Writing Exercise

12 Feb

Hello members!

Here we have another writing exercise for you all. This exercise  has been designed to generate some beautiful poems or stories out of a masterpiece verse written by John Keats.

Isabella, or the Pot of Basil (1818) is a narrative poem by John Keats adapted from a story in Boccaccio’s Decameron (IV, 5). It tells the tale of a young woman whose family intend to marry her to “some high noble and his olive trees”, but who falls for Lorenzo, one of her brothers’ employees. When the brothers learn of this they murder Lorenzo and bury his body. His ghost informs Isabella in a dream. She exhumes the body and buries the head in a pot of basil which she tends obsessively, while pining away.

For your next activity, we are giving you a verse from this narrative and you all have to generate your own story of Isabella from this verse.  Here is your verse for the activity:

Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel!

Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love’s eye!

They could not in the self-same mansion dwell

Without some stir of heart, some malady;

They could not sit at meals but feel how well

It soothed each to be the other by;

They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep

But to each other dream, and nightly weep.

You can either write a story or a narrative poem (it need not be a long one) for this activity. The last day to submit your entries for this activity is 21st February 2013. The entries have to be emailed at miracle.ezine@yahoo.com

P.S If you want to read the entire narrative, it is available here: http://www.online-literature.com/keats/3812/

Best of luck! And if you have any doubts regarding the activity, please leave your comments below.

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Interactive Session 7

2 Feb

Hello everyone! Sorry for the delay, we have been really busy with the magazine and stuff. So here are the haikus in response to the last writing activity. Enjoy and don’t forget to post your views!

1. Shreyas Tripathy

The flowing river is carrying

The colors of change

While the breeze is cool and crisp

 

2. Serena Cooke

Vitality sings

A blizzard spins gold from snow

Ring the bells

 

 

3. Eulogy- Allison Haferman

Weep for their gutless selves’

now fill your basket, we are leaving

the harvest is over.

 

4.. Shanice Blackwood

Your fading essence,

Yet so constant is your presence.

You are here, now you’re gone.

 

5.Catherine Ayres Thin quiet light

and a sense of waiting

brings me Winter.

 

 

6. Katy Ribar In the darkest night

With the winds sorrow cry

Tears of black ice fall

 

7. Natsha Pasch

Love letters sent when you pass

I promise always

Decant tea daily, for you

Writing Activity- Haiku Writing

14 Jan

For our next activity of the group, the members have to write a haiku. The last day to submit your work is 21st January 2013. Here are some tips for you all:

A Haiku in English is a short poem which uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition.It is a development of the Japanese haiku poetic form in the English language.English haiku do not adhere to the strict syllable count found in Japanese haiku,and the typical length of haiku appearing in the main English-language journals is 10–14 syllables.Some haiku poets are concerned with their haiku being expressed in one breath and the extent to which their haiku focus on “showing” as opposed to “telling”.Haiku uses an economy of words to paint a multi-tiered painting, without “telling all”.As Matsuo Bashō put it, “The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of.”

Ten tips for writing haiku

1.Write in three lines of about 10 to 17 syllables (some writers use a short-long-short format, but sometimes it’s better to just say what you need to say and not worry about form); haiku are usually not 17 syllables long in English.

2.Try to include some reference to the season or time of year.

3.To make your haiku more immediate, write in the present tense.

4.Write about common, everyday events in nature and in human life; choose events that give you a moment of understanding or realization about the truth of things around you—but don’t explain them.

5.Write from personal experience (memories are okay) rather than from imagination to produce haiku that are authentic and believable.

6.Create an emotional response in the reader by presenting what caused your emotion rather than the emotion itself.

7.Put two images together in the poem to create harmony or contrast, using words that are specific, common, and natural (avoid long or conceptual sorts of words).

8.One image of the haiku can appear in one of the poem’s three lines; the other image can be described in two lines (either the first two or the last two); avoid creating haiku with three images (or three grammatical parts) because this weakens the energy created by the gap between just two parts.

