more travel writing

A month or so back, Rosie and I attended a course at Auckland University for people who wanted to learn how to write in a travel-writing style. I didn't learn much because I'm not a writer and found it impossibly difficult. Rosie, on the otherhand, was just fantastic at it.

One of the exercises we had to do on the course was go outside and "experience" the world and then come back with a bunch of similes and metaphors to describe it - I was in a *mood* having had little sleep the night before/being a grumpy bitch in general, so didn't read my only offering upon returning to class. My "the breeze on her skin was cool like the touch of her lover's unfeeling fingers as he left to shag his mistress" was hopelessly unfunny so I bunked off the task. I shouldn't have because mine turned out NOT being the worst I heard that morning.. I think those honours go to our "published" writer (and oh didn't she know it) who wrote : "the air crawled across her face like a wet slug as the wind whistled around her legs like writhing vipers"

I Googled for some bad similies online and below are the offerings but I'd like to say that the people who wrote the following understand the concept very well and are not bad similies, but absolutely fabulous ones:

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like "Second Tall Man."

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m.traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m . at a speed of 35 mph.

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

and while hurtling around the 'net, I found this from a article on bad writing, which tickled my fancy:

"Keeler is to good literature as rectal cancer is to good health. He makes the J.D. Robb novels seem as if they were written by Shakespeare. Given the choice of reading three Keeler novels back to back or being imprisoned in an Iranian jail,you'd need to think about it."