Tag Archives: writing

Writing, IF Maitland and freedom

I thought that when I was granted disability pension, that I would be free from the hassles of looking for work which I couldn’t do anyway, and have more time for me. Well, although the engagements I take to read some of my poetry, memoirs or short stories have been enjoyable, there are many. I barely have time for a cuppa or an afternoon rest. I’m so glad to have been accepted and welcomed into the literary community of the Hunter Valley.

Last weekend I was at the first ever IF (Independent artists Festival) in Maitland. I couldn’t help but fill my day and early evening with Seminars, workshops and readings. I participated in the Open Mic Slam Poetry event in the early evening, before going home to collapse and sleep right through the next day.

20200229_105131I started the day with a hearty farmers breakfast at Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG), where on the lawn outside, a gent was reciting to a young audience some children’s stories and an art installation called Visual Busking was  taking place.

I went then to Sun Street Studios where I was blessed to hear writers of three different genre discuss the process of writing and producing their works. The MC was Karen Crift from the Hunter Writers Centre. The speakers were a music and lyric writer Ricky, who used music as a therapy with disabled and marginalised people at Mai- Well, Michelle Reidy, a writer of short stories and poetry, which she used for therapy and Liz a film script writer as well as working in clay and dance as therapies. The Seminar was entitled Image may contain: possible text that says 'The Power of the Pen & brush!' To of the three writers also used art as therapy. We heard how the writers used their writing not only to convey a message to others but at times the work could be cathartic, healing if you will, to help them get something off their chests and out of their system. I could really relate to this as I do the same. I use writing to express anger and love alike. I generally can write a piece quickly and after a glance and quick edit, I get almost immediate relief from the issue that has been plaguing me. Fiction can be used as a real escape and a safe place to explore an issue outside of self, letting the characters in the story deal with things that we in the real world find difficult to handle.

Sometimes writing is not for others but for an audience of one, yourself. Somethings are not for publication whereas in other cases, our writing could be something that we want to share with the world.

All agreed it was healthy to seek others out who write, as writing can be a very isolating occupation. Being with others in the same occupation can assist you to discover how to improve or do things a little differently.20200229_121809

Artwork to me is like a reward. I don’t really allow myself to do major works until I have accomplished something significant. If there is a challenge which I have finally met and overcome the procrastination bug which is buried deep under my skin, I allow myself to pick up a brush, put some colour on it and throw it at a canvas. It is often something that I cannot express freely in words but find easier to express in a picture. A lot of time I draw wild animals or native birds, just to represent the freedom that they have and that I long for.

The next event at the IF festival was a workshop which was held by Michelle Reidy. It was to further explore writing as a therapy. We discovered what it was to write stream of consciousness. Letting the mind and the pen go where it will. We did exercises where we were given a prompt in the form of a word or picture. It amazed me as to what came from my hand when I am just letting it flow.

From there I went to enjoy refreshments and the Poetry Slam event at the Pourhouse which had some wonderful guest poets including Tug Dumbly. Poets from all ages and genres recited their works which were designed to “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” (Banksy).

I’m afraid I was unable to stay for the whole session and had to admit defeat. The mind was full of new ideas and and story lines I would like to run with, but the body was weary and so I succumbed to the need for rest and the land of dreams

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The Curtain Closes: Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Word count 99 words.

The final show was over. Most of the cast were going for drinks. I won’t be joining them. This was a long season. My children had suffered. Goodbyes, hugs and signed programs were exchanged. I had a carriage waiting.

“Welcome home ma’am”, James said. “The children are waiting. They haven’t had dinner yet”.

“Splendid” I said.

Opening the door, the children looked up. I was handed a rat, as the first of my children approached. “Hello Bertha” I said. She hissed, opened her mouth and swallowed the rat whole before wrapping her long shiny body around me in love.

 

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Abysmal: Weekend writing prompt 145. 

“Your handwriting is abysmal”, said the teacher as I handed her a piece of paper. “I can’t read it at all”. she said.

“Yes Miss Jenkins”, I said, my eyes turned downwards towards my desk.

 “How is anyone supposed to read this?” She thrust it towards me.

“Miss Jenkins”, I said. “You were my teacher once, but I am your doctor now. Take this to the pharmacy and they will give you the right medicine. They can read my writing and if they can’t, they will call.  Good day Miss Jenkins”.

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My apologies if this story is not the correct word length. I am in hospital today having been brought here by ambulance this morning. I did have the idea for the story before hand but was not able to do it on my laptop, with which I can keep an accurate word count . 

I am ok  I just require some blood and couldn’t drive myself to my regular place. Fun and frolicks.

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The Old Barn. Friday Fictioneers

Below is the story that I am submitting to the Friday Fictioneers challenge. I had to edit significantly from my original which was over 145 words. The shortened version is 107 words. I have done something here that I don’t normally do. Under the submitted story for Friday Fictioneers, you will find the original. You can choose which is better.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn Miller

The Old Barn

“We gotta tear the old barn down dad.”