9.Avoid titles and rhyme (haiku virtually never have either) as well as metaphor, simile, and most other rhetorical devices (they are often too abstract or detours around the directness exhibited in most good haiku).

10.Avoid awkward or unnatural line breaks and avoid dropping or adding words just to fit a syllable count (the poem should come across as perfectly natural and easy; anything that is choppy or unnatural will detract from the reader’s perception and enjoyment—make the words come across as so natural and easy-going that the reader doesn’t even notice them). And of course, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy experiencing life through your five senses!

Best of luck!

Interactive Session 6

11 Jan

We hope you  all enjoyed the last writing exercise as much as we loved reading your beautiful poems. Below are all the monostich poems we received from this exercise along with the winners. As promised, the winners would receive the free copy of the current issue of the Miracle e-zine. The next activity would be posted up by Sunday, so don’t forget to have a look at it! Here we go:

Regret:

The tender kiss grasps every heart and soul.(Shanice Blackwood)

There are no regrets for the goals I’ve set (Shreyas Tripathy)

 

A Burnt Candle:
Death is the wisp of smoke that rises from the blackened wick. (Serena Cooke)

Strike a match and feel me burn down to my fire.  (Katy Ribar)

The Truth:

 

Experience completes our life cycle. (Shreyas Triptahy)

The lake cries as ripples from a dropped stone encircle the flat Earth.  (Serena Cooke)

 

 Echoes:

Rain bangs a thousand tiny drums at night. (Catherine Ayres)

Air recoils in the hollows of earths winds. (Natasha Pasch)

Woodland:

 

Slump trees outcry as I weep. (Natasha Pasch)

Trapped in a forest of my own deception. (Lesley Crigger)

 

 

The Devil’s Dance

The devil danced the darkness into your soul (Katy Ribar)

These hot orange tendrils caress the coal (Catherine Ayres)

 

Trapped

 The map to my escape is carved upon my arm. (Lesley Crigger)

 A glimpse of hope and the stone of reality. (Shanice Blackwood)

 

 Winners:

Best Title : Woodland (written by Ntasha Pasch)

Best Poem: Echoes (written by Catherine Ayres)

Best Poem form a given title: The Truth( Serena Cooke)

Congratulations to all the winners! 

P.S Don’t forget to post in your suggestions about the poems. 

 

 

Writing Exercise

21 Dec

We hope you enjoyed the last activity. We understand that the biggest challenge was to get the story under 1000 words but still you people did a great work with it.

For next 2 weeks we are going to do a writing exercise.  In the first week you all have to write a monostich poem with an appropriate title  and send them to us by 28th December 2012 to miracle.ezine@yahoo.com. Let us give you a short insight of what a monostich poem  first:

Monostich is a self-contained, stand-alone poem consisting of a single line, although it can also be inserted into a poem as a device. The former is where we’ll pay attention to for this exercise. A lot of people see monostich poetry and think, ‘one line? that’s easy’ or that no real effort has gone into it. Those people are WRONG, Monostich should:

  • be a single line composed from 6 – 12 syllables (lesser monostich = 6, standard = 10, greater = 12, the more syllables, the harder to stay within the rules), but always an equal count
  • incorporate at least 1 form of poetic device; most commonly metaphor or personification – never simile
  • not have any possible punctuation other than a capital letter and full stop (period)
  • not be easily broken into multiple lines by natural line break
  • be a complete thought and not a fragmented sentence.

After you have sent us your poems, we will  exchange the titles of your poems and give you a new title (which will be the title of one of other group member’s poem) to write a monostich poem and then send it to us by 4th January 2013.

We will then compare your  poems and the best match will win a free copy of the current issue of Miracle e-zine.

If you have any other queries, please your comments down and we will get back to you soon.

Interactive Session 5

14 Dec

Welcome to the fifth round of the interactive session. In this session we have 3 proses by Katy Ribar, Lesley Crigger, Natasha Pasch and a poem by Allison Johnson in response to our Fantasy Writing Activity .The editorial have posted their comments and now it’s your time to toss in your suggestions.

