Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Resources for Writing

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I keep a pretty insanely full writing binder of resources, inspirational items, and advice from different sources, in the hope that they will all lead me down a path to somewhere!

A few days ago I decided that this binder wasn't quite bursting at the seams enough, so I researched some writing prompt ideas.  I came across a pretty helpful site that I'd like to pass along to any other aspiring writers out there:, the Poets and Writers Magazine--incidentally, as I look back at the site now to include their links here, I see that their New York office is closed due to Hurricane Sandy.  How crazy that something so huge can be happening just across the country and our California weather is still so mild.

The Poets and Writers Magazine has several resources other than the writing prompts I came across the other day.  There is a blog about upcoming writing contests, a classified section with calls for manuscripts, an E-newsletter, and a whole host of other things to explore.  I'm having trouble pulling away from it to continue writing here!

I thought I'd share my favorite writing prompts, plus my response to one of them:

Erasure poem: find a text that branches out from your regular reading material, underline words or phrases you like, and then white or cross out the rest.  Use the remains for inspiration.

You and Me: write a poem to your past or future self to warn or reassure, and ask questions without answers.

A Universal Message: everything you encounter today could be a sign from a greater power.  Write a poem connecting these seemingly incidental occurences.

Start a Collection: take a week to collect photos, small objects, favorite passages, and overheard conversations.  Keep your collection in a shoebox.  At the end of the week, take everything out and use the ingredients to write a story.

Art of Arbitrary: open any books from your shelves and choose words at random.  Write down 10.  Use this list to write a poem of 5 couplets without using the first person.

My choice was pretty clear.  Since I tend to be rather painfully organized and a creature of habit more often than not, I was attracted to forcing a little randomness (plus I have a lot of books to choose from!).

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Nina Boyd

Upon a gath'ring ceremonial
they formed 'round a god made corporeal
But now rejecting the light,
lonesome orbs spin from sight.
The vast skies unwind
Free from temporal bind.
Planets tumbling into blackness
Dodge chaotic, cosmic madness
An ordered universe is gone
We look up and see only space.


  1. The shoebox idea has many other possibilities than just a written exercise. I see a collage of images and words==maybe inspiration for a poem within a story.

    1. A poem, a drawing, the shoebox itself could be turned into a's an idea with lots of flexibility.