Saturday, September 7, 2013

Writing Prompts

Haven't made a post in a while and I'm sorry.  Being unemployed is taking it's toll, along with other factors in my life.  Some are things I can control.  Many are things I can't control and must take time to deal with.

One continual joy in my life is the monthly Writers Circle at my local library.  The group grows and changes, yet is always full of talented, enjoyable people.  A frequent activity for us is to do a writing exercise, often with a prompt of some kind.  This month, we are writing from a picture, prior to our meeting, and then presenting our creations to each other.

After staring at this picture for long moments, and mulling it over, I came up with what follows.  The inspiration was two fold for me.  I was first inspired by the feeling I was infused with by the photo. The second was the personal connection that feeling brought forth.  Here is the result.  I hope you find something personal here, that it is touching and not saddening.

Lonely Beach
By Kimberly L. McClune
September 7, 2013

Looking out across the gleaming waters                                    
Eyes squinting, hearts pinching                                      
We walked together and yet separate.

Neither the rush of waves nor the glaring sun
Could penetrate our joint solitude.
The cry of a distant gull hung in the air
Just like the longing so ardent in our souls.

Would we ever?

Holding tears behind our eyes
Unwilling to show the pain
Unable to share the depth of feeling
We strode along the water’s edge.

The actual writing prompt was to write a paragraph or poem based on the photo.  I didn't really care which I wrote, I simply wrote what came to me.  In fact, my first scribblings were almost the makings of a paragraph, but I found that what came of this exercise wasn't a little story, rather, it was expressing the emotion that this photo inspired inside me.  My feelings often come in the form of a poem rather than stories.

You may find the same thing as you write, that emotions are expressed in a certain form and that anecdotes and experiences take another.  Perhaps they take the same form for you.  Regardless, I find that I miss writing very much and look forward to making much more time for it in the coming weeks.  I believe that you cannot become accomplished at anything unless you DO IT, and do it a lot.

Writing prompts are a good way to practice your craft.  You can find ideas on the internet with simple searches or challenge yourself or a friend.  You could select a photo, make up a title, or choose a subject for a simple paragraph or four stanza poem.  These exercises can become the basis for a new piece or just stay as an exercise.  Your writing is just that, YOURS!  No one else should tell you exactly what words to write or you are no longer the writer.  

Well, I've to get back to writing, etc.  Take care and enjoy the day.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Been Writing Again

Amid my job searching and grant writing internship work I have had a few moments of inspiration creatively. Here are a few poems I came up with since the first of the year.  Also, I submitted more poems to Poetry Quarterly in hopes of being published again.

By Kimberly L McClune
January 3, 2013

When I am wet, my heart is open
Pliable and easy,
Smooth and bendable.

Mold me with Your spirit
Shape me into Your will
Make me in Your image.

I am Yours
I exist for You
I was created by You.

But when I am dry, I am hard
Coldness seeps in
My heart is closed.

I resist You
Push You away, 
Turn my back on You.

I let fear overwhelm me.
My spirit shudders, fades,
I cower inside, afraid.

My soul is dry, hard clay
Stiff and unyielding

Rain on me!
Make me supple again
Soft and flexible

Bend and shape me
Make me useful,
A jar to hold Your spirit. 

This piece was written in a moment of spiritual searching.  As you can see, I was asking God to make me His own and help me to not rely on my own powers and understanding, but His.  I found great peace in creating this.

Melody and Lyric
By Kimberly L. McClune
April 5, 2013

Lilting tones
Spilling over eardrums,
Slipping into the soul,
Married with sweet harmonies
Create moods in notes
And rhythms.

Stealing upwards
Toward the sky
Happy sounds lift spirits,
To soar with angels,
Carried on melodic themes
And intonations.

Letter formed
Gripping the heart
Touching the soul.
Carefully chosen rhymes
Stories of love
And heartbreak,

Reaching inside
Pulling at thoughts
Tugging at memories.
Told to open hearts,
Tales of sorrow
And joy.

This piece was written specifically for my former Music Professor at Lycoming College who is retiring this year after teacher there for 37 years.  He was very special and I wanted to create something to share with him on his retirement.  This was sent in a package along with some photos and the next poem to be placed in a memory book for him and his family.

On a Song
By Kimberly L. McClune
October 4, 2010

Taking flight,
Soaring in your heart over memories,
Hopes and dreams.

Reaching into yourself,
One moment flowing into another.

Time, captured by a tune,
Lost inside the melody
Held by the words,
Glint of a dream
Shadow of a tear.

While I recently sent this and the previous poem to my college for the memory book, I had written it a few years ago to recount my feelings and thoughts after listening to a particular;y touching song.  Music is an important part of my life, so is writing.  When the two are put together into a song, it is especially moving for me in most cases.  Both of these previous poems have been submitted to Poetry Quarterly as well.

I have written some other pieces since the first of the year, but I don't want to cram too much into this post.  Would that I could spend more time on poetry and stories.  I have several stories and many poems started and in various stages of completion.  Oh that the things that call me away from writing would do themselves so that I could just write and write and write.  Alas, this is but a dream.

I hope that you enjoy these pieces and will watch for another post soon with a few more recent works.