Creative Writing Course: Week 4

Once again, a slight delay in getting this post written.  I had hoped to get it posted sometime over the weekend but spent a couple of days visiting my parents so didn’t get time.

Last Wednesday was the penultimate session of the Creative Writing Course I’m on and we were bombarded with activities!  Of course, we couldn’t manage them all in the meagre 2 hours available so I’ve got pages of inspiration for the future.  Without further ado, here’s what we did…

First task was based on a guided visualisation, something I’ve never heard of before.  Andy put up a video for a Sigur Rós track (I really need to get me at least one of their albums!) and described a run of simple events through some scenery for 5 minutes or so.  We then had to write about what we experienced:

I’m in my bed,
or so I’m told,
I wake to see the moon,
I get up, and go outside,
I begin to walk,
or so I’m told.

The air is warm,
I turn left,
I see a wood.

I walk through the wood,
or so I’m told,
The trees get close,
The wood gets dark,
I find a door,
or so I’m told.

I push the door

Needless to say, I wrote a poem of sorts.  I don’t have a very good imagination and find it very difficult to visualise things.  Despite the descriptions given by Andy, I couldn’t see anything in my mind, the closest I got was the idea that my hand was extending to open the door.  The poem might sound harsh and cynical but it’s not meant in that way at all, it’s just an account of what I experienced, visualisation isn’t really for me.  If anyone’s got any tips on visualising things like this please share them, I’d love to be able to see things in my head!

I would consider the poem unfinished, I would have written more at the time (darn those pesky time limits) but I actually quite like the last line as an ending, it adds mystery.

Our second activity involved moving around a bit, After picking a colour (any colour) we all wandered the empty halls and corridors of the school building in search of things that were said colour, noting down anything interesting about the items we found.  We then wrote about it.

HALT!     CEASE!     DECIST!

Warning signs, a vivid portrayal of danger.  They speak of fire, a bold colour visualising fierce heat.

A rose, wilting in the shade of Redwood trunks, the Logger’s saw blade rotating.  Blood spatter tumbling from the blazing sunset sky.

Bright lips part, a screech of pain.

This was a weird one to write, but I enjoyed it.  I saw loads of warning signs, fire extinguishers, images of violence, flowers and fruit whilst on my wander and conjured up the strange scene I wrote about.

I have no idea what kind of writing I did, it’s not quite a story, it’s not quite a poem, more just a collection of words.  In the name of pretentiousness, let’s call it Staccato Verse Art!

Our third and fourth tasks were to write a responses to two of many sentences/questions/statements given on a sheet of paper, there were loads to choose from!  After the previous week’s discovery of not liking to write about myself I first chose to challenge myself.  I wrote a lot given the time restraint, but barely got started, here’s what I managed to put on paper.

What do you really want to change about your life?  How could you do it?

You know that point when you realise that you’ve done pretty much bugger all with your life?

Let me tell you about it.

I’ve been on this planet for 28 and a half years, approximately 10,500 days, give or take a few.

I live by myself, struggling to pay a mortgage and bills with a mediocre salary, paid by a company who make things out of sheet metal.

10,500 days is a lot of days, sure it’s not quite the length of time that the Earth’s been spinning, but it’s certainly enough time to achieve something worthwhile.

Look at Mark Zuckerberg, some jumped up American kid, retired a billionaire at 26.  Look at all the charitable folks, the artists, the musicians.  They’re all bringing something great to the world in their own special way.

And what have I done?  Nothing.  I want to make my mark.

This is pretty much just the beginning of an exaggerated rant about how worthless I am (I’m probably not as bad as I think) and I was forming ideas of what I could actually do about it.  I’m probably going to write that down just so I know what I can do, and then I’ll do it.

How would you go about faking your own death?  Where would you go afterwards?

I wouldn’t fake my own death.  Death is final.  By faking my own death I’d be setting out to trick my friends, my family, everyone I cared for and that cared for me.  No, that’s not for me, what would a new life be like knowing that I was dead?  I’d rather just disappear.  Leaving no trace except for the hope in my loved one’s hearts.

There’s no doubt they’d be sad, and most likely accept that I was dead over time, but at least there’d be some exciting mystery.

I’d leave subtle hints with people, different for each person.

It’s true, I would rather disappear than fake my own death, far less complicated in my opinion and if you’re missing for 8 years you are legally considered dead in absentia.  I have actually given the idea some thought too, even with all the methods of tracing somebody’s whereabouts we have these days I think it’d be easier to disappear than to fake your own death.  But I digress, that one was a fun one to write about (and sort of more writing about me too!), I won’t go into the specifics of exactly what I’d do and where I’d go because that would spoil the surprise if ever I did disappear.

Those last two exercises took us to the 9pm mark, calling an end to the session.  As I outlined in the previous post, this weeks homework is to write a love letter to a place you love, or a piece of furniture.  I’ve had some ideas coalescing in my brain during the week and I’ll get them in written form soon enough.

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