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Riders on the Beach (II), Paul Gauguin, 1902 Riders on the Beach (II), Paul Gauguin, 1902

Artwork

Pick a painting that captivates you. Imagine yourself inside that painting. What do you observe? What are the characters saying to each other? Is there a sense of mystery or urgency that you want to address? Write your impressions down fast and then shape them into a short work of fiction (500-2000 words.)

Gauguin’s painting, created shortly before he died, inspired Pam’s story “Taken.” It is published at http://lindenavelit.com/march-2017-no-58/ Scroll down to the sixth work or read it in Excerpts.

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The Bridge, Pam Wolfson The Bridge, Pam Wolfson

Collages

Create a collage about one character. It may capture the atmosphere of a scene or focus on someone’s  prized possessions. Collect images from magazines, calendars, or family photo albums. How does your character perceive her surroundings? What household objects define his world? Find a color that best captures his mood. Keep in mind that you are creating an inspirational guide not a work of art.

Pam created several collages for her novel. The Bridge suggests a teenage girl’s flight from her remote Maine island. As she drives her car toward the mainland, she veers into the water. (See text from The Causeway in Excerpts.)

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Birdhouse Birdhouse

“How to” instructions

Write a “how to” story. Pick a project that appeals to you and give your reader a series of instructions. Explain step by step how you will do something. Start by writing a list and then flesh each item into a paragraph. Take your reader on an emotional journey too. Your tale can be fanciful or realistic—how to build a birdhouse or how to find a lover in the library.

This playful format inspired my story “How to Remove a Lady from Her Seaside Home.” (See Excerpts.)

“The poet John Ashbery has been collecting collage material since he was in college. In a sense, it’s how he writes a poem. . . juxtaposing things and creating environments.”
David Kermani, The New York Times.