Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Touching Base: The Color and The Map

Hello, friends.  Thanks for all your comments and emails about last week's Freewrite Friday exercise.  I thought I'd share some of my own color exercise (part of the writing and one of the photos) with you.  

If you feel like sharing any of your Freewrite Friday work here on the blog, please feel free to send it to me.  Beneath the color exercise you'll find a couple of photos of the map exercise.  Thanks, Karen and Polly, for letting me share them!

Excerpt from Gigi's Color Exercise

The hiss of steam pulls you back from a daze.  There's the rattle of bone china, the cracked saucer unsteady in your hand, the paper napkins machine-stamped with daisies, the cream and sugar cubes, dry vanilla biscuits, and all that chatter to endure.  You stare at the women's teeth as they smile and take tiny bites.  One woman--you've been told she's your great aunt--dips the corner of her crustless sandwich into her cup once, twice before she tastes it.  Her movements are as measured and precise as the pearls around her neck.  Winter sunlight slants through the lace curtains.  Outside is snow and ice and the thrill of a long, slippery hill, but here in the house there's the tick of the clock, its moon face mocking you as your great aunt's pale parchment hands pour each lady a second cup.

Here are maps by Polly and Karen.  I've loved hearing about and seeing some of the maps people have made!  As you can see from these very different examples, there's no one way to do this exercise, which is part of why I love it.  Whatever will lead you into a rich writing session is what you're looking for.  I haven't read Karen's exercise, but I did get a peek at Polly's, and I was amazed by how richly detailed it was.  I wonder if she'll let us see some of it here on the blog.  :)  No pressure!  I just loved what you wrote. 
Polly's Map

Karen's Map

Looking forward to Friday.  I'll have a very straightforward exercise designed to get your pen moving and your heart pumping.


  1. i so want to spend more time on mine and i need to make it a priority.

  2. Wow! I've been awakened to how multifaceted white can be. Thanks for that, Gigi. A gorgeous little reminder of all the possibilities.

  3. No pressure, Char! Do it when you have time.

    Thanks very much, Patricia! Possibilities, yes, that's just how I think about it, too.

  4. I just told everyone about your freewrite fridays and I love how open you are to share those exercises with us. Thank you, Gigi

  5. Oh, that's fantastic, Anyes, Thank YOU.

  6. Thank you for sharing from your own notebook, Gigi! And so much enjoyed seeing the maps of others. I am still working on my writing "assignments" from each week so far now. would you believe. Health issue, opening a new shop and writing... Learning to juggle. Maybe that is a writing topic?! ;o) Happy weekend, Gigi ((HUGS))

  7. wow ... your color writing blew me away!
    *like a flake lost in the blizzard wind* ... : )
    seriously, bravo ~ i can see her pale white hands pouring another cup ... sigh.

    sooooo ... i just finished my color (you say color, i say colour ~ let's call the whole thing off *not*; ) exercise ... and i have to say i had a harder time with it than the map exercise. i think i needed the map to give me 'direction', to keep my focus. i almost stopped my colour one to jot down notes as to what i wanted to say. i find myself doing a lot of 'first person' which i am not sure i want to continue, so i will try a different approach in your next lesson.

    love this SO much ... thanks thanks thanks ...

    btw, LOVE your maps polly and karen! so cool how different they are ... and how brave you are to use pen and colour! i always use pencil ... almost in a timid way ... xo

  8. Gigi,
    Thank you for sharing my map. I'm loving this post and the comments to go with. Ok, I took the plunge and posted my map and journey writing assignment on my blog.I was up way in the wee hours busy editing, editing, editing. I get stuck in past and present tense and stumble to make sense of what I'm thinking and want to express on paper. But its out there now for whoever wants to wander over for a read. I'm having a love/hate relationship with the process, but I am committed to carry on.


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