Now we turn to the most powerful words of our craft - verbs. Nouns, even when coloured by their adjectives, are devoid of life until a verb comes along to propel them into action.
As with the “adjective noun collisions”, for this first exercise you will have a list of nouns and a list of verbs, and it is up to you to create your own interesting prompt by colliding one from each list.
So you could have moonlight tumbling, a handkerchief exhaling or autumn pleading. See what interesting framings you can come up with!
The moonlight pleads as it watches her clutching the skyline, crumbling an empire in her hands. Ambient light washes over her face like a shower of renewal, she can feel the free flowing peace in the moon’s embrace like a chick pecking its way out of an egg. The moon watches as she transcends from the lunar sphere, limitless sensual passion unfolding into a six petaled lotus. A snake pulsates up her spine towards the sahasrana’s thousand petals. The moon left alone, yearning for her return, luring her with fantasy, fiction, and dreams, knowing that in her Jupiterian state of pure mercy and understanding, she will not succumb. The scent of fresh lightning laced with vanilla rising from her body to greet the lunar circle, the sound of waves tickling the shoreline, the moon feels it all. Suddenly, the moon feels her like a wand entering a half full chalice. She is not physically present now, but she is one with everything. The rustling of the leaves as her soul slips up the unseen tree is more felt than heard, connecting circles and lines to threads running through all of nature, all of existence. The moon plead for a companion, and has found more. Hearts left unbeating, the moon is no longer pleading, it’s cup now full.
Black and blue, the external and internal shades of the sombre painting. Monochrome nightmare, cold sweat like daggers down each individuals face, from the grave the malice still lingers. Nightmares buried, but the heaviness lifting from spectators chests. Air rushing out the door at the final farewell, a choir exhales in unison at the funerals end. The monster that kept so many with bated breaths, holding souls for ransom now taken to the place he tried to recreate on earth. Smiles enter the faces of many for the first time, stretching the muscles seldom used.
I was drawn in straight away, I love the scent of fresh lightning and vanilla, reminds me of one of the dry storms we have where its a sweet smell of rain onto dust. Beautifully written.
The first line has so many levels! Black and blue fits perfectly for: bruised corpse, funeral attire and sad mood, Picasso blue period paintings, and also the color of someone holding his breath (relating back to exhale). That is an awesome starting line. The transition from black and blue into a monochrome nightmare makes it feel like an attendee getting lost, sucked into another plane. The air rushing out the door also ties back into exhale and provides a tactile sensation for the reader. The most interesting part is trying to figure out is the person being buried a monster or a victim. The loose wording allows for either interpretation which is cool. Overall your visual and tactile sensory language is really strong here, some of the other senses are little less utilized, but I don’t want to notice because of how well-written the rest is.
My hands scrape black soil, to sever the umbilical connection of yellow fruit from her stalky home. In this autumn remembering, the chill of fading summer haunts my exposed neck. I remember, the broken winter that laid a blanket over the earth and held still while life revisited her roots, fell back into the inky, frozen ground, and dreamed of unthawing. I remember the whimpering sky of spring, a blessed unveiling. I remember the tending and unearthing and unfolding of the soil, the soft divots I crafted to cradle hopeful seeds. I remember basking in the play of summer, and how the sun’s fire warmed the belly of the earth. I remember how I marveled at gentle, temperate rain that gifted these earthen nurseries. I remember the miracle of sweetness growing on the vine, an offering back to the keepers of the land. Fruit, it weighs heavy in my hand now, an offering of love and sustenance and remembering as trees unburden their limbs and winter gathers over the mountaintops.
This is definitely very psychedelic, and I really like how many different styles and moods you capture in your writings. I also love the fresh lightning laced with vanilla and the waves tickling the shoreline. I always find myself reading your entries multiple times, because they spark a lot of curiosity and are not always straightforward. I want to know who the “she” is, the sky?? Anyway, I do appreciate the way your writing makes me think and connect new and different concepts. Nice job!!
The hands scraping the black soil is a great opener because it covers three senses for me (I can feel cool moist earth in my hands, I can hear the scrape, and I can smell the dirt). The use of “sever” is interesting, because it contrasts the lilting and peaceful feel of the rest of the passage. It is really neat the way that it isn’t autumn giving you chills, so much as the lingering ghost of summer. The miracle of sweetness from the vine is a great phrase, I am picturing a pumpkin here. The feeling of ripe fruit being heavier than you would think is an awesome muscle sensory. All in all, I really enjoyed it. The only real critique is that I felt like autumn was not remembering so much as the protagonist. But, it works.
