In which I try to revive a blog before it’s completely dead…

So this is me, quietly sneaking back into my blog in the dead of midnight (it’s not actually midnight) hoping no one’s around to witness it. Upon realizing it’s almost been a year since I’ve last written, I’ve decided to pop my head in (as I am currently too sick to do much else) and breathe a sickly breath of life into my blog. (Sorry, blog.)

What have I been doing for the past year? Well, mostly putting the nagging thoughts in my head to sleep: “Shh…go to bed. What? Of course, I’ll write a blog post…tomorrow. Sure, sure. Now sleep.” It was only a few weeks ago that I was suddenly reminded of how I had abandoned this blog. *Quietly pushes away the ghosts of past dead blogs*.

The next week, I grabbed my DSLR camera and touted it around Chicago, determined to put some exciting content on the blog. Look at this delicious brunch I ate! This delicious cup of hot coffee on a pleasantly sunny winter afternoon. This amazing multi-story used bookstore with enough subjects crammed into it to put most libraries to shame and plastic dinosaurs lining the uppermost shelves. Or this cozy, eclectic shop filled with indie graphic novels and literary magazines, among other unique local works.

So where are these pictures, you ask? Well, I may have gotten caught up in the moment and forgotten to take pictures. Also, I don’t think Myopic Bookstore even allows pics, so I get a free pass on that one. With that said, if you’re in the area, do check out both Myopic and Quimby’s in Wicker Park! They’re both worth a visit (or two)!

In any case, what I’m trying to say is…I’m back!

*Also, if any part of this doesn’t make sense, I’d like to remind you that I’m sick.

From Abstract to Concrete

Here’s a passage from The Martian Chronicles that I thought would make an excellent writing exercise. Here, Ray Bradbury describes time using nearly all of the five senses:

“There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did Time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time looked like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, one hundred billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight—Tomás shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck—tonight you could almost touch Time.”

Similarly, pick an abstract idea and try describing it using the five senses. For example, what does Hope smell like? What does Deceit sound like? Does Freedom have a taste? In doing this exercise, you might come across unique ways to represent otherwise abstract concepts.

Writing Warm-Up 3-31-17

Today’s random first line:

“In this hour, we began to change beyond our limits.”

March is coming to a close. As promised, here are my thoughts on my month-long writing challenge.

The wonderful thing about creative writing is that it expands and restricts according to you. In short, it is only limited by you. As a neurotic perfectionist, I’m prone to reigning myself in and drawing boundaries on my own work: “Here’s a line you cannot cross.”

In approaching my writing as something I could shed and throw away, I was able to unshackle myself from the critic inside my head. Don’t get me wrong. This voice comes back when I’m working on a permanent project, but for 15 minutes, I could write with a reckless abandon that did not care. It didn’t have to make sense, be beautiful, or illuminate.

You know how you’re supposed to find love when you’re not looking for it? In a similar fashion, when I stopped looking for beauty in my writing, I found it in unexpected places. If not in a sentence, in a thought, a sound, or an emotion.

So my final thoughts are this:

  • Writing takes practice.
  • Practice can be messy, imperfect, and meaningless.
  • And that’s okay.

Writing Warm-Up 3-30-17

Today’s random first line:

“The manager was puzzled—someone had squeezed his entire stock of toothpaste on the floor.”

And some Twitter writing hashtag games I’ll be participating in next month:

I don’t know if I’ll be able to do all four every day, but I’ll be doing them as often as I can. If you want to see my answers, you can follow me here @essipark. 🙂

Will you be taking part in any of these? Let me know if you are!