Stephanie Carlisle. A World of Your Own Making. Grade 12, Age 17. 2013 Gold Medal, Mixed Media.

Stephanie Carlisle. A World of Your Own Making. Grade 12, Age 17. 2013 Gold Medal, Mixed Media.

This week, our SoHo office has earned an extra “t”: SOHOT. So we asked alum Loretta Lopez, editor of this year’s The Best Teen Writing (to be released in the fall) and native of Guadalajara, to share her ideas for keeping cool and creative during this sultry season.  Read on, while you sip your iced chai or lemonade! Have ideas on how to stay creative this summer? Tweet them to @artandwriting using #StartWriteNow or post them on our Facebook page!

Trust chance
Go to a nearby library, bookstore, or even a shelf in your house. Run your fingers over the spines of books (perhaps with your eyes closed) and when one feels right, choose it.  Split it open and read the first paragraph that you lay your eyes on. Then, write a scene that either follows or precedes the occurrences of the paragraph you just read.

Cut, Paste, Write
Look through old magazines and newspapers. Cut out a few images and headlines that interest you. Construct a collage by arranging your collection, perhaps in peculiar ways—you may place a Buddhist monk on top of a skyscraper or make a beach house ride a dragonfly. Once you are satisfied with your collage, create a poem or story based the scenarios you have constructed.

Janice Lee. Meeting Through the Plastic Glove. Grade 12, Age 17. 2013 Gold Medal, Painting

Janice Lee. Meeting Through the Plastic Glove. Grade 12, Age 17. 2013 Gold Medal, Painting

Be Meticulous
Find a compelling street, alleyway or building in your neighborhood and describe it as precisely as possible. Pretend your description will be sent to someone across the ocean and that you want them to feel as if they had been standing right next to you. Try to be innovative with your word choice. When you run into words you find yourself using often, grab a thesaurus and explore other possibilities.

Be your own Psychic
For years, without knowing why, I was afraid of scissors directly pointing at me, even if they had been nonchalantly placed on a table beside me or if they were the child-friendly kind with non-threatening blades. Do you sometimes feel there are inexplicable quirks to your personality? Even if you don’t believe in reincarnation, imagine you had a past life. Write as if you were this person, to explore aspects of yourself you find no explanation for in your present life.

Madison Schuessler. Young Life. Grade 11, Age 16. 2013 Gold Medal, Photography.

Madison Schuessler. Young Life. Grade 11, Age 16. 2013 Gold Medal, Photography.

Brainstorm Together
With a friend, come up with a wild situation/scenario or an intriguing character. Then, write about this situation or character separately for at least twenty minutes. Share your results.

 

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5 comments

  1. Lisa

    This is a great post and I love the artwork! When I saw the painting by Janice Lee I thought the glove was an icy hand…and boy would that feel good right now!

  2. Linh

    Very cool post. I’ll apply your tips to Math research…So curious where it will lead me to

  3. Roo

    I’m on my summer vacation and these tips are very helpful for keeping my creative juices flowing.
    -ruby

  4. Bianca

    Fantastic post; it definitely got me inspired. I hope to employ these prompts very soon!

  5. Cesar

    Dear Ms. Lopez,

    I have also an idea for making creative in hot weather. When temperature is more than 30° Centigrade, I like to go to zoo and pretend I am different animal. If stay at cage for more than ten minutes, I can make eye contacts with animals. Then I wonder, “What if I am animal?” for Gorilla, Dog, etc. This help me to make creative story and poem.

    - Cesar, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico

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