Be Inspired: October Grab Bag of Exercises, Links, Ideas

Mother Earth, sculpture, Canadian entry at Mosaicultures Internationales, Montreal 2013

Mother Earth

I’m always excited and immensely grateful to come across links and ideas that inspire me to write and think and dream. Here are some I’ve been enjoying recently that I’d like to share with you.

Writing Warm-Up: a right-left brain exercise

  1. Touch your right thumb to your left little finger, let go, then touch left thumb to right little finger. Let go.
  2. Touch right second finger to left fourth finger, release, then left second finger to right fourth finger. Let go.
  3. Right middle finger to left middle finger. Turn hands over and left middle finger to right middle finger.
  4. Repeat. Now speed up. The idea is to go as fast as possible.

Newspaper Blackout Poetry

I always enjoy the surprise of being nudged out of my usual writing habits when playing with found and erasure poetry. Newspaper blackout poetry by Austin Kleon (and others) gives a good inspirational kick. Share your own on his Tumblr site.

To Enjoy: a short story

I really like the way “If You Find an Infant Squirrel” by Heather Rounds in SmokeLong keeps moving forward – always pushing on to a new issue. I also like that resolving one problem (with the cage) causes another, escalating the situation. And a great ending.

Be Inspired

Need energizing as the clocks go back and we move towards winter? Read The Paris Review’s interview with Ray Bradbury. Very intense and inspiring. If you’re anything like me, you’ll finish it screaming to write, imagining magnificent and amazing things, blood boiling in fingertips. A perfect motivational read for right before NaNoWriMo. Don’t miss the terrific story about his meeting with Mr. Electrico at the end of the interview.

Pick a Number and Find Your Destiny

This poem from Oracles for Youth by Caroline Gilman is, apart from being a good read, a reminder to push oneself to research all possible endings for one’s story!

To Write About

Write down snippets of three different conversations as you eavesdrop. In three different locations. Now write, merging the three conversations.


“A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.”
― Alice Munro

What has inspired you recently?


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