Week 9-Day 4-Mountain Stream

Mountain Stream -> Roars -> Lion

Lion: pride, hunter, golden, fur, menacing, slinky, slink, big cat, big game, cat, teeth, fangs, sharp, white, antelope, zebra, prey, shouting, stalk, kill, carnivore, reign, king, steppes, grasslands

The mountain stream tilts back its head and roars out its animalistic call to the wild. Trees shake in terror at the stream’s growling burbles. Slinking its way menacingly over cowed stones, the mountain stream prides itself on its white fanged foam. Waves hunt unsuspecting chipmunks, birds, and rabbits. The stream’s reign flows from time immemorial and into the back of the mountainside, feasting on granite prey.

 

Mountain Stream -> Trickles -> Hourglass sand

Hourglass sand: hourglass, sand, white, trickle, countdown, finite, infinity, test, contest, falls, falling, desk, pen, timer, timed, timing, life, regret, triste, wistful

The remaining granules of a once-burbling mountain stream trickle slowly through a narrow opening in its path. One droplet at a time, the stream’s wistfully watches its essence pass out of time. Regret and sadness tinge its blue into grey. The mountain stream cries sand. It mourns. Only the quiet hills attend its funeral.

Week 9-Day 3-Linking Qualities

Summer  -> Carefree -> Children

Children: kids, young, run, jump, play, potential, growth, education, love, chubby cheeks, sweet, fingers, learning, alphabet, reading, crayons, daycare, happy, play games, hopscotch, jump rope, dodge ball, horseback riding, pool, beach, volleyball, softball, baseball, naps, day camp, campers

Summer jumps on into the season, giggling and laughing, splashing us playfully. Passing sun showers hopscotch over our heads. Rainbows draw their colors on the blue paper sky. On June 21st, summer stretches her potential length to its maximum length. Warm days shine their light on us. We bounce over Martha’s Vineyard on the knees of excited Atlantic waves. The suns rays tickle our faces and dot our cheeks with love.

Summer  -> Oppressive  -> Dictators

Dictators: dictation, regime, military, under orders, oppressive, violent, killing, move in, strategy, show of force, anger, hatred, family

Violent August sun beats down on us as we swelter under angry ultraviolet rays. Our lungs heave under the force of its humid rule. The heat index moves into position and holds its ground for two weeks. The assault is relentless, beating us down. We get our marching orders: turn on the air conditioning. Summer’s stranglehold on our body temperature induces sweating in less than three seconds. We sit and wait for the next attack.

Summer  -> Active  -> Athlete

Athlete: run, jump, play, bike, train, triathalon, gym, reps, abs, rowing, kayaking, jogging, walking, slim, trim, toned, healthy, glowing skin, shine

Summer jumped onto its seasonal bike in May and rode straight into New England. She skipped rope around New Hampshire and sprinted into Vacationland without looking back. Summer’s enthusiasm swam laps around us, inspiring us to train harder. With skin aglow and shining hair, summer’s healthy demeanor imparted its look onto us via dark skin against pale tan lines. After a long day, summer stretched its muscles carefully and then walked home into dusk.

Week 9-Finding Essential and Linking Qualities

This week in my BerkleeMusic course, Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice, we’re doing work related to last week. Last week, we were given a noun and an essential linking quality; our assignment was to find another word that has the same essential linking quality and write about this. This week, we are still given the first word; but we are to decide on both the linking quality and the other word that has the same essential linking quality. In my writings below, I’ve also included the words I associated with the second word I chose.

Debt — > Expands — > Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon: Rises, heat, gets bigger, enlarges, balloons out, vista, view, awesome, awe-inspiring, floating above clouds, helium, wicker basket, adventurers, rainbow, streamers, nylon, cluster of people, blue skies, light breeze, experience, once-in-a-lifetime experience

Your fluent signature breezes upward above the dotted line on the last page of your thirty-page mortgage documents. You rise quickly and float out of the lawyer’s office. Your chest fills pleasantly with hot summer air as you begin your home-owning adventure. Awe-inspiring images of wicker basket hampers and rainbow nylon sashes fill your mind. Backyard flowers dot your vision in colorful swathes as you survey the vista from your second-story bedroom window. The high from your once-in-a-lifetime purchase will bring you slowly down over the next 45 days; your first bill will bring you back down to earth. For now, you will enjoy the scenic panorama of your future.

Debt — > Contracts — > Muscle

Muscle: Working out, contract, the gym, holding pattern, squeeze, squeezing, muscle men, muscling, competition, hard skin, ripples, abs, chest, repetition, reps, holding breath, stress ball

Bills come in hard with a repetitive force. Day after day, you are in a holding pattern of piling up the unopened bills you cannot pay, making phone calls to doctors’ offices to arrange payment plans, and avoiding the hard-skinned telephone calls of hostile collection agencies. Muscle men came to your door one day; their arms rippled menacingly. You held your breath, curled into a ball, and waited for them to leave. Your debts squeeze you like a stress ball, their fingers pressing into your trachea ever so slowly.

