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The Colour Red

Red leaves in the autumnIt’s been more than a month since I’ve posted an Author Note about writing –– between my wedding anniversary, my new job and a few other things, there’s been a lot going on. But I did find time on the Thanksgiving Day holiday to go for a long walk, which provided the idea for a new writing exercise.

This time of year is beautiful in Ontario. The temperatures have begun to cool, and the air feels fresher than it does in the heat of summer. And then there are the leaves –– red, orange and gold, they are spectacular.

Which brings me to the exercise.

As I’ve said before, whether you’re working on a particular project or not, it’s important to keep the writing muscles limber. It’s also important to be able to readily access the huge bank of images and memories stored in your subconscious.

I’m convinced there are literally countless ways to help you do this. Indeed, the inspiration is everywhere. And today’s inspiration is colour, in this case the colour red, like the red of the leaves on the tree I photographed close to my home.

The exercise is, very simply, to take that colour and see where it leads you. Start with the following six words and free flow: Red. Red is the colour of…

Don’t plan ahead… don’t even think… just write. When you’re finished, look back at the memories and images ‘red’ brought to the surface. Then if you’re so inclined, why not try another colour, like orange.

Now get ready. Get set. Go!

Red. Red is the colour of a sunset sky over a painted blue ocean… and the dress I bought in London when I was 16, the one with cap sleeves and black trim that made me feel like a dancer.

Red is the colour of my father’s rose and my mother’s leather gloves, worn with her white and black wool coat.

Red is the journal filled with jottings on the soft white paper. Red is ink, and paint, and boots, and scarves, and fabric, and leaves.

Red is passion and joy… power and energy. Red is vibrant red.