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.


            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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…..


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Week 6 – Metaphor Collisions – Nouns + Verbs

The introductory video from Pat Pattison for Week 6 of my BerkleeMusic.com course entitled, “Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice” introduced us to the concept of pairing nouns + verbs in interesting combinations. Some of that has already expressed itself in my writing; however, we haven’t been focusing on that. Now, we are. For example, pairing ‘funeral’ with ‘exhaled’:

‘The funeral exhaled the stench of greedy family…’ ~Andrea Stolpe


‘The tsnunami exhaled the funeral onto the beach….’  ~Chanelle Davis

Tomorrow we start with various noun + verb combinations. I’ll try my hand at the funeral/exhaled noun/verb pairing.

The funeral exhaled its mourners out in a wispy line like a trail of smoke that snaked its way to the burial mound.