Exercise for Better Writing Ideas

By Lori Moritz This is not about a writing exercise… this is a writing about exercise… the physical kind. I have read it countless times by a countless number of successful writers: You should exercise your body if you want to exercise your mind. Now, I used to shrug this stuff off with an, “ of course!” But that was because I always maintained a strict exercise schedule consisting of running, biking, and weight-lifting… that is, until I had a baby. That sort of threw a wrench in the whole “I’m the healthiest writer in the Universe!!!” mantra. It wasn’t that I had no time to get the sweat on. Instead, I had absolutely no motivation to find out that I had gotten VERY out of shape. So, many months pass with absolutely NO exercise, and guess what… the same amount of months pass with NO writing or fresh writing ideas, either. Why was that? Well, I wasn’t exercising. So, how does exercise help the writing mind? For me, exercise forces me to get deep in thought… it is the only way I can avoid the pain of exertion. While deep in thought, the ideas flow. I can concentrate on character, plot line, dialogue… I find solutions to logical inconsistencies in my storyline… it’s amazing! Recently, I have had a dearth of ideas. Running cured that. It happened this weekend, when I decided to start back on the old routine. I took a four-mile loop around the neighborhood and ran into a patch of bees. In short, I got stung in the chest, back, and the upper left arm. I have an aunt that is deathly allergic to bees. I asked myself the question, “What if I were deathly allergic to bees?” I really could be. It runs in the family. I wondered if I should stop running and...

Writing Challenge

Time for a new challenge… it’s been awhile. Parameters: Write a short response to the prompt. Read and respond to other responses. Vote for your favorites by clicking the thumbs up. (Note, it will only let you vote once per user or per IP address) After enough responses and votes come in, a winner will be chosen. Prizes: At this time, the winning entry will receive a custom illustration for their story, and a featured post on my website. (For you to bedazzle everyone with!) Prompt: . It is said that a ghost roams this shanty farm. Who (Or What) is it? How long has it been there? Why does it lurk here? What does it see? Tell us its...

Eavesdropping and BananaFish….

. J.D. Salinger, God rest his soul, wrote more than just the incredible coming to age novel, The Catcher in the Rye. He wrote many short stories, and many related to a central group of characters. I’m taking a UCLA Extension class called Putting Dialogue to Work. The first assignment requires that we read the Salinger story, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” Although the story is in the American Realism genre, I LOVED it. I think it is because my grandfather was a WWII veteran, and from him, I came closer to understanding what a veteran might feel while trying to reinstitute himself into society. Here was my assessment of the story: * Muriel comes across as shallow and indifferent. She hadn’t been able to get her call through for 2.5 hours, but when the phone finally rings, she doesn’t bother to rush for it. Her call seems habitual rather than motivated by any sort of conscious desire or need to communicate. She paints her nails while she talks. I inferred that she probably spent more attention on that than the actual conversation. She takes her rings off, probably including her wedding ring, to hang around the hotel room. Despite her mother’s concern, Muriel behaves like any teenage girl. I can envision her rolling her eyes to look at her brain as her mother voices her concerns. Muriel is so far removed from reality that she feel invincible. She has, “It can’t happen to me syndrome.” I was taken by the following dialogue between Muriel and her mother: “When I think of how you waited for that boy all through the war-I mean when you think of all those crazy little wives who–” “Mother,” said the girl, “we’d better hang up. Seymour may come in any minute.” The fact that Muriel cuts her mother off in mid thought here...

Latest Challenge Winner – Tantra Bensko

Tantra Bensko wins! . Write about the Witching Hour -by Tantra Bensko . . Midnight came and went many times today. I have never experienced this before. I knew no one was looking when I started turning my head around like an owl to see all the midnights lining up around me. One started speaking to me. Come. Come this way. Another started speaking. Come this way! It was like when my husband and I would spin our son around on a swivel chair and then both call him to run to us in different directions, and watch him fall over. Midnight was playing. And so it was time. Time for something. A little test of what different possibilities could be like in different repeating times. I gave myself a kiss. On the arm. I petted my ankle. I caressed my face. All in different midnights. I was trying to learn to remember what it was like to feel adored, touched because of being beautiful. My only option was myself. If I did something nice for my skin in many midnights at once, would there come a point at which all of them would hit me simultaneously? I liked the linearity of the repetition, but am a big fan of the non linear. And being touched sweetly all at once in many places by myself was sounding really fun. I ran my hand through my hair. I pulled my toes. I felt along the line of my hip, with my hand cupped, feeling the tautness of the shape. I traced the edges of my lips. I felt so loved, and had been so lonely for long, longing for touch, I was ecstatic when suddenly, all the midnights I had just participated in collapsed in on themselves from the weight, and I became like a Picasso painting. All directions at...

