Portable MFA

| books | writing |

update 6/15/2014: I found the blog on internet archive and imported it here, most posts from before 2011 are from that blog.

A couple of years ago I got the Portable MFA book for Kindle. I was really into writing back then. I kept a blog (which I have since completely deleted) called “The Thoughts Bubble” where I would write poetry, prose, short stories, and thoughts about writing in general. I think I even wanted to just become a writer at some point.

My Kindle has been sitting on my bookshelf, dead, for several months now. This does not mean I have not been reading, I have just not been reading on my Kindle. I have been fluctuating between Apple iBooks, Physical Books, and random free ebooks that I find online. I finally charged up my Kindle last night and started to read the first of the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. As I was looking through my Kindle Library, I stumbled across this book again and decided to read it again.

I miss being younger, and having ideas. When I read this book the first time I was able to really take advantage of many of the exercises and fondly remember exercising my writing skills. Now, I am stuck on the very first exercise called Poem, Dream, Conflict. Essentially you think of a quote, a recent dream, and a recent conflict that you have had and write a couple unrelated paragraphs of prose. Then you put them all together without explicitly referencing anything. The main idea here is that when it comes to writing short stories, the more questions you leave open to the reader the more compelling your work becomes.

I don’t remember the last time I read a poem. All of my dreams are horrible but I cannot recall any specific reason why. I try to avoid conflict. I spent a good hour staring at a blinking cursor while trying to complete this exercise. I gave up and started reading some poetry instead.

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