Debt — > Deceives — > Mirage

Mirage: eyes, sight, shimmering, heat, desert, sand, blue sky, haze, approach, disappear, thirst, hunger, shade, crave, aloneness, alienation, dehydration, starvation, crawling, hot, sweating, brow, heavy breathing, slow moving, barefeet

From across the room, you squint from into the glare of a shimmering pile of white envelopes stacked haphazardly on your desk. Sweat appears on your brow. Your dehydrated mouth cannot salivate. You fall to your knees and crawl; your palms and knees sting as they grate against a gritty floor. Blue skies fill your vision as you slowly make your way to the table. You grab the table’s edge and pull yourself up. You put one elbow down, then another. You push. Your gaze rises as you do. Vanilla soft serve with chocolate sprinkles in a sugar cone fills your vision. You reach for it. The alienating sound of plastic crinkles wakes you from your hazy reverie.

Week 8 Assignment

This week’s assignment parameters:

  1. Choose one of our writings from this week and expand it to 200-400 words;
  2. Write from second person narrative using both present and future tense; and
  3. Use sense-bound language
Earlier this week, my teacher commented that my writing from Day 3, A needle is a thunderstorm, was written backwards. I wrote about a thunderstorm using needle terminology when I should have been writing about needles using thunderstorm terminology. Even with a list of nouns, adjectives, and verbs that I free-associated from the word ‘thunderstorm’, I could not get it right. I tried four different times to start, only to realize that I kept doing the same thing — writing about thunderstorms, not needles. It wasn’t until I hit on the idea of a sewing needle, vs. a medical/injectable/sharps type of needle, that I got it to work. I think. Here it is:

A (sewing) needle is a thunderstorm

            As you sit at the antique Singer table, your sewing needle pelts the fine cotton hem with lightning-fast jagged dashes of bright white thread. The sharp tube focuses a downpour of electric, metallic artistry in your hands. You whip out the skirt with a streak that lets out a thunderous clap. Overcast skies darken your vision and you squint as you blink hard, trying to focus. Your lashes are heavy and wet; your gusts of sewing ruined your efforts at planting the needle just right. Your grandmother will soak you in your next Saturday afternoon lesson if you don’t dry out the mess left by your hail of sharps.

Side by side on her sprawling porch you will both sit, a duo of clothing storms vaccinating your clothes with color and style to combat their fashionable finish. You will inject new life into your tired blue jeans by rejuvenating them with swells of shiny pink thread. You think of your grandmother, who will want to puncture her 20-year-old housedress within runoffs of pastels.

Much later, your weekly follow-up visits will turn into one-sided, annual visits where needles and cloth are replaced by stems and flowers that you leave in solace at her grave. You will reflect on these painful lessons, cry, and be glad that she inoculated you against the jab of saying good-bye.

Week 8-Day 5-Friendship comforts …

This first section is ganked from my BerkleeMusic.com materials, to aid in prompting writing.  The second section has my choices, ideas, and writings.

Section 1

Prompt: Friendship

What quality does my idea have?

Linking quality: It comforts.

What else has that quality? What else comforts?

Now you find two target ideas: things that comfort. Your result will be an expressed identity: Friendship is a _________.

  1. Friendship–>Linking Quality: Comforts –> Target Idea: –>______________.
  2. Friendship–>Linking Quality: Comforts –> Target Idea: –>______________.

Section 2

Describe friendship in the key of ‘comforts’ using nouns/adjectives/verbs from the word ‘Fleece blanket’

Friendship->Comforts->Fleece blanket

Fleece blanket – soft, warm, fuzzy, touching, gentle, hugging, relaxes, kiss, babies, winter, seasons, childhood, infancy, cookie monster, blue, pink, cookies, snuggling, fireplace, hot cocoa, snooze, snore, sleep, cuddle

Your friendship wraps around my shoulders and gently squeezes tight, reassuring me that I am not alone. Your voice soothes my jittery nerves like a good hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s night. Snuggling together, a heat wave envelops us.  Chocolate chip cookies on matte black plates cozy up to tall glasses of cold milk, a pair too delicious not to share.

Friendship->Comforts->Summer breeze

Summer breeze – warm, gentle, caress, eyes closed, sunny, fluffy clouds, a touch, humid, beach, offshore breeze, tequila, turquoise, water, drinks, sharing, stretch, suntan, heat, skin, tingles

You breeze in through the front door, wafting in gently, wrapping your soothing arms around me and squeezing.  We share fruity drinks topped with paper umbrellas and stretch ourselves out, like an offshore breeze that cools our humid skin. Fluffy clouds float happily as we salsa dance on hot sand.

Week 8-Day 4-Friendship nourishes…

With feedback from teacher on yesterday’s assignment, it seems I wrote things backwards. Good, but backwards. I should have been writing about ‘needle’ in the key of ‘finger’ and ‘thunderstorm’ but it seems like I was using ‘needle’ when choosing the nouns/verbs/adjectives. I think I got it right this time.

