Thursday, March 12, 2015

March Inspirational Almanac

Welcome to the March Inspirational Almanac.  Regular postings of the Almanac will go up on the 1st day of each month.  However, due to some technological difficulties this month, we had to post a little late.  But there's still plenty of March left to enjoy these prompts!

Think of each post as a month-long collection of creative inspiration for your writing.  You will find a plethora of interesting quotes, facts, story starters, and more than enough writing prompts to last you the duration of March.  The prompts vary from journal writing to poetry, guided short stories and even characterization so you won't easily get bored!

Happy March!  I wish you a plentiful and creative start to your Spring.  


I am worthy of self-love because_______.

March Affirmation
My creative work is a joy I deserve.

I give myself permission, and the adequate time, to work on creative endeavors that are important to me.

Gift to My Muse
Take a little time (and money) to buy yourself something to use in your creative vocation this month.  If you are a painter, indulge in an empty canvas or some paints.  If you are a writer, buy yourself a nice pen or a new leather-bound journal.  Find a gift fitting and purposeful to what you enjoy creating.  You deserve it!

Notable Holidays
March 20th is International Earth Day.  Earth Day was first organized in September of 1969 and was founded by John McConnell, who proposed the establishment of Earth Day (as an international holiday) to the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, California.  The idea of Earth day is to call all inhabitants of our earth into a collective, conscious effort to take better care of our planet.

Things To Do:  Do something in honor of mother earth.  You could begin a flower garden or plant a tree.  You could also do something proactive to help save our environment, like buying plastic bin (or two) to recycle your paper and and plastic throw-aways.  Say a prayer to/for the earth.  Write it a poem.  Give it thanks.

Perhaps the most widely-known (and celebrated) holidays of March would be Saint Patrick's Day, which falls on March 17th.  This holiday actually originated in honor of Patron Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to the Irish people.  Saint Patrick day is oftentimes celebrated with elaborate decorations of Leprocauns, four-leaf-clovers, rainbows and pots of gold.

Things To Do:  Wear green, of course!  We know the Irish all enjoy their go out for drinks and celebrate with your friends/partner/colleagues.  Decorate your house with some greenery.   And if you're feeling lucky, why not buy a lottery ticket or a few of those cheap scratch off tickets?  Who knows, you may win!  If it's warm where you are and you have children, why not scour the grass for some four-leaf clovers?

Writing With Astrology
The two primary astrological signs for March are Pisces and Aries (we covered Pisces last month if you want to read about that in the February Almanac).

Some words used to describe the Aries personality are:
bubbly, risky, adventure-seeker, brave, energetic, assertive, spontaneous, young-at-heart, strong-minded, fearful, confident, petty, impatient.

Extending the Idea:
*Use the word list above to construct a poem, flash fiction, or short story.
*Write a story.  The main character must be an Aries.  Use any of the words above when writing the story.  Work the story in such a way that you can interweave and display the character's personality traits.  Perhaps your character works with books somewhere, they strive for a better life but are too impatient and risky, their adventure-seeking habits put them in a bind...

What the Literary Greats Said (About Spring and New Beginnings)
“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.” 
― Ransom RiggsMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

“We all want to break our orbits, float like a satellite gone wild in space, run the risk of disintegration. We all want to take our lives in our own hands and hurl them out among the stars.” 
― David Bottoms

“All great beginnings start in the dark, when the moon greets you to a new day at midnight.” 
― Shannon L. Alder

Interesting Irish Sayings & Phrases
Since we're celebrating Saint Patrick's day this month, below is a list of Irish sayings.  Use them as first lines, titles for poems or stories, pieces of dialogue within a story, or themes for poetry and fiction.  You can even pick them apart and create your own word piles.