Here we go:

1.The House of Carrington – Katy Ribar

No, Ella was in shock, vision blurred. She left them after Ella was born. How was it possible that Ella was looking at her? And she was looking back at Ella with, what . . . love, fear? This was not reality, but insanity! It’s the accident Ella thought, massaging her head which was in excruciating pain. Feeling faint, Ella sat down. Immediately her chest tightened, her head exploded, and her stomach lurched. The woman ran over catching Ella, she whispered in her ear “Ella, it’s time. I never should have left you my dear sweet daughter.”  Too exhausted to understand, Ella shut her eyes, praying she was dreaming, this was a nightmare and her father wasn’t dead.

For 13 years it had been Ella and her father, Daniel. Ella’s mother, Rachel left the day after she was born; apparently Rachel wanted no children. Rachel insisted on one thing, that Ella be named after her mother. The day Rachel left she told the nurse she needed fresh air. When Daniel arrived to take Ella and Rachel home, she was gone. Ella’s father never heard from Rachel again. Ella knew her Grandparents were still living, but after Rachel left so did her Grandparents. Ella had one picture hidden of her mother. Ella knew it was her fault her mother left. She only had only her father. Until she lost him

The horrible crash that killed her father was meant for them both. It changed everything, what was would never again be.

When Ella regained consciousness her mother was embracing her, three others had joined them. Her head clearing and remembering her mother’s words Ella blurted out “why did you leave’? Her mother considered Ella’s question and instead introduced her to the three standing above, her Grandmother Ella, Grandfather Michael, and Aunt Kate. Ella felt shocked at the instant bond intertwining with her estranged family. Her Grandmother and Mother sat on opposites sides holding her close. Her Grandfather and Aunt began the history of her family.

The House of Carrington’s are gifted with special powers; their powers are i

mpenetrable as a family. Ella is last in the family blood line completing their family, making them the strongest family in the world of the knowns. Ella’s Grandfather explained they are not immortal but born with powers, passed down through family heritage. Both of Ella’s Grandparents were born into families of the knowns, giving the Carrington’s individual powers, making them stronger and unique.

The Belzar’s, a dark family whom were the second strongest had been trying to break the Carrington’s. Their powers separate bonds between families, make each member crazy then causing family members to murder each other. When Ella was born the Carrington’s didn’t want the Belzar’s knowing she existed. Her protection was crucial to the blood line. The Belzar’s were unaware of Ella’s father. So when the Belzar’s threatened their family, they had to flee leaving Ella with her father.

Ella’s Aunt detected the crash this night; she located Ella and her father. Her Grandfather arrived and was able to feel the Belzar’s had known Ella existed, and the crash was a death trap. Ella’s death meant the Carrington’s fall of power. As Ella’s Mother and Grandmother arrived; The Belzar’s were stunned. Ella’s grandmother quickly bonded her family, her mother sending shock waves, protecting their family.

Ella learned and strengthened her power, she was gifted with an invisible shield protecting those around her, those who tried to penetrate the shield felt shear pain. The Carrington’s had protective elements in their powers; according to her grandfather the family married out of love so their powers will protect the family. Ella found her estranged family easy to love; their bond grew effortlessly with Ella.

Ella smiled watching her mother outside. She jumped at the loud pop and watched her mother’s head burst in red. Ella turned to look at the oak tree; no! Tied to the tree with a gun was Aunt Kate. There was no bond, where was her Grandmother?

Ella shook watching Grandfather Walk-up with six men. Ella knew inside they were the Belzar’s. They untied Aunt Kate, picked up Grandmother’s body, and dumped it by Ella’s mothers. Aunt Kate was coming in the side door. Ella projected her shield. Her Aunt screamed, “We’re not hurting you; we had to kill your mother and mine. The Belzar’s would only agree to peace with the other knowns if we did!” Ella heard voices; Aunt Kate was lying. Ella had more powers than the rest. With her Mother and Grandmother gone her Grandfather is marrying her to the Belzar’s, joining families, guaranteeing power and control within the knowns. Combining powers will create light and dark. Ella had to leave, now! Her Aunt jumped at her, Ella projected with force. Her Aunt crashed through the sliding glass door. Ella ran, pain stabbing her chest; she kept going, projecting around her. People screamed, Ella ran, not caring. She stopped, not recognizing her surroundings. Such speed, strength, she did have more powers.

