Friday, September 30, 2011

Five Sense Setting

Nina on G+ is running a writing prompt today, as she is most days.  So if you need inspiration for some exercise to do, hers tend to be fun, but also challenging (some more than others).

Today was on setting, using all five senses, less than 500 words, and no -ly words (and trying to keep adverbs to a minimum).

If you come up with one and post one yourself, please link me to it in a comment - I love reading other people's writing, and also love getting feedback :) 

Here is mine (which will eventually be apart of a longer piece): 

She stood in the meadow of wheat and stared out over the vast space before her.  A single tree stood to her right and she placed her fingertips on the bark.  The tree felt warm, as if bursting forth with life.  A small smile stretched across her face.  She felt the rough grooves of the tree, melding underneath her touch.  Her eyes reflected the yellow wheat in front of her, the sun hanging high in the sky.  For some reason, even though the whole world glowed, the sun wasn’t too bright here.

There was a single bird flying through the small breeze, chirping and carrying himself along with the patter of his wings.  The breeze ruffled the leaves in the tree before tussling through Jess’s hair.  It smelled of thick syrup and warm, fresh bread.  She could get used to this. 

Jess picked her way along the wheat.  As soon as she thought it would be perfect to have some place to sit, she walked into a clearing.  A single, fallen log was lying on the ground, untouched and perfect.  She let her feet slide her down onto the log.  It gave more than she expected, and felt like a cushion.  She placed her hands on either side of her body and felt the wood.  It was still solid underneath her fingers, but it was comfortable everywhere else. 

She looked upward, gazing at the few clouds that hung low in the sky.  They seemed to drift with the breeze.  She could almost taste them on her tongue, moist and light clouds.  She could eat one of them, balls of cotton candy just plucked from the sky.  She reached her fingers up and twisted them inside the cloud.  A piece of it broke off, coming back down to earth grasped in her hand.  She lifted it up to her mouth and smelled the sugar, the delightful mysteries that this place held.  Her lips curled around a corner.  The stickiness of melting sugar spread throughout her mouth, got caught in between her teeth, and she swallowed.  She was satisfied, she couldn’t ask for a better place than this.  It was peaceful, and she was alone… for once.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: The Hunger Games

I have been devouring books again - and this one was an easy one to sink my teeth into.  I know, I know, I'm a little late.  I saw the article in Entertainment Weekly about the movie and was intrigued by the plot line.  I wasn't expecting much, since most Young Adult books that get turned into movies typically are not that great of a read (there are exceptions here, of course!).  But I can't imagine that the movie is going to do this book justice.  Suzanne Collins nails it.

First off, her world and characters are very believable.  The main character, Katniss, is coming-of-age in a world that isn't so friendly to teenagers.  In fact, the government requires them to fight to the death.  One male and one female from each district are brought to the capital and entered into the Hunger Games, where the last male or female standing wins a large prize for their district and themselves (not to mention they are still alive).

Katniss comes from District 12, the coal mining district and the poorest.  All odds are stacked against her when she steps into the arena.  Suzanne Collins plays against your expectations.  She puts you in Katniss's head - swarmed with emotions, misread signals, questions, and anger.  We, as the reader, see oftentimes what she doesn't.  We understand more than she does because of how we were brought up - but that just makes Katniss more likeable, because you understand her, even when she doesn't understand herself.

I am definitely going to pick up the other two novels in the series - I was very pleased that this book.  Even the ending left me satisfied but still questioning a few things.  And the descriptions are almost lyrically playing over and over again in my head.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh Coffee, I loate you...

This is my ode to coffee.

My ode to a really, horribly sour deep brown that I used to spit out and cringe at the smell. My ode to adding in far too much sugar, natural and raw, and too much almond milk and still making the cringe when I sip through my cup.

I can drink tea plain, but not you, Coffee, no not you. You are too strong for my head, you cause swelling and pain and frustration. You smell so delicious after the flavors and sugars and creams that I feel delighted, enticed by you. But that the end of the day, you remain the same. A now milky brown liquid that has the same, devastating effect on me.

I sip you from my royal blue cup and inhale your intoxication. I swim in the magic of your caffeinated dreams for just a moment. I perk up because of you, get more intense with my words, seeking and soaking in your wisdom. It isn't you that motivates me, but it is me consuming you that keeps me going.

So my ode to you, coffee, and your horrible nature, your deadly grasp on my brain. I wish I could quit, sometimes, because of what happens to my sleep.

Sleep, my ode to sleep, my ode to dreams, my odes...

My night is spent tossing and turning, awake and yearning for the sweet caress of the sandman. I awake not once, not twice, but three times from dreams, small bumps in the night, and I'm alert. A switch got flicked on in my brain and it swells with thoughts mixed with dreams. I cannot tell if I am awake or sleeping until I realize I've been wide-awake the whole time. Eyes open, glazed over, transported to another place. Another moment where the demons come out, haunted by your touch. You've awoken them, you have, with that claw you wrap around my dreams.

Oh, Coffee, why is our relationship so tumultuous? The interesting, shadowy nightmares, the desire for more vivid an imagination, a more un-tapped deeper, darker place. You bring me there. My writer's eye is so fascinated, but my soul is shivering, alone in the corner, begging the writer to drink tea again. Stop with the coffee, she says. The writer waves her away, no, we need to see where this rabbit hole goes. And we drop further down, mixing our dreams with reality until the very essence of both are lost, wrapped up together, as one.

Yes, Coffee, I do hate you, even though I still drink you. The dreams you give me are horribly frightening, but the creative switch that it triggers is greatly enlightening.


I know this technically isn't poetry, but I couldn't think of a better main category to stick it into. I find that this would probably be better named "slam poetry" or something of that nature. No, it isn't traditional, but yes, I am a writer, and I can break the rules (sometimes).