"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Monday, January 19, 2009

verbless stories full of action...

My former online writing instructor, Ann Linquist, has been sending a few of her former students writing prompts. Writing prompts, for the uninitiated, are to writers (and wannabee writers) what catnip is to cats. Irresistable, intoxicating, and illuminating. Okay, I'm not sure cats are illuminated by catnip, but writers certainly are illuminated by prompts, as Edison was by the incandescent light bulb.

The previous prompt I mentioned here was Ouija poetry, which is poetry derived from typing gibberish and then looking for suggestions of words, and detecting their messages. It's quite surprising what eventually evolves from chaos. If you want to look--or join in (anyone can)--try this site: http://annlinquist.wordpress.com/goofing-around-3/

Her latest challenge is to tell a story without verbs. Hmmm... Verbs are words of action, words that propel, words imperative to the telling of a story. Or, are they? Here's mine:

Icy roads, careful drive, stunning scenery. Snow-blanketed volcanic peaks of Redoubt and Iliamna above the clouds. The Eagle Lady dead; hungry eagles. “Stormbird” at the dock. Frozen harbor now ice-free. Ripples on the bay. Ice-covered trails. Raindrop dimples on the water. Steel cleats on boots. Chains on cart. No place like Halibut Cove. Unfamiliar computer. Ergonomic keyboard. Pent-up words. Frustrated muse.

For more and much better examples: http://annlinquist.wordpress.com/ You'll find the stories under "comments" at the bottom of the Goofing Around-4 paragraph. Prepare to be amazed.

And just for fun, here are a few pictures of Halibut Cove and environs.

Over-looking Kachemak Bay. The Homer Spit, a finger of gravel that reaches into the bay, is barely visible through the cottonwood branches at the far left of the water.

A weather system known as a "pineapple express" brought warm temperatures and hurricane force winds to Southcentral Alaska. At the same time it was peeling roofs from houses, it freed Homer' small boat harbor of ice. This is from the pilot house of the Stormbird, the steel-hulled boat that carries the US mail and passengers to and from Halibut Cove twice a week.

That same weather system melted all the snow in the cove. This is from the front window of the home where I am staying. This is where Gerri the cat lives. I am here to open the door at her command.

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