Wednesday, January 15, 2014

POV: Greg Pincus' Wednesday Writing Workout & One Thing for 2014

Howdy Campers! 
It's time for TeachingAuthors' first WWW of 2014!

Starting this year, we're cutting back a bit: we'll be featuring WWWs just once or twice a month. Why? It's our collective New Year's Resolution so each of us has more time to...W R I T E.

In fact, in our cozy TeachingAuthors's treehouse lounge this month,we're each sharing One Thing for 2014 to support our writing. Just One!  What a fine idea.

JoAnn talks about "developing fresh ideas while kneading, baking, and eating fresh bread" (yum!) while Esther plans to spend the first hour of her writing day (at least) living inside her own heroine's story--before she edits her students' work.

Me? I resolve to...wear more fun earrings--not just the default pearl studs I've worn forever.

Wait--what? A resolution about my writing?  Oy--it scares me to make a resolution about my writing.  What if I never actually do it?

But maybe I can make a teeny resolution.  Just One Thing.  Baby steps.

Okay...deep breath.  I'm going to focus on writing what's fun to write, whether it makes sense for my career or not: picture book, adult article, poem for kids or adults

And's Wednesday--time for our guest author WWW!

In case you missed it, author Greg Pincus stopped by for a fabulous chat a few weeks ago about his debut novel, The 14 Fibs of Gregory K  and promised to come back with a writing exercise for you...and here it is!

No!!!! Anything But That!
A Prompt from a Different Perspective
Writing Prompt Thingee
by Greg Pincus

Playing with different perspectives can be a lot of fun as a writer...  but putting yourself into another person's mind can also be daunting.  One way to simplify that is to eliminate the other person and instead take the perspective of something inanimate. 

So... look around you right now. What do you see?

An apple? A pencil? A window? The floor?
Whatever it is that you saw has a purpose in our world (a window can be to see through or serve as for decoration, for example) or is used by humans in some specific way or another (we walk on a floor; we eat an apple).

The writing workout is to write from the perspective of what you saw... and tell a story that will prevent a person from using "you" in the way we usually would.

For example, here's me as an apple...

...who doesn't want to be eaten:

You can't see it, I know.
But a worm's just below
My glistening skin.
So when you bite in,
You won't get a crunch
But rather you'll munch
That poor worm's guts and pieces
And the gunk it releases.
Yes, I expect if you ate me
You'd expectorate me.
So please leave me be.
Go try cookies and tea.

poem © 2014 Greg Pincus. All rights reserved
While this is a poem of simple couplets, the prompt can work as the way to start a  persuasive essay or as a way into perspective taking in poetry or fiction or, really, any sort of writing.  Unless, of course, the object you see is an essay and it tries to convince you NOT to write an essay. Then, well, who knows what happens?
Thank you, Greg--this sounds like fun!  I can hear my earrings talking to me now...

Readers: what object is calling you?  What is your One Thing for 2014? Fess up!

posted by April Halprin Wayland.


Unknown said...

Nice post and nice images

Carmela Martino said...

April, I LOVE that you're going to focus on writing FUN stuff. You definitely share some FUN images with this post.
And thank you, Greg, for this terrific WWW!

jan godown annino said...

Umm... fun to play. Great post - thank you for the fine GP interview.

I will hope (instead of promise) to work more intently with some special stories from ancestors, such a silent screen actress great-aunt, for starters. Stories about life on a rural New Jersey farm in the early 1900s. Stories from my Mom's days as a reporter in suburban NYC during WW

April Halprin Wayland said...

Sounds terrific, Jan! Would it help if you set the bar low and very specific? So perhaps say that you will write one story based on your relatives by June, for example? You can make a new resolution when that one is finished. Just an idea...

Margaret Simon said...

Fun post. Fun earrings. Great seeing Greg here. His poems are always fun, for sure. I'm all for writing what is more fun to write.
My cup of coffee wants to talk to me this morning.

You froth and fill,
sip and sigh;
When will you look me in the eye?
Come on, wake up!

April Halprin Wayland said...

I'll never look at my cuppa java the same way, Margaret!

April Halprin Wayland said...

I'll never look at my cuppa java the same way, Margaret!

jan godown annino said...

Eye the calendar & set a date.
So, like it will actually happen?
You are the crafty one!
Thank you for caring so much.

Inspired by the nourishment of the TA blog I meet your June & raise it to May, to pick a story inspired by relatives & w r i t e it!

I think.

Esther Hershenhorn said...

I want those OY earrings, April! :)
And, Hurrah for you for declaring to have FUN with your writing.
Thanks, Greg, for such a fine exercise.
You've already inspired Margaret....and now we Jan promising us a story.
That's what TeachingAuthors is here for, yes?

April Halprin Wayland said...

Okay, Jan--now here's my next challenge: email a friend as you begin the story and set the date. Then email her 1/2 way through...and again when you've finished--then take her out for a treat to celebrate!

jan godown annino said...

Just what are you attempting here - success? This might actually work :) Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great idea.

April Halprin Wayland said...

I agree, Sylvia!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Oops. I meant Sylva. Sorry!