Wonder Lines


A good friend recently gave me a wonderful book called Rip the Page by Karen Benke.  It’s filled with interesting writing exercises that encourage a writer to play with words and experiment with style.  Much like Wreck This Journal forced me to jump out of my comfort zone, Rip the Page challenges me to write with an entirely different perspective.  My muse is in an uproar, but I’m making her play along anyway.

In “Questions Without Answers,” Benke encourages the creation of wondering lines that start with: who, what, where, why, how, whendo, is, if, would, and could.  The idea is to write whatever question comes to mind without worrying about the answer or whether it makes sense. There’s nothing quite like a free write to loosen up the inner voice of my muse!

My questions came out of nowhere, but I was surprised at how they all seemed to link despite my random train of thought.  Even though I wasn’t supposed to answer each question, I couldn’t help but respond to my own inquiries.  In a sense, I ended up having a conversation with myself that lead to more than one epiphany.  A new short story is hiding somewhere in my Wonder Lines . . .

Who really knows the truth?

Everyone and no one. You decide.

What is reality without boundaries?

The life I wish to live.

Where would treasure hide if given the choice of anywhere in the world?

It already hides inside of each and every person.  Whether its found depends on whether we are willing to look.

Why is fear the one thing that always holds us back?

It has so much power because we fool ourselves into thinking we are weaker than some abstract “thing.”

How do dreams falter even as passion thrives?

Fear and doubt override passion every time when they are allowed free rein.

When does fate decide what will be and what will not?

Somewhere between always and never.

Do you believe?

Yes. There is always something to believe in, no matter the circumstance.

Is there a way to break free of all that binds?

Yes.  If you are brave enough to recognize that which binds.

If the sky fell, would I still be able to see the stars?

I hope so.

Would light exist without the dark?

They are one in the same.

Could this all be a figment of my imagination?

Possibly and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

– – –

c.b. 2012


20 thoughts on “Wonder Lines

  1. I really loved both this question, and the accompanying answer: When does fate decide what will be and what will not? Somewhere between always and never.

    It sounds like Rip the Page is a great place to shake loose some creativity!


    • That question really surprised me when it came flying out of my head! The answer was even more surprising! I had no idea anything like that was hiding inside of me. 🙂

      I’m definitely excited to see what else Rip the Page “shakes loose.”


  2. Wow. What thought-provoking questions, and incredibly cool answers. Teetering on spiritual conversation with your muse? Amazing, isn’t it, where the questions come from and how spontaneous the answers arise? Wonder what would happen if you expanded each answer into a paragraph. You might have a lot to say on some, and maybe nothing on others. Obviously insightful, and yes, at least one more story, perhaps even a poem?


    • To my great surprise, some of the answers to these questions have helped me flush out one of main characters in my current novel project. As I play with my answers, they are evolving into lines of dialogue that I needed to fill in a few plot holes. I find it amazing that my muse chose to reveal these little secrets with this exercise!

      Thanks so much for reading! 🙂


  3. What you do with these books is amazing. How you manage to turn just about everything in to a chance for growth is inspiring. I look forward to many more thoughtful posts and intriguing questions.


    • You never know when your muse is going to take you somewhere amazing, so I’ve taken to the philosophy of listening wherever and whenever I can. Sometimes its from a book like this and sometimes it’s from something even smaller like a sound I hear outside. We are surrounded with inspiration and I always hope I have the awareness to keep growing when an opportunity presents itself. 🙂


  4. I heard about the Rip This Page book about half an hour ago and looked it up…now I’m convinced I have to buy one! I’m having great fun with Wreck This Journal at the moment, and although I’m at the beginning of the wrecking, it’s good to know there are plenty of things for me to move on to when that’s all finished! 🙂


    • Between Keri Smith and Karne Benke, both of our creative muses should be occupied for a while! I love how these books challenge me to try new things. I’m always surprised by what I’ve created at the end of an exercise.

      Thanks so much for reading and subscribing! 🙂


  5. It’s funny I just heard about a similar exercise from a speaker in this Spiritual Business Boot Camp I’m taking part in. I haven’t tried it yet, but after seeing your remarkable results, I think I will soon!


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