you have journeyed with intensity. You should regret nothing, neither hours waiting for buses without schedules nor long evenings vigilant for summer’s abundant rains to pass.
Traveler, these are the reminders that the roads zig and zag and, by design, demand you rest enough to be rested, ready to throw yourself into the next and the next glorious adventure.
Traveler, you have taken every opportunity to sense this place, looked into the eyes of the children, the animals, the weather.
You can predict what comes next in the afternoon’s plot, you have done your job, you know this story, their story, by heart.
Listen to this piece, and write to yourself about your own travels.
You are happy because strangers trust your Spanish enough to make small talk. They tell jokes about the vendor who’s clearly selling more than the bright blouses his stand pretends, his teal cowboy shirt unbuttoned to his nipples, his how ya doin’ English skills.
The way he scans you as if he can see all of you.
His neighbor warns: He’s a little grandma killer.
You do not worry, even a second, that he murders.
You retort: Womanizer, eh?
The vendor himself confesses with a shrug that translates to: What can I say?
And he invites you to a celebration, promises you a sky filled with fireworks.
- It is natural to engage in some small talk in any language, but double meanings, flirtation, and jokes are far more difficult to navigate. Create a character (perhaps clumsily) attempting to navigate this.
The Mexican Art of Double Entendre
because they don’t know the words.
- Turn today’s writing over to the universe. Visit: http://random-ize.com/ This site offers:
- a list randomizer (which might be good for making a poem)
- a list picker (in case you can’t name your baby or pick a number)
- random English words (such as finespun, sveltest, sternly and untanned)
- and as many random jokes as you can stand
The writers’ conference is coming soon!
Even sooner, we are seeking submissions through the end of February for the literary journal. Submissions can be posted online at: https://cosumnesriverjournal.submittable.com/submit
And, my online Creative Writing students are blogging at:
My father was a woodworker. He could make cabinets, furniture, and fine designs with his hands. He would sand and stain and sand some more long into midnight.
He would deliberately discover a piece of art in the trunk of a tamarisk tree or a common two-by-four.
On a side street in Florence, M and I watch a craftswoman producing a violin. Peering through her workshop window. Though I often joke that my hands are made only for typing and should not be counted on to sew, to whittle, or even to cook, I can’t help thinking about how her work is similar to drafting a piece of creative writing, how the end product requires the effort to shape a piece into a beautiful sound as well as story.
Speaking of beautiful sounds and stories, spring semester means students are collaborating on blogs again:
Daily Bread 400: https://dailybread400.wordpress.com/
Blissful Binge: https://blissfulbinge.wordpress.com/
Passions of 8: https://passionsof8.wordpress.com/
World of Actions & Reactions: https://creativeblogforclass.wordpress.com/
All Things Dreamy: https://allthingsdreamyblog.wordpress.com/
Please follow them, like them, and tell your friends about these diligent and creative writers.
You finally resign yourself to the evidence that Fridays are irretrievably (and, don’t deny it, splendidly) dedicated to the ritual of eating carne asada tacos in the park, of huddling with the locals under crowded canopies at folding tables covered in bright stretches of oilcloth.
You now distinctly expect the aromatherapy of the meat barbecuing and the bustle of the surrounding market to ambush you into abandoning any other prospects for the rest of the day. You surrender and bask in the warmth of the grill and the showy noise of dilettante entertainers that busk and hustle around you.
You think about how the word busk is related to buscar (to look for), and you realize you, too, are searching for something to fill you. But what manifests as hunger is the urgency of a panacea for the loneliness broiling inside you.
from A Physics of Desire
at first she thinks the attraction does not
fill her with enough blood , but
with a thing like the dove — White and coloured
feathers — Bones unlike her own
bones that gravity can’t pull down , a milky thing
unlike the seas . Fills
her with a wind — Starch rustle of the quick
passing of things , then silence afterwards
- Develop an extended metaphor of hunger. What is your or a character’s literal hunger a metaphor for? How can you/she be satisfied?