by Norm St Pierre
(Manville R.I. USA)
I sit in a quiet place for about 20 minutes and reflect on the past 24 hours. I write about the thing that most affected me emotionally during that time period. It could be a conversation I had or overheard. A news article I read or something I saw on TV. Maybe an image in print or from my daily routine (a child's temper tantrum, a kind act given to a stranger from another stranger, etc.). Whatever gives me the strongest feeling as I sit there, I use. I put down on paper, how I felt when I experienced it, and I try to think of ways to incorporate it in my writing while it's still fresh. If I feel it would make a good short story or article, I try to get a rough first draft going immediately. If it feels longer, I try to capture the idea in as much detail as I can so when I revisit it, I can recapture the energy I had when I thought of it. I write in a little more detail than you would in a journal and continue on the project until it loses its appeal or becomes a dead end. Then I sit in the chair and go fishing again.