Welcome, welcome - who would like an iced coffee? It's still sweltering out there, so why not have a cool off in the aircon and a long cold drink?
Last week we were thinking about consquences, so for this break maybe it would be interesting to think about truth in our writing. Maybe like me you subscribe to the daily email from Garrison Keillor's 'Writer's Almanac'? It's a brilliant start to the day, and a way to read poetry by writers you've never come across. Poets leave me in awe - the way they can deftly cut to the truth in a few words, where it takes me an entire novel.
Do you write across genres, or stick only to fiction/poetry? Beyond the predictable Hendrix inspired teenage poetry (which mercifully is lost in the annals of time ...), I hadn't written any poetry for years. Then someone suggested writing haikus. A haiku consists roughly of three lines - 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Like this one by Basho:
'The butterfly is
perfuming its wings in the
scent of the orchid'
Haikus celebrate the beauty of everyday life. To kick start your writing it's a great way to start the day, and the confines of the form really force you to think about choosing the best words you can.
Another poetry exercise I like and use a lot are 'Bantus'. These are inspired by the oral traditions of the nomadic African tribe. In a Bantu, it's all about contrast and similarity. For example: 'White plate laid in a dark dining room. Full moon in the sky.' It's a way of generating some great similes and metaphors for your writing.
In poetry there's no room for faffing around - you have one shot to find the right words, and put them in the right order. Maybe by experimenting with some of the forms, we can make our fiction better? Why don't you have a go today ...