Minstrel

A Literary Blog

Writing Prompt 4

So you have the idea for a character but you’re still having a hard time fleshing them out. Why not take a personality test for that character.

Here’s what you need to do:

Take a pen and paper and write out the very basic qualities for your character then put on your writing hat and head on to http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp.  With your character in mind, complete the Myers Briggs Assessment.   Once you print out the result, head on to www.typelogic.com to read more about that personality type.  Keirsey.com also has information about temperaments. By the time you are done with these sites, you should have a load of ideas to move ahead with your project.

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September 14, 2009 Posted by | Tomi, writing prompts | , , , , | Leave a comment

LESSONS FROM THE WHITE NOSED DOG ON ROAD 12

I reach out

He runs

Sometimes in circles

Sometimes he comes near

but when I reach out

He runs away

On and on

We go through this everyday

 

Sometimes in the company of friends

He dares to venture near

But alone he’d rather back off

when i reach out to him

and sometimes he barks at me

 

I’m astounded

Who scarred you li’l brother

Why do you run?

What‘s so vivid in your memory

That makes you reach out

And at the point of contact let go

 

It is better nowadays though

with another you come

And only then can you be touched

 

Today I touched your head

And I was surprised you’d let me

watching warily from the corner of your eyes

my hand upon your head

But soon after,

you ran

 

Many a time I’ve watched

musing about the amazing parallel

between you and I

You gave me hope today

Yet you still ran afterwards

 

How long till you trust me?

How long till I trust?

 

I don’t mean to hurt you

But do you know that?

 

You are an enigma

And you are a playful fella

I’ve seen you play with friends

Now I’m supposed to end this all

With a fancy phrase

But the parallel is so large

 

In my minds eye

I sit and watch you

As we sit face to face

Pondering about life as we see it

I suppose then

That this poem will not be finished

But the story will end

Happily I pray.

 

©2001 Dotun Adejuyigbe

September 13, 2009 Posted by | Dotun, guest post | , , | Leave a comment

Tools for A Writer

Two weeks ago, my old computer packed up on me and while I was trying to resolve issues on my extended warranty plan, I realized I couldn’t do without a computer until the repair was done. So I went to the store and in the process of checking out a new computer, it dawned on me just how integral the computer had become to my writing. As I reflected on upon this issue, I came up with this list of things that tend to make a writer’s life:

A Pen: That should be the most obvious isn’t it? Well i find that a lot of people go out of the house without thinking of carrying a pen. After all, most places you go, it is likely that there will be someone to lend you a pen. I say most places because if you go rowing on a boat and find inspiration in the middle of nowhere or when you go camping, there just might be no one in your vicinity with a pen in that case, it pas to carry our one. Well, I find that having a wallet with a pen slot has been a huge help to me since it’s quite unlikely that I would leave home without my wallet. I keep a pen stuck in that slot all the time so anywhere I need it, I am sure to find a pen.  I also found a journal at the book store that has the same pen slot so if the wallet is not your thing, this journal would be perfect for you especially if you are one of those writers that carry a journal with you.

Paper: Next to the pen, I’d say the basic tool for the writer is a pen. In fact it is recommended that writers are carry a journal with them all the time so that they can record ideas and inspiration on the spot.  Some even say to put a journal under your pillow or on your nightstand for this same reason.  While the later is a norm for me, I find it easier to fold a piece of paper in my wallet and throw a post-it pack in the side pockets of my pocketbook for my notes when I am outside the house.  These are much easier to carry around- not as bulky as a journal. I divide the paper into sections with my pen and try to maximize use by categorizing information in the sections and when I get home I can just punch holes in the paper and put it in my ideas folder.  And just in case, I run out of paper, I find that keeping the receipts I receive from my errands in my handbag comes in handy and there is always something to write on. But now that receipts are also getting printed on the back, I’m looking out for other alternatives. I guess I have to try harder at replacing that piece of paper in the wallet as soon as I exhaust the available space on it.

Netbooks: For the simple reason that it saves me time, I love to have my computer.  I can type directly into my word processing program, rather than writing on paper first and then typing later. With the introduction of the new Netbooks, I think writers have found an indispensable companion.  Netbooks are so portable, you can throw your computer in your pocketbook and type anywhere you want. Check out the specifications when buying though so you make sure it will serve all your needs before you purchase one.

Internet enabled Phone: I love the iPhone.  Sometimes when I’m out of paper, I pop out my phone and click on the notes app. Voila! I’m ready to type in my ideas and when I am done, I simply email it to myself and when I get home, I open the mail, copy the text and paste into Microsoft word. I can also save and edit my notes, take a voice memo, do online research same and cut and paste relevant text. It’s like having a mini computer at my fingertips. I’m told some other phones have similar capabilities I recommend  the iPhone  because I use one. If you are out to check a phone, compare before you buy. 

Thesaurus: Well, no writer should be without a thesaurus.  As a writer, you may often find it necessary to find the exact word that convey your exact meaning to your reader; sometimes, it’s the need to be more descriptive. Indeed depending on your choice of word, you can evoke different reactions from your readers. Finding the the right word is where a thesaurus comes in handy – a tool for finding alternate word choices.

