Saturday, September 15, 2012

How did it go?

Week 1

We looked at some reflective pieces, done since we all met last, and examined the different styles of writing and use of language. Liz had used lots of sombre and at times quite ponderous, `over´ descriptive language to talk about her mother´s final illness. It was heavily laced with cliché, simile, alliteration and we decided that some of these literary devices might be used when it is so painful to explore your own feelings sufficiently to enable you to put them into your own words. Sometimes a cliché is needed simply because `everyone knows what it means´ and it really is the best way you can think of to transmit a feeling. It is best to avoid too many clichés particularly if the piece is to be read as opposed to listened to, they are more obvious on paper than when read out loud. Liz was writing as if speaking, telling the reader her story.
It raises a point to note: You should always consider the purpose of your writing and if preparing a speech, or anything to be read out loud do listen to it and note how it should differ from a prepared reading.
Marc´s piece was wonderfully evocative of his journey by train in Australia and captured the immediacy of writing in real time. His reflections were intrinsic to the clear description, his sense of wonder and appreciation coming across in very straightforward language with no use of cliché at all.
Sue´used a poem to deflect grief over Brian´s cancer journey, using humour and light hearted language to express admiration for Brian in a way that it would be impossible to do as straight dialogue. It allows for emotion to be expressed without becoming ´emotional´. ( Only one cliche´!)
Peter expressed his feelings well in a short piece demonstrating how much can be said in relatively few words. It was very expressive and came across as open and honest, almost like a diary entry, writing down his feelings without artifice. It seemed to be a desire to express, vent his genuine feelings rather than a desire to impress.

The writing exercise produced some varied responses, and some humour, also in reflective pieces although everyone had total choice and the brief was simply to write for 15 minutes on one of seven random headings.
Two people wrote about `Drinking Tea´, Lyn commenting on the enduring but changing nature of tea drinking amongst the British and Marc telling us about his father, a champion tea drinker whose ashes are stored in his favourite tea tin, in which every dent and smudge evokes memories.
Liz explored her fascination with `Crime´, Peter entertained us with a tale of waking up, after a boozy night to `The Smell of Nail varnish´ which he discovered he was wearing, Jackie made us laugh with a piece on `Running Water ´that began quite poetically and led to a need to run to the bathroom! Sue bemoaned the difficulties of finding appropriate `Plastic bags´.


  1. Sounds like you all had a fantastic time.

  2. Where are you based Pauline? You are right, we do have fun and if you are on Lanzarote we would love to have you come along and see if you enjoy it too.