I’ve taken to jotting down random sentences when little blocks of free time open up--as I stand in line at the market or occasionally sitting alone in a restaurant when I've forgotten to bring a book. These unedited ideas may find themselves in one of my novels, a work of nonfiction, or a folder labeled "snippets," my file of little darlings that I hope to bring back to life one day.
Sometimes I make up a story about what I see in the space around me, or borrow an idea from a movie or song. Other times, maybe something overheard in nearby conversation impresses me. This process doesn't require perfection, just imagination and a good thesaurus. It is intended to help hone my writing skills in an attempt to learn how to achieve a more literary voice:
- A gray line hems the bottom of bulbous thunderheads crawling southwest, and the cotton froth shades patches of sheared alfalfa and barley below.
- In the town square, heat–smothering and oppressive–is an unstoppable furnace boiling concrete, frying leaves, and burning shiny
- A harvest of thoughts displaced by feathery dandelion seeds rooting in open spaces intended for sentimental memories, bouts of inspiration, and deliberate efforts at appreciation.
- Skin of newborn babes is coated with a sweet perfume, better than puppy breath. Tiny, soft fingers curl tenderly about one of mine, a mighty grip for all the power it holds.
- The taste of unspoken anger tightened like a knot of congealed raw beef lodged at the back of his throat.
- Chanting to gain enlightenment in a dreadful situation, loving messages clearly point out commendable solutions. Yet, aware that even as the vibrating mantras tickle the top of my palette, I still fully intend to let loose my ego's need for contention.
What have you jotted down lately? Please share a creative sentence or phrase here.