Ella heard her Grandfather. Aunt Kate was dead, and the six Belzar’s in the yard. Ella could feel her Grandfather’s anger. Through his mind Ella learned she had every power inherited down from both of her Grandparents. She felt tears, and together they cried for the loss of his family, of hers, theirs. The Belzar’s were coming; she knew they were going to kill him without Ella. So did her Grandfather.

​My Grandfather once told me the Carrington’s powers were protective out of love. My death was my Grandfathers suicide. I became a guardian because of the powers I inherited and remain strong. My Grandfather may have been evil, my young heart remained pure. I will never see my family for now I am their protector. My Grandfather took everyone I loved. Now I watch over and guide those who need love. My powers and purity some say I am a goddess; no, I am Ella, 13, I love as my father taught me.

2. Disturbed – Lesley Crigger

Stretching for miles before my tired eyes is the eight by four plot of dirt my sister now resides. Six feet under my feet her delicate features slowly begin to rot into a grotesque mass in the bottom of her silk lined bed.

Puddled around my soul is the guilt that drips off my heart and fills the air with its foul odor. How could I have been so blind as to never have seen this coming? Surely there were clues I should have seen. Did I figuratively hold the gun while she pulled the trigger? What becomes of her broken soul?

“Oh, Devon? Won’t go to Heaven. She’s just another lost soul about to be mine again,” someone whispers as if in response to my thoughts.

The carelessly spoken words slice through the barriers erected in my mind. Anger bubbles to the top, threatening to spew into a molten form of raw rage. I turn towards the voice ready to uncork my bottled emotions in a hellish physical demonstration. White knuckled, fist bawled, I search the empty patch of sacred ground behind me. My breath comes in short snarls as I look for someone to unleash my fury upon.

Hot breath slides down my neck as the voice whispers in my ear, “Leave her, we will receive her. It’s beyond your control.”

An icy hand slides down my spine, stealing my breath as it goes. Fear infiltrates the places anger once boiled, turning my body to stone.

I catch my breath as the hand is lifted away and I no longer feel the body of another man pressed against mine. The unexplainable presence of pure evil still lingers. My feet reluctantly obey my command to turn once more and face the opposite way,

Leaning against my sister’s tombstone like he’s in a pub rather than a cemetery is the owner of the sinister voice. His black, pupiless eyes bore into mine, seeming to mock my very existence. My soul shivers as it recognizes him for what he is. My brain begins to argue when the demon smiles and nods his agreement. I’m helpless to suppress a tremble that resonates throughout my body.

The demon spreads his hands and gestures towards her grave. “Devon no longer living, who was rendered unwhole as a little child, she was taken and then forsaken. You will remember it all; let me blow your mind again.”

A tear slips from my eye leaving a trail for others to follow. Hidden within myself the images of the past bubble to the surface. I was helpless then just as I am helpless now. I let my sister down in more ways than one. God, what did I let happen?

“Devon lies beyond this portal, take the word of one immortal.” The demons words tug at my conscious but my mind has snapped, spiraling downward-out of control. All these years I’ve tried to keep the pain at bay. I’ve tried in vain to bury the past. He was my father, what was I suppose to do? Anything would have been better than nothing. Oh God, what have I done? I hate my father for stealing her innocence; I hate myself for watching it happen.

“Give your soul to me for all eternity. Release your life to begin another time with her. End your grief with me, there’s another way. Release your life, take your place inside the fire with her.”

My mind spins out of control, Fire? An unintelligible sound escapes my lips as my knees buckle and I grovel in the dirt. “She’s…she can’t be in Hell…can she?”

“Sever now and forever. You’re just another lost soul about to be mine again. See her” You’ll never free her. You must surrender it all and give your life to me again.”

I shake my head but crawl hesitantly forward. I should be the one burning for the sins of our father.

