Archive for April, 2012

Imagine a story here.

Or, where are you going, who are you meeting, what happened in the airport?

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Nord Railway 2-8-0 No.4.193, from series 4.061...

Railway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently finished reading The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. It was recommended to my writing workshop by our teacher. She was so impressed with the writing that she wanted to use the book as a teaching tool. We’ve looked at¬† Orringer’s use of subtext, studied examples of interior turning points and emotional epiphanies. Talked about her use of tension.

Orringer makes Paris and Hungary in the late 1930’s and 1940’s come alive. Her characters are deep and interesting. The love story is endearing. Much of the story relates to the Holocaust, which is depressing, but her characters are so strong and honorable that we are willing to go with them on this terrible journey.

When I finished the book I was tapped out. I had entered her world so fully that I couldn’t pick up another book for days. I needed to linger there and mourn the end of the story and some of the characters. That is the grip of a great story, written by someone who has mastered their craft.

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Blaas Eugen Von An Interesting Story

Blaas Eugen Von An Interesting Story (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently read a book entitled Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story by Christina Baldwin. It’s a lovely book, calm and quiet, but with great insight. It’s not a book about how to write, but more why we write. It shows us how story connects us and the power of stories.

This book can be skimmed for inspiration when we are bereft of ideas and wonder why we keep trying to get a story out. We are all storytellers in our own way, but not everyone is a storycatcher. Be on the lookout, ask questions, meet new people, and most of all be a listener.

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Moon Garden


Hydrangea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moon gardens have been around for a long time, but only recently  have recaptured the attention of gardeners. This garden is special in that it generally only has white flowers and tree blooms. The idea being, that under the moon it will reflect light looking romantic and mysterious.

It is best to create a small to mid-size moon garden as it can be visually overwhelming. Plant a variety of white flowering plants that come into bloom at various times of the year and keep in mind plants that will give off a scent in the evening. It is appropriate to put in silvery leaved plants and some contrasting green foliage.

Make sure to put the garden where it can get full moon light, or put in some low lighting. Add a special place to sit and you are ready to enjoy this very unusual and special garden.

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Imagine a story here.

Or, what major news event happened in this town/ valley?

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Write a scenario based on this picture.

Or, write about being from Kansas and visiting this market, or perhaps what you would select for dinner.

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Write a story based on this picture.

Or, tell the story of how this dog came to be with a particular person/ family.

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