Sunday Sessions

SUNDAY SESSIONS IN SILVER STREET HULLEvery Sunday I will be browsing the gigantic entity known as the World Wide Web to hunt down sites I think can be valuable tools for all of you as writers. Each week I will post five sites for you to check out. If you have a favorite site out there that you go to and you want to share as always pass along the information to me and I will include it.  Each week will be different with topics ranging from studio tips to inspirational sites. I am a firm believer in refilling the well of inspiration. I often find myself going to the internet for ideas when I am stuck for something to write about.

1. Studio acoustics and soundproofing basics.

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Some of you out there might be wanting to record audio to add to your chapbooks or to replace them. One of the benefits of making CD’s to bring to shows as merchandise is that it can be a lot more cost effective. This site goes over the basics of soundproofing an area to use as a studio. You don’t need a lot to record a cd. A computer and usb mic will get the job done. Having an area that is quiet makes the recording process a lot easier.

2. RainyMood: Rain makes everything better.

If your like me then you like to have some sort of background sound going on and the TV or radio can bela pluie n'a pas de couleur / no colour for th...distracting when your trying to get some serious writing done. I stumbled over this site today and instantly fell in love with it. The site is simple. It is a continuous recording of a rainstorm. One click and you have a great ambient background noise to get you where you need to be with your writing process.

3. Psychology Today: Creating in Flow.

This site goes over seven different techniques for fighting distractions. With the world we live in today being full of all kinds of sounds, lights and things all screaming for us to pay attention, how do we get focused and just write? If you have a hard time getting down to the nitty gritty then this site is for you!

4. Ted Talks: The Magic of Truth.

If you haven’t heard of Ted Talks yet then I want to know where your rock is and plan my next vacation there. Seriously though if you haven’t heard of them yet then check this site out. This is a video I watched earlier today and my mind is still blown. True it may not relate directly to writing or your creative process, but sometimes watching something cool is just what we need to get back to writing amazingness.

5. Cool Bookstores on FlavorWire

Check out a site that boasts the 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world. I have to agree these are some amazing bookstores. Flavor Wire also has a lot of other crazy cultural things for those of you in need of a little pick me up bonus inspiration.

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...


These are just a few of the sites out there that I love. I hope you enjoy them and please share with me any sites you think should be up on our Sunday Sessions. As always have fun writing and i hope to read your work soon.



Guest Writer Liza Wolff-Francis

Our Guest writer today is a dear friend of mine and a very accomplished writer. Say hello to Liza Wolff Francis. Below is an excerpt taken from her Blog Matrifocal Point.  I reccomend checking this Blog out, I am a follower and enjoy her posts for their open thinking and awesome-ness.

“Liza Wolff-Francis is a writer, mother, clinical social worker, and activist. Every hat she wears is informed by feminism. She loves the idea that a feminist is a humanist in a sexist world.

Liza blogs at Matrifocal Point, a site which she founded and manages. Matrifocal Point focuses on identifying the patriarchal system as the base for the oppression of women. She believes that when women are dehumanized, they are then at greater risk for violence.”

I hope you like the writing prompt below and encourage you as always to send in your work that is written through these prompts. If you have a writing workshop or lesson that you would like to share, by all means send it to me and you could be our next guest writer.

Self Prompt Nets

by Liza Wolff-Francis

Writers gather ideas at the strangest times of the day and night. Amazing things occur to us right when we’re about to fall asleep, in the middle of a play or a movie, at restaurants, in the car, taking the dog for a walk. I went through a period of time when I always carried a notebook, journal, or at the very least, paper and pen. Now days I pull out my phone and make random notes on the little electronic yellow note page, though I find it’s not the same as the pen and paper thing, especially when I have written down a one word reminder and then go back to that one word and can’t remember what the heck it meant or what I was thinking. That’s frustrating, as is not having anything written down at all and saying to myself, “I had the best idea earlier, what was it?”Journal

It can happen a lot, that we forget the great things we came up with, thinking at the time they are so great we wouldn’t forget them. They key is not letting them slip away; using the paper and pen in the pocket net can help. Even the most random of thoughts can be good ones when expanded upon. I actually think everybody has brilliant ideas, but only writers use them for writing. Everybody else chuckles to themselves and lets the brilliant ideas go out of their heads as quickly as they came in.


Idea (Photo credit: marlenekzio)

If you don’t already, try out the paper in the pocket to catch your ideas like a net. This net can also be used in a slightly different way as a more intentional writing exercise with the purpose is to catch an even fuller picture of the possibilities your creativity holds. It’s not to just catch your genius ideas, but what happens around you. Have your pen and paper in your pocket, notice things that go on: your thoughts, things people say, etc. and write them down in just a quick few words or a sentence. These are your prompts to go back to later and write about.

As an example, here are things I wrote down this afternoon.

The Mormons woke the baby

a lullaby to make us instantly fall asleep

I avoid the library when I have an overdue bookTyrannosaurus rex, Palais de la Découverte, Paris

A hand written sign that said: “Need to sell your house, call…,” lay on her couch

As I let myself in her house, she peeked around her kitchen door to say she was in a meeting

The cars beat the dinosaurs

I could go back to any of these notes and use them to tell the story of what actually happened or to make up something entirely different using them as prompts. So, number one on this list is the story of Mormons coming to my door right after I put my son down for a nap. My dog wouldn’t stop barking at them, which woke up the baby, who then started crying. The two Mormon guys were then asking if they could help me. The prompt for me might be to write the whole story, which was actually quite absurd as it was, but it could be taken in a number of directions.

