Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nordic Roots-drafting

I guess I'm double dipping, as I begin my summer writing workshop with Teachers Write, and I resume my weekly slicing. Here is my writing activity for today.
My prompt is in bold.
My writing is in italics.

Two Minute FreeWrite (place)   Stakkholtsgja at Thorsmork, Iceland 1996 Ravine. Gorge. Walls of rocks. Scattered stones form a bridge as we cross the river to make it further into the gorge. Wordlessly we cross. I am a Viking. I am one with the land and one with them for the first time. Walls of moss surround me. The chilled wet air glistens on my skin. As we go further into the ravine, the Rewarded by the a waterfall at the end of our journey. This is hard to remember.
Writing from Senses (Now…if your place is real and you can go there, go there now.  I’ll wait….If it’s far away, find a picture of it. If it’s not a real place, put yourself there in your mind. Now write for one minute about each of the following:
Everything you SEE – Pay attention to big things and tiny things. Search for concrete details.
A single brown post crossed with another, sign reads “Stakkholtsgjá”  An earth colored ribbon, worn path surrounded by greens and browns and grays. Rocks blanketed in green moss. Glacier’s gravel comes in many shapes and sizes, creating a pathway beside the river. In single file we walk the ribbon path surrounded by the short foliage that hugs the earth. Stark gray stones contrasted by mossy green plants. Walls of bright green moss. Blankets of moss green plants. River with grey rocks scattered across, natures stepping stones
Walls of mossy rock envelop me. The green nearly  disappears as we turn to a crevice in the earth—water, rocks, and a cavelike opening beckons us inward. WE climb on the large rocks as we continue our Viking adventure. The green mossy rocks return as some light shines in from above. In this chasm in the earth, light shines from above, water rushes forth, spraying us with nature’s shower.
Clarity of water
Yellow purple flowers
White water rushing forth

Everything you HEAR – Be specific. Don’t just say “a scraping sound.” Say a “high-pitched, raspity-raspity-screeeeeaking noise.”  You can make up words if you want. If you aren’t in the place, try to find a video. Or guess what you might hear.

       The steady and nervous breathing as we concentrate to avoid falling in the icy water.
       Water rushing over rocks, swooshing over the earth
       Gravel slipping below our feet
       An occasional splash of a foot slipping
       Mini waterfalls
       Rain falling through the crevice of the earth
       Natures shower
       The wind that
       Sighs of concentration
       Footsteps over rocks, feet slipping

Everything you SMELL – Especially pay attention to the smells that
surprise you. If you’re not in the place, pictures can help you smell. Look carefully…what would that dumpster smell like?
Earthy, mossy, life, chilly damp air, smell of perspiration, dirt, mud, earth, clean, crisp, air fresher and cleaner than anything I have experienced

Everything you FEEL – Weather, wind, things that land on you or brush against you. Again – pictures help you imagine if you’re not there, and if it’s not a real place, try imagining images and then assigning sensations from a similar place that might be real (desert, tundra, etc.)
    Nordic breeze rushes through my hair
    Cold, crisp moist air like a mint in my mouth
    Foot slipping frustration
    Uncertainty of traveling a new path
    Comfort in the Nordic silence
    In touch with my Viking roots
    Kinship towards the land and the people
    No language barrier as we travel in silence

This will be inserted later. The words aren't flowing. I can't figure out how to restrict the beauty of the land of my Nordic roots into one paragraph. I will come back to this. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your writing journey. I think the imagery you had me conjuring up when you said "I am Viking" said everything you needed to say about Nordic roots - now layer in all that beautiful senses stuff.

  2. Sorry - what I mean is that the word "Viking" is a powerful word when referencing your Nordic roots because it makes statements about not only those roots but a sense of adventure and of making discoveries on a journey.


Thanks for reading my writing and sharing your thoughts with me.