Mar '10 10
I attended a fantastic workshop recently run by poet and novelist Lorraine Marwood. She shared three techniques with us to stimulate our writing 'flow'.

My favourite one was the 'free writing' exercise. In the centre of the table, Lorraine placed a big selection of cards with questions printed on them. We each chose a card. With a timer running for five minutes, we had to answer the question in writing. We were not to stop, think or edit, for the entire time. This meant writing ANYTHING that came into our heads as a result of the prompts. Then for another (timed) five minutes, we reviewed what we'd written, selected a few key words or phrases, and wrote a poem including them.

The results were bizarre, interesting and downright entertaining.

Since then, I've done this exercise about eight times. I usually open a page of the newspaper and select a headline or a phrase at random, although once I used a word from our new vacuum cleaner's warranty booklet!

I love this process. It kick-starts my brain, and the free or unconscious writing that I vomit forth brings up some very interesting stuff indeed! I probably have the guts of six or seven fairly decent poems so far.

It's great fun; I never know what my incessantly chattering and eternally 'on' brain is going to serve up. I'll definitely keep doing it.

Maybe I'll share a few unedited lines from one of these random poems in another post.

Posted by Jennifer Liston

Mar '10 4
Here's the start and end of a poem I wrote in 2002.

This is its first time getting an airing (even a virtual one).

One hundred nautical miles

star lit night
in phosphorescenced waters
up on deck
lying side by side
under an ink velvet
silvered canopy
one hundred nautical miles
already between us.

© Jennifer Liston 2010

Posted by Jennifer Liston