Thursday, October 20, 2011

One in a Million

A few days ago I picked this picture for a group writing prompt exercise. When I saw it, I immediately recalled a couple of hours I spent walking around that very beach on South Georgia Island ten years ago. I expected to write about the haunting din of penguin trumpeting, the smell of slimy guano, and the incredible sensation of being one of only a few dozen humans among a hundred thousand denizens of the Shanghai of penguindom.

Not surprisingly, when I looked more closely at the picture and began to write, a different story came out:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Materials May Shape the Message

Materials we use to write may shape our results. My current journal has soft brown recycled paper pages, slightly crinkled and earthy feeling. My pen has the slightest bit of drag, creating a sense of connection with nature. Perhaps this earthy setting prompted an unusual recent experience.

My hand had stopped moving while my thoughts followed a tangent.  When I noticed this, I resumed writing, picking up in the  middle of my abandoned sentence. After writing a few words, I was visually transported into a forest, walking along a brown, fern-edged path shaded by leafy green boughs. The path stretched ahead only a couple of hundred feet before disappearing around a bend. I had no idea where it led.