Entitle Your Autobiography

From Creativity Portal, the Imagination Prompt Generator:

Brainstorm 10 titles to your autobiography.

The funny thing is that I do think about titles for my autobiography. Usually while I am writing my personal journal or blog. I think about the people who may read it. More often (these days) I think about my nephew Zack who is also a writer. I think of him sorting through all the bits I have written which could go into a biography. I think of him being the one to find everything, sort it out and pull it all together. Then I think of the note I left him, somewhere, giving him the title I finally picked out for my autobiography, assuming it would ever be written.

What would your titles be, so far?

Here are some I am thinking of:

  • Not Quite the Girl You Once Knew
  • Lost in Her Own Mind
  • Leave the Last Rock for Me
  • A Forest Among the Trees
  • Coffee, Tea and Me
  • I Was Born a Dragon
  • Here Be Dragons…
  • That Canadian Grrl
  • Bewitching Vagabond
  • The Closet Exhibitionist

Hope Meets you Anywhere

No matter how far the
distance you have traveled
nor the failures
that have gathered,
hope would still
meet you anywhere.

~ by Dodinsky

It’s not hard to find inspirational quotes and poems and other small things to try to perk you up, give you some light at the end of the tunnel, etc. Some are better than others. I’m a fan of Dodinsky especially. But… can you write one of your own? Write it geared to yourself or make it more generic if you don’t want to get that personal. Try writing something short and uplifting, something that will have meaning and bring inspiration to the masses (especially yourself!)

Writing in Good Faith

For the A – Z Blogging Challenge … W is for Witch.

No, it’s not early for Halloween. There are Witches, Wiccans and Pagans all year round. Could you write about someone who has a different religion or spirituality than you? Probably, with some research to learn about their traditions and beliefs. But, could you write about it in a way which does not seem judgmental in any way? That is harder I think. We tend to have feelings and opinions about everything we write about. But, if you are writing about something personal like religion you really need to be impartial in order to respect the people who believe in that faith.

There may be a case where you show or give your opinion, such as a non-fiction article or debate, something along those lines. If you are writing about a fictional character who happens to be Pagan, Catholic, a Jehovah’s Witness, Jewish or any other religion, spirituality or belief system it is best if you can present their beliefs as an extension of who they are or a reason for their actions without putting down the traditions or beliefs they have.

Are you Permissive with your Work?

For the A – Z Blogging Challenge… P is for Permission.

Someone emailed me today to ask if they could use one of my photos for commercial art they are going to sell. I have given permission for some of my photos to be used for art, for personal use. I really don’t think it is fair to use the work of someone else to make money which you keep for yourself. In that case you are just selling someone’s work and claiming it as your own. Basically. I think that’s asking too much. Some people do allow full use, give their permission for people to make use of their art, software, etc in any way. I’m not fully open source/ open content in that way. How do you feel about the issue of permission, commercial selling and open source content?

Creative Commons (Canada)

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

The Moods of the Delicious Miss Dahl

I posted the recipe for Sophie Dahl’s borscht recipe on my Creative Fat Grrl blog. Her cooking show was on the Food Network today. Unfortunately she only made six, it wasn’t given a second season. Which is a shame cause it was really good, elegant and glamorous but simple too. Each show was given a theme:

Selfish
Romance
Nostalgia
Melancholy
Escapism
Celebratory

If you were given your own half hour TV show, not necessarily a cooking show, how would create six episodes around each of the same themes?

The book above is Sophie Dahl’s cookbook/ personal essays. She based the cooking show on this book.

Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights: Recipes for Every Season, Mood, and Appetite

Don’t Pick Up Lost Poems from the Ground

Looking for Poetry

Don’t write poems about what’s happening.
Nothing is born or dies in poetry’s presence.
Next to it, life is a static sun
without warmth or light.
Friendships, birthdays, personal matters don’t count.
Don’t write poems with the body,
that excellent, whole, and comfortable body objects to lyrical outpouring.
Your anger, your grimace of pleasure or pain in the dark
mean nothing.
Don’t show off your feelings
that are slow in coming around and take advantage of doubt.
What you think and feel are not poetry yet.

Don’t sing about your city, leave it in peace.
Song is not the movement of machines or the secret of houses.
It is not music heard in passing, noise of the sea in streets that skirt the borders of foam.
Song is not nature
or men in society.
Rain and night, fatigue and hope, mean nothing to it.
Poetry (you don’t get it from things)
leaves out subject and object.