Our given object was ‘friendship’; the linking quality assigned was ‘nourishes’. I chose ‘poetry’ and ‘meditation’ as my two second objects for comparison. I tried to write about friendship using words about ‘poetry’ and ‘meditation’ in nourishing terms. Here I included the words I used when thinking about ‘poetry’ and ‘meditation’ so you can see the way my brain works.

Friendship->Nourishes->Poetry

Poetry -> inspires, readings, emotional, expressing, Khalil Gibran, children, life, Shelley, homosexuality, sex, love, heat, timeless, humanity, human condition, politics, nature, Mary Oliver, the Cape, Robert Frost, New Hampshire.

Poetry feeds friendship’s awe-inspired reverence of deer walking through Walden woods. Inspired laughter echoes timeless tales of our girlhood that would make Mary Oliver proud.

Friendship->Nourishes->Meditation

Meditation-> Calms, breathing, deep, rhythms, quiet, alone, mantra, peace, union, universe, Buddha, temples, walking, focus, water, mind, clear, clarity

Friendship’s mantra focuses on nourishing companionship. The regular back and forth rhythm of reciprocity breathes love and life into the human soul. Peaceful unions of alone togetherness shine light on the universe’s interdependence in itself. Buddha’s quiet nature under the Bodhi tree models the mind-like-water philosophy of relationships. 

Week 8-Day 3-A needle is….

Today is a repeat of yesterday’s exercise: we were given the object needle to start.  However, the linking quality we were given is injects, instead of penetrates. We were asked to come up with something that also has that quality.

At first, I was not happy. Needle, again? Boring! Then I went online and typed what things inject – that was not helpful, as you can imagine. Isn’t inject very similar to penetrate?

And then, it happened. I thought of something. No, I thought of two things! The moral of the story is don’t decide ahead of time what will and won’t work. Make yourself try it.  Below are the writing prompts, my selections, and writings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prompt: Needle

What quality does my idea have?

Linking quality: It injects.

What else has that quality? What else injects?

Now you find two target ideas: things that inject. Your result will be an expressed identity: aneedle is a _________.

  1. Needle–>Linking Quality: Injects –> Target Idea: –>_____finger_________.
  2. Needle–>Linking Quality: Injects –> Target Idea: –>_____thunderstorm______.

A needle is a finger
A needle is a finger stabbing you in the chest and poking you hard enough to leave a bruise. With each jab, cutting words sting your heart. Jeff! Chris! Steven! Phil! The names of your buddies pierce your mind in horror. Your trust withdrawn faster than the blood can leave your face.

A needle is a thunderstorm
A needle is one of millions of spears racing down from thick clouds and forcing themselves into the ground. Dirt injected with swells of rain drives mud slicks down the street’s gutter. Daffodils and lilies of the valley greedily imbibe their lifesaving medication. The ground swells and breaks open to let it all in, addicted to its springtime ritual.

Week 8-Day 2-Linking Qualities

I’m paraphrasing instructions from today’s assignment. If you want to write a great metaphor, pick an object. Ask yourself: What qualities does this object have? and What else has that quality? When you’ve answered those questions, you now have two items you can use in writing. The goal is to write a short paragraph using sense-bound details to describe one thing in terms of another.

We were given needle. The linking quality is: penetratesHere’s my writing for today:

A needle is a paw

 A needle is a cat’s paw, which sneaks out straight from the under the Victorian chest and into the high baseboard’s hole. A single claw senses movement and flashes its tip into hapless house mouse flesh. The cat’s instincts are her only poison, rapid-firing five sharps into her furry victim.

A needle is a key

A needle is a key that bypasses high-tech security systems and lays bare forbidden treasure. After carefully laying out all his tools, the thief operates the needle, gently wiggling it up and down slowly as if each motion is part of the undoing of the Schlage lock. One false move by the master and the patient dies in the operating table, a life that can never been reclaimed. The thief terminates, leaving the key in the lock, mission unfulfilled.

Week 8-Linking Qualities and Target Ideas

One of the co-writers for the BerkleeMusic class I’m taking likes to torture his students metaphorically. The cad purposely withheld vital information from us last week, just to see us suffer! Ahem. At least, that’s what he says.

In the intro video, Pat teaches the class a trick: When you want to write a metaphor, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What qualities does my object have?
  2. What else has those qualities?

For example, you might choose ‘policeman’ for your first object. Ask yourself: What are the qualities of a policeman? He protects. Then you ask: What else protects? You pick something: flu vaccine. And then you write a sentence that describes how one is like the other. For example:

The policemen vaccinate the city against the symptoms of gangs. 

Voila! Like that, you have an analogy.

More fun tomorrow…..

Week 7 Assignment-Expressed Identity

This week’s assignment asks us to pick one of our writing pairs from this week, expand it to 200-400 words,  and write it in third-person POV. My teacher liked my treehouse/book pair so I wrote more on that one.

