Water towers are meaningful.

Yes, it's being power washed.

It's the way it makes you feel.

Seeing as I joined the Horrific Miscue gang after migrating to Seattle from a genuine small Iowa town, I feel a little compelled to provide some down-home Midwestern sensibility for the group.

This doesn’t really work, for a couple of reasons. I didn’t grow up in a small Iowa town, just rolled in to work for the newspaper, like a less exciting version of The Last Juror. And it didn’t take me long to decide that my future probably didn’t lie in a town that, while perfectly nice, didn’t even have a bookstore.

So I stayed for another two and a half years, then applied to Clarion West.

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Combine. Play. Hello.

Time passes. Listen. Time passes. Come closer now. Only you can see the writers, hunched over keyboards, in the clamoring cafes, the standing desks, and slouched couches. Only you can hear, in the mumbling craniums, the plot lines and character archs, world building and research notes, e-pub and agenting, notebooks and crazy rants, the plaque on the fridge saying “Sit in chair and write you ninny” and the yellowing, dogeared rejection slips, accreting and falling in mounded piles. 

Only you can hear the writer, crying in the streets for the perfect word, the perfect twist. Can I have a muffin now? And all the while, nouns and adverbs clatter, gerunding over scrabble.

Suggested Exercise:

Pick some language you love. In this case, Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood.

Pick a theme you want to explore. In this case, writing and writers.

Combine. Play.


Hi, my name is Liz Argall. Continue reading