“Fire all your desire? As she begins to turn cold and run out of time. You will shiver until you deliver. You will remember it all; let me blow your mind again.”

His words ring true. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forgive. No matter how hard I try I’ll never escape the past. The final shreds of sanity I have left slowly unravel. I nod my acceptance as I give into his demands. I release my mind and embrace my Hell, an eternity of the past.

 3. Church- Natasha Pasch

Dust balls surround as I kick the broken road below my feet. Nothing is of color, just shades of grey. Society wise– no houses, transportation, grocery stores, or phones exist. Empty streets line with small churches, which are the homes. The barbed wire keeps me and those trapped, one shock and I am gone. Around 120 people reside in this town; I call it Black Devil town.

My identity feels stripped, I am a boy, but angelic. Soft features, pale skin, curly brown hair, and thin subtle lips encompass my origin.

Glancing around, the colors, oh how I miss. I have a few friends, but the only time we see each other is during “bible study.” Today I have alarms set for each of my duties, sub sequentially every day is monotone. The days tend to blur as one for a while. I make markings in my notebook of each day I am here, today is 200.

It’s 7:55am, so I better scurry to the pews.

Today, sub sequentially after eating breakfast at the cafeteria, I walked through the corridor into the pews of the church. Plopped down, human skeletons sat before me. Not in the literal sense, but close enough. We were not allowed to talk or we would be executed. This was one rule no one tampered with, especially in church.

The priest appears like a phantom in his billowed cassock. As he spews word after word, line after line, I blank out, but still try to look alert. If He noticed, I would be whipped. Spouting words of Christianity, I’m numb to the words. No matter how hard I try, no matter how much I read, I still do not believe.

He screams in his bantering evil tone,

“He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.”

Even with such power, God is the evil one. If he knew what us 100 some people were going through, wouldn’t he fix us, wouldn’t he help us, instead of brainwashing us with his bible and his teachings, which have not done one bit of good? We are left trapped in this bubble of nothingness, surrounded my ash and some oxygen. Is it because I don’t believe I will be one of the forgotten ones, even though God loves “all of his children?”

Why are we all here? The mentally ill should not have this treatment. Are we not humans too?

I remember them taking me away saying I had schizophrenia and was not stable for the real world. I was 13 at the time. I’m still a teen, a scared and tormented teen; I’ve made mistakes. Hitting my old brother, but I could not control the phalanges.

I am now in my rectangle space. White brick surrounds my frail outer shell.

Thoughts race, time warps, clocks melt, and noises vanish.

If I had it my way, my world would no longer be black and white. Oh how I wish for colors to reside amongst, it would make it hurt less.

4. Co- despondent – Allison Johnson

when her mouth opened

birds flew out and hung themselves on the walls

it was always happening

he couldn’t stop looking at her

she was always going

there were postcards to buy

definitions to look up

he knew that

realizations pressed like grass under a blanket

smoke blurring the square moonlight against the walls

silver and dust

regretcolorbynumbers

the calendar peels back its skin

perhaps a blanket for those birds

a bell jar

something that would hold this down

she knew he would only hurt under her skin

his eyes were a forest

wanting to hide someplace forgotten

he could be the branches

she was always reaching

going

it was always happening

Writing Activity- Fantasy Writing

4 Dec

Okay, we are a bit late on this activity as we were busy with the magazine but we do hope you enjoy the next activity- Fantasy.

For the next activity, the members have to write a fantasy prose in not more than 1000 words. Remember, when you are writing fantasy, don’t forget to let your imagination go wild.

The last day to send in your entries is 12th December.

keep in mind the following tips while you are writing your story:

1. Build your world. If you’re working with the fantasy genre, chances are you’re in another world or a slight variation on modern day Earth; either way, you’ll have to do something to build it. What makes it fantasy? What is the difference between your world and ours?

Build your world with careful attention to detail. Some of the most important things are the class system, the way gender is treated, and the religions throughout the world. You shouldn’t get lost in the details and never get to writing, but the more you’ve worked out, the less you have to worry about it sounding cliche or inconsistent.

