Sunday, 30 March 2014

My theme for the A-Z Challenge is ...

On Tuesday 1st April over 1800 (that's over 500 more than last year) bloggers will be taking part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  Throughout April (Monday to Saturday, with Sundays off for good behaviour) we will be posting blogs beginning with a different letter of the alphabet.  Everyone taking part in the challenge is asked to visit other blogs on the list in order to share the blogging love!

Some people choose to have a theme for their April blog posts (although this isn't compulsory).  Last year I wrote an A-Z of Oulipian constraints in writing and this was the first time that I'd taken part in this challenge.  I was unemployed last year so I was able to spend quite a lot of time writing my posts and visiting other blogs.  Unfortunately (or indeed fortunately) I now have a job, which means I don't have as much time as I did last year.  This means that my posts won't be as long or as creative as last year.  But I still want to take part and I still want to share some things with the blogging world.

So my theme for the A-Z Challenge is ...

***** My Music Collection *****

Well, it's not my entire music collection.  That would take forever to blog about!  I will just be sharing some music over the next month and hopefully introducing people to bands and artistes that they might not have heard of before.  I always like finding new music and hopefully through my posts people might make some musical suggestions for me.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

KLWG March 2014

Earlier this week, Kessingland Library Creative Writing Group had its March meeting.  I was overwhelmed with eight people coming along, not including myself.  

Last month I set two pieces of homework to do with dialogue.  One was to fill in a blank cartoon storyboard with text, and the other was to write a scene only using dialogue.  Of those who did their homework, only one person managed to do the cartoons.  I found it fairly difficult, as did others.  I thought it would be a fun and easy activity, but I was wrong.  But I guess you never know unless you try.



“Hi Dad, it’s me.”

“Hi Me.  What can I do you for?”

“Nothing.  You called me.”

“Did I?”

“Yep, what do you want?”

“I … I don’t remember.”

“Alzheimer’s much?  You didn’t call me; I called you!”

“I knew I wasn’t going mad.”

“Nope, you’re already there!”

“So to what do I owe this pleasure?”

“Oh right, yeah, just wanted to let you know that I’m going to be home late.”

“Any idea what time you’ll be home?”

“Nope.  My bus is … eeerm … about 10 minutes late.  Traffic is crazy gridlocked.  Nothing has moved in ages.”

“Why don’t you walk home?”

“Walk?!  Do you not know me at all?”

“Well if the traffic’s not moving, you’re not going to get very far.”

“And I could start walking, and the traffic could start moving, and the bus could drive past me.  Ooh, hang on.  The police are here.”

“Can they get through?”

“Not really.  Well, they’re on motorbikes, but the cars can’t move to let them through.  Ok, so now they’re riding up on the pavement.  I’m sure that’s against the law.”

“They’re police.  They’re above the law.”

“There’s loads of them now.  Lights flashing.  Something must have happened.”

“Can you see anything?”

“Nope, not from here.”

“Has the traffic started moving?”

“Nope.  Urgh!”

“What’s wrong?”

“I just want to get home.  Can you come and get me?”

“If the buses can’t get through, there’s no chance we’ll be able to.”


“Start walking.”

“I don’t wannooooooo.”

“Come on.  I’ll keep talking to you.  We can play a game.”

“What kind of game are we going to play on the phone?”

“Are you walking?”

“I s’pose.”

“We could play i-spy.”

“And how will that work?  Anything I spy, you won’t be able to see.”

“Just guess.  I’ll go first.”


“Ok, I spy with my little eye, something beginning with T.”





“Erm, teapot?”


“I don’t know.  I don’t know what you can see.”

“Well you know I’m at home.”



“Gah!  I don’t know.”

“Come on, don’t give up.”


“No.  Do you want a clue?”


“I’m not downstairs.”

“Hmm, T, T, T, T, T.  Tuh.  Truh.  Toilet?”

“Well done.”

“You’d better not be talking to me on the toilet.”

“You’ll never know!”

“That.  Is.  Disgusting.”

“I’ll have you know that before you phoned I was painting the skirting board on the landing.”


“Ok, your turn.”

“Hmm, ok, I spy with my little eye, something beginning with … erm … U.”



“Hmm, I give up.”

“Hang on.  Wait, wait wait.”

“What, what what?”

“Erm, U is for ‘You are not going to believe this’.”

“I’m not going to believe what?”

“Oh wow, erm, I think I’d better go.  I’ll tell you when I get home.”


During the session I introduced the group to Japanese Haiku poetry.  Some had heard of the haiku, but none of them had written one.  So I suggested that we write twelve each; one for every month of the year.  We didn't get as far as writing twelve each, but we all managed to write a few.

a winter wind blows
Christmas from my mind as I
wait to get older

twigs claw at grey skies
piercing clouds to free sunlight
from its winter home

pink petals tightly cling
to shivering branches while
bulbs shatter the earth

rain falls through fingers
held open to catch the breeze
which heralds hot days

birdsong wakes mornings
as early sun rises
from shortened slumber

bright summer sun
takes a more permanent place
in the blue heavens

waves caress beaches
with glimmering fingers
which hug naked toes


Homework this month is to write a half-rhyme poem inspired by Exposure by Wilfred Owen.

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 23rd April, 10:30 - 11:30 am, at Kessingland Library.