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Archive for July 20th 2010

Poet and Story Writer Nance Van Winckel, author of the poetry collection No Starling, published by University of Washington Press.

This week’s Write The Book prompt was suggested by my guest, Nance Van Winckel, who keeps a folder of visual art pulled from art magazines and turns to these sheets for inspiration and to offer a writing exercise to her students. Choose a picture from a magazine. The page can be of a photograph or a painting, of a person, a group, a landscape. Look at the page that you've chosen, and consider one of the following questions:

  1. What happened just before this moment in the life of the person or the persons in your picture?
  2. What is going to happen next week?
  3. In the case of a landscape, what's happening behind that building, around that corner, over that hill?

Begin writing. See where your magazine page takes you. As Nance points out, visual imagery can be a wonderful way to access the imagination.

Good luck with this exercise and please listen next week for another.

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several South Burlington High School students.

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Douglas Glover, author of five story collections, four novels, a book of essays, and the book we discussed: The Enamoured Knight, which is about Don Quixote and novel form.

Instead of a Write The Book Prompt this week, I'm going to encourage people to check out Douglas Glover's blog, Numéro Cinq, which is described on the site as, "a maze of inter-connected posts, essays, stories, poems, translations, contests, videos, jokes, book lists, resource materials, and craft advice." It's been called "the equivalent to literary Facebook," and "A warm place on the cruel web."

I hope you enjoy Numéro Cinq. Next week, I'll return to offering the prompt.

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Jacob Paul, author of the new novel, Sarah/Sara, published by IG Publishing.

This week's Write The Book prompt was inspired by the work of my guest, Jacob Paul. Write a scene or a poem in which a small conflict is resolved through action, even adventure. So, for example, a character who is a little hungry but has no money tries to steal a candy bar from a convenience store. A character who was once pick-pocketed witnesses a purse snatching and plays some role in interrupting the crime. A character who longs for warm weather goes skiing. This doesn't need to be an enormous inner conflict or Job-like act of valor. But use action to impact conflict in some small way.

Good luck with this exercise and please listen next week for another.

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several South Burlington High School students.

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Interview from the archives with Rita Murphy, who spoke with Shelagh in October 2008.

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