Sunday, July 27, 2014

To Go On

“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”  
—Henry David Thoreau

I am in my last week at the Art Farm residency, and it's finally a nice, cool day. We had some days so humid they seemed to squeeze you like a lemon while multiplying the already-prevalent bugs and insects that seem to dive-bomb here. 

I wanted to share a writing prompt because it seems something that could cross over to other aspects of life and, more, it seems to be my first no-fail method to get something meaningful on the page. Of course it is simple:

Sit down with computer or pen and pad and cellphone. Set the alarm for 10 minutes. Open an old piece (something in-progress or old; or, if you have nothing, read a short story and pick up where the writer left off, keep going with the characters). The prompt is only this: write for the full 10 minutes. Nonstop. Set the alarm and don't allow yourself to move or stop. Then, if on a roll, reset after the alarm sounds. Simple. Works miracles.

I'm up to page 60 on the new novel, and I attribute this largely to this method because, oddly, I can feel very busy at Art Farm and get distracted. I have had work here and an odd allergic reaction to something that has given me bad hives... all these things could be excuses, but no. I wrote. And I did not make it negotiable. Here are a few more images from Nebraska...  

Back to the fun stuff for now... I visited Aurora for the first time yesterday and helped an artist friend set up at the farmer's market. There seems a dynamic community here, with a strong motorcycle culture, which is great for my character Rattle (who can plan these things?!). 

Other interesting new facts about Nebraska:

  • There is a town called Worms, which contains a bar called Nightcrawlers and a church.
  • Most of the corn around me is ethanol corn.
  • It seems, everyone loves the Cornhuskers.
  • North Platte has a rich history and a book about it, and I have met a lot of folks with colorful stories about it (too bad I won't get a chance to visit).
  • Marilyn Monroe and butter is all over everything at LuLu's Steakhouse in Chapman, NE, where the chicken friend steak is as big as the plate and a single waitress runs the joint on a Saturday night.
  • There is every type of tick known to man here.
  • Raccoons should not be out in daylight.

Have a great week, and I wish you phenomenal weather where you are. 

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