Dictionaries: It sure helps when you get stuck on your words to check them out. There are different kinds of dictionary and they all serve different functions:  the regular dictionary  is your source for the meaning of words;  A rhyming dictionary gives you words choices when you are trying to rhyme your lines especially as it often occurs in poetry and children’s books; a quotes dictionary is a database of quotations with author and subject indexes an easy way to find Quotes from famous political leaders, authors, and literature.  and these days, with lots of online dictionaries, finding out the meaning of words can me done with ease. 

A Word processing software:  Microsoft Word is perhaps the most popular word processing software right now.  There is word perfect and some others.  Word processing software makes writing easier. Most include dictionaries, thesaurus, check your spelling and sometimes grammar.

 

That’s the list, for now. Some of these items like the netbook and the iphone do seem pricey at first but if you are serious about writing and you’d like to be more productive, you really should look into them they save you money and time in the long run. Also like I mentioned earlier, there seem to be other alternatives that can give you the same results. Find those alternative and most importantly you as a writer are creative use those creative juices in you to find your own tools and be a better writer.  Just so you know,   I continue to look out for new things  and new ideas to make writing fun and easy so if you have your recommendations, put in a comment and let me know.

ciao for now.

September 13, 2009 Posted by | recommendations, Tomi | , , , , , | 2 Comments

ON MY FATHER’S DEATH

It is said of Yeats I think

That

What instruments we have tell us the day he died was bleak and cold

Well then the day you died,

‘Twas a roaring storm

That shook the foundations of the entire offshore platform

And made men at sea pray to God to spare them

When an iron structure with roots in the sea bed

Waved in a cruel waltz that made the hair on your head stand

With the anemometer pirouetting in an eye boggling spin.

Yet in me I could not connect it

Till a phone call the next day to say

"Prof. don mud"

Marking my entry into another phase of existence

Some insist it was my initiation to manhood

Was it?

All I knew

As I tried to find the pictures

To understand it with

Was that

Daddy was dead.

 

©2001 Dotun Adejuyigbe

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Dotun, guest post, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Mental Pabulum 6

There is always something new to learn.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | mental pabulum | , | Leave a comment

Like the vulture I wait like the eagle to fly

Like the vulture I wait

Like the eagle to fly

High into the skies above I’ll fly

Far above places we’ve seen

To places I’ve dreamed

 

There’s so much I’ve not seen

But wait they will

Every day I live

With my past that’s been

Make up my future that will be

 

I will dine with Kings

I will dance with Queens

I’ll build a castle the sky to touch

With the lord by my side

to be my torch

 

Like the mountains I stand

In my world to plan

So much to do I’ll say again

But time once lost we can’t regain

 

I know one day I’ll leave this place

For a place so high the skies displace

But after me my works on earth remain

And every where you go my hymn you’ll hear

On the lips of the saints as they watch at night

 

Like the vulture I wait

Like the eagle to fly.

 

©2000 Kunle Adejuyigbe

August 23, 2009 Posted by | guest post, Kunle, poetry | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mental Pabulum 5

First impression matters but there’s something called second chances.   For him who is given a second chance, great opportunities can sometimes emerge.

August 19, 2009 Posted by | mental pabulum | , , | Leave a comment

THE ROSE AND THE WIND

Yesterday

The rose danced with the wind

 

Many thought it ridiculous

What! with the restlessness of the Wind

And the placid abiding of the Rose

 

But O, the sight remains in my mind still

Of an improbable dream come true

 

For it was just a day ago

When the ubiquitous, shapeless,

Formless Wind

 

Together with the beautiful, shapely, scented

Stationary, thorny, Rose

 

Hand in hand and

Heart to heart as only they could

 

Yes it was yesterday

When the skies lent the moon for lights

While the stars sprinkled the earth showers of golden sparks

 

Then, the Rose,

Danced with the Wind.

 

© 2007 Dotun Adejuyigbe

August 16, 2009 Posted by | Dotun, guest post, poetry | , | Leave a comment

Mental Pabulum 4

Perfect timing is a matter of perspective and perspective is a subject of the individual .

August 12, 2009 Posted by | mental pabulum | , , , , | Leave a comment

CHANGE?

Shall all arise?

In one language speak

Shall color no more

Be the language of love

 

Shall we all wake in the dawn?

Bask in the sunlight

Rest at twilight

With frisson in our hearts

 

Shall the music of change

Bring a rhythm

That would last beyond the dance

With the message of chance

 

Shall the echoes of the speech

Ring true in our hearts

Deep beyond the reach

Of the human eye

 

Has the veil of color been moved?

Can ability! Can labor! Can sweat!

Be allowed to sift

The wheat of selection?

 

Shall the oven of color

Bake no more in the hearts of men

The inferior bread

Without recourse to the taste

 

Shall jobs be free for all?

Can qualified be demystified

Can stardom be thrown?

At random to all

 

Can we say?

As we pray

That `A Change has come!’

 

© 2009 Derin Onokpasa

August 9, 2009 Posted by | Derin, guest post, poetry | , , | Leave a comment