Archive for the ‘Painting’ Tag

Gloom Cupboard, 2009   2 comments


A bed with canopy.

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Read the issue here

I don’t often write non fiction. When I do, it tends to be a little hyper-non-fiction, exaggerating things to get a laugh or make a point. The article Gloom Cupboard printed of mine entitled “Beds I Have Known” does both.

I’d been toying with writing a poem about painting my bed when I was in my late teens, in my first apartment, and how my mother freaked when she saw it. But I could never get it right. Every time I would write it out in a poem, it seemed clunky, overblown, too gushy. So I just looked at my free write notes, started expanding on other beds, other stories, and it came together in a way I really liked. I tried taking myself out of it, making each bed a short story with fictitious characters, but it didn’t ring true. So, I just bit the bullet, kept me in there, and started sending it out as a non fiction essay. Gloom Cupboard snatched it up.

This long weekend, look around your home and view your furniture with a critical eye. What means something to you beyond a place to sit or sleep or eat? Is there a piece that has a family history? A personal history? A treasure you brought back from the flea market or dump and breathed new life into? Write an essay about it, describe it, describe your history with it.


Doorknobs and Body Paint   Leave a comment

Body-painted naked cyclists, a longstanding tr...

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The fun thing about Doorknobs and Bodypaint is the prompts they give in the guidelines for each issue. They are split up into Dorsal, Doorknobs, Hayward Faultline, Tapas, and the Cairo Room. The Cairo Room can be anything within the issue’s theme, such as the theme for my issue, in February, was Love,  the most recent one was Hot Summer Nights.  Each of the other sections must include a certain word, or turn of phrase, or setting. For example, the Hayward Faultline prompts for the Work issue last May were:

HAYWARD FAULT LINE (shake us up)
1. Maximum length: 450 words.
2. The sub-theme is: toil.
3. The setting is: Auckland, NZ.
4. Within the story, you must use this bit of text: gum up.

Fun prompts like these give a writer a chance to stretch out of their comfort zones, look at new ideas and old stories in ways that they hadn’t thought of before.

For example, the story I had published there in February, “Hello Young Lovers” was already pretty much written when the guidelines came out, but I hadn’t found a home for it yet. It was the only real love story I had sitting around on my hard drive, but the prompts from DK & BP required the story to take place in the mid fifties, and my story was a modern one. So, I changed Baby Girl‘s Juicy Couture jeans into pedal pushers, played a little with the language, changing a few words to include the phrasing the Dorsal prompt required, (charity of second chances was originally just plain old second chances), and a masterpiece was written. At least, I convinced myself and the editors of DK & BP it was so.

Today, click on the link, read through some of the old and new guidelines for Doorknobs and Body Paint, and try your hand at one. Send it to them, or post it here with me.  Stretch those writing wings a little.