An Exercise in Gorgeous Words: The Whiskers

January 12, 2010 at 9:12 am 2 comments

Exercise One, Steering the Craft: Be aware of the sound of your writing. Be gorgeous with your words — use onomatopoeia, alliteration, repetition, rhythmic effect, made-up words or names, dialect — any kind of sound-effect.

And so I try:

They push, they poke, they proudly wave to everyone I meet.
Coarse, cautiously peeking at first; but then boldly, blindingly brandishing their existence.
My whiskers.
Sometimes I am in a hurry. Shower and hair and a quick bowl of cereal. Warm pajamas exchanged for the cold reality of the day. Bursting out the door, keys in hand, car whisking down the driveway.
On my way.
My first stop sign. My first moment to breathe deeply, to inhale the day ahead with its errands and job and worries. My second chance to look in the mirror. This one smaller, closer, in the bright light of sunshine.
Oh dear. How could I have missed that? How could I have not seen that slithering snake escaping my chin? It pushes and pokes and proudly waves at me.
I do not wave back! Instead I turn toward home and tweezers. I must hurry if I am to win this battle.
In private, I push. I poke. I proudly wave the purloined pest. Today I have won!
But the war? Who will win this whiskery war?

: Do you want to join me on this writing journey? What happened today or yesterday? Choose a moment, an event, an interaction, an overheard conversation. Write a gorgeous sentence or two or three about it. Use the ‘comments’ box to share.


Entry filed under: Steering the Craft_Writing Exercises.

Steering the Craft, by Ursula K. Le Guin Trying again…an exercise in gorgeous words: The Birthday

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lainie Levin  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Squeezing in with boy and dog on a bed that will only feel smaller with time, knowing the boy’s toes will soon poke farther than mine.

    Leaning close, half-sneaking sniffs of a freshly-shampooed head while arguing over who has to read the longer pages, knowing bedtime will someday be solo.

    Trusting to the darkness my memory as I recite our favorite books from when the bed had bars, knowing that some things always remain.

    • 2. Sue Black  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:43 am

      Thanks for joining me, Lainie!! Lovely moment — gorgeously articulated — in your day. sbb


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