Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Technique'N: Know Your Irresistology!

The Five Sense-Ational Symbols you can't resist!
Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, Hearing

Your senses know who you are,
ohhhh yes they do!
And your senses can,
individually or in combination,
kick-start your writing.

Let's just take smell & go for a walk with it:
Some of my own
'nostril essentials'
jasmine, rose, gardenia,
fresh-ground coffee,
rain steaming off hot concrete,
new-mown grass,
Zoe's fur after she's been laying
in the sun, on her window ledge, snoozin'.
Whenever any of these smells
waft up in my vicinity,
my pen starts twitching. 
True story!
How can I not write about
a steaming cup o'java,
my sweet feline beastie,
RAIN!  (In Phoenix?  C'mon!)

So tell me, what tickles your nose hairs?

All of our senses have
specialized triggers that
swoop us up like magic carpets
and whisk & wind us past
all possible writer's blocks,
whether distraction,
downright laziness,
a long list of 'shoulds',
an empty list of ideas.

Oh that is soooOOOooo easy for me: 
My Mainstays: 
Heart, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell
certain soundtracks
Stevie Ray Vaughan
But the birds that
sing to me every morning & afternoon
out on my patio roost?
Music of a different, necessary kind.

What enters your audio channels &
transports you,
moves you to write?


Even words/phrases are trigger enough,
because of what your mind &
memory associate with them.
These are mine, but
feel free to make them your own!

What if
you have a head swarming with
your day,
your ideas,
to-do lists,
juicy overheard bits of dialogue,
to the point that you
don't even know where to start?
May I suggest these five classics:
[Try answering each of those with only one word.
G'head, I dare ya's.]

the scans you've been seeing
are rubber stamp images
I keep in my blue binder,
alongside my personal symbols.
These images,
one & all, comprise the
large part of my
library of irresistible symbols.
I haven't analyzed,
[and don't/won't analyze]
WHY they work.
But I'll tell you what,
they DO work,
& that's all I want
when my pen needs a push.



  1. You are an amazing womyn and thank you for all the sharing with us you do.

  2. One of my favorite smells, that I still miss, was my albino cockateil, Angel's fragrance. A bird smells of talc, and cinnamon, and I wish I could describe it to you....but I would hold her to my nose and in my hands, and smell her as she softly chortled to me and fluffed.

    I miss her.

  3. Sue Monk Kidd's works have always peeled away layers of fear, creative blocks, uncertainty. My first mixed media piece was a reaction to her The Secret Life of Bees novel, as I was left wanting more when I finished reading. The Mermaid Chair urged me to find a baby's stool at a garage sale, religious notions to attach, colors of the sea and secrets.

    Seeing the quick mist of citrus oil as I peel away the clementine peel. Feeling the fleece nose of my daughter's rag doll. The gentle click of sea glass as I roll pieces in my palm. The unfurling of a fern frond. Laughter dancing across the lawn from a neighbor's backyard. That first moment of dark chocolate melting from the roof of my mouth and spreading across my tongue like a safe blanket. Those are some of the things that get me through the "I can't do it" patches when trying to art. ~Lipika

  4. I love the idea of a library of irresistible symbols! I've suffered so much with artist/writer's block recently, and you're giving me loads of ideas for getting through that. Thank you, my scorched-earth, rain-dreaming Muse.

    Oh, here's a thought about artistic block: love and contentment are antagonistic to my artistic process! I've come across lots of interesting references to this recently, including a review from the Telegraph about a new biography about the marriage of Antonia Fraser and Harold Pinter. He was so contented during those years, and did not produce any of his greater works in that time. Misery suits many a writer too well (*wink*).
    What do you think?


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