The MUSE Project

In keeping with their namesake, I am using the band MUSE as my muse to write a chapbook of stories. I have already completed one story. My idea is to write stories inspired by some of their songs. MUSE happens to be my favorite band. They have managed to combine enough grit with classical elements to get my creativity going. They also remind me a little bit of QUEEN, my favorite band of yore… If you haven’t already, please check them out. They rock, and I feel they are under-appreciated in the US. If you register on their website, you can play all their songs and see all their videos for free....

Weekly Challenge! May 21-28

Alright, ready for another challenge? Write your response to the following with at max 600 words. Read the prompt and write the first thing that comes to mind, or think about it for a few days and submit a more polished piece. Winners announced and featured on my website Friday May 28! Make sure to vote on others’ works so a winner can be chosen! Here’s the Prompt: Write about the Witching Hour -subnote- I am waiting for enough responses to actually post a winner. So perhaps I should call this the ‘monthly’ contest! The famous designer, Hans Moritz (same guy who designed Cyclops’ eyepiece in the movie X-Men), will illustrate the winner’s entry… so PLEASE WRITE AN ENTRY, READ, AND VOTE!...

May 20th Winner!

Congratulations PhilosopherKingES, for such a well-written poem on last week’s prompt, “The day has just begun…” The day has just begun, reminding me of all the other days that began, then ended, meager sandwiches of bread on bread. No meat between the daily routine of tearing oneself from dozy dreams and returning to bed, somnolent again. Naught but sand, in fact. Humanity persists in a directionless line, voyaging, voyaging toward… The generations cycle idly like annual flowers. I travel on a plane in one direction on a line segment of indeterminable length, yet I too live in cycles. In one, eating, another, driving, a third, wanting The fourth consists of turbulent seas. Upon these I sail irrationally, master of my intent and nothing more. Here consciousness monsters cease their torments as I anchor in the shallows off mind’s luminescent shore. Realm where existence is a distant memory, and cares are but paranoid shadows, the polarized sweets and sours of life rain down in confused, fantastic showers. In this blended up hash of horror and delight— but the light cycle’s turning, the end’s come to night. The day’s just beginning, and streaming through my window the bright morning extends its daily invitation to...

Gravatars

Well, if you haven’t noticed, many bloggers and responders out there have a personal icon next to their names when they post a comment on anyone’s blog. How do YOU get one? Simple. Go to Gravatar and sign up for an account. Most bloggers use WordPress for their blogs. If you post on a WordPress blog (like mine!) your Gravatar image will show up next to your name. You only have to provide in the comment the same email you used when you signed up for your Gravatar account. Gravatars are easy to change! And you can upload multiple images to represent yourself. Change them whenever you’re in the mood. It’s the spice of life. Have...

The Stand

I am reading The Stand by Stephen King (Who, by the sheer number of his books I’ve read and enjoyed, I’ve decided is my favorite author). I started this novel in August of 2009. I hope to finish by August 2010. LOL. Well, the beginning rocked, but the exodus is trying for me. That’s when the momentum stopped. I would have been happy with just a horror novel about the superflu. Given that one piece of criticism, I’m still hanging in...

Italio Calvino

I am currently reading If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italio Calvino. When I read the first pages, I didn’t like it. Then I read it again, altered my perspective a bit, and VOILA! It’s like what he was trying to do dawned on me. Anyone else have thoughts on...

Weekly Challenge!

Let’s play! Here’s this week’s writing prompt. “The day has just begun…” Read the prompt, and write the first thing that comes to mind. Or, think about it for awhile and write a more polished piece. I just want to have fun with words! Please post an entry no longer than 2000 words. Winners announced Thursday May 20, and get a featured spot on my...