Jun 30, 2009

Writing Prompt One

For whatever reason, I'm finding it difficult to sit down and make the time to write. You'd think with no more class twice a week nor the homework required for them, I’d be writing reams every day. Sadly, this is not the case. While I want to blame it on the myriad of other interesting things I’ve found to do with that “free time”, I have to admit to a certain lack of inspiration. Some of the voices have become more subdued. As odd as it sounds, I have to chalk it up to my own summertime happiness; I seem to write better when I’m angsty and stressed (if I can find the time – go figure, huh?). I think it also has to do with the lack of a weekly writing group, like the one I have during my actual school year. This will not do, I’ve told myself, and as a result of last weekend’s grad school BBQ, I’ve made a firm resolution to write a little bit, if not every day, then certainly every week.

To get back in the spirit of things, I've decided to post my weekly responses to a writing prompt featured on this blog. The blog belongs to (or is written by) a former professor of mine, Jo Knowles, who has one published teen novel (Lessons From a Dead Girl) and is eagerly awaiting the publication of her second (Jumping Off Swings). When she was my professor, we would begin each class with an 8 minute writing prompt – she would give us the prompt, we would scribble away furiously for 8 minutes, and then go around the room reading these little unedited gems of whatever monthly, weekly, or daily neurosis had worked its way into our creative brains. We all agreed that those prompts were the best way to begin any creative writing class. In my own experience, the first inkling of what is now my teen novel-in-progress came out of one of these prompts, so I owe Jo quite a lot.

As much as I would like to commit to “every Monday morning at x-o’clock, I will sit down for this 10-minute writing exercise,” the reality of that happening is a little shoddy at best. Instead, I will firmly announce that sometime over the course of a week, I will answer the call of the prompt, and will not only write it, but will also post it for the world to see and possibly comment upon, if they so see fit. Comments are accepted, though not expected, and they don’t have to be nice either, feel free to tell me my writing is crap. I can take it.

Of course I’ve taken so long to write this post announcing my intention, that I have not left myself any time to actually answer this week’s prompt. I’ll have to get back to you on that. Stay tuned!

Word of the day: Awry

I like this word because it’s fun to say with a silly inflection, and also can be defined with one-word definitions that also both start with “a”.

Definition: 1) askew; 2) amiss

Jun 20, 2009

Blog Wordle

For those of you who have not yet discovered the awesome (in the original sense of the word, actually inspiring great awe) power of www.wordle.net, you've been missing out friends.

Don't worry, I was, too, until my friend sent me the link today. It's never too late to Wordle. Here is what it came up with for this blog:

Wordle: Afterthoughts

(click on it, it takes you to Wordle, where you can see it in a larger size)

What Wordles have you come up with?

Jun 18, 2009

Good in theory, Bad in practice

I apologize for the brief hiatus I've taken in June. Inspiration has been as difficult to come by as the time in which to take advantage of it, if it happens by. Luckily, I find myself with both inspiration and a modicum of time this morning, and so will take a moment to share my thoughts.

A friend recently introduced me to a new invention by Purex: Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets. These revolutionary laundry-assisting sheets release detergent during the wash cycle, then moving from the washer to the dryer with the clothes, releases a softener and static reducer during the dry cycle. While my friend has been wooed by their commercial advertisements and reputed convenience, I'm a bit more skeptical. For instance, the softener and static reducer are apparently heat-activated, and therefor able to be released only through the power of hot air in the dryer. But what if you wash a load in hot water? How does the miracle sheet know to not release it all at one time, but to save the softener/static reducer for the dry heat of the dryer rather than the wet heat of a soapy load?

I'm concerned that much like the invention of the 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner of a few years ago, this new product will fall into the category of good in theory, doesn't work quite so well in practice. Perhaps it's because I have thick hair, but the shampoo/conditioner combo never seems to wash out all the way and I get left with dank, residue-coated hair (or maybe that's all in my head - no pun intended). What's to say something similar won't happen with the 3-in-1 laundry sheet? It's not just two things anymore, they've even added a third! Excuse me for not putting my complete trust in the ability of an inanimate object to act according to its designated purpose.

This is all a moot point in my own life anyway because I use Seventh Generation, environmentally friendly laundry detergent, and Bounce Free & Clear dryer sheets. I know, I know, I even go to a laundromat that has recently purchased all new environmentally friendly/more effecient washers and dryers (though that one wasn't my fault, I was perfectly happy going there when it was shady and the machines worked only half the time). Half the time I feel like a pretentious ass, but the other day I was forced to use some regular Tide on my clothes, and I swear my skin itched when I put them on after not having used chemicals in my clothes for so long, so I know it's worth it. Which really just begs the point, what sort of shit are they putting into a 3-in-1 laundry sheet to make it do what it does and how can any of that be good for you, your clothes, or the environment? Just saying. Purex, I'm onto you. You're gonna have to try a little harder to make me believe.