Checklist to Survive a Nuclear Winter

Last week, we looked at obsession, but obsession is like last week. The gorilla suit has been put away, candy corn has left us with orange, waxy tongues, and sweets wrappers litter our autumn-barren hedges. This week, I’m determined as a dog snout in a just-used litter box to get the simile party started. Merriam-Webster’s take on simile: A figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as, (e.g., cheeks like roses, as brave as a lion, determined as a dog snout in a just-used litter box).

Two options, one for a fiction exercise, the second for poetry or even a creative nonfiction piece:

Create a simile with the Serendipitous Simile Generator. Click the generator’s buttons until you create a simile that you can use to describe a character you create. Write a story or a descriptive paragraph about your character, using the simile somewhere in your story or description.

Or

*Make a list of objects. One thing should be from your desk, one from your closet, one a body part, one a thing you covet that belongs to someone else, one enormous, one slippery, and at least one that makes an odd or evocative sound. Now, describe each using a simile. Do this twice for each one. Using as many of the similes as you can, write a poem with a title such as “Checklist to Survive a Nuclear Winter” or “Things That Have Nothing To Do With Grief.”

*From Poets & Writers, “The Time is Now,” Jan. 24, 2011

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