John Gardner | On Becoming a Novelist | #39

john-gardner-on-becoming-a-novelist-cover
“It is the nature of stupid people to hide their perplexity and attack what they cannot grasp.” (dedicated to the (possible C in C of the USA) hopefully he has left the building by now)

“In the final analysis, real suspense comes with moral dilemma and the courage to make and act upon choices. False suspense comes from the accidental and meaningless occurrence of one damned thing after another.” ― 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 #156

Weekly Writing Challenge #156
Poetry and/or Flash Fiction

(5) Words: | PURSUE | PASS | DRIFT | ENDING | WANE |

*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: An Impenetrable Shadow | Remembrance of Things Pass #164

AN IMPENETRABLE SHADOW

“And thus it was she who first gave me the idea that a person does not, as I had imagined, stand motionless and clear before our eyes with his merits, his defects, his plans, his intentions with regard to ourselves (like a garden at which we gaze through a railing with all its borders spread out before us), but is a shadow which we can never penetrate, of which there can be no such thing as direct knowledge, with respect to which we form countless beliefs, based upon words and sometimes actions, neither of which can give us anything but inadequate and as it proves contradictory information—a shadow behind which we can alternately imagine, with equal justification, that there burns the flame of hatred and of love.” ― Marcel Proust

ghost of proust at grave

John Gardner | On Becoming a Novelist | #38

john-gardner-on-becoming-a-novelist-cover
“It is this experience of seeing something one has written come alive—literally, not metaphorically, a character or scene daemonically entering the world by its own strange power, so that the writer feels not the creator but only the instrument, or conjurer, the priest who stumbled onto the magic spell—it is this experience of tapping some magic source that makes the writer an addict, willing to give up almost anything for his art, and makes him, if he fails, such a miserable human being.” ― 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 #155

Weekly Writing Challenge #155
Poetry and/or Flash Fiction

(5) Words: | TRICK | HEED | GOAL | FACE | STAFF |

*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
=====================