Saturday, February 14, 2015

'Warning the Stars' Saturday #15: The Love Deck

My 'Personal' Love Deck
Since today is Valentines day, I thought I would post something a little special to help spark some of your creative juices on the topic of....you guessed it....love!

This is an exercise that I really enjoy and have used, myself, for several years. It's simple, fun, and is guaranteed to revitalize your creative writing notebook with some lovely, new musings on the topic of love and relationships.

We're going to be making a word deck, so you'll need a few simple materials to get started:

-A pack of 3x5 index cards (cut them in half)
-Ink pen or black marker
-Ribbon or rubber band (to tie your deck together once completed)

Now, for the meat and potatoes! Using the index cards, we're going to make a deck of choice words (about 133 words). Below is a list of the types of words you need for your word deck.

I will provide some examples of my own words that I used in my personal love poetry deck to get you started for each section, but you really need to make up your own if you want to write about personal experiences and thoughts unique to your past and present!

There are two rules for creating your words: 1) They must pertain to love, relationships, romance, and the like and 2) Make them as specific as possible. For example, instead of purple, how about magenta?

CREATING THE WORD DECK:

-3 One-Word Questions-
When?
Where?
Why?

-10 Nouns (person, place, thing) be SPECIFIC!-
Childhood home
Lindsey Wilson campus
county fair
Orange Beach, Alabama

-10 Action Verbs-
walk
smell
sleep

-5 Names of People From Past or Present Relationships (first names work fine)-

-4 Romance-Related Words for Each of the Senses-

taste: dark chocolate, iced latte, Italian wine, vanilla cream

smell: sea salt, Hazel's Seafood Bar, Axe body spray, cotton candy

sound: waves on the beach, local radio, static of a cellphone call, nasal monotone of an ex lover

sight: a pink-sky night, crowded tourist shops, Smokey Moutains, car fading in the distance

touch: soft-skinned, fleece, Egyptian cotton, petal silk

-10 Motion Words-
walking
crying
pushing
kissing
dreaming

-4 Days of the Week-
Saturday
Sunday
Friday
Thursday

-The 4 Seasons-
Fall
Summer
Winter
Spring

-5 Names of Months-
June
July
August
September
October

-8 Emotional Words-
devastated
ecstatic
nostalgic
yearning

-10 Random Objects-
rotary phone
greeting card
vintage key
pool table

-10 Fill-In The Blanks (I have provided all ten for you!)-
The rest stop was____.
Love is____.
At the touch of ____.
The best Summer nights____.
Our romance was____.
My first time with____was____.
Love was never____.
We were meant for____.
I never meant to____.
The last time we____.

-5 Chance Card Questions (you simply answer the question, follow the examples below!)-
a death? (when my grandma passed away)
A current event? (hurricane, politics, etc)
Color? (pink)
Memory? (picking apples at the old town orchard with an ex lover)
Something better left forgotten? (breaking up with ___ and moving away)

-5 Colors-
red
pink
white
blue
yellow

-10 Types of Dates-
first date
double date
dinner for 2
the time you and___ went to ____.

-10 Romantic Words-
sensual
love
marriage
love letter
puppy love
prom date
anniversary

-4 Holidays/Celebrations-
4th of July with____.
Christmas spent at____ with____.


DIRECTIONS:

Once you get all these words (or phrases/sentences in some cases) written on your small cards (1 per each  card), you're ready to begin writing with the deck! Mix the cards up every time you use them (so you don't keep pulling the same ones), then randomly draw a couple (I always draw about 10).

Usually I just draw the cards and lay them in front of me. Most of the time, they will begin sparking ideas and tidbits from my romantic past, memories and experiences.   I will begin to write those ideas down in my notebook for brainstorming. Once I get my notes taken, I notice that I have the beginning 'skeleton' of a poem that I can then work with.

Don't worry if you draw a mental blank with a set of words you've pulled from the deck. If this happens, just put those words aside and draw some more! Eventually, you'll begin to string together some good ideas!

Once you've used the cards for a period of time, it's okay to add new ones. I do this quite often. I put in more names, colors, etc. so I always have some fresh writing ideas rather than trying to write with the same 133 cards over and over again.

There's really no wrong way to do this! Just make your word cards and go with it!

When you're finished using your cards, simply wrap them up with a rubber band (in my case, I tied them up with a pink ribbon) and put them away for next time! The great thing about this exercise is it's free and the deck is small enough to throw in your bag or even stuff in your front pocket.

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