Feed on
Posts

Archive for October 2012

Vermont Writer and Writing Coach, Tamar Cole (tamarcole21@gmail.com).

This week's Write The Book Prompt is inspired by a prompt that Tamar Cole has used in her writing workshops. She offers a word and then has participants write six lines about that word, or influenced by that word. So let's do that. In honor of Hurricane Sandy, the word for this week's prompt is STORM. Think about the word storm, and write six lines. Or more!

Good luck with this prompt and tune in next week for another.

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

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

Local Writer and Tai Chi Teacher Bob Boyd, author of Snake Style Tai Chi Chuan: The Hidden System of the Yang Family.

This week's Write The Book Prompt is some basic, helpful advice suggested by my guest, Bob Boyd: Sit down and just start putting words on paper. The process evolves. If you don't get started, Bob says, you'll never get finished. He adds that being prone sometimes helps him come up with ideas. Though if you write in your job, as he did at Burch & Co., lying down at the office can create difficulties. Bob acknowledges that everyone's different. Lying down might help some people. For others, a walk might be the relaxing activity that gets the ideas flowing. Figure out what works for you. Then, as soon as you have an idea, even if it's in the middle of the night, put something on paper. You can always get back to it later. But preserve the idea so it's waiting for you.

Good luck with this prompt and tune in next week for another!

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

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

Interview with Middlebury College Art Professor and Photographer John Huddleston, author of Killing Ground: Photographs of the Civil War and the Changing American Landscape (2003, Johns Hopkins University Press) and Healing Ground: Walking the Farms of Vermont (2012, Center for American Places).

Today's Write The Book Prompt is actually a series of photographs included by my guest, John Huddleston, in his books Killing Ground and Healing Ground. Here you'll find photos that we specifically discuss in the interview, as well as a few others that you might likewise find inspirational. I hope these images speak to you and encourage your writing process. And, as ever, please tune in next week for another prompt.

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

109jh.jpg

1 - 3 July 1863

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The Union Dead

***

108jh.jpg

51,112 American Casualties

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

In the early afternoon of the first day, the Confederates forced the Federals to retreat from this position just north of the college.

***

39jh.jpg

70,000 American Casualties

Petersburg, Virginia

Bombproof Quarters of Fort Sedgwick, a Key Position on the Eastern Union Siege Line

***

38jh.jpg

15 June 1864 - 2 April 1865

Petersburg, Virginia

***

32jh.jpg

27 June 1862

Gaines' Mill, Virginia

Federal dead from Gaines' Mill were photographed in 1865 after their shallow graves had been exposed.

***

33jh.jpg

15, 587 Casualties

Gaines' Mill, Virginia

Center of the Battle Lines, Site of Several Unsuccessful Confederate Charges

***

72jh.jpg

6 - 7 April 1862

Shiloh, Tennessee

The guns of the USS Lexington (background) shelled the Confederates throughout the evening and night of 6 April.

***

73jh.jpg

23,746 Casualties

Shiloh, Tennessee

Bloody Pond. Here the wounded from both sides dragged themselves to drink and to die.

***

150jh.jpg

19 May - 4 July 1863

Vicksburg, Mississippi

Bombproof Quarters on the Union Line at the Shirley House

***

151jh.jpg

37,293 American Casualties

Vicksburg, Mississippi

Iraq-bound National Guardsmen at the Shirley House, July 1990

***

cows.jpg

Cows in a Stall.

***

manure.jpg

Manure Pond.

***

pods.jpg

Pods/Grass/Snow.

***

sculpture.jpg

Ice Columns Sculpture.

***

tracks.jpg

Car Tracks on the Snow.

***

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

Interview from the archives with Vermont Psychologist Arnold Kozak, author of Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness (2009, Wisdom Publications) and The Everything Buddhism Book (2011, Adams Media).

Prompt: Today's Write The Book Prompt was inspired by the interview you heard today with Arnold Kozak. The thirtieth metaphor for mindfulness in his book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants, begins this way: "In many Buddhist works, the mind and the self are often compared to a small pool of water. Thoughts can be seen as a breeze or wind blowing on the surface. These disturbances obscure what can be seen below the surface-the bottom of the pool, the ground of being-without changing it in any way. This ground is there, always there, no matter what is happening on the surface." Today's prompt turns that metaphor to writing. Consider the piece you're now working on. Maybe it's a novel, a memoir, a collection of stories or poetry. Perhaps it's a smaller entity: an essay or story or poem.  The work itself has an underlying essence, apart from the various images, snippets of dialogue, and actual scenes that exist within. As you write, try to keep a sense of this underlying essence within your work, your vision for it as a whole. Imagine that to be the bottom of the pool. Then, as you work, as you lose yourself in the wonderful creative act, feel free to create ripples along the top of the pool, to experiment and change and play with various elements within the work, all the while keeping clear in your own mind the bottom of the pool. Maintain some sort of focus, so that your work continues to embody that underlying vision, your writing's "ground of being" that is the bottom of the pool.

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)

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

Interview from the archives with Phyllis Barber, award-winning author of seven books of fiction and creative nonfiction. We spoke in 2009 about her then-upcoming memoir, Raw Edges, published in 2010 by University of Nevada Press.

This rerun aired a couple days before the now-infamous first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In 1960, JFK came out on top going up against Nixon, possibly just because Kennedy looked so much better on television. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won points with his tagline "There you go again," which successfully batted down Jimmy Carter's arguments without even having to come up with substantive responses. In 1988, Lloyd Bentson had perhaps the most famous zinger in this exchange with fellow vice presidential candidate Dan Quayle. Then-senator Quayle said "I have far more experience than many others that sought the office of vice president of this country. I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency. I will be prepared to deal with the people in the Bush administration, if that unfortunate event would ever occur." And Lloyd Bentson retorted, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." That may be the best-remembered moment of the Dukakis/Bentson ticket, despite the fact that George Bush and Dan Quayle won the election.

Today's Write The Book Prompt is to imagine and write two exchanges between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. First, write something you'd love to see happen. Probably you have some idea about which person you'd like to see in the White House come January. Write your dream debate moment. And then, write a dream moment for the candidate you do not support. Make each of these scenes realistic, given the candidates' positions. Invent questions that will bring out the candidates' strengths, wit, and resonance with American voters. Who knows? Maybe you'll even change your own mind...

Good luck with this prompt and tune in next week for another. Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band that existed briefly in 2008 and 2009, featuring several South Burlington High School students - now grads)

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »