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Showing posts from December, 2009


Exercise #110 : "Ears" In specific detail, describe some of your characters' ears. Here are a few cues: shape color texture thickness jewelry hair, moles, freckles, etc scars, wounds placement I'm not going to lie; I really don't want to do this one. Ears are totally not my thing... That being said, I'm going to take today's exercise off and think about possibly coming back to it in the future. :) Oh, how I love being the boss of my own blog. heh Peace. Stef.

At Least...

Exercise #109 : "At Least..." In his Fictional International essay "To Begin, To Begin," Clark Blaise writes: "The most interesting thing about a story is not its climax or denouement - both dated terms - not even its style or characterization. It is its beginning, its first paragraph, often its first sentence... the story seeks its beginning, the story many times is its beginning, amplified." Opening a piece with "At least" is to open in medias res , that is, in the middle of the action. For example: At least the cake was white. Or: At least they approved of the groom's gerbil. The exercise is this: Pick one of these lines (or one of your own, beginning with "at least") and continue writing. GO! For this exercise, I decided to pair it with an image prompt. I headed on over to Google Search, typed in "at least,"and rifled through the first page of pictures. What I got was this: So I guess we'll go with th


Exercise #108 : "Tunnel" What if there was a secret tunnel underneath your house? Where would it take you? What would it be like inside? Where would you find the hatch? GO! Am I a dork for having already thought about this very idea? It all started with the Nancy Drew series (the REAL, original series of books... Not this nonsense where Nancy is now this hip, modern woman. Blah.). She would constantly find herself in these places where a hidden switch or lever would open up a secret door that led to her eventual cracking of the case. Clue was also an influence. All of those rooms tied together by secret hallways... It's engrossing. All of the kings and so on had fancy castles with hidden passageways. Why not me? hah And then you've got The Lord of the Rings. Now, Bilbo Baggins's home wasn't much of a secret tunnel, but I would imagine that's what my tunnel would be like. It would be dirt, but, as J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, "it was a hobbit-hole, and


Exercise #107 : "Rx" Take a character from a piece you are working on or make up a new one. Over the course of his life, what medicines have been prescribed for him and why? Be as specific as possible, and be sure to describe the color, shape, size, and taste (etc) of the medicines. Interesting. As the daughter of a surgeon and a nurse practitioner (Where did my sister and I get these writing / singing genes? That's the question of my life....), I know a great deal of pills and what they're for, etc, so this will be a fun little exercise to do. The question is... which character should I use? I think I'll go with my NaNo character, Savannah Hansley (I swear, this chick has gone through so many name changes... When am I finally going to stick with one?? Only time will tell, I guess.). There is a bit of explaining to do, however, before I get started. As a general rule, Savannah's father is relatively anti-meds. He only uses them when absolutely necessary . S

Language Overlay - Music

Exercise #106 : Language Overlay - Music Sprinkling in language that reflects a character's concerns and passions add richness and texture to a narrative. For example, if I have a character who loves sports, when he goes outside to rake the leaves, I might have him "grip the handle like a bat." The idea of this exercise is to generate vocabulary - nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, phrases, gestures, metaphors, etc - that would have to do with sports and then sprinkle some into the narrative as it suits. In this exercise, try it for music - assume your character loves a certain type of music; or teaches, plays, or composes it. What vocabulary would be in his or her mind? Certainly things like notes, scales, perhaps a metronome. Make as long a list as you can in 5 minutes. GO!!! For being someone who is musically minded, I'm finding this exercise to be... confusing. Maybe that just makes me dense. Here's the thing: I understand her sports analogy . That makes s

Soft Things

Exercise #105 : "Soft Things" Make a list of soft things. GO!!! This should be easy enough, shouldn't it?

Taking the Day Off & a NaNoWriMo Teaser... Ooh...

No, I'm not really taking the day off. That's just the name of the exercise. I've taken too many days off of blogging in the last month anyway. Time to get back on the horse! If you're here to view my NaNo teaser, click "Continue reading..." (from my blog's front page) and scroll to the bottom of this post. It's short little snippet, but I'd really appreciate any comments. Without further ado... Exercise #104 : "Taking the Day Off" If you were to take the day off, what would you do? GO!!! I haven't had a day off in... ... ... a long time. Going to school full time and maintaining 2 jobs kind of makes the day off thing impossible. If I were to take a day off, I would SLEEP. I know that sounds pathetic, but I really would. I don't get enough because of everything I have to do, so unhindered rest would be greatly appreciated. What else would I do? I would read. Oh, that is a really good idea. Simply sitting in a comfy chair and

"Beginnings with Food"

