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The First Newsletter

16 Years Ago

Up Close Newsletter



These newsletters are to encourage self-discovery as you continue along your journey in writing.  There will be tips, ideas, and exercises in each newsletter. Although I will be adding my personal touch to each newsletter, they are very much based off various writing books and websites that I will reference at the bottom of each. (Should you want to purchase or look up the material yourself.)

Quote of the Week:

"If you want to write, you must begin by beginning, continue by continuing, finish by finishing."

 Showing Up to Work

             The last time I touched my writing before a couple of weeks ago was the probably at the end of last May. MAY!  That's almost an entire year when you think about it.  What makes some writers do this? Why are we so inconsistent in our writing-- writing crazily for a month then going cold turkey?  We begin to doubt ourselves.  It's that mini back-seat writer propped devishily on our shoulder.  Your ideas seem too stale or not original enough.  The work you labored over so intensely the week before seems like a big waste of time. When people say you are creative, you may feel like a fraud.  Then writing goes from something enjoyable to hard work.

               So you decide to sleep in one day.  Then the next day you'd rather scrub the toilet than get near that very-rough-rough draft.  The cycle of avoidance and procrastination continues until weeks have rolled into months.

                 Writing is hard work, and there will be times you will feel like throwing in your pen. WE all have our creative ups and downs.  If you are going to start treating it like work, then you might as well be present at your 'job'. "Showing up is the main thing. Get to the desk regularly.  You'll find you have no end of ideas if you can make writing a regular habit.  Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of being successful in life is just showing up."   

Related Exercise:

Prompt: Writer Thomas McGuane goes to his study at a certain time every day and stays there for a scheduled length of time.  He sits at his desk. "I don't have to write," he explains, "but I can't do anything else."  Try his approach for a week, scheduling a specific period of time, during which you must sit at your desk or whereever you write. You don't have to write, but you can't do anything else. [The time of day can affect your creativity. Make note of whether you are more creative in the morning, afternoon or night.  Do write best with music on? In silence? Play with it.]

This Week's Writing Prompt: (You may post your writing from the prompt within this thread on the forum.)

You're going to be on a new reality TV show. Describe the new show and your role on it.


References: "Showing Up to Work" based off of The Writer's Idea Book by Jack Heffron

                 Writing Prompt originally from archives on writerdigest.com


America's Most Ugliest Girl

16 Years Ago

Hello. Below is my writing prompt about being in a new reality tv show. This is what I come up with. I honesty don't watch a lot of reality tv shows, so I had a little trouble writing this. I'd appreciate it if you can provide some feedback and suggestions. Thanks!


America's Most Ugliest Girl

America's searching for a new girl. No, not the typical beauty pageant type. This is America's search for the most ugliest one. Yes, that's right. America wants a girl whose face would make Ugly Betty look like the average preteenaged girl; a face that would shame Big Foot and Quasimodo. More than a thousand girls from across the country have auditioned. Only twenty made the cut. I'm one of the lucky ones and I will prove with my tangled auburn brown hair, pale sensitive skin, and my pudgy dog-like face that I can be the most ugliest girl in America. For twenty weeks I competed with the other girls who are vigorously working their best to look as hideous as they possibly can. The judges would eliminate one girl each week either because she was just not ugly enough or she didn't try hard enough. Competition begins to seem more fierce when it goes down to a nerdy blonde with braces, and a red head with a freckled face, and me -- a girl with the tangled auburn brown hair, pale sensitive skin, and the pudgy dog-like face. Who will become America's most ugliest girl?

French reality game show...Tour au Souris

16 Years Ago

Not to be out-done French television are also looking into new, reality game shows.  The latest one for which I had the opportunity of taking part was called Trick or Gerbil.  That's the English translation....Tour au Souris in French.  Basically, the idea was for gerbil owners, those little furry rodents, (I mean the gerbils not the owners) would each week, train their pet gerbil to do a trick.  The knockout stages were quite simple, getting them to sit, walk to heel, beg, and balance balls on their noses.  The most annoying thing for many contestants was getting the gerbil trained to satisfactory standard, and then the creature snuffs it on camera.

 We are now into the finals, in which we develop our own tricks to teach the gerbil, with audience participation by telephone voting for the weekly gerbil elimination.  The final exclusion is between three of us.  There is Mike Snorkel with his gerbil named flipper.  Mike has trained his gerbil in the use of aqualung, and intends to drop the animal into a full size swimming pool where it will perform such feats as catching fish.

Next contestant is Dave Freefall with his gerbil Featha.  Dave’s gerbil has learned sky diving. The TV remote cameras will be strapped to Featha’s back, and he will be tossed out of a plane at thirty thousand feet.  

My own entry, which I have a lot of confidence in, is a lady gerbil called Phoenix.  I went to great pains to train her in the art of fire eating.  It was a little expensive in gerbils, as many of them got rather badly “toasted” during the trial runs.  I trust you will all wish me "bonne chance" in the show…