat-shit crazy woman. You know who you are, and you are powerless to control me. Powerless.

Whew! You know, I hadn't realized that I was so upset over it, but I am. It really upsets me that I allowed her to play a such a critical part in my creative process, especially when her poisonous vitriol and self-deluded insanity has absolutely nothing to do with me.

Like I said above, I'm pretty sure that my lack of activity has led this woman to believe that I no longer exist on the world wide web, so I am somewhat comforted by the fact that she no longer haunts my blog or keeps tabs on my internet presence. It wouldn't matter, though, because I'm tired of censoring myself. I want my writing life back, and I will write with no holds barred.

Voila. That's that.

Peace.
Stef.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Another Year Over ... And What Have You Done?

Ah, the obligatory New Year's Resolutions.

My last post (not counting my Les Mis review of sorts) was in October. Stefers the Great, how far you have fallen. Remember when you used to post every day? Time to nip this in the bud and get some sense of regimen to your life!!!

My New Year's Resolutions are as follows:

1. Love yourself. You are beautiful and special, and you need to treat yourself as such. You deserve it.

2. Don't take work so seriously. If Joe Schmo doesn't get his iPad in the precise minute that he expects it, that's ok. Do your best and don't sweat the small stuff. Also, no more of this 16-hour day bullshit. They don't pay you enough to completely disregard the fact that you have / need a social life.

3. Be more social. All of your friends have forgotten that you exist due to the fact that you take work so seriously, so go out of your way to do things with the people that you love when you're not at work at least once a week.

4. You will post on this blog at least twice a week. No excuses.

5. Laundry is a weekly responsibility. Just do it, ok?

6. Decorate that sad excuse of a bedroom. Empty walls make for a depressing sleep space. Make it your own!!

7. As always, "lose weight" is on here. We'll see how this goes. Just try to eat more healthy. Start by eating breakfast every day, eh? Baby steps.

8. TAKE A FREAKING VACATION!!!!!!!

9. Be honest. Don't hold anything back, and live without regret.

That's what I have so far, and I may add more as the year progresses.

What are your resolutions? If you don't have any, why not?

Peace.
Stef.

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