My mom has always been a fantastic writer. I love to read her stuff. Most recently she has been doing a lot of blogging for our website at Journal in a Box. Her most recent blog over there is about a new book she has been reading (and learning from) called 101 Creative Writing Exercises (Adventures in Writing). Written by our friend Melissa Donovan over at Writing Forward, this book is a fantastic way to get started with almost any kind of writing you want to do. I wanted to repost this particular blog, because one of the subjects my mom picked to use for an exercise from the book is a subject near and dear to my heart – the way that my grandparents met. I wanted to share this story here because it is such a heartwarming story! So, here is my mom’s blog:
My Experiment With Melissa Donovan’s New Book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises (Adventures in Writing)
If you’ve been searching for a goldmine concerning all-things-writing you need look no further than Melissa Donovan’s, 101 Creative Writing Exercises (Adventures in Writing)
First came the perusal
First came the perusal, then came the decision. You know what I mean about the perusal, we all do it when we pick up a book filled with treasure. The urge is to stick your face into the book as if you were in a pie eating contest and just dig in. Of course the problem with that tactic is you may come up with cherry sauce all over your face. OK, so I do have a bit of red cherry goo stretched from ear to ear and nose to chin, but cleaning it up tastes so doggone GOOD.
I’ll start by saying that I was enthralled with one of Melissa’s opening sentiments, “Writing is a way to communicate, but it is so much more than that. Through writing, we develop and share ideas and information. We express ourselves and make art.” Yes, yes, yes, I wanted to shout, writing is all about communication, ideas, information, self-expression and art. So, I spent some time looking through the various ideas and the exercises presented. The pie eating contest was calling me, but I decided I needed to put the information in this book to use in a more pragmatic way.
Then came the decision
Melissa says, “The exercises in this book are designed to give you practical experience in writing across a range of forms and genres.” She suggests that the reader can strengthen his writing skills in areas he already uses and she says, “You are encouraged, however, to step outside of your comfort zone.”
All right then, I decided, I’ll try a little of each. Here are the two areas I decided to explore in my use of this book. Something I already do on a regular basis is write in my journal and on this blog about people. So I decided to explore Chapter Three: People and Characters and to then choose one of the exercises from that chapter for my writing experiment.
Then came the hard part. I had to choose something that was out of my comfort zone. After much wheezing and snorting, after calming myself to only a super hyper-tension level, I chose Chapter Five: Fiction.