Writing for 5: Week two writing prompt. Join in!

photo by Renaud Camus, Creative Commons, click image for details

Thank you so much for dropping by,

Welcome to Write for 5 week two. This is how it works. I post an image and we write for five minutes and then post our results in the comments up to 9pm on Sunday.

I decided to stick with just one image this week (above), not three like last week.

Take as long as you like to look at the bed above with that beautiful light on the pillows. When you’re ready to write, start your timer.

We have up until 9pm on Sunday, Mar. 5, to post what we’ve come up with but go ahead and post whenever you feel like it.

Our writing can take any form: poetry, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, experimental or erasure poetry, dialogue or whatever you like. Go for it.

If you have any questions, I’m going to be away from the computer most of the day but I’ll get back to you on Sunday morning. Let me know if you have any technical issues with posting.

I am so looking forward to reading what you come up with so don’t be shy.

And as I said yesterday, someone will get a book sent to them from me with a personal note for participating.

Thanks for playing. I hope you enjoy it!

Smart girls love multitasking, and writing prompts

One of the women that submitted a short Write for 5 piece last weekend was someone I went to high school with. Her name is Marjorie Sayer. I remember her as being super smart, possibly the smartest person who went through New Westminster Secondary School at the time, (or maybe to date), very enthusiastic, and a lover of the sax which she played in the high school concert and jazz bands.

I haven’t been in touch with her very much since that time which is why I’m even more honoured that she would take the time to join in.

I love how she explains on her blog that math and physics are wonderful preparations for creative writing.

One of the interesting things I could glean from her website is that she’s written a book for Grades 4 and up called The Girl Mechanic of WanZhou. Here’s a link to a book review off a blog called Making it Sweet.

I found this particularly interesting because when I worked at UBC Computer Science 10 + years ago now, the Department was, and still is, focused on increasing the participation of girls and women in learning and teaching about computer science, and they have done a great job of that in on-the-ground representation of female undergrads, grad students, instructors and professors.

They even have a program there called GirlSmarts. I came up with that original name which they’ve changed to GIRLSmarts4Tech. The curriculum was originally created by Professor Anne Condon and managed by Michele Ng under the inspiration of Maria Klawe, current President of Harvey Mudd College.  (I hope I’m accurate in this representation of how GIRLSmarts originated).

I thought to myself, Marjorie would be such an excellent fit for them as some sort of guest speaker. I haven’t told her that and I haven’t reached out to Michele to perhaps investigate the possibility of the pairing in some way.

Many people will be like, meh, writing prompt, been there, done that. There are a million things competing for time. I get that.

But if you feel like it, you can join in this coming weekend March 4th at 8:00 am to March 5th at 9:00 pm to challenge yourself with Write for 5.

Happy Tuesday, the day of the week that gets kind of left out. Personally, I’ve always really liked Tuesdays, and smart girls.

Join in. Write for 5 for fun

Dear friends,

Thanks for joining in today in this little experiment: Write for 5.  

I will say, it was a wee bit of a challenge choosing a single image! So I decided to choose 3. Pick just one to write about.

Whenever you’re ready, start the timer. (We won’t include choosing/examining the photo in the 5 minutes of writing time. Take your time for that.)

Write for 5. That’s how it’s going to work. At least for this first time.

We can complete the Write for 5 exercise any time this weekend so if it doesn’t work right this minute, then later. But if you’re just procrastinating, don’t! Do it now if you can!

We’ll all be brave and agree to post our Write for 5 submission in the comments of this post when we’re done.

I’m arbitrarily choosing 9pm on Sunday, Feb. 26 as the cutoff for submitting to this week’s Write for 5.

The first person to post their Write for 5 result gets a subscription to Geist Magazine (6 issues) courtesy of me for one year.

I’ll respond to some of the writing throughout the week on the blog and we’ll do it again with a new image next Saturday. That’s the plan. The universe may have other plans. We’ll just see. baby steps!

If you want to say anything about the experience for you, that would be interesting. Only if you want to.

Go!

Write for 5: The best things in life (and in writing) are ideas

This Saturday our little Write for 5 dalliance won’t cost you a dime. I’ll post an image. You’ll take a look, get a spark, time yourself for five minutes.

You don’t have to get dressed up and pretend to be your grown-up self. Stay in your PJs or old bathrobe. No webcams here. Coffee or tea? It’s up to you.  This is for you as you are.

Use a pen or a pencil or a keyboard. Think of that like colouring your hair — only you’ll know for sure in the end, unless it’s purple.

Think of it as a quick weekend luxury. Take as long as you want to look at the image that gets posted. (Well, don’t spend more than 30 minutes or anything like that). We won’t count examining the image as part of the five minutes.

Do time yourself. Keep it to 5.

Most importantly, believe in the imagination and the brain to rise to all creative challenges. That grey matter will somehow find the words that exist up there in the muck and the wonder of your subconscious where all the most interesting meetings occur. Like chocolate meeting peanut butter.

Shut down the critical thoughts. The enjoyment in timed writing prompts for me happens when words and weirdness and beauty come out of my mind and onto the page and it’s like, “Where did THAT come from?” That’s the best part. Don’t you agree?

Maybe broaden your idea of form. Poem? Flash fiction? Script? Dialogue? Fortune cookie fortune? Surprise us!

So here’s how I think this might work.

I’m going to post the image tomorrow, Saturday, February 25 at 9:00 am.

  1. It would be so fantastic to have some participants.
  2. Post your 5-minute writing results as soon as you can in the comments.
  3. Stay positive in the comments. You have to have something nice to say. Yes, it’s the equivalent of everyone getting a blue ribbon. When was the last time THAT happened?
  4. I may highlight the piece(s) that resonate for me the most and refer to the writer’s website (assuming that they have one).
  5. I encourage you, as well, to connect to one other writer who posts in a comment by commenting on what they’ve posted.

If you have any suggestions as to how this might work best for you, let me know.

Really looking forward to reading what your writerly minds seize the courage to share tomorrow.

Don’t forget to come back after 9:00 a.m. on February 25.

Thanks for playing.

Write for 5 for those who hate writing prompts

Call it serendipity but this morning I received an e-mail from a blog I follow and it was about hating writing prompts. And what it has to say is exactly why we shouldn’t look down our noses at writing prompt exercises.

Without ruining the ending of this story, and (begrudgingly overlooking the misuse of the word loose instead of lose) this little essay explains why writing prompts can have positive outcomes.

If you’re planning on joining us for Write for 5  on Saturday from an image posted on my blog here that day, this might give you an additional reason to participate.

If you have 10 minutes, read it here off Dinty Moores’ Brevity blog.