a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving ― LAO TZU
here is a prompt I use myself, particularly when feeling stuck & restless. also! it's a great transitional exercise for students entering the classroom; it helps to focus disparate energies & provides raw material they can draw from when in need.
suggestions for keeping a TRAVEL LOG:
choose a SETTING:
- the one you are in now
- one from your past
- one you have not traversed, but exists or did or may in the future (i.e. Napoleon era France; Mars yesterday; the tundra between an ant hill & a flower; a diner in Mobile, 2075; the circulatory system of your lover the day before you met)
you may wish to INCLUDE:
- date: actual or invented
- weather/atmosphere/socio-political climate or other external mood
- what you & your party (if w/others) have done since last (real or imagined) entry
- what you have observed about terrain, shelter, equipment, baggage (physical, psychological), OR other people, animals, etc.
- prediction for the road ahead
- an arrival &/or departure
- something heard, overheard, touched or smelled
- a memory OR revision of thought
- USE VIVID CONCRETE LANGUAGE—what you can see, hear, smell, taste & touch.
- minimize abstractions & language describing emotion.
- play with scale, syntax, tone, persona. (do you write stories? catalog travels in the voice of a character through the landscape of your story). understate. exaggerate. invent.