18 February 2013

pause: giving your chapbook room to breathe

Today's task (which, admittedly, took absurdly long to get posted) is extremely simple: Pause.

The OLJ Chapbook Challenge: "Pause"
That's right ... we're taking another break from our chapbooks. But the reason is a little different this time around. Earlier this month (just last week, actually) we slept on our chapbooks to allow our emotions to mellow and allow ourselves to switch hats from writers to editors of our work. This week, however, we're taking a break because we've been doing some serious work with our writing (or art) and ... wait for it ... we deserve a break.

Let me rephrase that. You deserve a break. Yes, you. You, who have been sitting in front of piles and piles of your work for two weeks now. You who have been gazing intently at your computer screens trying to figure out which piece belongs where and why these words no longer sound right or how you missed the bad coloring in that corner of your photograph. You who are ready to pull your hair out. You who ran out of coffee. Whoever you are, hear this, and accept it: You. Deserve. A. Break!

This task isn't without some writerly advice, however. We're not simply casting our writing aside. This time around, our break-task comes with a few mini-tasks in between. They are to:

1. Go for a walk. Reconnect with nature, even if nature is that tree in a cast iron fence in the middle of downtown.

2. Watch a movie. Pull out an old favorite, or go see something new. I'd recommend Rio Bravo, but that's just because I'm going through a really weird phase right now ...

3. Sing a song. Karaoke it out. And, hey, I've even got some Karaoke for Writers for you!

4. Take a long bath or shower and pretend you're at a beach or in a rainforest. Seriously. See what happens.

Why are these the mini tasks for this week? Because part of putting together a chapbook needs to be giving yourself time to be fun or silly or otherwise not chapbooking. Your task is not only to take a little break, but also to have fun. When we come back on Wednesday, we'll be looking at selecting the final piece for your chapbook; on Friday we'll be switching things up a bit (you'll see how when we get there ... I promise it's nothing too extreme)!

Until then ... Have fun! 

Be sure to leave a comment with what you did for fun outside of chapbooking between now and Wednesday!


Want to stay connected? I invite you to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Please also sign up for the free email updates from Our Lost Jungle!


Join in the Our Lost Jungle Chapbook ("CB") Challenge!


  1. I rested yesterday and today by walking three miles inside our local ice rink – The Big Dipper . Here it’s 38 below and lots of carcinogenic ice-fog, so until its zero and the inversion lifts we walk inside.
    I think my movie will be Full Moon In Blue Water, 1988, set in the Texas gulf coast – a warm, sunny place. It has been four or more years since I last saw it. This little known character-driven film reminds me more of a stage play than a movie. It is about how one man’s loss and grief effects his livelihood and those around him. It is high drama peppered with humor and stellar performances from Teri Garr, Gene Hackman, and Burgess Meredith.
    I do need the break, not because of my chapbook but common computer woes. I downloaded Scrivener from Amazon and it runs like a dog with a brick tied to its tail. Amazon also did not send the registration code so in thirty days the trial may leave me with nothing. I will consult my local computer geek and make queries to Amazon. Add to this a night owl teen and sleepless nights, so a little break is in order.
    For those interested, I posted an extended comment on form and pacing in chapbooks on Khara's forum.

    1. Sorry for the computer troubles, Kris; it sounds like a break is definitely well-deserved! I'd not heard of "Full Moon" but it sounds like a good watch. Happy walking, watching, and resting!

      I also shared your Forum thread with the Facebook group; I hope you're getting some good conversation there on that topic!

  2. I sorta answered Kris's comment on the forum but then went off on a tangent of my own which should actually be another thread likely (sorry Kris) - and I couldn't agree more about Scrivener (am not going to pay for the pro version I don't think) - I have enough trouble trying to figure out how to do a T of C in Word still! Such a Luddite am I...am happy at least not to have the night owl teen tho'...

    1. I really need to invest some time in researching Scrivener; I've heard mostly good things about it, but given some of the latest reviews from this group I'm beginning to think it may not be all it's chopped up to be. Thanks for sharing, Sharon!

      (I also have to give some love to the night owl teens, ha-ha ... I was one of them, although I at least hid it pretty well from my parents. They didn't know my nighttime habits 'til they caught me trying to quietly novel one night at close to 1am ... on my typewriter, ha-ha!)

  3. I went for walks in a park full of unique animal sculpture, and around a downtown rodeo festival where I hung out with real cattle, and saw fake ones line dance.

    Does that count?

    Now to go take a shower. :-D

    1. That totally counts, Kiril! I wish I could see that park of animal sculptures ... it's been a while since I've found somewhere that sounds that interesting to take a stroll!


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

Featured Post

Sankofa: The Power of Known History

I recently took on two challenges in the sphere of political and cultural advocacy: understanding the roots of our democracy and national l...