Wot I learnt about creative writing.


Not all pieces will have a finish like this. (c) wikipaintings.org

I only did that to catch your attention, honest. I actually can spell wot correctly. Anyway, I’ve just finished a second creative writing course in my local library (thank you Peace III funding) with a wonderful group of people, led by the very talented writer, Deirdre Cartmill.

Wot I learnt, or should I say, what I learned was that creative writing, is, in essence, no different to plastering a wall (I also learned about the usefulness of metaphors, imagery and analogies to convey a message).

A stud wall frames the piece. Defines the area it is to cover.

The plaster boards are the body of the work. No matter how carefully you measure, you learn, there’s not a straight line in an old house. But you figure it out, eventually cutting and slotting beautiful words and sentences together. They sit snug on the frame, nailed in place. But you can see the joins where the boards meet up, so it doesn’t flow quite right yet. So you carefully tape the joins. Like a fifth draft, the finished piece is in sight, but not quite, there yet.

You need to plaster those joins, seamlessly smoothing the piece, working towards a final magnolia draft (personally I prefer a bit of Tuscan red or Paris blue).

Ta-dah! (I’m claiming that back off the Boots ad) the finished piece. There for the whole world to see, in theory. Ready for an audience of thumb-tacks, critics and obscure ikea shelf fixings.

Do you think if I put my name down for a DIY course, I’d end up with a poem?

A Short Story About Apples & Oranges


Apples & Oranges

There once was a girl with a thing for fruit.

She also liked the internet.

These were her two passions in life.

She would often blog late into the night with her teeth imbedded in a pink lady, or breakfast with her smart phone while removing the tantalizing peel of an orange.

One evening, while perusing the internet, a strange thing came to her attention. She stopped typing, there was silence, reading and head scratching. She broke the silence with some expletive bleating, which I will not repeat here before attacking the keyboard more frenetic than ever.

The girl typed late into the night and into the next morning. This was repeated for four days. She eventually clicked the blue publish post button in the corner of the screen. Her post was entitled; ‘Why Apples & Oranges Should Remain Different’, with the subtitle; ‘ why new government proposals to amalgamate apples and oranges is all wrong.’

Over the next few days it proved to be her most popular post. Many followers left comments and shared it. Debates, arguments of various intelligence and discussion led to many theories on the governments’ motives. ¬†Links to articles claimed the government minister pushing the oranples policy, as it had become known, hadn’t eaten an apple or an orange since 1988.

Days passed, the girl was distracted, she had forgotten to buy orange juice. On her way home in the car she was about to change the radio station when she recognized the voice being interviewed and paused. It was the minister. She listened intently. Arriving home, she remained in the car until the interview concluded. It was awful; he had come out on top, running circles around the seasoned interviewer, denying the government had even considered amalgamating apples and oranges.

The girl realized her best post ever from the previous week was now redundant. What she predicted hadn’t come to pass, so she concluded her argument must have been flawed.

The boy who’s job it was to monitor social media for the government got his contract renewed.