*A whale of a time.
*Put the heart cross-ways.
*Wet the tea.
*May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live
*As you slide down the banisters of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.
*You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.
*It is better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like you have no money.
*May you die in bed at 95, shot by a jealous spouse.
*Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth.
*The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune.
*Honey is sweet, but don't lick it off a briar
*May you get all your wishes but one, so you'll always have something to strive for

Random Story-Starters
Option #1
Write a story about a girl in her mid-thirties.  She must be an Aries.  She has just befriended a 95 year old man whom she met in a local diner.  The main object of the story is an old fiddle.

Option #2
Write about a young man whom was adopted at an early age and  is exploring his Irish heritage.  He is fearful of change.  He's falling in love with a girl whom he might be related to.  He works with books (library, bookstore, editor).  The main object of the story is an old leather-bound journal.

Option #3
Write a personal narrative/short biography from the viewpoint of an elderly lady.  Her children have grown, her husband long dead.  She lives alone in a rustic cabin at the edge of the woods.  The locals who don't know her are fearful of her and call her a witch.  Yet a young girl who enters her life will change it forever.  This young girl must be a teenager.  The main object of the story is a teapot.  

The Word Pile
A word pile is simply a list of interesting words.  Typically, I use word piles as challenging poetry-writing exercises.  The idea is to incorporate the complete list of words into a poem.  You can change the tense of any given word if you need to.  You can also use these word lists to write short stories and flash fiction.

Word Pile #1
strange, bond, unspeakable, shadowy, slave, truth, shrouded, witch, townspeople, deceit, innocent, curious

Word Pile #2
children, window, pitcher, hopeless, weather, crumbling, strong, drawings, glass, sparingly, morning, night, unpredictable, struggle

Word Pile #3
backward, writing, fringed, examine, broken, figurine, disbelief, silhouette, bedroom, moonlight, demon, crash, upright, awakened

Word Pile #4
ashtray, dreadful, space, blue, corridor, concave, yellowing, swinging, frosted, moist, flesh, socks, panes, silver

Word Pile #5
daiquiri, dance, jerked, dazzling, knowledge, descended, suburbs, vaporous, music, interval, cricket, familiarity, garden, lights

Write Myself Some Poetry
Here's some lines to get you started.  Use the at the beginning, the middle, or the end of a poem.  Use them as titles.  Fill in the blanks.  Use them as themes and ideas.  

1) _____always reminded me of flowers.
2) When I spoke, I felt as if soil spilled from my lips.
3) I felt like I was dancing in a spinning room.
4)  My heart halted like the first step into spring.
5)  His/her words wound my heart, a quick and growing vine.
6) That was the night luck departed me.
7)  Those were ordinary times...
8)  _____tickled my tongue like the sweetest tea.
9)  Silly girls like that reminded me of cornflakes, something stale and crispy.
10)  I flaunted the memory like a dance-hall move.

Journal For You
*When is the last time you got really lucky?
*Do you consider Spring a time of new beginnings?  Why or why not?
*What is your favorite season and why?  Describe that season, the weather, the plants, the sky.
*Write a list of ways in which you, as an individual, could make the world a better place.
*If you had magic super-powers to change the world, how would you make it perfect.
*Jot down a few positive changes you'd like to start working on this Spring.
*Since we're talking about luck this month...write a list of 20 things you are truly fortunate to have?
*What are some of your happiest memories of Spring?
*Do you remember celebrating Saint Patrick's Day as a child?  Or the decorations?  Describe each.
*Leprocaun's are attributed to gold and riches.  Write out a new budget plan for saving extra money for that special trip or gift you've been wishing for.  Figure out the amount you need to save, budget for this savings.
*Summer will be here shortly.  Write out some great plans for your summer.  How will you make some new memories when the warm weather arrives?

Positive Change
This month, I vow to let go of _______ because it no longer serves my purpose, or my happiness.  I will no longer allow it to steal the joy meant for me.

I Need to Remind Myself to...
Allow myself to get closer to nature.  To observe the animals, plants, water...the natural beauty of the world.  Have a picnic at the local park/lake.  Spend time writing in a place of natural beauty (the woods, by a river, by the sea, etc);  to allow nature to speak to me, listen to what it says, take note of it's lessons.