Go Like This

Prompt: Why do you blog?


Hello Wednesday,

There are lots of tips and strategies out there for overcoming the dreaded writer’s block, many of them Internet clickbait full of obvious and unhelpful instruction (“Just sit down and write!”). I’ve been trying one of the recommended tactics— taking a break from the blank page. This is ideal for someone as lazy as myself, and has had the predictable result (a lot of blank pages).

So how about if I just sit down and write. No edits. Here goes. Any minute now. I feel it coming. Ready? Ok.

Alec Baldwin has one blue eye and one green eye. He is stockier than most people realize, and prefers jeans and a plaid cotton shirt to a crisp dark suit. He is used to the privileges of being a well-paid star and was rather abrupt in his attempt to flirt with me. 

“Sit here,” he said loudly, pointing to an empty chair across from him, as I passed by his crowded table. Sit here? I didn’t even know the man. I walked on.

I was wearing a sleeveless white and navy chevron pattern summer dress, tightly cinched at the waist, and black and white striped platform sandals. 

My sister didn’t believe that Alec Baldwin had invited me, albeit curtly, to sit at his table. In fact, she didn’t believe the man I pointed out to her was Alec Baldwin. 

On second glance, he did look a bit rough around the edges. 

But that is my sister’s role, to invade my dreams with spoilers, and this time I refused to allow it.

Alec Baldwin and his entourage were heading towards the exit on a path that had them pass right beside my sister and I. Perhaps he was leaving because the woman he chose had rebuffed him, and would try his luck elsewhere. In any case he breezed by me as if I were invisible and I felt, rather than saw, my sister’s smirk.

But in passing he clasped my hand and I was jolted along the path to the exit, and we all tumbled outside.

His blue and green eyes were about as clear and full of mischief as I could have hoped. His skin was smoother. He didn’t kidnap me. I shoplifted him.


I’ll just should go straight to the Wednesday cartoons now. Unrelated to prompts, Alec Baldwin, or writer’s block, may I present a few of my recent favourites?

 

cartoon firemen

cartoon duel

cartoon firemen


Serenity now.

~~FP

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Still Life with Chocolate Cake

Prompt: Superpower


Hello Wednesday!

I’ve been busy with Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), having completely changed the novel almost half-way in— as if the challenge isn’t daunting enough for me as it is. So I’ve neglected Fluffy Poolity and have some catching up to do!

When I haven’t been also neglecting household duties and ignoring friends and being housebound and opening cans of soup for dinner, I’ve been rigorously trying to go Trump-free since his presidency keeps outstripping every low— subterranean—expectation. When he goes low, he then goes lower. I now talk like a millennial: I just can’t…

So it calms me to think of a world where Trump is no longer in my face. I wish the man no harm; just happily dream about his retirement, which is what I love about the following collection of sketches. Hope you enjoy too.

trump_paintings_USE_this_051917


Peace and love,

~~FP

Perhaps the Room is Too Warm

Prompt: None, it’s NaNoWriMo!

cartton suffer writer


Dear Wednesday,

Here we go on another miserable yet wonderful adventure, also called National Novel Writing Month. I’ve done my 1600 words for the day for a novel tentatively titled Cherity, about something or other I’m not entirely sure of. Anyway, in the first chapter a bomb goes off. Fun!

In keeping with this theme of writing, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, which I did not present yesterday because it was Halloween and ghosts were more important?

cartoon-you-write-to-penny-my-darling-ex-wife-who-nurtured-me-and-suppo-new-yorker-cartoon_a-G-9178976-8419449

cartoon procrastinating-writer-writing-on-paper-about-his-writing-implements-and-h-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9173157-8419447

cartoon-here-it-is-my-novel-i-ll-be-interested-to-hear-your-compliments-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9181104-8419449


The middle cartoon is me around Nano: I prevaricate, procrastinate, delay, clean my keyboard, download writing apps, try to print out worksheets, order printer ink, wonder what else Staples has on sale, brush the dog, and google “What’s a cool injury”? because I am so bereft of ideas.

To any of you also starting your 50,000 word novel draft today (try it!) good luck and happy writing!

~~FP

Corn for Tallness

Prompt: Express yourself


My dear Wednesday,

I (and you, and anyone) have the opportunity to express myself (yourselves) for thirty days this November, which is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, or Nano. The idea is to sit down with a fresh sheet of real or virtual blank paper and start writing— about 1600 words per day for a total of 50,000 words (about the length of Catcher in the Rye) by the end of the month. A first draft of a book. A novel. Written by me/ you.

I’ve met the challenge every five or six times I’ve “competed”— it is an honour system tally. You post your word count to the NaNoWriMo website and your finished manuscript, which they mechanically verify and then declare you a Winner. You get to print out a full colour certificate, frame it, and hang it on the wall of your office or dining room or nail it to the fence.

I am generally a “pantser” which means I start writing without the benefit of detailed outline, as opposed to a “plotter” who organizes most the structure, theme, plot, and characters ahead of time.

This year I am trying the Save the Cat formula, which divides the story into three acts with specific pivotal plot points (called Beats) in each. So I actually have a story outline, but as yet no defined hero character at all.

I realize plot and character are interactive; each forms part of the other. As the plot affects the character, so does the character affect the plot.

…So what makes a compelling character?

I await your answer.

Seriously.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, only the first of which is even tangentially related to today’s casual prompt, “express yourself”?

cartoon decorator-farming-new-yorker-cartoon_a-G-9180543-8419447

cartoon freshly-ground-pepper-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9476900-8419449

cartoon man-on-deserted-island-writes-tuesday-nov-27-dear-diary-still-no-si-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9168868-8419449


Peace, love, and lots of writing,

~~FP

Sincere and Day 3

Prompt: Sincere

cartoon-epiphany

I sincerely like the above cartoon.

Meanwhile, back at NaNoWriMo Day 3, I am almost overwhelmed at the prospect of seriously editing, enhancing, and expanding something I’ve previously written. It is a challenge I did not expect.

In art class, there was the concept of “preciousness”, which was the point at which an artist felt afraid to build on a work they felt was already meaningful and well-executed, if imperfect. This notion can be paralyzing. It is very much the same with writing, but in a much tighter, more immediately recognizable way.

Creative arts are scary and challenging. To be an artist, to find our path and to communicate it in a voice that is uniquely ours, we need to forget superficial rules, trust our instincts, and be alert to the innate sincerity of what we want to say.

Like everything I write, with Nano I want to express what is deep inside, however strange or unconventional or mean or sentimental.

What do you think?