Expressed Identity: Treehouse/book

            David spent his leisurely hours climbing up the boards that were nailed into the side of the oak every six inches until he reached the landing outside the treehouse door. After pulling back the curtain, David steps into ‘The Adventures of the Pirate Brothers,’ a miniseries filled with swashbuckling adventures in arcs of fighting, treasure hunting, and stealing ships from enemy pirates. Fiercer than Blackbeard, the Pirate David dedicates his life to sailing the fictional high seas, his best friends at his side, cannon blasting any girls who dare to kiss them, and going down like a pirate should, with drops of his spilled blood decorating the ocean floor and wide-brimmed hat slowly drowning under rocky waves.

David sat down on the wide oak boards that bound the floor, the walls, and the flat roof cover together in tight, parallel lines. He pressed his blue ballpoint hard into the parchment and slowly carved the names of each club member in a list on the left side of the paper: David, Simon, and Mark. To the right of each name, he drew an underline where they would sign in cherry-juice blood and pledge allegiance to their crew. A blue jay screams outside the window cranny, which opens out towards the well-mowed lawn. A black curtain hangs heavily in the doorway with an unevenly stapled sign marked ‘X’ in thick red marker. The sound of footsteps thuds up the planks and hushed hurried whispers heighten the anticipation.  David froze, trying hard not to breathe or think ahead and guess the ending. Three knocks and a unified round of ‘yo-ho-hos!’ mark the beginning of the next fearsome chapter.

Week 7-Day 5-Noun Collisions

Day 5 – Nouns (+My Nouns) Collisions

friendship/bikini

Friendship is a white and red polka-dotted bikini, spaghetti straps laced gently around the neck of our years laughing together in front of the television. Frills beckon around soft edges. The bottom half rounds out our one-piece vision of love, laughter, and sandy-toed afternoons.

tugboat/pride

The pride of tugboats hauls twenty ton steel aircraft carriers across the Caspian Sea in boastful puffs of diesel.

trust/wallet

No door zips opens wider, channels flush with untouched twenty dollar bills, than trust’s wallet.

vacation/slippers

Let’s open the door open to the porch at 8am on Monday morning and let the gentle breezes glide in. Fresh air wafts up one nostril, then the next, calming and comforting one’s servers. Step into vacation’s slippers and walk muffled steps along your oak floors.

wealth/sidewalk

Wealth is a sidewalk that wends this way and that, from concrete slabs, to brick, to sleek sealed tar. Sneakers, high heels, and flip flops openly flaunt their income levels, without having to make a sale.

treehouse/book

The book of treehouses draws up floor plans for pirate escapades in years past, the backyard marked for gold in a large ‘X’ in the upper right corner, a sign that says ‘No gurlz’ in dark parchment paper, and a bibliography of little boy initials carved in the bark of the tree.

laughter/convoy

Laughter’s convoy echoes long and far away. People sit up and pay attention to the Doppler of giggles that roar past out of a passing truck’s window. A line of cars follows, interrupted by smiling cheerleaders on paper flower floats, a homecoming party parade.

money/flute

Money is a flute that sings its lonesome note as it walks through the town center on cobblestone streets. Children mistake it for the song of adulthood and chase after the song far after the dinner bell has rung, leaving them stranded for the wolves that must come.

argument/song

The song of argument lulls you with its melody. You cannot fight the urge to swing your hips, tape your toes in a toe-step, and fall in line with the other dancers. Swept away, your body responds, your mind shuts down, and you memorize words that are not your own.

cemetery/cruise

Cemetery’s cruise brings you along all the sites, from Major John’s son who died in childbirth before he ever left port, to Rev. Marks who called on every world port to repent. With two feet on just-turned dirt and head down, one can see the world in shades of green and gray.

Week 7 – Day 4-Nouns (+MyNouns) Collisions

More writing class catchup…. this is Day 4’s collisions (yesterday’s) between ten pairs of nouns. The first noun I was given; the second noun I added. Then I came up with descriptive collisions.  I’ll catch up with today tomorrow…

Day 4 – Nouns (+My Nouns) Collisions 

notebook/train

A notebooks is a train of thoughts, chugging along inky tracks, from New York to Peoria, making local stops and getting derailed once or twice.

rainstorm/circus

A circus of rainstorms paraded down onto the town, playing its off-key rhythmic notes onto the stalwartly slate tiles, and mocking inhabitants who dared to peek under their front doors.

temper/pinwheel

Temper’s pinwheel spins wildly around in a gust of colors, angry pinks and oranges clash with sprightly silver, plastic swirling and clicking in a revel-like panic.

regret/broadway play

Regret is a Broadway play where the cast of characters gets stuck on repeat and comes out one last time for a curtain call to an empty theater.

crown/food truck

The crown’s food truck lacked lustre and hid bits of dried out food, scaring her subjects away with thoughts of getting stuck in the gulag with Listeria.

desire/bicycle

Desires unmet are an out-of-control bicycle whose rider is without her training wheels for the first time, unable to guide or stop her two-wheeled cruiser.

harbor/transmitter

The transmitter of harbors calls out to seamen over high-frequency sailing channels, heard only by whales and radios that capture the memo signals.

knowledge/traffic light

The school system is the traffic light of knowledge; the red shadow of ignorance casts its standstill pall over its audience; the green aura of education enlightens all those it blesses.

lighthouse/marksman

The lighthouse’s marksman shines its light with masterful precision onto its targets far below on the snarling seas.

memory/ghost ship

Alzheimer’s is memory’s ghost ship that leaves its passengers traveling without a tour guide, photos, or destination.