2. Don’t make your characters all powerful. Give your characters weaknesses; weaknesses in not only their physical reality but in their mind and characteristics as well. Make them bad at something, make them underestimate people on a regular basis. Make them something other than immortal and all powerful, and your story will be more interesting.

Another part of this is making them not the special ultimate prophecy child. Giving them a role in your story without having everyone bow to them because of some prophecy. Of course, a prophecy can be involved; but it should be handled carefully. It’s like playing with fire. And it shouldn’t mean that everyone just falls at your character’s feet. Give them more opportunity for real conflict and you break a lot of the monotony that exists in current fantasy novels.

3. Give your villains minds of their own. Build up the character of your villain in your mind. Give them a past, a future, friends, family, loved ones. Give them a reason to be ‘evil’, to be against the hero. Give them motivation, proper motivation that isn’t ‘just because’.

Give your villains reasons to exist other than to be pitted against your heroes. Show them as real people with minds and hearts and you’ll be amazed how much better the story turns out.

4. Make the religions varied. Most fantasy books have religions which are either largely Christian based or largely Wiccan based. Make something different, something new, with multiple Gods with complicated relationships. Try following a truly varied model, with great differences and some tense battles between Gods. Or make the Gods actually distant, without your character being a Chosen One.

Avoid the ‘earthy mother Goddess’ and the ‘Evil Tyrant God’ and you give yourself more realism. Study a variety of old religions and use material from those to create your own.

5. Make predictions sparse. The stories about the psychics with nightmares that are really predictions are old. It’s frustrating when a scene is written twice because oh, it was predicted before it happened. It’s frustrating when we already know what’s going to happen and the usual idea is that there’s absolutely no way for the prediction to be wrong.

Predictions can be used, though preferrably in extremely limited qualities. It would also be interesting to read a story in which someone who has these nightmare predictions is seeing things that are actually preventable, or unpredictable nightmares which sometimes turn out to be predictions and other times red herrings. An undependable Gift of sorts. Using fewer of these gives your story less of the suspense-killing cliche.

6. Use unusual creatures. Use creatures which are from actual mythology but which are rarely used. Study ancientmythologies and mix and match, having creatures from different mythologies, including those which are rarely referred to by popular fantasies. If you base a lot of your fantasy creatures off of lesser known mythologies it will give a sense of uniqueness, and those who are familiar with that mythology will appreciate your book or story more.

7. Study great fantasy. Read in your genre. Read to see what is done often and how it is done. Read to learn tricks from other writers, to pick up what works and what doesn’t. See how the best fantasy challenges the worst fantasy. Read about writing, especially articles or books by your favorite authors.

Critique fantasy. Take apart chapters and look at the mechanics. By knowing the components of a fantasy novel that make it great, and studying these deeply, you become more immune to falling into the trap of cliches.

8. Practice. The more you write, the better you get; the more practice you get. With more practice you learn how to phrase things, how to create full characters with real flaws and real talents. You learn what you can do well and what you need to learn more about. You can use this to expand your horizons.

Experiment with different things. Dabble in the different subgenres. Write pages of description followed by pages of fight scenes, pages of dialogue. See where your strongest talent in writing lies, and see where  you need improvement. Strive to improve. Take a class if you want. Never stop attempting to better yourself.

9. Take Feedback. Accept feedback. This is important no matter what genre you write in, but can be especially useful in fantasy. If you find yourself a good critique group, you will often find the members willing and able to point out where you step into the danger of becoming cliche. See what you find useful and discard what you don’t, but give all comments equal chance.

Thicken your skin against the harsh feedback of others and turn their words into sound advice. Take their negative comments as a learning experience as well as their positive ones.

10. Be yourself. Don’t try to write like your favorite fantasy author. As much as you may love them, you are not them; accept this and allow your own voice and ideas to show through. Don’t try to use something if you don’t think you can, or if you don’t love it. If you’re doing it to be like another writer for any reason whatsoever, stop now and find something else, something you genuinely love and want to create.

Best of luck!