Remembrance: Marcel Proust #30

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”


“But genius, and even great talent,
springs less from seeds of intellect
and social refinement superior to those of other people
than from the faculty of transforming and transposing them.
To heat a liquid with an electric lamp
requires not the strongest lamp possible,
but one of which the current can cease to illuminate,
can be diverted so as to give heat instead of light.
To mount the skies it is not necessary
to have the most powerful of motors,
one must have a motor which,
instead of continuing to run
along the earth’s surface,
intersecting with a vertical line
the horizontal line which it began by following,
is capable of converting its speed into lifting power.
Similarly, the men who produce works of genius
are not those who live in the most delicate atmosphere,
whose conversation is the most brilliant
or their culture the most extensive,
but those who have had the power,
ceasing suddenly to live only for themselves,
to transform their personality into a sort of mirror,
in such a way that their life,
however mediocre it may be socially
and even, in a sense, intellectually,
is reflected by it,
genius consisting in reflecting power
and not in the intrinsic quality of the scene reflected.”

― Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove, Part 2

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Sandglass #21

Weekly Writing Challenge #21
Week of 25th January 2016

DOOR Template Instructions

Shadorma ( 3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 7 – 5 )
six lines – no rhymes – multiple stanzas [your choice] – just follow meter
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~

hourglass shaped supernova in progress

Supernova in progress – rare celestial phenomenon


Silence warns

Life’s jagged edge cuts

Eyes drip blood

Turn to sand

Heart pounding as drums echo

Time is closing in


© jk 2016


the secret keeper Weekly Writing Challenge #21

Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity – Part One

Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott’s Timeless Advice on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity

pt 1 bird by bird

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.”

One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around.

I started writing when I was seven or eight. I was very shy and strange-looking, loved reading above everything else, weighed about forty pounds at the time, and was so tense that I walked around with my shoulders up to my ears, like Richard Nixon. I saw a home movie once of a birthday party I went to in the first grade, with all these cute little boys and girls playing together like puppies, and all of a sudden I scuttled across the screen like Prufrock’s crab. I was very clearly the one who was going to grow up to be a serial killer, or

pt 1 6 birds on a log in a row

keep dozens and dozens of cats. Instead, I got funny. I got funny because boys, older boys I didn’t even know, would ride by on their bicycles and taunt me about my weird looks. Each time felt like a drive-by shooting. I think this is why I walked like Nixon: I think I was trying to plug my ears with my shoulders, but they wouldn’t quite reach. So first I got funny and then I started to write, although I did not always write funny things.


All I ever wanted was to belong, to wear that hat of belonging.

In seventh and eighth grades I still weighed about forty pounds. I was twelve years old and had been getting teased about my strange looks for most of my life. This is a difficult country to look too different in — the United States of Advertising, as Paul Krassner puts it — and if you are too skinny or too tall or dark or weird or short or frizzy or homely or poor or nearsighted, you get crucified. I did.

Writing is “…some sort of creative or spiritual or aesthetic way of seeing the world and organizing it in your head.”

“…the thrill of seeing oneself in print,” – highest form of existential validation.

I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all what it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do — the actual act of writing — turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.


pt 6 3 owls on a tree branch

Weekly Writing Prompt #21

Weekly Writing Prompt #21
Week of 25th January 2016

DOOR Template Instructions=====================

(5) Words: | SILENCE | EYES| HEART | DRUM | LIFE |

Poetry Suggestions
Haiku (5 – 7 – 5)
Tanka (5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7)
Shadorma (3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 7 – 5)
six lines – no rhymes – multiple stanzas [your choice] – just follow meter
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 with the earlier mentioned syllable pattern
’28’ Form (4 x 7) or (7 x 4) lines & syllables or lines
The Eco/The Echo – Word count (3 – 5 – 4 – 6 – 6 – 3) A four stanza poem
Blackout Poetry – See Poetry page at top of Blog
Circular Poems – See Poetry page at top of Blog
For further instructions
Fictional Suggestions
Flash Fiction (500 – 300 words)
Any Genre: Mystery – Sci-Fi – Fantasy – Horror – Literary
***You have room for one main character
***You have room for one scene
***Get to main conflict of scene in first sentence
***You have room for a single plot
***You have 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

These are not set in gold
Use your best judgement