Mark your calendars. On January 19th, the day marking the 200th birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, there will be a free world web premier of the feature film Poe, Last Days of the Raven.
Who knew? I had no idea…good thing I watched that Philadelphia New Year’s Day Mummers Parade or I’d be in the dark about Poe’s 200th birthday. I would certainly hate to miss this party. I’m thinking something special should be planned; I’ll get to that later. It is a Monday, figures, how apropoe (wink) that Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday would land on the worst day of the week.
Tell me why, I don’t like Mondays…sorry I digress…hmmm, Boomtown Rats, Poe might have liked that.
Here is some creative fun for a daily exercise, let’s stretch our imaginations and comment on what musical artists or what songs Poe would be a fan of today…any time after his death, don’t worry if you divulge your age, the more macabre the merrier.
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Having been out of actively practicing my dream of writing, I’ve let magazine subscriptions lapse to some of my favorites that used to keep me up to date on numerous topics including contests and the like. I made sure to pick up the October edition of Writer’s Digest and found that they run a short story contest where you are given a prompt and write 750 words from it.
Contest #14 is in progress now and needs to be submitted by Friday, October 10th. You can enter by e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or submitting online at writersdigest.com/yourstory where you must be registered to vote in mid-October. Writer’s Digest selects the top five for voter consideration at their online forum (forum.writersdigest.com).
The prompt: “A man receives a package with no return address. It contains a pirate-style eye patch and a note.”
I’m thinking of doing it. This sounds fun.
I must lose myself in action,
lest I wither in despair.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Here is a lesson for the writer’s toolbox. Lose yourself in action. To be a writer we must do nothing less than write. Write as much as possible. Exercise your brain and write with no pen and paper. Just because it is not put down to paper does not mean you labor in vain. Write in your head when you read, rewrite the classics, rewrite the literary disasters you come across…figuratively of course, no plagiarism allowed folks.
If you act the writer, you will be the writer.
The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You’re there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see – every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties.
Here is a little something for the writer’s toolbox, from the mouth of Graham Greene himself. Do you find yourself doing it? Or worse yet do others see you doing it? My favorite spying is listening. Hang on to every word, oh, you know what they really meant to say by the tone in which they said it. You don’t even have to see the look on the person’s face that heard it sometimes. You hope they didn’t just see you shake your head thinking, “Oh no I didn’t just hear that.”
Today’s exercise is simple. Slow down. Take a moment to let a thought enter your mind. Give it a chance to come in, welcome it, embrace it, kick it around some. Think inside and outside of it. Don’t delay, hurry up and slow down.
What happens when you slow down or are you living on fast forward?