Small dog

Small dog (Photo credit: L. Marie)

What if I had invited them inside? What if I had said yes, please babysit while I write. Or come in and play with my son for a bit while I do some of the things I need to do while he’s sleeping. Or they could do my dishes. The possibilities are endless. The prompt is to take those five words and go for it, to just write on whatever comes to mind. Maybe you have a story, maybe you just use the prompt to get your creative juices flowing. I might write on all of these self-prompts or I might just pick one or two. I might also use two together, making up an entirely different tale than what originally happened.

You could also do this exercise with a friend. Tell your writing buddy to take notes like this for an afternoon. You do it too. Then exchange them and write on one of their prompts.


Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

It’s always fun to write on other people’s prompts because they don’t trigger your brain as experiences you had that day. Feel free to use any of the ones from my list as writing prompts and make a net of your own. The idea is to start writing, use your experience, use your ideas, use your words.

Jot those ideas down, get going with your creativity!

Writing Prompt “A Note”

Today’s writing prompt comes to you all the way from Sedona, AZ.

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona (Photo credit: dracobotanicus)

Kayt Pearl is the new director of the Arizona branch of Young Voices Be Heard. YVBH is a youth poetry group in Sedona. If you would like to learn more about them you can click on the link for their webpage over in the blogroll.

We are super excited about working with this talented group and hope to feature some of their writers on our page in the near future.

Alright now it’s time to write.

A note behind the picture


note (Photo credit: S@Z)

A picture sitting on your mantle unexpectedly falls and crashes to the floor.
As you go to pick it up, you notice a note hidden behind the picture.

The message is from the future, written by you.

It instructs you to do something important. Something absolutely crucial.
What does it say?

575 Haiku Samurai

Samurai Helmet

Samurai Helmet (Photo credit: JapanDave)

I had the opportunity today to have a conversation with Tazuo Yamaguchi. Taz loves and I mean loves Haiku. He is the host for the Haiku Death Match at Nationals every year and shared some of his wisdom pertaining to Haiku with me this morning.

This might be the moment that you are wondering to yourself “what is this Haiku you speak of?”, or you might be saying ” I love Haiku.” Either way I am going to take a moment to explain the basic form of Haiku for you.

Please understand that the definition I am about to give is based on the English version of Haiku. It is not a set definition, but rather a widely accepted idea of what Haiku means to western culture. Haiku is a short poem usually consisting of seventeen syllables over three lines.

Pretty simple right? Heres the thing though. This is just a guideline for writing Haiku. Traditional Japanes Haiku has many variations and is not even based on syllables. The following is taken from Wikipedia:

“Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.[4] Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji.[5] Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables,[6] this is incorrect as syllables and on are not the same.”

Taz loves Haiku so much that he made a movie and book about it. It is called Haiku: The art of the short story. You can get a copy of it on Amazon through clicking on the link HERE.

Ok my time at the computer is just about up. I will try to post a few more times from NPS. Until then KEEP YOUR PEN SHARP!

Focus On: Fiction and Poetry Blogs

by Elizabeth on August 1, 2012

Did you know literature was an Olympic event until 1948? Of course, all creative submissions had to reference athletics in some way, and many think the quality of the work suffered as a result. That’s why blogging is such a great way to develop and showcase your creative writing – there are no restrictions or limitations beyond your own imagination!

To read the rest of the article click on the link below.

Focus On: Fiction and Poetry Blogs.

A journey into the world of poets

  It’s that time of year again. That time when poets from all around gather to share their art and heartfelt work with hundreds maybe even thousands of people and then against all that is holy have them assign value in the form of numbers. It is a ridiculous game we play in the name of spreading poetry to the masses, but it is a game and a fun one at that. My favorite part of every nationals is the poetry cipher sessions that happen throughout the event. For those of you who don’t know a game of poetry tag is where someone shares a piece and then tags another person in the circle they haven’t heard before. In this way we hear all of the poems we might have missed at the competition. I will attempt to upload workshop ideas, prompts and yes even poems if I can get a hold of them. I will also be doing my very best to recruit other poets and writers throughout the week to appear on Writing Water as guest blogggers and share their knowledge with those of you out there following. If you by chance find yourself at the National Poetry Slam this year and want to chill or share a poem….please do. Until then keep writing and as always I look forward to hearing what you come up with. Who’s going to be our very first featured poet? (yes that is the sound of a guantlet being thrown down.)

If you would like to learn more about NPS you can go HERE.    And in the words of Marc Smith (SO WHAT) “ The very word ‘poetry’ repels people. Why is that? Because of what schools have done to it. The slam gives it back to the people…. We need people to talk poetry to each other. That’s how we communicate our values, our hearts, the things that we’ve learned that make us who we are.

Quotes about writing

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway




“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath




“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
― Robert Frost




“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
― Ray BradburyZen in the Art of Writing



“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen KingDifferent Seasons









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