Stark winter branches relinquish
their last few strips of faded foliage.
They twirl, fall and slip between
misty mornings and afternoons,
land in muddy folds of rotten
detritus and sodden grass,
where a ragged dandelion
beams among the grey and green.
Kim M. Russell, 2017
Karin has returned with a writing exercise for those who are stymied in their writing, which can also work well for those who aren’t blocked, but may like a little stretch. She says that in one of the hardest parts of this past year, she ended up writing a series of short pieces in which she took a letter, let a word beginning with that letter come to mind, and then jumped off from that word. Which is what she would like us to do today: take a letter, let a random word beginning with that letter arise in our minds, and then follow her other rules:
- On our first drafts, keep our pens (or typing digits) moving.
- Do not cross out or go back to fix; simply keep our pens (or fingers) moving ahead.
- Keep the flow going for a certain span of time. Set the time in advance to five minutes, ten minutes, but not too long–ten minutes max.
Once we have our first draft we are free to revise it. At this point, we may turn it into a poem, prose poem, short story, or even boil it down to a haiku. Our revisions may take hours, with lots of crossings-out.
Karin would also like us to use the technique to write something new, and not use the prompt as an excuse to post a pre-fabbed holiday poem.