Don’t dramatize, don’t invoke,
don’t question, don’t waste time lying.
Don’t get upset.
Your ivory yacht, your diamond shoe,
your mazurkas and tirades, your family skeletons,
all of them worthless, disappear in the curve of time.

Don’t bring up
your sad and buried childhood.
Don’t waver between the mirror
and a fading memory.
What faded was not poetry.
What broke was not crystal.

Enter the kingdom of words as if you were deaf.
Poems are there that want to be written.
They are dormant, but don’t be let down,
their virginal surfaces are fresh and serene.
They are alone and mute, in dictionary condition.
Live with your poems before you write them.
If they’re vague, be patient. If they offend, be calm.
Wait until each one comes into its own and demolishes
with its command of words
and its command of silence.
Don’t force poems to let go of limbo.
Don’t pick up lost poems from the ground.
Don’t fawn over poems. Accept them
as you would their final and definitive form,
distilled in space.

Come close and consider the words.
With a plain face hiding thousands of other faces
and with no interest in your response,
whether weak or strong,
each word asks:
Did you bring the key?

Take note:
words hide in the night
in caves of music and image.
Still humid and pregnant with sleep
they turn in a winding river and by neglect are transformed.

-Carlos Drummond De Andrade

How Do you Want to Write?

When you run dry on ideas to write about try thinking of your format or style instead. Work from another direction. When writing a blog entry, a personal essay in essence, you can write it free form, traditional, human interest, pet peeve, editorial, debate or be poetic in style.

Free Form – Writing without a plan, write with the flow of your own thoughts. Edit for the sake of clarity, but try to wait until your train of thoughts have slowed down to a trickle rather than interrupting yourself.

Traditional Form – A planned essay with an opening introduction, a middle and then closing thoughts to tie it all together. If you have a lot of information this is a good format to use when writing it all up. It’s better organized and straight forward.

Human Interest Story – An approach using humour, often communicating to a specific audience in your own point of view. These are written to be entertaining more than factual.

Pet Peeve – Basically it’s a rant written into words. Describe the problem, the cause of your rant. Discuss solutions, possible or over the top ideas, then end up with a conclusion or your eventual actions taken.

Editorial – An editorial is a rant written to be taken seriously, with facts, information and a professional style. Don’t make your bias come down too heavily or too emotionally.

Debate – A chance to write about both sides of a situation or issue. Write facts and points for and against. Avoid forming a final conclusion, instead let the reader form their own opinion.

Poem – A good way to write about something you feel emotional about. Bring your feelings into words, facts are not as important as the atmosphere you create.

Looking down the list of formats you can write in, what topics come into your mind? What could you rant about as a pet peeve? What could you debate about with strong points on both sides? What are you interested in enough to share your passion with your others?

Each type of writing format works with different topics and your own feelings about the topic. Pick a style and then the topic that works for you. Just thinking about how you want to write can give you great ideas for what you want to write about.

What If? …

Create an alternate history for your day, today. Start with getting out of bed and then along the way, change something so that your day goes in another direction. The same things happen around you, unless they are changed by you or by things you did not do in your alternate history.

As a writing exercise turn your own personal history into a “what if?”…

Alternate History.com
Counter-Factual.net
Google Groups: Soc.history.what-if
Today in Alternate History
Wikia: Alternate History
Other Timelines
Uchronia: The Alternate History List
Uchronia:Sidewise Awards for Alternate History
Changing the Times
Point of Divergence
Wikipedia: Alternate History
Wikipedia: Counterfactual History
Hypothetical History

Review: Creativity Now

Creativity Now: Get inspired, create ideas and make them happen now!

I bought this book last year. I wanted more creative ideas and inspiration. New things to try and build my own ideas from.

This book is a great way to get out of a rut, find a new idea, or a new spin on an old idea. If you want to start something new this book will give you many ways to get started, to look at things from a new direction and to think beyond the limits of your own mind.

One of the most creative things, that appealed to me on a personal level, was streetcombing.

“At the Creativity World Forum of 2008, Richard Stomp, innovation and strategy manager in the Netherlands, suggested that to be creative you should try ‘streetcombing’ – like beachcombing, but on the streets. … The very act of looking for interesting stuff to photograph causes a mind shift.”

Don’t stop to edit yourself, rethink what might be interesting to someone else, or wonder if you have the perfect shot. Use it as a time to explore your own mind, your interests and your creativity.

Creativity Now, by Jurgen Wolff.