Week 7 – Day 3 – Noun/Noun Collisions

Okay, well, today isn’t day 3 — it’s day 5. And I’m behind. Wish I could catch up sooner but I let personal things get in my way. Back to writing….

cobwebs/enrollment

The cobweb’s enrollment grew in sticky leaps and ghostly bounds, even as its dried, abandoned legs fell off the corners above Wilbur’s pigsty.

belief/orchestra

Dante conducted Hell’s orchestra of beliefs above the hot, fiery pit of ancient lost souls.

debt/embrace

Debt’s embrace held me tight in its greedy arms, obliging me to fulfill my dead obligations with the rare days of my life.

decision/ignition

My commitment to ignite my future by taking a risk in the present fired me up to relax and let it go.

hatred/prescription

A lethal dose of hatred is exactly what the Devil prescribed when Cain’s petty illness caused him to seek out the orders of Dr. Evil.

cobwebs/prescription

Charlotte ordered her cobweb to take in six flies a day, three in the morning and three at night. If the sticky fingers refused to obey her every command, Charlotte got her pharmacist’s go-ahead to abandon her web to the West winds.

belief/enrollment

Mark’s enrollment of belief came before he was old enough to be allowed to pick his own major.

debt/orchestra

Debt is a financial orchestra of ruin, a classical ballet of form and figure where dancers swing their way into an obligatory tragedy.

decision/embrace

Before you are bogged down by your decision’s embrace, adopt a devil-may-care attitude and let go into your next phase of life.

hatred/ignition

His hatred’s ignition sparked his descent into an earthly perdition.

Week 7-Day 2 Pt 2-Expressed Identity

Hello! I had a brief opportunity to catch up with the writing from yesterday’s class assignment.  These are the same 10 words I posted yesterday, but in different pairings of 5 each. I was lazy, so I simply reordered the suggested words to help me get started in writing.

An accountant is a quilt

CPA

Knitting

boring

Wool, thread

April 15th

covers

numbers

heavy

The IRS

decorative

 An accountant is the CPA of quilted comfort, knitted wool of numbers settling on you in a reassuring, boring fashion. An accountant covers the blow of exposing your wallet to the deep-reaching fingers of the IRS, with a heavy resignation. April 15th may signal the beginning of troubles yet to come, but you will be kept warm and toasty under the accountant’s decorative spread.

 A football coach is a storm cloud

sport

darkness

helmet

threatening

rushing

thunder

Graceful loser

lightning

encouragement

gusts

A football coach is a storm cloud of thundering cleats in a field of soaked muddy puddles.  The rush of helmet thundering against helmet, angry billows of grunts rise up from the not-yet men, urged onward by gusty yelling.

The violin of kites

strings

kites

symphony

flying

instrument

March

Stradivarius

Twigs + paper bag

music

caught

The KT9000 is the violin of kites, swiftly and deftly arcing through the air in graceful movements, even when the March wind crescendos in cacophony against it. Rainbow silk woven against wooden cross instruments sails aloft in perfect pitch of color and visual freedom, a symphony of rhythms that only young boys with their fathers seem to hear while in the stadium of a sunny, blustery afternoon in the park.

The ballet dancer of love letters

Swan Lake

handwriting

Prima ballerina

Hand-made paper

Tchaikovsky

Pen, ink

Tiptoes, on pointe

Swoops

Pirouette

Ink drops

The ballet dancer of love letters guides you in leaps and bounds across the page, in large swathes of lusty black ink, which seem to pirouette in slightly darker spots across the page.

Shame’s moon

embarrassment

Crescent, full, half, sliver

Fear

Tides

punishment

Ebb, neap

humiliated

Glow

fearful

Night

Your punishment glows upon me, surging my humiliation in sudden tides of pain. No night for me, I am embarrassed under shame’s full moon, revealing my inner darkness to examination against the shore of your loveliness. What remains of me is a mere sliver of my fearful soul.

Week 7-Day 2-Expressed Identity

I have a confession: I have not enjoyed most of the first six weeks of my creative writing course. Until now.

I watched this week’s Introductory video in which Pat Pattison explains expressed identity. When you have two nouns and you compare/contrast them in the ways below, it’s important to choose two nouns that don’t make literal sense when compared; otherwise, what you have is a description. (Paraphrase from course materials). In short, you compare the two nouns in one of these three forms, otherwise known as ‘express identity’:

x = y
the x of y
y‘s x

In today’s writing, we were given ten pairs of nouns. I read each pair in each of the three forms and decided which one I would write.  I took these pairs, created two columns, and wrote the first five attributes that I associated with that noun. Beginning with the expressed identity I chose, I wrote a paragraph. I could only get through my first five pairs this evening. The second set of five noun pairs where the same words but reordered.  I will try to catch up tomorrow. At the very least, I will do five noun pairs from tomorrow’s given selection instead.

