Welcome to Writing Stop Pit Stop! How time flies! I started blogging with WordPress two years ago today, but I’ve consistently posted every week or more starting a year ago with this format of fueling some ideas for writing. I know I’m always looking for prompts – in everyday life, or by seeing what other writers put out there that work for them. An unexpected “prompt” has developed from writing this blog, and by participating in Oulipost 2014 in April. Through that challenge a few of us Ouliposters began following one another on WordPress, and after our stint in April was over, Lewis Oakwood, from England, who writes the blog, The Thought-Sphere World, began posting quite regularly in my comment section. What he was posting was my own words from that particular week’s blog as a poem. What he was doing fascinated me, not because he was using “my words,” but because his poems really expressed in a really cool way what the blog had been about that week.
Naturally, I enjoy a challenge and went to his blog and tried my hand at reusing some of his words to see how that turned out. It was also interesting because he was posting his own short poems, or in one instance a twenty syllable two-line sonnet. Once I wrote my poems from his words, I posted my efforts for him to see on his blog and it has started a nice back and forth in our comments section.
Here are a couple of Lewis’ poems (you can peruse through past blogs to find more…or to see what he did) using my blog:
That $$ Thing
Come to terms with that $$ thing
you know what I’m talking about,
no money = money woes.
– How to get out of these money woes –
Don’t make money a taboo subject
talk openly about it, face it
that $$ thing.
– Don’t hesitate to develop the things that you truly love to do –
Put in the hours,
it make things a whole lot easier in the long run.
What’s the story there?
If Death Pulled Off A Surprise
At this point in life,
– at this moment –
what would you do
if death took a loved one?
ponder the relationships
of those nearest to you.
Here’s a couple of my poems using his blogs:
The Morning After
Slow half step, then another,
very slow another:
Here’s the twenty syllable two-line sonnet effort:
As I Sat, I Sang The Alone Song
Songbird fairyland sonnet in fair, stare
there watching the wildcats naked with care.
What we’re doing is a version of found poetry, but it also is a good exercise in word play. And, if you haven’t played with words (or don’t think of it in that way) that’s what I’m going to challenge you to do this week! So, for your 44th prompt try some word play:
“Stealing Words & Making Them Your Own”
Disclaimer: I’m not advocating plagiarism! You should always acknowledge who you took your words from…in an epigraph under the title, or somewhere if your work gets published. If you followed my stint as an Ouliposter, you know that I always gave credit to the Toledo Blade and any of the writers whose columns/articles I used. With that said, have some fun:
1) If you’ve not perused any other blogs, this might be a good time to do that. Find someone that speaks to you, someone who is writing about something you’re interested in, or is using language that you like. Then don’t copy their work word for word, but extract a few words out of their blog and formulate your own poem.
2) It might not be easy to come up with a finished piece by doing this challenge when working in other genres besides poetry, but something that I learned many years back…is that you might find words that you like (or want to utilize in your own vocabulary). Make a list of those words as you discover them and then try to consciously implement them in your essays, stories, or plays. For example, I’m a big Kurt Vonnegut fan. I’ve read all of his books, sometimes more than once. I’ve also had my daybook near me as I’ve read his works before and when I’d come across words he used that I liked, I compiled a list of them. Then if I need a word in a poem or play and I’m not liking what I’m coming up with, I utilize my lists of favorite words.
3) Just play with rearranging your own words from your own works. Maybe something that hasn’t worked in the past – play with word order, omit words, use a thesaurus, be silly…sometimes that’s when something serious comes!
4) Take any of your word play pieces and revise. Revision is always important, you’ve heard me say that before. Also, if you do like what you’ve come up with and plan on sending it out in the world, do give credit to the person who inspired you in some way. And, if you’re up to the challenge, strike up a writing friendship through your blogging/sharing words experiences…and post in their blog comment section if you dare.
Don’t hesitate to share, in the comments section, what your writings with word play brings about.
See you here next Wednesday with another writing prompt! (And, we’re an hour into Thursday…but it was Wednesday when I started writing! :-))