Monday, August 24, 2015

Ray Bradbury Method

This weekend, smoke from fires on the other side of the Cascades blew into the valley and the air quality index shot up past 200.  The worst of it was probably late Saturday afternoon and night.  It was marginally better Sunday.  Not the best air to be out in; I felt stuff on the back of my throat and walking to the store felt a little like trying to dance in a very smokey bar.  My lungs did not like it.  The sun was blood red for several hours after rising, as was the quarter moon.  There's a very thin layer of brownish-grey ash all over everything; not so much as you would notice a puff of ash when you go walking, but enough to leave streaks on car windshields when you run your fingertip over it.  Everyone wishes the rains would come, but typically, we've got a few more dry weeks in front of us.  

Writing:  I've been feeling stuck lately, so I thought I'd try Ray Bradbury's method of free-associating nouns to jump-start writing.  It seems to work in terms of getting the words to flow.  It seems to work less well on the story about Venus I'm trying to write, because it's harder to free-associate when you're trying to focus on a particular setting and the urge to free associate fights with the desire to stay focused.  And then you end up writing some other story, maybe a better story than the one that you were trying to work on because it's what's percolating in your brain.  In my case, two haiku poems popped out.

Cold, but no ice forms. /
I am unable to etch /

the reflected clouds.

It's called a slush pile /
How fragile, each snowflake in /

the eternal drift.

Working out:  I suppose 2 minutes of aerobic dancing, some random planks and a few rounds of free weights at home counts.  Right?  

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