Week 7 – Day 2 – Expressed Identity or Noun on Noun Collisions

accountant/storm cloud

an accountant is a storm cloud

CPA

darkness

boring

threatening

April 15th

thunder

numbers

lightning

The IRS

gusts

An accountant is a boring storm cloud, full of cold air and heavy rains sheeting down in needle-thin lines on your tax return of easy living. Steadily pouring over each line item, an accountant blows financials gently forward via your W-2 and 1099. The accumulation drowns your hopes for recovery from your budgeting darkness. No lessening of your April 15th forecast, gloomy for the foreseeable future.

football coach/violin

a football coach is a violin

sport

strings

helmet

symphony

rushing

instrument

Graceful loser

Stradivarius

encouragement

music

A football coach is a violin, conducting his sporty orchestra in swelling crescendos to their first-string victories. The sweet sounds of fans clapping, parents singing out to their children, and the musical stress of a spiking football. The best football coaches are instruments of practice, play the leading grace notes in loss, and provide symphonic encouragement to all team members.

kite/ballet dancer

the ballet dancer of kites

Swan Lake

kites

Prima ballerina

flying

Tchaikovsky

March

Tiptoes, on pointe

Twigs + paper bag

Pirouette

caught

The ballet dancer of kites is dressed in rainbow silk, golden rods, and tightened with a belt of ecru twine that stretches down to your fingers. Gaily flying through the air, your Prima Ballerina sways back and forth in skillful arcs, aided by a gusty toss from March winds.  Bourgeois twigs and roughly hewn paper bags spectate in awe, their Swan Lake audition as wispy and far away as the clouds born high above the earth.

love letter/moon

moon’s love letter

Crescent, full, half, sliver

handwriting

Tides

Hand-made paper

Ebb, neap

Pen, ink

Glow

Swoops

Night

Ink drops

The moon’s love letter whispers silver words in a bold spotlight of hope onto the inky landscape of your heart. Black trails of longing that mark the corners of your soul ebb away as you read each glowing desire on the handmade paper. Perfume tides wash upwards into your nose as you drink the floral aromas that rush into your lungs and bury your worries at sea.

shame/quilt

quilt’s shame

embarrassment

Knitting

Fear

Wool, thread

punishment

covers

humiliated

heavy

fearful

decorative

The quilt’s shame unraveled itself embarrassingly, caught on the punishing edge of your 1850’s antique wooden chest, after you yanked it mightily out into service for your winter cover. Decorative blushes of reds and pinks fearfully crisscross with retiring spring flowers, a complex humiliation of the quilt’s psychology.

Week 7 – Noun on Noun Collision

Week 7 in my creative writing class has arrived. Huzzah! Now we take on noun on noun collisions. [Whenever I heard a phrase like, A on B, it sounds sexual]. So anyway….

We’ll be fooling around with expressed identity, which pairs nouns in different combinations. In the trio below, both x and y are nouns. I might choose to write about two nouns in these forms:

x = y
the x of y
y‘s x

I tried watching this week’s Introductory video but was unable to pay attention. I give up. I’ll try again tomorrow, when the daily writing begins.

Week 6 Assignment -Metaphor Nouns+Verbs

This week’s assignment asked us to write 200-400 words expanding a noun/verb collision that we wrote earlier in the week. POV: Direct address, Required tenses: Present and Future.

Hatred/Prescribed

            You open the television and see violent crime packaged in large red doses. Is it too large to swallow? You grab your cotton sweater near your neck. You sweat as you anticipating the ingesting the loathsome pill. Onscreen sirens accelerate your heart’s rhythm. Wee-ooo! Wee-ooo! Wee-ooo! Breathing deeply, you notice faint traces of skin cauterization. You hold your nose and look away. Bitter salt floods your mouth and force you to swallow a copious amount of liquid. Like a shot, you press the power off button on the television. Spin! You stagger to your couch and lay down. Your hand drapes limply over your forehead. You close your eyes, focus on your breath, stretch out your legs, and try to digest what you’ve been exposed to.

An hour passes but your heart still races and you breath only in short gasps. Picking up your slippery cell phone with a shaking hand, you look at it and pause. How will you explain that taking in such a small amount of evil made your belly tighten into a rebellious knot? That it made your heart race, your brow sweat, and your mouth water? Will they believe you? Your head sways in dizziness. You wish you had smelling salts nearby. You wish the nurse would list ‘the sight blood’ under a list of known allergies in your chart. You close your eyes tightly. A single tear leaks from the corner of your eye and plops its fat self onto the slipcover.

Week 6-Day 5-Verbs to Nouns

Sometimes, I need to take a step back and see if I’m learning. I have a tendency to rush through things – I want to achieve my goals at the expense of doing something useful. I’m one of those people who needs to remind themselves that the journey counts.