Exercise #103 : "Beginnings with Food" To repeat what was written in a previous exercise: "In my experience, good beginnings - whether of a short story, novel, essay, or memoir - intrigue or charm the reader with the first 3 sentences, no later. The best beginnings suggest that something is off-balance - peculiar, not quite right - ergo, something interesting is going to happen." Today the focus is on food - anything to do with food, perhaps shopping for it, cooking it, eating it, sharing it (or not), saving it, hoarding it, etc..." Today's exercise is this: In five minutes, write as many beginnings as you can that have to do with food. Write one, two, eleven, whatever you can do. Again, by a "beginning" I mean anything from a sentence fragment to three full sentences, but no more than that per beginning. GO!!! Jean shuffled through the pantry and quickly realized that she had absolutely nothing that would compliment the savory taste of her la

My First Spam Comment & Exercise #102

I know that spam comments are a bit annoying, but I was actually really excited to get my first one on this humble little blog here. In late November (the 24th, to be exact) I posted a writing exercise entitled " Trouble Sleeping ." The exercise went as follows: Here are the names of the characters: Glenda; Howard; Fecky Hastings; and Asa, the old sheepdog. For each one, in three sentences or less: when and why did each of them begin to have trouble sleeping? How did each one cope (or not cope)? Well, I received a notification today in my e-mail. You have a new comment on your post: "Trouble Sleeping." I think to myself, Self, didn't you post that a long time ago? Why is someone commenting on it now? So I click on the link, and I come across this: Looking for the ideal destination over the internet to buy sleep aid pills is not an easy task as some of the websites, pharmacies or drug stores selling sleep aids are proved to be fake stores selling counterfeit

"A Manic Morning" & I Have a Chat With the Internet

Exercise #101 : "A Manic Morning" Your character is experiencing the beginning (but not a full-blown) manic episode. Describe his or her morning. Do not use the words "manic" or "bipolar." Show; don't tell. GO! I know absolutely nothing about bipolar disorder. I know that they have manic episodes, but I have no clue whatsoever about what someone goes through when having one. Research time? I'm thinking so. The following interview is my conversation with The Internet about the bipolar disorder. Bear with me. I'm in a weird mood. Stefanie: Hello, Internet. How are you? Internet: I'm well, thanks. What can I do for you today? S: So I'm doing a little research-- I: Well, you've come to the right place! S: Um... Well, thanks. Anyways, I'm doing a little research on bipolar syndrome. You see, I have this blog-- I: Oh, I know!! It's great. Totally the best blog ever. S: You're just too sweet. So you know the pre

"Foamy Things"

DUHN DA DAHHHHHHHHH!!! This marks the 100th exercise posted on my lovely little blog here. :) Exciting, right??? School is officially over for the holidays, and I've finished most of my shopping, so I will not be neglecting my 52 week promise as I have been doing for the past week. It's time to jump back on this wagon! Exercise #100 : "Foamy Things" What things are foamy? Be as specific as you can. GO!!! beer just after it's been poured anything at Starbucks, really - i.e. steamed milk, cappuccino, coffee soap bubbles caused by water agitation while washing dishes styrafoam foam fingers uhhhhhh... I have no idea. I just sat staring at my computer for 5 minutes. hahaha Oh, gracious, it would seem that I'm out of practice! Must work on it. Anyways, happy 100th exercise to me! Can anyone else think of any foamy things? I am at a loss... Peace. Stef.

"What's In Your Kitchen Drawer?"

Exercise #99 : "What's In Your Kitchen Drawer?" This is a vocabulary expanding exercise - not about using new words, but rather words you already know but seldom use. List the objects in your kitchen drawer(s) - from the spatula to the grapefruit knife to the soup ladle. GO! I love junk drawers. They're just something great about them. Don't know where something goes? Put it in the junk drawer! Voila! Problem solved! haha Of course, when said drawer becomes full, it's a little difficult to locate some things, but... who cares?! haha Anyways, on with the exercise. What's in my junk drawer? various medication - Advil (ibuprofen), Tylenol (acetaminophen), etc... latex gloves (for when I henna my hair) a pair of crab-like pot holders (pictured below left) - We call them the Dr. Zoidberg gloves. an annoying cat toy that makes too much noise when played with a few pens the agitators for an electric mixer We're pretty boring. haha Everything else is pre

The Twilight Saga: New Moon - A Review

Before I get started with the review, here's today's exercise. Exercise #98 : "S. Gossips" "S." said he say they said something really horrible, and it got back to... Oh, boy... Who is "S."? Describe him / her. Why did S. say that? What exactly did S. say?" Show, don't tell. Write the scene. Anyways, here we go. I went to see New Moon with my sister, Jenn, and my roommate, Andy, last night. It was hilarious. I mean, absolutely 100% comedic. They were going for comedy, right? Right? Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy a nicely shaped male torso as much as the next chick (or guy even), but when said torso belongs to a minor I'm kind of icked out by it. My favorite part, however, was when Bella fell off the motorcycle and started to bleed copiously from a wound on her forehead. Well, Jacob (For you oh-so-intelligent non-Twihards who haven't read the books or watched the movies, this is the minor I was referring to earlier.