I'm a creative writing book junkie (from the highbrow -- this is how I did it and I'm Norman Mailer! The Spooky Art, which isn't half bad if you can get past Norman doing his Norman Mailer imitation to the new-agey this is how you can tell your own personal story as a fairytale, soap opera, mime show). What better way to avoid writing than to read about how to write better? Lucky for me, I've almost exhausted all the popular ones and truth be told, I've gotten at least one good thing from all of them, a tip that made the go of it easier, something to pass along to my students, or a writing exercise that offers up something other than the pedantic describe this room if you were a) a child, b) a fixture on the wall, or c) an animal. Don't get me started on point of view animal.
My favorite exercise of late comes from a book called Now Write! about writing a ghost story. Sucker that I am for Halloween, you'd think that I had lots of horror stories written, that I would love the gothic forms. This would be wrong. Despite my love of the slasher movies of yore, I can't produce one. The only blood on my page is the blood running out of my eyes when I'm not writing well. The exercise urges the writer to figure out what kind of ghost would pick him or her to write his or her story. The idea is that the ghost, while being distinct from you, is someone with whom you share something, a correspondence as it were. While I feel it's safe to say that there are a fair number of people haunting me, I'm not sure who would choose me, and Halloween is almost here. I'm feeling pretty haunted these days -- I suppose that's a start.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"All poems are love poems." Raymond Carver
Drinking movie suggestion: All That Jazz
Benedictions and Maledictions
A Monday morning question for those want one: If you wrote a ghost story, what would your ghost be like?