As part of my class, we bought a book, called ‘Songwriting without Boundaries’ by Pat Pattison.  I checked for a reading assignment; none was mentioned in the course Introduction. I dug it out and read a section (mostly) on metaphor, which helped. The section suggests writing one sentence and then spending 90 seconds diving into sense-bound writing. I dug right into the sense-bound writing.
Writing metaphors are essential to writing. I haven’t had much practice. Here’s practice:

Day 5 – Working from Verbs to Nouns

apple/squander

The apples squander their seeds.  Clinging like a child who will not let go, the apples rot on the trees, swaying heavily pregnant in the breeze. Worms burrow deep. Birds peck randomly, striking into the core with their deadly fangs.  Arsenic drops black into the green grass. Dogs paw the ground and whine in warning.

lamp/composes

Lamps compose stories over the shoulders of the programmer. Black-rimmed glasses advertise the arc of the drama onto the laptop screen. His lungs rise and fall steadily. A rolling ocean of airs fills his shallow lungs.

kitten/trickles

Kittens trickle out of the blanketed wicker basket. An unsteady line of fur and squeaking in shades of white, orange, and black zig and zag. The runt clamors out, eyes closed, nose leading the troops into uncertainty.

rocking chair/notifies

The rhythmic back and forth sent out Indian smoke signals to the old woman’s cats. Yarn snaked out of her lap into the cotton sack that lay on the floor, needles sticking out. Mint tea steamed out of the ceramic mug on the side table, condensation soaking the coaster.

radiator/invites

Clank! A gentle hiss begins to fill the room, pushing away the chill. Heated water playfully falls upwards all over itself to reach the top. Marianne feels sweat form on her brow and removes the cashmere scarf around her neck. The wool peacoat is hung in the closet. Boots are removed and put toes first under the radiator. Ahhh!

book/investigate

With deliberation, pages flutter apart and pause, spilling their darkened innards onto the faux-wood tabletop. Words leap out from the book, waving flags, and screaming for help.

box/carve

From out of the carpenter’s imagination, an oak jewelry box carves itself. Sawzall and cutting board buzz with excitement as they wait to devour virgin wood. The high squeal of powered metal suddenly turning on shrieks with delight against the remains of the oak tree.

rug/penetrate

Fifty years of service to Aunt Alice. Unwavering. Claws and paws of Huskies. The shuffled feet of impatient, loud children. The plastic rubber scrape of rubber. The rug withstood it all, a diligent soldier against the feet of foreign invaders. The rug stood ground, deteriorated wool mixing with humidity that sealed it against the wood like glue.

alcohol/overhaul

No boring beer bottles or stale mash odor overtaking your nose. No orders for house wine, acidic lemon assaulting your lips. A reinvented rye Manhattan whisks you along your dreams to oblivion, on the gentle seas of alcohol.

computer/raise

The whirl of gears run by order of electricity. The computer raises itself up, presently a blank face to whoever runs its keyboard command central. The captain peers into the darkness, types, and waits. The stench of spent diesel oil fills the room as submarine engines scurry along. To the periscope! Up!

Week 6-Days 3to4

Hello! More catchup writing here. I finished the 2nd half of Wednesday’s writing assignments and all of Thursday’s.

Day 3 – Nouns/Verbs Pt II

The second half of Wednesday’s writing included 5 noun/verb pairs, reordered and reused from part I. This is not my favorite way to do this. If it was boring to write about the noun ‘budget’ the first time, changing the verb doesn’t help, especially when you have an equally boring and cerebral verb, to boot! But that is my perfectionist, lazy self talking…..

cobwebs/prescribed

Flies borne about on Mother Nature’s breath, tumbling and buzzing, into the cobwebs prescribed to be their fate. Death’s sticky embrace brings on ecstatic throes, suffocation, and silence.

belief/enroll

The sweet tastes of spiritual rhythms are, at first, little drops of sugar dropped on the tongue. Repeated holiday exposures transforms lingual desires into gnawing hungers. A plastic wrapper crinkles and syrupiness fills the air. Amen!

debt/orchestrate

One’s submersion into capitalism, a drowning man’s panic, brings on a fluttering of debts. An avalanche covers, overturns, and squeezes one’s life away, as debt orchestrates the heavens to fall on your head.

decision/embrace

You spend the long night tossing, turning, sweating, and anxious. Thoughts tumble mindlessly around in the clothes dryer of your mind. Amnesic sleep. Awake, courage embraces decisions and build you up for they are your fortress walls.

hatred/ignite

Joe sneaks around the back of the barn and flicks the cigarette lighter. Blue-burning flame and the smell of horse hay ignites hatred and wood simultaneously. Toss! Crackling is Joe’s signal to depart.

