Bradbury Revision Challenge Day 18

Welcome to Friday!!

For the month, I am following Ray Bradbury’s self directed MFA by reading a poem, a short story, and an essay with the intention of using the idea of good words in = good words out.

I welcome your comments, recommendations, and insights!

July is Coming!

Since it is more than halfway through the month I am considering my July challenge. I am considering doing the #10min challenge again. It would be a low stakes challenge where I would send a prompt for 10 minutes of creativity. Let me know in the comments if this idea interests you!

June 18

Poem: Subtraction

Story: Straw, Coal, and Bean Grimm Brothers

Essay: The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg Story of Love


This poem reminds me of the This + That book by Amy Krouse Rosentahl and the life equations I write with my students. One of my favorites I wrote is:


There are several lines from the poem I am drawn to:

This is my temporary mind.

You taught me math

in color: “Red + Blue=Purple.”

Imagination is an intraocular organ.

The story is another Grimm brothers tale that I was not familiar with. I am drawn to it since it is told through objects. It is on the silly side I think and also has an ending that explains why beans have a black seam. It is quite short as well.

NG gives an assignment in the first sentence of this essay. Go for one hour, in the middle of everything, and write about your story of love.

She did this exercise with students on the 4th day of a silent retreat. Then after they read later she asked them: What did I find interesting about what I heard?

I will tell you after many guesses from the students, which were all wrong, she said simply she was glad they stayed writing for the whole time. She knew from this they were settled.

Then they brainstormed other topics for this exercise and noticed what was different about the list. One was growing tomatoes which was hyper specific.

Then she joked it would be chapter two of her new book.

This was a playful chapter to read.

The takeaway today is specifics in writing. Earlier in the week a podcast referred to the fact the more the writer is specific the more universal the message. It is much more interesting to hear about a specific detail from a writer rather than a generality.

In the story I was revising this morning I added to a list of objects contained in a zippered plastic bag a rock from the shores of Long Lake in Minnesota. These small details are important. The more odd and pinpointed the more they resonate and stay with you.

What topic would you add to a list?

NG added loneliness.

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