The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood

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KeithMN
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The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood

Postby KeithMN » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:11 am


KeithMN
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The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood

Postby KeithMN » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:11 am

I just needed to treat myself. As a federal employee, some weeks are just chaotic. This was one of them and I really needed to do something for myself. Walking home from work I stopped in a bookstore to browse the magazines for writers. I already had them all. I perused the rest of the magazines to see if there were any unusual ones I thought might spark some ideas. Nothing.

Next I went to the Writing/Reference section and started looking at the same-old, same-old selections sitting there gathering dust. (Doesn't anyone ever buy these? This is downtown Minneapolis for goodness sake!) There was one book I remember having seen a few times and decided to flip through it. It had a cutesy title, The Pocket Muse. I'm not a fan of cutesy but I've paged through all the other books many times before so I picked this one up.

I soon found myself smiling, laughing, "oohing", having a good time, being inspired and, shortly thereafter, standing in front of the cash register with my check card in one hand and a receipt in the other.

I just looked at this book more closely and it's a Writer's Digest book. I'm not that surprised though because most of my favorite ones are. The Pocket Muse is a fun, imaginative tool for writers. It's a plethera of "what if's", photographs, suggestions, hints, humor, advice from beloved authors, writing prompts, ideas and inspiration for everyone!

I've always disliked books like this. I always wanted to think of my own ideas. (Yeah, I was adorable when I was a young novice, wasn't I?) This book was the treat I needed after a long week. Treat yourself to a copy. You deserve it. Seriously.

Below are three examples from the book:

Example 1:
Fill in the blank:
Seven days ago,
__________________
Now, nobody will talk to me.

Example 2:
Writers require, maybe even crave, connection with all the stages of life. We need old people, children, peers, teenagers, people we envy, people we pity, the whole human spectrum.

How many people do you talk to on a regular basis? Is it time to expand your world a bit? Take a kid to a ball game. Chat with the local librarian. Ask the counter girl at the 7-Eleven where she's from. Say hello to that neighbor you've never met.

If you say you're a writer, they'll tell you a story.

Example 3: (One of my favorites!)
Five Writing Ideas That Take a Little Nerve
1. Buy a round trip bus ticket to anywhere, and write on the bus.
2. Go to an introductory meeting of something that fascinates you - a Dale Carnegie seminar, for example, or a Crimewatch group.
3. Hang out in a train station for a few hours, asking peole where they're coming from or where they're going.
4. Call a temp agency, and take the first short-term job they offer you.
5. Sneak into a lecture at a college, university, tech school, or training institute, and take notes.

See how fun? Buy it! It's worth every penny of the $12.99 you'll spend. It's also the gift I will now give to fellow writers.

Any thoughts?
KeithMN

KeithMN
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RE: The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood

Postby KeithMN » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:12 am

Can you tell I'm new here and don't frequent message boards or chat rooms? Looking around the forums I noticed a few mentions of this book. Naturally, being a Writer's Digest book, it would be. Sorry about that. My thoughts still stand though. I thoroughly enjoy the book.

Gooblink
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RE: The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood

Postby Gooblink » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:20 pm

Hey, Keith!

Have you ventured to the "Writing Prompt" forum?  Many (maybe all, I dunno) of the prompts are taken from this book.  It's pretty fun, though I've not posted down there in a very long time.

Also, in the WD magazine check out a contest called Your Story (there's a forum here for voting on the top 5 entries).  The Your Story prompts have been taken from The Pocket Muse...I recognized the "now nobody will talk to me" example. 

Welcome aboard!


KeithMN
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RE: The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood

Postby KeithMN » Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:17 am

Thanks for the welcome, Cindy.

I'm still getting my feet wet here. I used to frequent a few message boards several years ago but I got too wrapped up in them that they were taking up too much of my time. I decided that since I'm on the internet 9 hours a day at work, I have enough time to do what I need to do online there. I now have a lot of time to write at home, without the internet or television. (I enjoy living simply.)

I'll have to give some of the writing prompts a try. I usually don't like writing prompts because, to me, half the fun in sharing them with others and reading what they wrote. Sounds like this is a good place to do that!


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