Day 4 – Working from Nouns to Verbs

For Day 4, we were given the nouns. We had to come up with the verbs and then write metaphoric sentences and/or paragraphs, using sense-bound descriptions. My husband randomly gave me some verbs; I tweaked a few of them.

cupcake/sleeps

Drawing you into its luxury by its pink fondant packaging, the cupcake sleeps, lying in wait for you to take that bite. Chomp! Joy releases itself into your mouth. Pleasure rises in your heart. You chew.

pants/eat

Myra ran, hands in the air thrashing wildly, screaming at the top of her lungs nonstop while her Ann Klein black and grey plaid pants eat her legs.

duty/drinks

Duty drinks to itself, raising champagne glasses of awareness, as the gates of self-consciousness are released. Walls long built crash down into broken bits of concrete and burnt wood. A white flag waves in the distance

carpet/educates

Old stains which Stanley Steamer could not get out, the carpet educates Jon’s mother about the dangers of letting him run around with an uncovered juice box. Past punishments echo from his room, old ghosts of shame, and chain him tight with tears.

puppet/elucidate

The green frog and pink pig puppets elucidate imagination and fire up the old car. Vroom, vroom! Our spirits float instantly, zerberting around the room rudely, wildly thrashing in mental circles. Plastic balloons zoom out window. Giggles.

pirate/drives

The captain of the Black Pearl drives her on the Nascar seas, taking wild turns away from her pursuers. Black clouds billow menacingly behind eager police chasers. The roar of the ocean cheers the Pearl onward.

projector/infiltrate

The projector infiltrates the hanging screen incessantly. White lights, black letters, and color pictures sentenced to three hours under the jury’s penetrating gaze. No rest for the weary.

village/sabotages

The van got a flat tire when it ran over the tree branch. Janey broke her leg. The mayor died in a one-car crash when it ran off the road and head first into a tree.

teacher/commit

The teacher commits the name of every student to memory. Mary wears skirts. Martin smells of turnips. Jerry flaps his arms when nervous.

sword/yawns

Dave held up his sword, ready for combat. The sword yawned and fell down limply in Dave’s hand.

Week 6-Nouns+Verbs

Hello! Sorry for my blog silence the last couple of days. I have been dealing with a difficult cold. Now I’m getting better and need to catch up with my BerkleeMusic creative writing class! Here are the Noun+Verb collisions for Day 2 + 1/2 of Day 3. I have to preface this by saying that I’m finding metaphor writing difficult. I didn’t realize that my ‘metaphors’ were really similes and that’s not quite the same thing.

Week 6 – Day 2 – Nouns + Verbs

needle/persuade

The phlebotomist pressed the needle hard against his vein, which opened submissively at his experienced touch. His skin sang as the needle slid in, his blood shone redder, and ecstasy rang in his ears.

nerves/collect

Jason stood up slowly while looking Marcus in the eye. As he did so, Jason’s nerves whirled together, a tornado of concrete courage. He took one step and paused. The roar of spectators and the pop of a starting gun filled his head.

storm/budget

Equal parts rain, sleet, and snow pelted a surprised Cambridge for three hours. Galoshes stomped while children squealed. Mothers sharply called to their little ones. Not even Mitzi prowled the bushes.

trust/operate

The Allman Brothers’ trust operated its charge with the patience of a carousel ride operator. Up and down, up and down went the funds.

border/startle

Bushes started shaking hard. The rustle of leaves exploded into a cacophony of shouting, screaming, and gunshots. Immigrants trying to cross the border illegally were illuminated with a high-powered spotlight. Thirteen people stopped running all at once. Sgt. McAfferty heard a muffled cry.

needle/startle

The needle startles easily and falls outside its plastic prison. Rolling away as if it was on fire, the needles escapes under the cabinet, free from the clutches of the nurse’s fingers.

nerves/persuade

Janet nervously clutched her sick baby to her chest. Dr. Ramsey held steady, looked into Janet’s eyes, outstretched his arms and repeated: ‘Give her to me, Janet’.  Janet put Nancy gingerly into Dr. Ramsey’s arms.

storm/collect

The wind pushed along broken bits of tree branches, dead flower petals, and trash. The driving rain rode the detritus into the gutter and collected its gross menagerie.

trust/budget

Stuart budgeted his trust among his three closest friends: Dave, his running buddy, got half; Martin, his drinking buddy, got forty percent; and Steven, his lover, got 10 percent.

border/operate

Like clockwork, border guards came in precisely every 8 hours. Shift changes moved smoothly from one hour to the next. Lunch was scheduled in 30-minute increments.

Week 6 – 1/2 Day 3 – Nouns + Verbs

cobwebs/enroll

The cobwebs enroll its’ students by virtue of invisibility. In hiding, the cobwebs hook the flies’ collars, pulling them in from behind into their deadly grasp.

belief/orchestrate

The nun’s belief orchestrates her submission to God’s values. The communion wafer in her mouth, the sound of the altar bell being rung, and the sip of wine all harmonize in her heart.

debt/embrace

The embrace of debt wraps itself around Glenda’s throat with its python strength. It starts by slowly squeezing, then releasing only a minute amount, before squeezing ever-tighter, choking her and holding her down.

decision/ignite

The decision ignited Amanda’s eyes wide with anger and her nostrils flared loudly. Instantly in motion, she stomped up to Andrew’s face and smacked her open hand across his cheek.

hatred/prescribed

Dorothy’s mother Joan prescribed hatred as a vitamin supplement. At breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Dorothy had to eat lies, complaints, and vitriol. She tried to tighten her mouth in refusal, turn her head, or spit it back out, but it was no use. Joan found a way to slip into her snack pack, souring her sweet moods.