I got the lovely book out from the library on Saturday, called Rip the Page: Adventures in Creative Writing by Karen Benke. The subtitle sums up the contents: "Includes wordplay, open-ended writing experiments, encouragement from writers and poets, and enough blank pages to let your words roam..." Needless to say that after flicking through the first few pages I was absolutely gripped by a ravenous need to write.
This book is beautiful for its ability to inspire very abstract and whimsical images and provoke deep feeling and thinking. I would like to share with you the very first activity in the book.
WHAT CAN YOU WRITE WITH?
Forget the usual suspects: pencils, pens, paint, chalk, Sharpie markers, purple crayons... What if you could write with anything today? What if you could wedge between the fingers of your left or right hand, a memory? Your infinite imagination? The power of creativity? A spinning planet? The state of forgiveness? A tree trunk, or a ray of sunlight? Well, guess what? In the realm of creative writing, you can. There are trillions of possibilities, and they keep on expanding into endless whirling patterns. What can you add to things you can write with today?
What I Write With
I can write with the tainted light of tattered forgiveness.
I can write with the smallest stars of almost-not-seen.
I can write with the long sticky threads of sacred spider webs.
I can write with the spinning planets of darkness and danger.
I can write with my unseen, dazzling trick-up-my-sleeve schemes.
Karen Benke. (2012) Rip the Page. Trumpeter, Boston and London.
If not you as a writer, surely you as a reader can be excited by the possibilities that are open up by this! For me, this is compelling! I feel frantic to appease my soul by writing.
So this is what I wrote in response:
I can write with the skeleton keys of secret long-locked doors.
I can write with the salty, wet grit of war-beaten beaches.
I can write with the excitement of not quite reaching the ship-in-a-bottle on the top shelf of Grandma's wardrobe.
I can write with a sassy spattering of womanly angst like red paint.
Now it's your turn.