Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Box-O-Juicy Words

The countdown is on, and in just five short days my upbeat children will enter again the hallowed halls of elementary and middle schools.  Summer swept us into her sunny whirlpool, leaving us giddy, light-headed, and incredulous that it could possibly be over, already.

And the promise of a quiet house, paramount for writers like me, is tucked in a box on the next page of my week-at-a-glance calendar, waiting like a gift to be opened on the 2nd.

My muse is having a hard time waiting.

To soothe her unsettled soul, I pulled out my Word Box this morning.

This is one of my favorite possessions.  The box itself was made by my mother in her small, basement stained glass studio.  The glass is clear with what looks like embedded scraps in various tints of rose-colored tissue paper and threadlike ribbons of black ink.  The hinged top is inlaid with opaque glass and beveled mirrored.  Mom did a great job soldering the pieces together.  I was heartbroken when one of the kids accidentally knocked it off the coffee table last year, but now I think the crack you see along the front facing side, and the fact that the lid now closes off-centered, adds to the box's life story and charm. 

Inside this box are juicy words.

Last year, I cut narrow strips of colored card stock, and over the course of several weeks I wrote upon them delicious-sounding, descriptive words.  The box stays in a prominent place (but no longer on the dangerous coffee table) where I add to it whenever I hear a vivid or picturesque word.

When Sidney and I cook together, we take turns swishing around the words and pulling two scraps of paper out.  Those words become our names for the evening.  Once I was Pristine Flabbergast, and Sidney was Polite Lovely-Green.

Since Muse is chomping at the bit to write, but I have a three-boy sleepover party ready to awaken at any moment and demand breakfast -- (...did I just hear a toilet flush downstairs?...) -- I decided to share with you my little early morning exercise.

I stirred up the words, infusing the papers with my creative energy, and pulled my hand away.  I wrote a list of all the words I could read without moving the papers:

Maple rose

And from the words, I gave myself five minutes to compose a poem.  My rules for this game are it's okay to add short connector words (the, its, than, etc.), and if a word is better used as a different part of speech (silliness [noun] becomes silly [adjective]), change away!  With only five minutes, you really have to muzzle your inner editor and embrace the whimsical results.  Here were mine:

Filter not the silliness you write
Better to let its vibrant aura breathe
Than extinguish the treasure torch.
...always wear your wander shoes.

I wasn't able to use disturb, frantic, or loneliness.  I guess my energy rejected them.  And Maple Rose missed the creative cut, too.

Feel inspired?  What funky word combinations can you come up with from this list?  (Ex. Frantic Torch)  Can you write a line of poetry using some of these words?  Please share your inspired results in the comments!