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The Time Is Now, Week 16
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mgannon@pw.org

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Apr 19, 2012, 12:55 PM

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 The Time Is Now          April 19, 2012  
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Welcome to this week's installment of The Time Is Now. Let's get writing...

POETRY PROMPT
Imagine today that the universe is trying to send you a message. Try to see everything through this imagined perspective. Take note of the day's incidentals that are working to convey this message to you: the guy walking toward you on the street wearing your brother's favorite color, the petals of the same color blowing in the wind, a sign you notice with a saying that strikes you, how the quality of light conjures a past event. Write a poem using these collected images and impressions that reveals the message. 

 

FICTION PROMPT
Aimee Phan, author of The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, wrote in Writers Recommend, "I don't intentionally scrapbook for inspiration, but that always ends up happening. I will see a graphic or image, or hear a song on the radio, and start to collect them for characters whose perspectives I am about to inhabit." Adopt Phan's practice as your own this week. Collect images, songs, magazine articles, matchbooks, etc., and begin to image how these items inform the perspective of a character you want to write about. After a week of collecting, write a character sketch.

CREATIVE NONFICTION PROMPT

In her essay "Total Eclipse" from Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters (Harper Collins, 1982), Annie Dillard recalls traveling to the top of a mountain to witness a total solar eclipse. The darkness she discovered as the sun disappeared, in a world suddenly without light, was incomprehensible and terrifying, but also illuminating. "What I saw," she writes, "what I seemed to be standing in, was all the wrecked light that the memories of the dead could shed upon the living world." Write about a time when you disappeared into darkness--whether by your own choosing or not--and emerged again into the light, with a new understanding.

 

THE BEST BOOKS FOR WRITERS
Each week we recommend a book--a newly published title or an invaluable classic--that will help you on your writing journey. This week's pick: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The May/June 2012 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine features a special section on writing contests, profiles of David St. John, Ben Fountain, and Nell Freudenbergerliterary agent advice, and more! 
Poets & Writers is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers. Founded in 1970, it is the nation's largest nonprofit literary organization for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Learn more at pw.org.

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