Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Flowers

April -- the Angel of the Months. -- Vita Sackville-West

Who is your secret self? You must have at least one! The secret self is how you view yourself from the inside out. Sometimes inside I feel like a cross between the fabulously original Barbra Streisand and the worldly-wise Oprah Winfrey. Write a character description of your secret self. Would your secret self make a good protagonist? Maybe your secret self is often the protagonist in your novels and short stories.

This month why not . . .

*Take advantage of the weather and go for a walk. While you are picking them up and putting them down, make a mental list of your favorite five colors. When you get home, look in your closet to see how many items of clothing you have in those colors. If your favorite colors aren't in your wardrobe, why not? Are you saving them for your secret self to wear?

*Treat yourself this month to a trip to the flower shop. Breathe in the mixture of aromas and allow them to seep deeply into your consciousness. Later at home, try to describe the ones you recall most vividly. Jot down the descriptions and be as accurate as possible. Keep these notes. They could come in handy for a future scene in a book or a line of poetry.

*Do you love music? Does it punctuate your life? Make a list of your top five favorite songs. Can you think of a short story premise for each one? What phase of your life does each song represent?

*You've heard of "the feminine mystique." But do you know someone who exudes it? What does "feminine mystique" mean to you and why do you feel this person has it?

Most writers have many stories swimming in their brains -- so many they will never be able to write them all. However, getting down to the business of writing can sometimes scatter those ideas, leaving you with nothing but white noise between your ears. That's when it's good to try some of the creative exercises suggested in this blog. Once you latch onto something fun, your ideas will float to the surface again.

Trust in yourself. Your secret self.