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Please feel free to participate in our next optional teleconference writing session which will be held Sasturday at 8:30 AM Pacific time.
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AUDIO will be added by 11 AM Pacific time if you prefer to write along with a recording.
Now: our session begins -
It is no secret that I love haiku. I love the brevity, I love the way it makes me feel to write haiku and I love the way it feels to read haiku aloud.
One of the most popular haiku artists of all time, Basho, wrote these words.
The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.
Listen to Basho’s words again. Read them aloud if you are not participating on an audio version of this program. “The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”
Did you hear the temple bells in the vowel sounds?
If you didn't hear it, release your concern about 'what you didn't hear' and instead settle into the lush word choices - simple, elegant sounds within those words.
“The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”
This technique is called "assonance".
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds within a piece of writing. It is frequently used as a device in poetry AND it can be used in any form of writing.
I intentionally use this form of writing when I am "at risk" for being stuck.
Here is why:
Creating exercises and games is one of the surest ways to jump start the creative process. It unblocks clogs which may be present due to circumstances, moods or those moments when we are discouraged or overwhelmed. An added bonus is this: listening to your own voice as you verbally speak the sounds can create another bridge to deeper creativity.
It keeps my writing fresh, clear and crisp - especially during times when I might be more prone to slow down in my writing practice is to keep a steady supply of writing games on hand.
One day shortly after the death of my friend, Tom, I sat at my kitchen table, pencil poised to the page. I created a word pool based on the vowel sound "ah" like in "Mom" or "Balm".
I wasn't sure what I would create, but I knew I had to create – I knew the longer I only focused on feeling out of sorts about Tom's death, the less likely it would be that I would ever create any decent writing in the near future.
I chanted "Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah" and let the words flow.
Soon I had quite a collection of words and wrote a semi-surreal, assonance based poem. Listen to the results, focusing on sounds produced in the words.
Dissolving © 2003, 2004 Julie Jordan Scott
Dissolving into a bog like trance of tears
Someone had absconded
with her resolve
Slowly she dropped, loose and floppy
Her body a blonde modge podge
No longer a treasure to behold
Instead a trodden upon over run
Marsh of weeds and soggy grasses
Begging to be cut down and mowed
So something useful could
Be grown, filling the space
which now only held
The salt of her tears which slowly
filled Her mouth with an unquenchable
thirst For small, green frogs gathered at dusk
From the nearby pond
Soggy, lifeless green mushing into her
Mouth smothered blithely in butter and
Swallowed almost whole, bonded and
Sought to be more than a blot, a void
A mottled mirage
I remember the muffled awe which struck me
after I composed that poem.
The moment echoed light. I might have heard the string section in an orchestra as it played a grand crescendo of emotion if I listened carefully.
It became an auditory a-ha experience.
Julia Cameron has an inner censor who hissed " Who do you think you are, writing a book about writing?" There the words are, written by Cameron herself. They march across a page in her book, "The Right to Write."
Using a tool like an assonance based word pool can do wonders for squelching the inner critic – and the outer critic as well.
I was amazed to learn of Julia Cameron having an inner censor remarkably like my own. The Divine Diva of inspiring writer-dom herself has an inner critic?
This realization brought my defenses flopping at my feet, inert and exempt of their former power.
Julia Cameron hears the same sort of untruth and rumors and sees the same sneaky slights of hand that we do.
What a relief.
I remember when I was interacted with the tormenting barrier-like wall built up and surrounded by my nay-saying internal anti-cheering squad.
We talked about our inner critics the other day, when they took the form of a human. Sometimes our inner critics take the form of a wall or a blockade to our writing voice. One of my ways of dismantling the wall is to describe it, to become more familiar with it.
My “inner critic” wall is made of chain links and barbed wire and has electrical charges 6,026 feet above and below it, too. There is no burrowing under it or climbing over it without some extreme equipment which in these moments seem way out of reach.
The chain link monster has a built in laughing track and every single time I get within six inches of it the wall itself there are out of control shrieks and gales of laughter and taunting choruses gleefully, hatefully, scornfully greet me.
I could be doing stand-up comedy in front of creative souls and laughter would bubble towards me (and towards themselves) due to the sheer ridiculousness of my wall plus the joyful recognition that we are not alone in the disengaging devices created by our inner critic. We are also not alone in the ease and ability to untangle ourselves from what had at once felt like a strong-hold upon our hopes and dreams.
We all have these sinister, ordinary, run-of-the-mill and extravagant false beliefs and barriers to our own brand of extraordinary-ness. None of us has the corner on the monumental girth and depth and tempestuousness of self-doubt.
Mine has ebbs and tides, it rises with occasional mean spirited notions which I can usually spirit away rather easily as quickly as they unexpectedly arise.
And guess what?
We can choose to create, to plan or to simply be even when the winds from the gales of laughter feel like we could fly our thought-made kites into them.
You, me, Julia Cameron, your next door neighbor who bears a stunning resemblance to Clark Kent, we can all choose to write or choose to sew or choose to make that phone call we have, up until now, let our own internalized inventions of doom cast their power upon our moments.
Not any more.
I am siding with Julia. And You. And Me
Today we will build a word pool and use that word pool in our writing time. I would like us to use the vowel sound that is found in "ooohhhm" – because it is a sacred sound and will keep us grounded in that spiritual energetic space.
If you are present during our live session, we will simply bubble up the words that are spoken into your heart-mind and I will echo the words back to you as I write it into the pool in front of me. You may want to scribe the words the others speak as we go along.
If you are working on your own, you may follow the same process, simply doing it in your own voice at home.
Here are some words to start the process.
Something trumpet Drum Handsome Wonder Winsome now
Now here is a list of words collected in our call, and feel free to add your own words:
spoke brown cone invoke gnome foam yodel harmony joke oak reproach folk Oklahoma round comb token toke remote Rhode Island poke gloat pole ohm moat spoke vote fountain phoney ground ohm invoke sound
If you are working on your own, read the list of words aloud before you write. You may then weave as many of these words as possible in your writing. As always, don't think about what you are creating simply allow your pencil to move across the page.
The prompt for today is "In this moment I hear….."
"In this moment I hear….."
"In this moment I hear……"
Later today, tomorrow and next week, really hear the world which surrounds you. Hear those sounds again through your words. Your writing is improving. It is becoming more vivid and more enjoyable to your reader.
Please share your writing with us using Mr. Linky. If you use this prompt to blog, we would love to know and include you in our community. Mr. Linky is an easy creative tool to help connections happen easily.
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I am so grateful to be writing together with you.
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