Since I was a kid, I've had a thing for seed catalogues. I used to pore over them for hours. Still do. If you’ve never spent an afternoon with a seed catalogue, I highly recommend it. You will be amazed at the wealth of fascinating words. The same goes for field guides of any sort; trees, insects, rocks & minerals, birds, etc… I also comb estate sales and thrift stores for vintage books, and I have found several lovely old books with magnificent illustrations. Two of my favorites have dozens of paintings of Wildflowers and North American Water Fowl.
For the following Free Write, I used my book about wildflowers and a music dictionary. I randomly chose four words from each book by closing my eyes, opening the book and pointing. The flower words I picked were Delphinium, Night-smelling Epidendrum, Cranesbill and Fireweed. From the music dictionary I picked samba, flutter tonguing, plectrum and finger pluck. The parameters were to write 4 two-line stanzas.
Here’s what surfaced for me:
The Delphinium, blue breath of afternoon,
peek over the hedge, bob and samba
Night-smelling Epidendrum thrum,
flutter tonguing the gorgeous lilies
Pining Cranesbill swish, beg,
tempt and worry Queen Anne’s plectrum
Till Fireweed obliges
with a tickle and finger pluck.
Springboard du Jour: Using a seed catalogue, field guide or the like, randomly choose four words. Using a music dictionary, dance dictionary, cooking dictionary (or the like) randomly choose four more words. Write 4 two-line stanzas, each stanza using one word from each list. Remember – this is a free write – write as fast as you can and with abandon.