Absolutely super last day of term at Mungrisdale Writers today. Christmas Lunch after the session. Huge thanks to Angela Locke and the behind the scenes team who generously facilitate the community of writers we love so well. Fond farewells were expressed until we gather again on the 23rd February, together with hopes for keeping in touch between now and then.
i) keep an eye on mungrisdalewriters.com – noting next term’s dates, 23 February, 9 March, 23 March, and 6 April 2017 at 10.30-1.30pm
ii) drop a note to email@example.com – even if you just want a natter
iii) write daily about anything and everything (in the journal you’re going to buy yourself tomorrow – if you haven’t already done so)
iv) buy and enjoy Angela’s recommendation The Unkindness of Ravens – a book of collective nouns
v) talk to anyone and everyone about mungrisdale writers in the coming weeks and drop Simon a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like some more bookmarks to share hither and thither
vi) enjoy the ‘homework’ pieces that will be published here in the coming days
vii) send any finished works you’d like to be considered for publication on this members’ blog to email@example.com
Keep in touch!
Angela Locke points writers to this article in Kosmos Journal, commenting that it says something about why our stories matter.
I first caught sight of you in my wing mirror
half way up the Sma’ Glen; high place, grey rock
smoothed and polished by four clean winds,
bog myrtle, sphagnum moss, bent over bushes
stunted, blunted down the years.
You were parked up in a layby,
about to get back in your old silver hatchback,
your kilt aswirl in the breeze.
Who knew we were going to the same place?
And when you stood later by the grave,
you and your fellow pipers resplendent
in black and red, the silver pins on your plaid shawls
glistening, the sharp point of Schiehallion poking the heavens behind,
I knew you’d filled your pipes with mountain air
for you blew all the wild wonder of the glen
into your pibroch lament.
Many congratulations to Kit who won 3rd prize at the 2016 Maryport LitFest – ‘Wild’ – for this evocative poem
Snow topped Fells. Frosted fields. Winter sharpens ancient definition in glorious Lakeland scenery. And every year, noting steaming breath, I marvel at sheep knees and noses withstanding intense cold.
At the Maryport Literary Festival, hosted at the Senhouse Roman Museum where picture windows frame the Solway Firth, I enjoyed a tour de force from Steve Matthews (‘polymath and raconteur’) whose book Lap of Horror tells of early travellers to Borrowdale and Derwentwater.
The genius of the Brontë family came alive in Angela Locke’s illuminating conversation with renowned authority Juliet Barker. Each of Patrick Brontë’s children was shy. Writing became their means to articulate rich inner lives.
A personal and poignant reading by Grevel Lindop, the timbre of whose voice hums in his stanzas before he speaks, brought poetry’s moving power to search depths centre stage.
Echoes of Roman soldiers on the mileforts. Time-travel to walk with early Lakeland tourists. Encouragement to the shy. A great poet’s inspiring to aim high. Solway Firth’s sea and sky. Treasure of a way to spend a winter’s day.
Here is light behind letters that turn into words and sentences and paragraphs and chapters and stories. Expressions of my life – or of yours.
That’s why I write. That’s what brings writers back to blank pages every day – the pursuit of illumination beneath letters.
Light behind letters speaks to me of Creation herself. Darkness and light. Something of light inscribed upon dark. Something dark frames light. One does not exist without the other.
As music needs silence to sound its aliveness, so the writer paints dark upon light or light upon dark and knows that there is a knowing.
Life behind the letters.