Practice Page: August 2016 Newsletter


In The Comics

One of my simple pleasures is discovering intriguing ideas for writing experiments in my everyday meanderings. Recently, this has happened to me several times in the comics section of the newspaper, of all places.

• Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano & Jim Keefe

Bree: “Hil, the moment you create something you no longer have complete control over it… The book belongs to the reader. The painting to the viewer. The song to the listener.”

• Pickles by Brian Crane

Opal: “What are you looking at, Earl?”
Earl: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

• Dilbert by Scott Adams

Dilbert: “Is that what you had in mind by making the world a better place?”
CEO: “I didn’t mean better for everyone.”

There is something in each of the above examples that leaped for my attention. Maybe you sense something, too. What excites me most is that I wasn’t actually looking for anything, yet something found me anyway.

Before this happened, I would not have expected writing ideas to pop up while I was enjoying the comics. More than a few ideas have appeared while reading other sections of the newspaper: travel essays, images with captions, event listings, quotations, and reviews of books, movies, restaurants or performances. So, why not the comics? Writing ideas are everywhere.

Writing experiment:

If one of the above examples intrigues you, consider using it as a place to begin listening and writing. Or better yet, grab a newspaper and check out the comics yourself.

When something captures your attention, even a few minutes of focused listening and writing can be an opening for your own discovery.


Laurie Mattila
© August 2016


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