John Gardner | On Becoming a Novelist | #42

john-gardner-on-becoming-a-novelist-cover
“Novel-writing is not so much a profession as a yoga, or “way,” an alternative to ordinary life-in-the-world. Its benefits are quasi-religious—a changed quality of mind and heart, satisfactions no non-novelist can understand—and its rigors generally bring no profit except to the spirit. For those who are authentically called to the profession, spiritual profits are enough.” ― John Gardner, On Becoming a Novelist
john-gardner-1933-1982
John Gardner (1933–1982) was born in Batavia, New York. His critically acclaimed books include the novels Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues, and October Light, for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as several works of nonfiction and criticism . including . On Becoming a Novelist. He was also a professor of medieval literature and a pioneering creative writing teacher whose students included Raymond Carver and Charles Johnson. When I worked at Bennington College in Southern VT I would often see him walking across the campus during the Summer Writing Workshops. Or when his white hair was flowing as he rode his beloved motorcycle on campus or away. – j.kiley

Weekly Writing Prompt #159

Weekly Writing Challenge #159
Poetry and/or Flash Fiction

(5) Words: | WAY | CONFESS | PINE | NAME | PARCHED |

*A brilliant idea has been brought to my attention regarding the (5) word prompt. Please feel free to substitute any of the words with a synonym.🎈 🎭 ✨

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Poetry Suggestions
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Haiku (5 – 7 – 5)
Tanka (5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7)
Shadorma (3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 7 – 5)
6 lines – no rhymes – multiple stanzas [your choice] – just follow meter
Villanelle (19 line poem[no word limit]–2 repeating rhymes & 2 refrains)… Excellent example is Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night”
Nonet (9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1) progression downward of syllables
Cinquain (2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 2) five-line poem on any theme – syllables
’28’ Form (4 x 7) or (7 x 4) lines & syllables or lines
Free Verse – No Limitations
See [POETRY PAGE] for further instructions

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Fictional Suggestions
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Flash Fiction (500 – 300 words)
Any Genre: Mystery – Sci-Fi – Fantasy – Horror – Literary

SUGGESTIONS FOR FLASH FICTION
***One main character
***Room for one scene
***Main conflict in first sentence
***Room for a single plot
***Room for a single, simple theme
***SHOW anything related to the main conflict
***TELL the backstory; don’t “show” it
***Save the twist until the end
***Eliminate all but essential words

Use your best judgement
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Proust: Silence Profound | Remembrance of Things Pass #167

SILENCE PROFOUND

“There are in our life any number of women whom we have never wished to see again, and who have quite naturally responded to our in no way calculated silence with a silence as profound. Only in their case as we never loved them, we have never counted the years spent apart from them, and this instance, which would invalidate our whole argument, we are inclined to forget when we are considering the healing effect of isolation, just as people who believe in presentiments forget all the occasions on which their own have not ‘come true.” ― Marcel Proust

ghost of proust at grave

John Gardner | On Becoming a Novelist | #41

john-gardner-on-becoming-a-novelist-cover
“I think there really is no other way to write a long, serious novel. You work, shelve it for a while, work, shelve it again, work some more, month after month, year after year, and then one day you read the whole piece through and, so far as you can see, there are no mistakes. (The minute it’s published and you read the printed book you see a thousand.) This tortuous process is not necessary, I suspect, for the writing of a popular novel in which the characters are not meant to have depth and complexity, where character A is consistently stingy and character B is consistently openhearted and nobody is a mass of contradictions, as are real human beings. But for a true novel there is generally no substitute for slow, slow baking. – John Gardner, On Becoming a Novelist
john-gardner-1933-1982
John Gardner (1933–1982) was born in Batavia, New York. His critically acclaimed books include the novels Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues, and October Light, for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as several works of nonfiction and criticism . including . On Becoming a Novelist. He was also a professor of medieval literature and a pioneering creative writing teacher whose students included Raymond Carver and Charles Johnson. When I worked at Bennington College in Southern VT I would often see him walking across the campus during the Summer Writing Workshops. Or when his white hair was flowing as he rode his beloved motorcycle on campus or away. – j.kiley

Weekly Writing Prompt #158

Weekly Writing Challenge #158
Poetry and/or Flash Fiction

(5) Words: | AGE | SURVIVE | HUT | ARRIVE | DANGER |

*A brilliant idea has been brought to my attention regarding the (5) word prompt. Please feel free to substitute any of the words with a synonym.🎈 🎭 ✨

=====================
Poetry Suggestions
=====================

Haiku (5 – 7 – 5)
Tanka (5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7)
Shadorma (3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 7 – 5)
6 lines – no rhymes – multiple stanzas [your choice] – just follow meter
Villanelle (19 line poem[no word limit]–2 repeating rhymes & 2 refrains)… Excellent example is Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night”
Nonet (9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1) progression downward of syllables
Cinquain (2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 2) five-line poem on any theme – syllables
’28’ Form (4 x 7) or (7 x 4) lines & syllables or lines
Free Verse – No Limitations
See [POETRY PAGE] for further instructions

=====================
Fictional Suggestions
====================

Flash Fiction (500 – 300 words)
Any Genre: Mystery – Sci-Fi – Fantasy – Horror – Literary

SUGGESTIONS FOR FLASH FICTION
***One main character
***Room for one scene
***Main conflict in first sentence
***Room for a single plot
***Room for a single, simple theme
***SHOW anything related to the main conflict
***TELL the backstory; don’t “show” it
***Save the twist until the end
***Eliminate all but essential words

Use your best judgement
=====================