How to Navigate This Blog...

This blog will contain my writing assignments, as well as journaling about my thoughts on writing and reading. How can you find what you want to read? Here's a list of the labels (actual label words I use are in bold font) I will be using and what they refer to. Labels can be found at the end of each post itself.


Fiction Assignment: refers to assignments from the book “Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises From Today’s Best Writers”
 Subcategories (refers to the section of the book): Get Writing; Point Of View; Character Development; Dialogue; Plot and Pacing; Setting and Description; Craft; Revision

Nonfiction Assignment: refers to assignments from the book “Now Write! Nonfiction”
 Subcategories (refers to the section of the book): Get Writing; Truth in Nonfiction; Memories and Inspiration; Characterization; Place; Voice, Dialogue, and Sound; Craft; Revision

Personal Writing: refers to writing that I’ve done simply for my own pleasure, not an assignment
 Subcategories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Journal Entry
Reading: to my thoughts on something I’m currently reading.
Writing: my thoughts on writing in general.
Writing Assignment: my thoughts on writing assignments from either of the books. I may be stuck or trying to explain or work out something I’m writing in these entries.
General: pretty much anything else.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What are you listening to?

When I write I like to have a wide variety of music playlists at the ready.  A turn of the wheel and click of a button and my iPod delivers exactly what I need to stay focused on the writing task at hand.  I've set these playlists up in advance so I can be ready when the mood hits.  So what do I listen to?  Here are a few of the many selection I use to help you get your own list started. 

If I'm writing in general (like now) I tend to listen to music that fits easily into the background and doesn't distract my focus.  My playlist includes...

The Ghost Composer - piano music by Quentin Fielding
Falling Water - piano music by Michael Strening Jr.
The Very Best Of Enya - along with music from several other Enya Cds
Come Away with Me - relaxing jazz by Norah Jones
Jim Brickman: Beautiful World - more relaxing piano music

If I have to write something a bit on the dark side, I opt for some pretty heavy classical stuff...

Mozart - Requiem / AugĂ©r, Bartoli, Cole, Pape, Wiener Phil., Solti - you can never go wrong with Mozart
Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring Cycle) / Sir Georg Solti - The Ring is one of the most amazing pieces of music... this particular playlist has only some of the darker movements.

If I am angry and venting I've gotta go for the metal hair bands and monster rock of the 80's...

Monster Ballads: Platinum Edition
Monster Ballads, Vol. 2

If I'm just plain moody, then I've got a playlist completely comprised of my favorite band (The Cure) to get me out of my funk and help me write more clearly...

Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001 - a great compilation of The Cure songs

If I'm writing about strange subjects or sci fi, then I've gotta go with psychadelic rock.  Pink Floyd is the obvious here, but my playlist also includes King Crimson...

Discipline - King Crimson

If my writing needs to be more spiritual in nature, I will listen to rhythmic drumming...

Drum Circle - Spiral Rhythm

Of course, I have about 50 different playlists for writing.  If you've got an iPod full of music, why not create a few mood enhancing playlists of your own to listen to while you write?  Let me know what you're listening to... it just might make it on to one of my lists as well.

Assignment: Through the Senses - Part 1 of 7

All 7 parts of this assignment require that I use no abstraction, no generalization, no summary, no analysis, and no interpretation.  I am simply to write from the senses in the present.  In part one I have awoken in a room in my home other than the bedroom, full of anxiety over an illusive anxious dream.

The stark late afternoon sunlight almost blinds me as it streams directly through my sleepy eyelids from the open window.  The sickening sweet smell of perfumes that are not meant to be combined tingles my nose hairs.  The garrish hot pink bedspread is definately not mine.  Where am I?  The sleeping pitbull on the bed next to me farts loudly, momentarily replacing the horrid perfume smell with a distinct pungent aroma.  My brain feels fuzzy and my eyes have trouble focusing on the things around me.  I hear construction noises and children playing through the open window.  There is undescernable chatter coming from somewhere else in the house beyond the closed door.  Scattered across every table in the room are open makeup containers and jewelry.  My eyes begin to gain focus and I observe brightly colored rubber bracelets in every hue of the color spectrum, tangled silver necklaces tossed aside in frustration, single earings, and black hair bands everywhere.  The off white vanity is losing it's battle with age and it's paint crackles and is missing in places.  Areas of the vanity are coated with brightly colored eye shadows and blushes from hurried applications earlier in the day.  I feel a tingling sensation creeping up the base of my neck as I try to focus on earlier events, but my mind doesn't seem to be functioning well enough to remember yet.  As I rise to leave the room, my head spins and I find myself looking down at a lone patch of carpet, barely visible through the piles of stuffed animals and dirty clothes.  The smells in the room are making me even more dizzy and I am forced to sit down on the bed again.  There are shelves full of dusty knick knacks, photos tilted at absurd angles in their mismatched frames, and posters full of blood red writing I can't seem to make out covering most of the upper wall space.  A spider web grows menacingly in the corner above the closet, which seems to have suffered some kind of recent explosion, it's contents spilling out on to the already cluttered piles on the floor.  I reach up to run a hand through my hair and find a chunk of it missing, replaced by a large mound of some sort.  That worries me a little.  I know I am at home, but can't seem to place where.  An anxious feeling fills me as pieces of a dream float just beyond my mental grasp.  I lay back down and close my eyes, with the hope that this is just part of the elusive dream and when I wake again the world will have righted itself, but sleep doesn't want to come.  The construction noise from outside grows louder.  Is it getting closer?  The voices byond the door are yelling now, but the words are still undiscernable through the wooden barrier.  The still sleeping dog snorts then chases something in his sleep, scratching my arm with his claws.  I open my eyes and scan the room again.  There must be something to trigger a memory, something I have overlooked.