Sorry for the delay in posting this. I've been a busy little bee, and finally have a few minutes to get this done. On Tuesday 9th July, Lowestoft Library Writers' Group met. Di, our fearless leader, was on holiday so I stepped into her shoes.
Homework from last month was to bring in 3 pieces of our best work which will be used for a display in September, to coincide with the Lowestoft Library Literary Festival. Di wants us to showcase our talents. I took along two poems and a short piece of prose. I read out this poem.
My brain isn’t working,
No poem can it find,
The tumbleweed is lurking
Inside my empty mind.
The rhythm isn’t ready,
The structure isn’t right,
The line length isn’t steady,
The metre isn’t tight.
Poem, poem come find me,
Glide from my pen to page,
Present yourself most kindly
At the forefront of the stage.
Let a sonnet be your starter
Followed by your best dressed haiku,
Then a limerick just for laugher,
Main course is a free verse stew.
Nursery rhyme at wine time,
Tongue-twister for dessert,
And after our dinner pantomime
I guess a ballad wouldn’t hurt.
Poem, poem where are you?
Why won’t you come and play?
Perhaps you have something to do,
Perhaps I have nothing to say.
I wrote this poem a few years ago when I was at university. I was rudely awoken in the middle of the night by people being stupid outside of my flat, so rather than go outside and beat them to death with my shoe, I decided to put pen to paper and write, and this is what I came up with. Well, this is what I came up with after quite a bit of editing once I was lucid!
To start the session, I asked everyone to write for 5 minutes about anything they could think of. It didn't need to make sense or have a theme. They just had to write and keep writing. I tried to set the alarm on my phone to let us know when the 5 minutes were up, but I managed to set the alarm to go off an hour before the group started, which meant that it didn't go off when I wanted it to. Good job I kept an eye on the clock! Don't ask me what I did wrong! I'm not technologically minded! Anyway, this is what I came up with in the 5 minutes.
Why does it take me so long to do anything on my phone? I'm supposed to be from the age of technology and yet my sausage fingers still aren't flexible enough to use the buttons on my phone properly. Perhaps I should give up. Perhaps I should become an eco-warrior living in a tree, with pigeons living in my dreadlocks, and worms between my toes. But then I do like a shower and I do like my bed so I don't think I'd be very effective at promoting the 'save nature' cause. And although I do like nature, it can be quite scary, with all those creepy animals making strange noises at night. Do they make the same noises during the day. Perhaps they're like people. We tend to make strange noises at night. I had a boyfriend once who said that I snored. I don't believe him. Women don't snore. Well, my mum snores, and it sounds a lot different to my dad snoring. But I know I don't snore. I do talk in my sleep but that's probably more coherent than some of the guff I come out with during the day.
I handed out a sheet of lined paper to everyone in the group and asked them to write a word at the top. We then passed the papers to the right and wrote the first word we could think of in relation to the word on the page. We then folded over the paper so the first word was hidden, and passed the paper to the right. We continued this process until our papers had gone around the table twice.
My words ...
I asked everyone to write a story which included every work on their list.
Jack the book-worm munched happily on an old copy of Harry Potter that he'd found discarded in the back of the wardrobe. He didn't really like Harry Potter; he found it a bit hard to swallow, but he was hungry and didn't fancy chowing down on a mouldy old sports sock. He licked his wardrobe home. It was dark and comfortable, and above all it was safe. He shared a house with four cats, two dogs, and a big old bunch of humans. The humans were all right, but it was those inquisitive, sniffy animals he couldn't get on with, always shoving their big, black, slimy noses into every nook and cranny. Why can't they just eat books like normal animals? The worst bit is when Jack has a post novel nap and the cats fill the air with a glass-shattering meow. There's no need for it. It stings Jack's ears and sets his teeth right on edge and then he finds it difficult to chomp through his tasty pages. They sound like defective car alarms or drunk police sirens or a swarm of asthmatic bees. But on the quiet days, Jack can be happily found crawling around bookcases, scouting out the books that haven't been read in a while. While some book-worms are page rippers or page tearers or page suckers, Jack is a page nibbler. He tastes each word, each letter, each piece of punctuation. It gives him a buzz to choose his words carefully and make up his own story.
The homework for this month is to write a story in either first or third person ...
You wake up one morning and find ... (choose 3 things from the following list) ... next to you in bed. What happened last night?
- a plate of food
- a body part
- an animal
- a piece of sports equipment
- an item of the opposite sex's clothing
- a set of Polaroid photos
- a bag of jewellery
- a street sign
- a plant
- a wad of cash
We will be meeting again on Tuesday 13th August, with Di back in the helm.