Monday, December 5th, 2011

Harpist Extraordinaire

Harp Check out my latest acquisition!

A very good friend, with whom I work, is retiring and moving away. As a consequence, she’s bequeathed this beauty to me.

She gave me a lesson on Saturday, and now I’m a harpist extraordinaire. Well, not quite…but soon, soon! It helped that I already play several instruments.

The reading music bit wasn’t hard at all. The getting two hands to coordinate on multiple strings: a bit tricky.

By the end of the weekend, however, I was able to pluck out a recognizable version of “Stille Nacht” (chosen both for its simplicity and for the season).

I’ve never played a string instrument before. I can’t believe the way this thing resonates. The floor beneath my feet vibrates when I play. It’s delightful.

And playing brought on a whole spurt of creativity. I may have to consider a character who plays a harp…

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Writing Prompt – National Write to a Friend Month

Old LettersDecember is “National Write to a Friend Month,” so I thought I’d do a prompt on writing letters.

With the advent of email, it seems that the “art” of letter writing has gone by the wayside, but it doesn’t have to. I like receiving personalized letters via snail mail (so I make sure to write some, so that people write me back).

Writing to a friend differs from writing to a business, but both include a salutation, a body, a closing and a signature. A friendly letter doesn’t need to have a date on it, but I’m partial to that method.

The facts:

  • Salutation – The opening of the letter, for example, “Dear Mom”
  • Body – The text of the letter. The body contains everything you say up to the closing.
  • Closing – How you “sign off” from the body. It brings closure to what’s been said, and alerts the reader that the letter is ending. An example: Until next time…
  • Signature – Your name (so that the recipient knows who the letter is from).
  • Date – The date can go at the top of the page or the bottom. Your choice.

Letter writing is useful, even if you never mail it out. They can be cathartic — allowing you to get all your feelings down on paper. You can say all those things you want to say to someone, and then burn it up before anyone reads it.

You can write a letter to your children and tuck it away for them to find after you pass on.

You can write letters instead of diary entries.

Letters make a great memoir in place of a narrative.

Letters can be used in novels and stories to move the plot along. (Also very useful for figuring out what your characters want. If you don’t know where the story is going, have your main characters write letters to each other. Don’t censor your writing: just see what comes out of your brain as you’re writing.)

Here’s Your Prompt:

Write a letter!