We write about how things feel to our touch but it is usually our hands we use to touch. Think about how a variety of things feel if you touch (or walk on them) with your bare feet. A sandy beach, a pebbly beach, snow, your driveway, the thick plush rug, the fur of an animal… What things have you felt with your feet and how does feeling them with feet give a different impression from your hands? You can feel more with your fingers as they can move and grip easily, yet the feet have a different point of view as they are not your first choice.
Write a poem, even if you can’t write poetry. Make sure all your lines rhyme. Whatever word you end up using at the end of your first line, have them all rhyme along with it. So you end up with a poem where the last word of each sentence is a rhyme. How many lines can you make it last?
When you take a photo you spend a little time setting up the scene as it will fit into the space you have in the view finder. That should continue into writing too. We are used to seeing movies and TV on a screen, not from our own eyes as we live our lives where the view is wider and taller. So when someone is reading a book they also expect to see the scene as if it were through a camera or on a screen. Set up your scene with that in mind. How many things can you bring into the screen and where do they fit in best?
Confused? Hold up your hands to form a box shape and see what actually fits into the space between your hands. Not as much as if you looked without looking through your hands, right? It is surprising how little sometimes fits into that square space.
Can you write a story in just ten words? How many words do you need if you keep in mind to keep it as short as possible? Start with a plan for 50 words and then begin lopping off wordage until you can get it down to 40 and then 30 and then 25 and 20 and maybe even…. 10! How low can you go?
Learning to edit extra words out is a priceless skill. But, you can only cut out so many before your story has lost it’s meaning. Cutting out a lot of words works best for a news story, not so great for fiction. But, don’t take that to mean you can go on a word kick and ramble on without rhyme or reason.
A snow village with snow people appears on your front lawn. It’s really odd cause there hasn’t been enough snow to make all that, not anything close to it. Someone would have had to ship in truck loads of snow for all of that to be built.
Odder still, all those snow people are alive! When they notice you looking out your window at them they begin to wave at you. You wave back in a feeble, stunned sort of way.
Over the winter you get to know the snow people and spend a lot of time enjoying the winter season in that snow village. It’s awful when it all begins to melt once Spring starts. You can’t think of any way to save all your new friends. They tell you not to worry and just ask you to bring out your camera to take their photo. In that way they can be preserved forever.
Still you feel miserable watching them all melt away to nothing but puddles of water. Sure it’s great for your grass to be so well watered but you can’t see it as just water. One day a huge truck arrives with a load of magical water and a tank full of magical water people who live in sandcastles at the bottom of the tank. They all smile and wave and seem very friendly but are you really ready to develop more friendships with magical people who only live for a season? Would you be better to protect yourself or overlook the sadness and keep your heart open to new people and adventures?
Think fast, the water kids are going to keep splashing you until you decide.
On a beach, beyond the reach of the tide, two fairly large rocks have been sitting together, not quite touching, for generations of people. One rock is a dark greeny charcoal colour. The other rock looks like red marble. Neither rock is actually a rock however. Both are aliens from other planets, other galaxies. Both are from different places though they have ended up in the same place. Both are timeless. Their lives stretching out far beyond that of even the rocks the resemble.
None of the people who play and sun tan and swim on that beach have ever noticed anything odd about the rocks. Some of them have even sat on one or the other of the rocks and watched sunsets and tides. No one expected there was anything to the rocks, beyond being solid matter.
One day the rocks left the beach. They just took flight and moved to another location. The only thing they left was a still wet indentation in the sandy beach. Years later someone noticed the rocks were missing. They had a photo of the beach when the rocks were still there. But couldn’t remember seeing any rocks there for ever so long.
What things are there around you which you might not really notice, even though they are not small in size or significance?
What if you could never go home again? How eerie would it feel to know everything was just as you left it, no great disaster, but you could never get there to sleep in your own bed, check email on your computer or just make a hot drink in your favourite cup. Like seeing your home through the glass of a snowglobe but never being able to get inside to live in that world again. What words would you use to describe that feeling?
I’m not a great lover of rules. Having more than just a few, which make good sense, aggravates me. I’ve noticed that with children these days there are endless rules. Rules about what you can bring to school in your lunch, rules about how they have to be strapped into the car, rules about what they do when they are sick… it’s like a prison of rules. Would all of that stop you from having kids, if you were still in the position to decide? It would make me think twice. Yes, the rules are created for the betterment of children, their safety and so on. But, there are rules stepping over each other in their hurry to swamp you, as a parent. Is it too much? Why were kids from just 30 years ago less rule polluted? Car seats were a novelty, not a law. You could bring peanut butter to school and the jam too! Why are kids today wrapped up so tightly in cotton batten and rules?
It’s your birthday, again and again and again…. You’re living the same day over and over. Each morning you wake up and it’s still the same day it was yesterday. Time has ended but your life span still has 23 years to go. So Fate decided to let you live them but since you can’t go forward you just live one day in the past. Fate chose your birthday, not sure if they just liked the irony of you getting one year older without really getting one year ahead. How was your last birthday, would you really want to live it over again for 23 years?
You’re on a train, going through snowy ice covered mountains. It’s cold, bitterly cold. Your breath is coming out in swirls of steam even inside the warmest car on the train. Everyone is wearing full winter gear. Still hours until your stop, the end of the line. You sit with your backpack at your back, a little cushion from the bump and sway of the train. In your hands is a hot drink (you’re not sure what it really is) from one of the other passengers.
Where are you going and why are you going there?