Monday 10 December 2012

LLTW December

So the month of sniffles and sneezes is upon us, and because of this we only had three people at the writing group this evening.  Unsurprisingly, none of them had done their homework, but I don't blame them.  They've got coursework and homework to do, but I'll keep setting the homework just in case they find some time to be creative.


The homework I set last month was to write a story using at least four of the following words: light, plastic, death, paint, tortoise, map, cabinet, follow.  I randomly chose these words by flicking through a dictionary.  Here's my offering.

Ruby hated staying with her aunt.  She was a grumpy woman who didn’t believe in having fun.  She had a strict rule that children should be seen and not heard, and if they could not be seen that would be a bonus.  She lived in a huge house in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields.  Ruby’s parents insisted that she stay there for a month each summer, while they took trips alone to various, exotic places around the world.  Ruby begged and pleaded to go with them, but they never listened.

As the car ambled up the long and bumpy driveway, Ruby held back her tears.  Her aunt stood at the front door, arms folded, with a scowl on her face.

“You’re late.  I can’t be standing around here all day waiting for you.”

Ruby picked up her suitcase and dragged it into the hallway.  She turned to wave to her parents but they were already driving away.

“I’m sorry Aunt Sibyl.”

“Up you go to your room.”

Ruby’s aunt shut the door, filling the house with darkness.  Ruby took a deep breath as she stood at the bottom of the stairs.  Her room was at the top of the house, exactly eighty-four steps from where she was standing now.  Her aunt walked away, not even offering to help with her bag.

Ruby sat down on her bed and opened her suitcase.  She took out her favourite toy, a stuffed tortoise that her parents had brought back from Australia one year.  She hugged him close to her chest and cried.

Feeling better, she walked downstairs and found her aunt sitting in the living room.

“What do you want?”

“Can I please play outside, Aunt Sibyl?”

“No you may not.  You may sit in here with me quietly, or you may go to your room.”

Ruby sat on the window seat and looked out across the garden, as the breeze danced through the leaves on the trees.  Oh how she wished she could go climbing or exploring or make daisy chains or catch frogs or chase squirrels.  She glanced at her aunt who was reading a book.

“I think I’ll go to my room.”

Her aunt didn’t look up.  Ruby walked out of the room and climbed the stairs.  She sauntered along the second floor landing, looking at the paintings on the wall.  She stopped in front of a picture of a woman who seemed to be staring at Ruby, no matter where she stood.  Ruby didn’t like this woman.  She turned and ran into the nearest room, shutting the door behind her.

Ruby tiptoed across the room to a large cabinet and pulled one of the drawers towards her.  She flicked her thumb through the papers until she came across something that piqued her interest.  She pulled out the yellow piece of paper and unfolded it.  It was a map of her aunt’s house and garden.  Perhaps this summer was going to be exciting, for a change.


I thought I'd try some poetry with the group this month, by introducing them to the haiku.  A couple had heard of this type of poetry before so it wasn't completely alien to them.  We wrote 12 haikus, based on each month of the year (at least we tried to - I didn't realise how much teenagers like to talk).

It's my birthday month
So cold and icy and grey
Now I'm feeling old

Red hearts and flowers
Apparently equal love
So say the card shops

Is there any point
In March; it doesn't do much
And nothing happens

April is Easter
Chocolate eggs and bunnies
Daffodils and sheep

Blossoms cling to trees
Fall like wedding confetti
On greying paths

June starts the summer
Sun fights with rain but loses
So hides for a month

Sun burn to sun tan
After painful raw red skin
And blistery peel

Proper summer time
Beaches and ice cream and sun
Long into the night

School buses fill road
And daytime streets are empty
As the nights draw in

Leaves crunch underfoot
In auburn and amber shards
They fall to their death

Black skies the back drop
Full of fireworks exploding
Remember the fifth 

It's Christmas, it snows
December the best ever
Waiting for Santa


Homework for next session is to write about New Year's Resolutions.  No date has been set for January, as I will be away.  Once I know what's going on, I'll let you know.

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