by Nancy Casey
Today, when you write your page, begin with the sentence, “Sometimes the sky is red.” Continue writing 4-6 more lines. How you “continue” is up to you.
Maybe that little thought about a red sky will spark a memory or call an image to mind. Maybe it causes you to imagine or invent a story. Maybe it will make you want to explain something. Writing that tells a story or explains something can be called narrative or literal.
After you write that the sky is red sometimes, you don’t have to continue in a narrative or literal manner. You can use wordplay instead. With wordplay, you don’t pay much attention to “making sense” and instead just fool around with the way words sound. You can repeat words as you write, make rhymes, repeat certain letters, or make up words. When you put wordplay into your writing, it’s often fun to read out loud.
However you continue after the sentence about the red sky, pause after you have written 4-6 lines. Reread your work. Pick out a sentence or a phrase that you like. (4-6 words long.) Skip a line and copy it down. That’s your new beginning. Continue (narratively, literally, or with wordplay) for 4-6 more lines. Then pause, reread and pick out a new sentence or phrase, skip a line, copy it and continue…
Work your way down the page this way–write a chunk, pluck a phrase, use it to start a new chunk. Stop when there is just enough room to write one more line at the bottom. On that line write, “Sometimes the sky is red.” Then read back over your work.
Finally, think up a title. But don’t use the words sometimes, sky or red in your title. Drawing or doodling on the page often helps you come up with a title you like. What you have written might be disjointed. It might seem like it’s not “about” anything. After a bit of fooling around with a relaxed mind, a title that somehow connects it all up might pop into your head.
Add more decoration and color to the page if you would like. Make sure the date is on the page somewhere, too. Here is an example of what a person could write.
You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. To do that, you can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.
NEWS FLASH! Summer writing groups and classes will start May 16. You can come just for fun. Or you can jump through all the hoops and earn a Writing Certificate. Classes will meet Thursday evenings. Here is all the information.
Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursday evenings, starting May 16. To sign up or get more information, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Community Center.