The Creative Spark! – Recipe for a Spinach Metaphor Smoothie

“The Voice Magazine, a daydreamer’s read, each link clicked like the slow hand of a clock, chiming the passing of another regretful school-week.”

Did that taste a bit bitter? It should. It’s a spinach metaphor smoothie. And I’m going to show you how to make one. Actually, Pat Pattison’s book Song-Writing without Boundaries will show you.

But before blending the metaphors, let’s look at the health benefits of metaphor smoothies:

Open Your Speeches and Essays Like a Weightlifter: Every essay or speech needs a gripping intro. Why not a punchy metaphor?

Add Mass to Your Metaphor: Give your essay a power surge with an extended metaphor at the end of each major part.

The Reader’s Imagination Grapples with the Metaphor: When you use metaphors, they force your reader to imagine the weight of your words. The imagination lifts the reader’s memories and experiences and shoves them into your essay. Your reader and your writing merge.

The health benefits are nothing compared to the taste of a smoothie.

So, let’s make a metaphor smoothie out of The Voice Magazine:

Step 1: Write down one (or more) qualities that could represent The Voice Magazine. Here’s one: pass away the time.

Step 2: Then, think of one to three nouns or noun phrases that also pass away the time.

Here’s a noun: an elderly woman (waiting for her time to leave the earth). Yes, a sad metaphor?slightly bitter: a spinach smoothie.

Step 3: Then, take the noun “an elderly woman,” and jot down ten or more adjectives, verbs, adverbs, nouns, or phrases that relate to our noun phrase.

Here’s ten words or phrases related to “an elderly woman”: slow hand of a clock, grandfather’s clock, knitting, humming, rickety, rocking chair, old, card-games, Bingo, daydreaming, regrets, passing, chimes.

Step 4: Now, take our main noun, “The Voice Magazine,” and link it to the above words:

The Voice Magazine, a daydreamer’s read, each link clicked like the slow hand of a clock, chiming the passing of another regretful school-week.

Drink up.

But, wait, what’s the difference between a metaphor and a simile? We all know similes use “like” or “as.”

Pattison fills in the rest: if you want to make smoothie from headcheese, make it a metaphor; from a colonoscopy, make it a simile. Similes combine the most dissimilar, unlikely ingredients.

And similes put the attention on the first word: the colonoscopy felt like a spinach smoothie. Did you imagine something clinical?

Before you put me to the grind, remember that mnemonics work best with wildly strange imagery.

You won’t find that in Pattison’s book.

So, we just added a splash of fish oil to our spinach metaphor smoothie.

Bottoms up!

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