Monday, June 20, 2011

Of Purses, Plots, and Prioritizing - Part I

Purses

Nancy, over at Boomers, Scribblers, and Saints, did a post on what type of handbag she likes and asked us what we preferred. You can find her link on my blogroll.

While this purse's size might be described as generous, it doesn't come close to the one I carry around. At a recent Women's Ministries' meeting, a friend called it, "a duffle bag." I admit it. Carrying a big purse gives me a sense of security. Everything is at my fingertips from my wallet to the bandaids floating in its murky depths.

So what does my giant carryall have to do with writing? At the same meeting, we played a game. Seven items were placed in a purse. We had to reach in and identify each one by touching them. Pulling them out or peeking inside was a no-no. (This had a spiritual application: purse-verance, etc.) The exercise gave me an idea. Why not use this fun activity as a way to describe textures and shapes? It's a great way to sharpen your senses and ability to describe objects.

Think about your next writers' group party. A scratchy piece of burlap, a cuddly stuffed animal, a metallic item, or any other shape/texture you can think of will fire the brain cells. Split the group into teams or play individually. A prize could be provided for those who identify all the items.

What other games have you played to hone your writing skills? Any ideas? Let's get creative.

22 comments:

Marja said...

let's get creative! I like that Susan, but I've never thought about games like this! it sounds like a great exercise, thanks for the tip. have a good week.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I once imagined stringing scenes up on a laundry line, but that sounds like work to me. ;)

I know of certain sites that jumble your words so you can see how often you use certain words. That does sound like fun, but I'm in the muck of editing and nothing about where I'm at feels playful (even though I am enjoying it this time around).
~ Wendy

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja -

It's a fun way to sharpen your skills with other writers.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Wendy -

Oh, I like the idea of stringing up scenes! I could see a team coming up with some interesting combinations.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

This is a great idea, Susan! And you know how I love prizes!!! Thanks for the tip,
Jen

P.S. I would not have pegged you as a huge purse person. I used to be, until I started having shoulder pain...

Ryan and Melanie said...

I just got a bigger purse, so I should play this game. :)

Have a great week!

-Mel

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

LOL! My chiropractor is not too happy with me.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Melanie -

With two little ones, I'm sure you have lots of interesting goodies in your purse.

Blessings,
Susan :)

quietspirit said...

Susan: The writing group I attended sometime took photos and wrote about the scene or included the scene in a story.

Chatty Crone said...

Interesting game - I have a big purse!

Faith Imagined said...

Great idea!

Sarah Forgrave said...

What a fun idea! And I'm a fellow big-purse carryer. I refuse to use a diaper bag, so I like to find fun big purses that make me look somewhat stylish in my mommyhood. :)

Rhonda Schrock said...

I'm not in a writer's group, but I can see that it could be of benefit. For now, you're part of my "writer's group," and I can learn from you-all this way.

Waving and smiling,

Rhonda

sarah said...

what a great idea. I smiled thinking fo your 'duffle bag.' Since I've had kids I use a fanny pack b/c I need my hands free. Writing games...I did one where we went around the room and someone said a situation...another the gender of the character...another...something else and so on. And then we all had to write on those things. Very fun

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Great idea! My friend, Diane Estrella, does something similar on her blog. You might want to check it out.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Chatty -

LOL! Wouldn't it be interesting to dump the contents onto a table? We might find something long forgotten.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I always enjoy your blog.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

Oh my, I would need a duffle bag if I added baby stuff to the mix. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

The writers group I attended is no longer around. Like you, all my blogging friends are now my writers group.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

Ooo, I like that game! Now, I'll have to find a few writers and try it out. :)

Blessings,
Susan

DenaNetherton said...

Susan, when we were kids, we used to draw a scribble and the give it to our partner. She or he had to imagine a picture in the scribble, then pencil in whatever was missing to complete the picture. Good exercise for imagination and creativity: taking something that seems nonsensical and turning it into something that makes sense.

kristen said...

Goodness, this sounds fun! I'll have to try with out with my critique group some time.
One thing I do, although not technically a game, is when my husband and I go hiking and he's busy photographing the waterfalls, or flowers, or whatever, I pull out my notebook and write out a description of it. It's good practice.
I'll also make up stories when I see people doing odd things. Like the man in the library parking lot that is circling a tree with a shovel. What's his story?
Thanks!
Thanks!