This is probably going to be another let down, but once I got “Moonlight pleaded” in my head, I kept picturing a woman doing yoga on a hill overlooking a city and meditating to escape the hustle and bustle on a peaceful evening. I guess I was trying to paint her soul as actually achieving movement from one plane to another, and the moon looking on is awe, but also kind of afraid because the people in the city have forgotten that the moon is even there. The moon felt like this woman is his sole companion, watching her graceful movements and her silent peace. Again, your idea that the “she” is the sky or some other object is far more interesting than my literal inspiration. Thank you for sharing!
I definitely thought it might be a woman as well! And I also love that concept! I don’t think my interpretation is more interesting at all and it’s so cool that your writing can inspire multiple viewpoints
I really like the way you have you weave through the seasons, revealing something magic about the interaction it has with this patch of earth that provides for you. Especially all the imagery of what the soil is/behaves like i’ve never thought of the the soil “unfolding” when I’ve planted something but it certainly does!
I really love the line, “the sun’s fire warmed the belly of the earth.” So beautiful!
The furry socks tickle her toes as she puts them on, and the orange cardigan rests nicely over her summer dress. She ties a soft cotton apron around her waist, while gazing over at the marked-up calendar. She begins to hum soothingly, bustling about. First, she starts by digging her fingernails into the loamy earth, carving out resting places for all those who scurry and wiggle. Next, she gently rocks the trees to the rhythm of a sleepy lullaby. Their red and yellow leaves float down and blanket the newly homed wigglers, as they all let out one last squeaky yawn. She whistles to her winged friends, and rubs her cheek against their downy feathers, before bidding them adieu. Her fungi friends knock on the door, and her belly shakes as she laughs at their spongy hats. They join in the final chorus together, drinking hot tea and recalling their time underground, until the sun goes down, and they all fall asleep, huddled together and warm for the long night.
(so… this is different for me… lol… but I just went with it )
It is really fun to see the idea of getting dressed and the tactile and visual sensations that come along with it. Also, you are getting much better at showing and not telling, properly using adverbs and adjectives to drive a point, but not letting them back the reader into a corner. I love the “scurry and wiggle” line. It is really cool to see her experiencing autumn like this. My interpretation of this is really cool, I picture the protagonist as some sort of witch or mutant who has powers to communicate and feel nature. The reason I say that it to show you (hopefully) you had something else in your mind, but because of the room you left while keeping things descriptive, my mind picked out the narrative. Well done!
No snow grows in autumn but winter waits, patiently, around the corner, ready to strike. Pictures snap like stems of leaves from their trees, and we all float on, slowing our inevitable plunge 6 feet under. The snow. The dirt. The pile of leaves in the front yard.
Crunchy leaves lie in piles, now soggy, half-finished raisin bran my brother left in the bowl too long, sour to taste and smell. Autumn pleads. “Let me stay, I can create more crunch if you give me time.” She rounds the corner and winter is waiting.
The assonance and alliteration in the first sentence add to the enjoyment, while still providing solid imagery. Pictures snapping like stems is a great simile. The soggy cereal metaphor is great as well. And the plea itself is fantastic. The only real critique have is “sour to the taste and smell”. That leans a little more “tell-y” than “show-y”. For instance if it said something like “curdled milk to my palate and rotting citrus to my sinuses” (just as an example) it may show more than just tell us “sour”. Great work!
Pleading Handkerchief–Considering I have covid, this seems appropriate.
The handkerchief fights the corners of my raw nose, pleading for a break. Candied grape coats my mouth and drains in its best imitation of molasses. ‘New Great Flavor’ injects doubt into the promise of ’24-Hour Relief’. I cough up the thumbtacks I somehow swallowed in the night. The handkerchief sits sprawled limp and lifeless in my hand mirroring my fatigue. Energy seeps out of me as water through a sieve as I toss it with its kin and grab another. A feather’s tickle prophesizes its drowning. The release valves in my chest malfunction, creating an imbalance with each miniature breath, until the top blows. My back groans in tandem with my throat from the overtime work.
That first sentence is really great, super identifiable and relatable. The metaphor for cough syrup is well executed. This is really good stuff, especially considering you are not feeling well. Hope you recover soon!