Monday, 13 May 2013

LLTW - May

This afternoon, Lowestoft Library Teen Writers had their May meeting.  Only two girls came along, but they reminded me that it's exam time, so it's understandable that people would be revising rather than writing stories.

Homework from last session was to write about birth and death in whatever capacity.  So it could be the birth/death of a person, an animal, something in nature, an idea, anything that could be born and die.  One girl wrote a lovely poem, starting with a woman sitting at her husband's deathbed, going backwards through their life, taking in the birth of their child, and ending at the couple's meeting.

I haven't written anything *tut tut me* because this past month has been busy what with starting work and some other bits and pieces, but I've got an idea for what I want to write so I'll do it in the next few days and post it up here.


At the start of the session, I set my phone's alarm to go off in 5 minutes and asked the group to just write.  There was no theme or topic.  Everyone just had to write what was in their head.  Even if it ended up being "I don't know what to write."  That 5 minutes went really quickly.

Silence.  Unknowing silence.  But is silence ever silent?  The rumble of the vending machine.  The chatter of library customers.  The squeak of the automatic doors as they strain to open and close.  Who would have thought that a pen gliding across a page would make a noise?  Feet shuffling, breaths taken in then expelled.  The tick ticking of my brain trying to think of something to write.  Does the voice inside my head sound like anyone?  Can it be programmed like a satnav?  Can I be Joanna Lumley or Dale Winton when I think?  But I don't think I want my internal monologue to be narrated by them.  Perhaps Ray Winstone.  People outside. I wouldn't want to have their voices inside my head.


After completing the A-Z Challenge, I've been thinking about the alphabet quite a bit, and wanted to incorporate something alphabetical into the writing group tasks.  We all wrote the alphabet, and next to each letter we wrote the first work we could think of beginning with that letter.  Any word; nouns, adjectives, verbs, people, anything.

A - acrobat
B - bottle
C -cold
D - dangerous
E - enormous
F - friend
G - garage
H - hospital
I - indigo
J - Japan
K - kite
L - lovely
M - money
N - November
O - open
P - pickle
Q - queen
R - rainbow
S - star
T - table
U - undertaker
V - vagabond
W - waterfall
X - xylophone
Y - yellow
Z - zoo

Once we had our words, we used them to write a story.  I didn't manage to use all my words in the time we had to write, but I may eventually get around to finishing it!

Jerome was an acrobat.  His mother feared for his life whenever he performed.  She had wanted him to follow in his father's footsteps and take over the family business.  Jerome had never wanted to be an undertaker.  Putting make-up on dead bodies was not how he wanted to spend the rest of his days.  As a child he would spend his weekends jumping off the garage roof onto a pile of sofa cushions.  He'd only had to go to the hospital twice; once for a broken wrist and the other to get stitches in his eyebrow.  The dangerous heights appealed to him.  The risk, flying into the unknown.  He imagined himself to be a kite, soaring above the clouds, with the breeze tickling his belly, until he'd belly-flop onto the cushions and scrape himself along the gravel.  After a while Jerome started to collect bruises, watching his skin turn bright indigo, then yellow, then back to normal.  He'd even charge his friends a pound a go to prod them in the hope they'd last longer.  He made himself quite a bit of money through this venture.  One cold, November evening, Jerome treated his parents to tickets to the circus.  He was in his element.  The big top was enormous and the people were so excited.  Jerome's mother and father held their breath every time an acrobat soared through the air, but Jerome stood up and cheered.  That night he stood by his window and gazed out across the night sky.  The stars twinkled.  He knew that wishing on a star was futile, but he did it anyway.  Every night he wished he could be an acrobat.  He practised whenever he could.  He jumped off walls and tables, and jumped out of trees, and off the swings and over the climbing frames, at the park, at school, at the zoo, at the beach.  Wherever he could jump and tumble he would jump and tumble.


The next meeting is on Monday 10th June, 5pm-6pm, in the library cafe.  Homework for next session is to put yourself in the mind of your pet.

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