Wednesday, December 19, 2012

practice


So I’ve been feeling out of sorts, as you may imagine, since losing my job. On the one hand I had all this extra time to write. On the other, I had the stress of no income stomping on my creativity. I felt like I needed to step away from everything familiar so I did two things, both recommended by wiser minds than mine.

First I practiced, using this writing prompt:

I paddled out to the center, breathing evenly in the early dawn, mist rising form the water. The whole place was quiet and still and silent except for Grandfather. He told me to hug the shore, pass through the cove and find the entrance to the river.’

Second I stepped out of my comfort zone (ie, into a genre I’m not comfortable with).

Here’s what I wrote…

 
 I paddle out, breathing evenly in the early dawn, mist rising from the water. The whole place is quiet and still and silent except for Grandfather. He tells me to hug the shore. The oars are light in my hands. I’ve been practicing since the ice melted; my arms are strong.
Grandfather points and I aim for the spot, a place where the marsh grass parts subtly. The current pushes against the boat, making me work hard, and soon I’m sweating, arms aching.
The breeze waves the grass at either side of us. It’s close enough to touch but I keep my hands on the paddle, breathe deep the mud and brine. I lean and dig into the water, pulling the boat right, into the narrow inlet. Grandfather is quiet behind me and I don’t ask where we’re going even though I want to. I just keep paddling until there’s no more water and we run aground.
(to read more go to Something)


How about you? Dare to step out of your comfort zone? Care to use the same prompt? If so I'd love to see what you come up with. 

36 comments:

  1. Your words are very fluid! (No water joke intended.) Sorry you're stressed. Just keep writing.

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  2. I'll be in your spot job-wise in about a year and a half so my heart goes out to you. I'm not looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing a way to stay creative while dealing with the stress. I'm sure I'll be stressed out too and will need to remember your tip.

    Happy Holidays!

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    1. It is stressful and what a crap time of year to be unemployed!

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  3. It's difficult to be creative when under stress and especially financial pressures. Good luck!

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  4. It is a good thing to see you take action while others would wade in the negative.

    I enjoyed the smoothness of your writing practice.

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    1. thank you, Angela! Strangely, it just flowed out of me.

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  5. Awwww it's lovely!! Where are they paddling to!??! I'm curious now!! Yay! Take care
    x

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    1. If you want to know where click on the link...

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  6. Marcy, I missed the news about your job. I know how you enjoyed the animals. :( But as expected, you've bounced back. And I second Alex's comment - so fluent!

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    1. thank you Sheri, and I will miss the animals, especially our resident cat, Mr. Prince.

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  7. That was beautiful. And maybe even a little metaphorical, given your situation. Trust and keep on paddling. Your arms are strong. :)

    Wishing all good things for you in the new year, Marcy.

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    1. Ha! I wish my arms were as strong as the paddling character! Thank you for your good wishes :)

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  8. I hope things get better for you soon on the job front. I love your writing. 2013 is your year to rise to the top!

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    1. Let's hope so cuz I'm ready!

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  9. You gonna take this piece and run ... uh, paddle... with it? Great start.

    Me, I step outside my comfort zone all the time. Otherwise, I'd stay bundled up in bed all day.

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  10. Don't stop. Don't look back; Keep going. That was awesome!

    The only time I'm in my comfort zone is when we visit the LA farm. Of course, there are times when I look like a Halloween cat as some of life's stuff can be scary.

    I think you'll find another job soon, Marcy. You're so talented! And Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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    1. aw, thank you Kitty and I hope I find a job soon, too!

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  11. I am sorry that you lost your job. If you want any help couponing please let me know. It's a great way to save money and it has reduced my stress by a lot.

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    Replies
    1. thank you so much, I may take you up on that offer!

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    2. Anytime. Door is always open.

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  12. Did I know you lost your job? Is that something that happened while my head was buried in WRiTE CLUB??

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    1. no owrries, DL, write club was CRAZY for you I know - but most enjoyable for us :)

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  13. Sorry to hear about your job. I'm sure you'll bounce back and it may just be a blessing in disguise. =)

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    1. that's what I'm hoping, Elizabeth, a blessing in disguise.

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  14. stress makes writing difficult. i hope employment or some opportunity finds you soon!
    dealing with your situation is very relateable right now, you could write a story about that...

    this was a good flash, i felt the tired urgency to reach land, i'm not a good swimmer...

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    1. Stress does cramp one's creativity, I'm just hoping I'm on the other side of that now.

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  15. being without a job is the most stressful thing ever. Due to financial worldwide crises the publishers in my country aren't in great situation either, so this was my poorest year ever since I started my career six years ago :( Hope next one will be better for both of us, my dear.

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    1. It is, Dezzy, and thank you for your kind thoughts :)

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  16. Stress does not really help with writing.

    Hopefully things improve soon.

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  17. Great opening -- chapter 1, eh? Stick with it!

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  18. I liked it. I'm heading over to read the rest.

    On another note, sometimes when I'm stressed, I write about what's bothering me. From there, I usually find a compelling story to tell.

    I hope you have an wonderful holiday.

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  19. Oh, I like it. Very peaceful. You set the scene beautifully.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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