Prologue: Concerning Writing-Exercises and Ways to Approach Them.
PART I. WRITING PROMPTS AND ACTIVITIES.
1. Riding the Blue Line—Reading.
Fitting Yourself into the Conversation of Writing You Love.
And How About Your Reading Habits?
Your Own Canon.
Reading Your Times: When You Came to Be.
Reading Home: Organizing and Developing Memories.
Correspondences: Imitation and Inspiration.
Collecting Epigraphs for a Textual Mosaic.
Writing Provocations: Responding to Other Writing.
Eight Steps for Inhabiting and Transforming a Poem.
Travels With the Essay.
Reading and Writing Out of Other Art.
History as a Collaboration of Fact and Imagination.
Shadows, Doubles, and Others.
Can You Name That Epiphany?
The Narrow Road to Mixing Genres.
Reading Form as a Product of Perspective.
Reading and Writing in the Workshop.
Responding to, Evaluating, and Grading Alternative Style.
2. Riding the Green Line—Invention.
Dislodge the Icon of "The Writer".
Narrative Anxiety Cure-All (Not Sold In Stores).
Coming to Our Overlooked Senses.
Taste: Writing About Food and Family.
Sounds and Smells.
Places and Things.
The Familiar Place as Frontier: Seeing the Rare in the Ordinary.
Beginning with Nostalgia: Lost Childhood Places.
Places, Memories, Desires.
The Text(ure) of Public Places.
Writing About or With Objects.
Writing from Expertise, Not Just From Experience.
Language and Form.
The Power of Names.
Writing From Your Name: An Introductory Poem (an Acrostic).
First Words of Stories: This Sentence, These Words.
The Perfect Grammar of Form: Finding Your Own Ideal Form.
Nonsense and Sound Poems: Demystifying Formal Verse.
Burrowing: Writing That Springs from Language Itself.