“Why?” I turned angrily towards Jim.

“It’s not useful anymore, its an eyesore and well, its old”

“That barn has done a lot of good in its day. It’s given shelter to needy folk, looked after the animals during storms and birthing, it did you all right as a youngster.”

“Well, I’m in charge now and I’m gonna tear it down. I just wanted to tell you that’s all”.

There was no arguing with him. I stood up and walked to the barn for the last time. There I sat on my old useless chair and closed my eyes.

 

Original

“We gotta tear the old barn down dad.”

“Why?” I turned quickly and angrily towards Jim.

“It’s not useful anymore, its an eyesore and well, its old”

“That barn has done a lot of good in its day. It’s given shelter to needy folk, looked after the animals during storms and birthing, it did you all right as a youngster. It’s still sturdy, sure it has its leaks and needs a new coat of paint but…”

“Well Dad, you don’t run this farm anymore, I do. The barn is past its used by date now and I’m gonna tear it down. I just wanted to tell you that’s all”.

There was no arguing with him. Anything not productive was just discarded. I stood up, put my coffee mug in the sink and walked out to the barn for the last time. There I sat on my old useless chair and closed my eyes.

IM000622

An old but still useful barn I took a picture of prior to 2010

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A Morning Like This: Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Word Count 100

“Nothing good can happen on a day like today”, I think to myself as a look out the window.  “Cold and wet”.  I’m holding a steaming hot mug of black coffee, my first for the day.  “Footprints and tyre tracks don’t hold in slush”.

The call comes over the radio. “Sarge, better head over to Marion’s place first. Officers are on the scene and the ME is on the way. Marion’s sister Doris was found stiff as a board in the driveway. Shot dead. Marion said she didn’t even know Doris was coming”. An appropriate start to such a morning.

Image result for police on slushy driveway

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Elysian: Weekend Writing Prompt

Image result for elysian

 

 

Elysian.

Death is the end of struggles. Whether it is Elysium, Heaven, Nirvana or Paradise, all represent the same thing. Freedom from all difficulty, from hunger, pain, heartache, everything removed. Well done good and faithful servant, enter into your rest. But what if we were able to have the Elysian feeling without death, without aging. It’s possible.😉

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Up we go: Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Ulrika Undén

The above photo was the prompt for the story below. Word count 100.

Up We Go

“Are you sure we will fit in” Forb asked

“I’m sure, we were here only 200 Earth years ago. How much can the fashion of this primitive people have changed?”

We all donned the clothing given to observe the humans below.

“This building looks like a temple”, said Veex, “Everyone enters with offerings of their money and receives gifts from the Gods”.

It’s a place that needed exploring. That’s when we saw the technology we gave from our homeland, the escalator. “Let’s see if the altar is this way”, Binf said.

The outfits we’d chosen certainly did not blend in.

Image result for aliens

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Looking Glass

I have written two responses to the above challenge. One dark, deep and sad. The other not so. The second I view as a Victorian young lady, or perhaps I am being influenced by a Clint Eastwood Western I saw yesterday, as a young woman fit to be married, in the early pioneering days of America.

But read as you will. I am just the author and not in control of your imagination. I just steer occasionally.

Dave

Looking Glass.

I spray mirrors around my house with white paint. I avoid going near still bodies of water, plate glass windows, and even keep the sheen on my cookware and cutlery low.  I wear a niqab but I am not Islamic. After my husband attacked me, I wish never to see my deformed ugly face again. I wish this life would hurry and be over.

Image result for niqab"

Looking Glass.

When I looked, I could not see my outward reflection, but how others saw me. Is there a difference? Indeed. Sometimes subtle but nonetheless real. How I wish to be perceived, is not always the same as how I was received. I shall try harder to reflect, not only the light airy self, but the colourful swirls that are my emotions, feelings and thoughts.

 

Image result for young victorian lady with mirror"        Image result for lady with mirror 1800"

 

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Its our secret, ok? (Friday Fictioneers)

Prompt is the above photo, Word count:100

I confess that I am a bit of a mischief maker. When I was younger, it was penny fireworks in letterboxes or painting the principal’s car tyres pink. Nothing malicious mind you. Just good old- fashioned pranks. Everyone laughed and shook their heads. “What will you amount to Billy Saunders”.

Of Course, when I got married, I needed to be responskible (on purpose for that’s how I spoke), but since retiring, widowed, the children gone, I can be mischievous again. So, its crop circles in the Summer and Snow circles in the winter. HEHE. Nobody will ever know it’s me.

 

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Checkmate

How could you let Chess take precedent over basketball in the sports complex?”

The principal calmed the coach. “They use live pieces. The queen is taken, she dies. Checkmate? The school surrenders.”

“Whose lives are at stake?”

“The pupils of course.”

Image result for live chess

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