Monthly Archives: June 2012

Reading Circles – Description & Setting {Part 2}

That was a good party we had this week, wasn’t it? You all should have seen how impressed we at Bigger Picture Blogs were with our community’s creativity and how much fun we had. And I don’t know about you, but I have a few new songs to add to my playlist! As I told my fellow contributors, I feel a bit like I’m in the aftermath: it’s a bit like the cleanup after the party…when you pick up the cans and bottles, tidy up that thing that got knocked over by an exuberant elbow or two, and reminisce over highlight moments…all while basking in the glow of a successful shindig among friends.

And with that glow still burning, we settle back down into it. Creativity awaits!

Last week we read the first few chapters of Rozelle’s book, Description & Setting, and the second chapter even inspired me to start a journal specifically for random details I notice! I’ve been noting them down in my regular journal, but the details get lost in amongst the flotsam and jetsam of other writing I do in there. So I set aside a dedicated resource for myself, a little chest of essential nothings and perfect trivialities, with which to pepper my writing or inspire further descriptions. Do you collect details too, or were you inspired to begin?

I also set forth a little exercise for us: describe something in or around your home or neighborhood as if it were a person. Feel free to write up a couple of sentences in the comments or link up a blog post, one written expressly for this or one written for something else that includes this kind of personification.

For mine, I chose to use the suitcase that inspired my current manuscript, The Yellow Suitcase.

Once bright and optimistic, speaking of adventures to foreign lands, the yellow suitcase has turned toward brown and ornery with age. It has cracked in places and has a clasp that won’t quite shut. It bears rips and stains in the lining, and tags like memories of better days. If this suitcase could talk, it would speak in a rusty voice. It’s the favored uncle who smokes too much and coughs when he laughs too hard, the one who has so much phlegm in his old throat, you can practically see the ashes of a thousand cigars. There are memories written in the lines of his face. He has a grab bag full of them, most of which he’ll share with you, if you sit around long enough to listen. The most important ones, he’ll keep to himself. He seems harmless, mostly. Yet something about him repels, and no one likes to linger too long. He is the uncle everyone entertains, but whom no one really wants because eventually, he finds a way to embarrass you, and never notice the damage he’s wrought.

*     *     *

For the next week, we’re going to dive in deeper to sensory descriptions and revealing character. We’ll read chapters 4-6 together. Chapter Four is on Showing, Telling, and Combining the Two. Chapter Five is Sensory Description, and Chapter  Six is Description of Characters.

And the exercise for the week is to:

deliver mood through setting (preferably without using the over-relied-upon-device of rain or storms).

Sound good? And again, you can share any example in which you do this.

In the meantime, let’s see your anthropomorphisms!

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Happy SECOND Birthday, Bigger Picture Blogs!

Every Thursday for two years now, we’ve come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the bigger picture through simple moments.

In this coming together, the women who make up this beautiful community have not only shared life but have also encourage each other in the journey of intentional living as well as our journeys to become more engaged, intentional artists and writers.

And that kind of makes my heart flutter and dance.

So in celebration of Bigger Picture Blogs second birthday, we knew we had to do what we do best: engage with each other and create.

But we didn’t want to just have cake and part ways. We wanted to take our creativity and community to another level, so paired together community members who wanted a challenge, asking one to take the task of the visual artist and one to use her words and work together to bring a word prompt to life.

Those of us who have come together as creative duos were given musically inspired prompts. It’s my deep hope that those who have been working together have found that our unions are much like the song prompts we’ve been working with: the true beauty of such a collaboration doesn’t just rest solely in lyrics or melody; they must mingle, interweave to be enjoyed thoroughly.

Today, we sing our collaborations.

And today we come together to share and listen to the playlist our community has created inspired by an actual playlist. {If you’d like to participate solo the prompt is For Me This is Heaven by Jimmy Eat World. Ready? Set? Go!}

Link your Bigger Picture Moment at Undercover Mother and be sure to visit at least one creative collaboration {both contributors!} and encourage both people in their endeavor. Please link only your post and include our button or a link back so that others can come and see what our community is all about!

And since no birthday party would be complete without gifts, one creative collaboration duo will just have to make space on their bookshelves for the beautiful Creativity Packages graciously donated by Compendium Live Inspired and a copy of A Writer’s Book of Days. We’ll randomly draw a winning duo Monday, July 2.

Visit Undercover Mother to participate and engage!

It’s Our Birthday!! Celebrating TWO!

Years, that is. And a fabulous two years it has been. We’ve seen our community grow and shift and morph into a place of creativity and inspiration, but also warmth and encouragement. It’s not just us, either. It’s our readers too, who have brought both their words and hearts to our space. For that, we thank you.

And we celebrate!

Yesterday, the lovely Sarah of This Heavenly Life hosted treats in honor of the festivities. If you missed it and want to join in, feel free to bake a cake and link it up – or just peruse the list of goodies shared!

Today, in honor of the Big Event, we’ve partnered up in pairs, and each pair was assigned a prompt by the fabulous Hyacynth of Undercover Mother. The creative outpouring should involve both words AND photo, posted on each partner’s site. Link both posts up at Hyacynth’s to share what you came up with! Note: We’d recommend everyone include a line or two in their posts that says who was writer and who was photographer so we can all give props to each participant for their unique contributions and encourage visits to everyone who has linked up!

Everyone who participates in this 2×2 collaboration will be automatically entered into our giveaway! Prizes include this sweet creativity gift from Compendium and TWO free copies of Judy Reeves’ A Writer’s Book of Days!

Miss your chance to get partnered up? Never fear! We have a special BONUS prompt for anyone who still wants to join in! Here it is: For Me This is Heaven {Jimmy Eat World} All prompts are songs, so dive on in and let the music be your guide!

Happy Birthday Bigger Picture Blogs!!