Write a non-fiction Nature Column in 300 words. This will involve your powers of observation over a period of time. It might prove to be a bit philosophical, and / or reflective / meditative, or simply observed fact. Use of your personal life-experience might call upon work-related experiences and so on.
The book The Long View (Somewhere-nowhere Press) was mentioned as a resource and inspiration. From the programme for Words by the Water, Tuesday 13 March at 4pm (£9)
What do trees witness? What do they mean to us? What is being done to protect them and increase tree cover? Writer Harriet Fraser and photographer Rob Fraser visited seven ordinary trees in extraordinary Cumbrian locations over two years in all weathers, night and day in the company of school children, ecologists, land managers and tree specialists.
Julie Carter is a hugely valued member of Mungrisdale Writers. Julie’s friends will be thrilled with the array of book recommendations to be found on the back cover of Running The Red Line, the front cover of which presents an outstandingly evocative painting by Vincent Alexander Booth. But the reflection that most rang bells with me is that from Professor Peter Wright, a psychologist from the University of Newcastle:
An extraordinary book in which the author takes you on a journey during which she offers you so much of herself that you feel at once privileged and grateful to be invited along.
This is the Julie Carter – doctor, psychologist and champion fell-runner – we know at Mungrisdale Writers, someone whose life and writing ‘offers you so much of herself …’
Saturday 21 April, 8pm, The Skiddaw Hotel in Keswick. This is a book I’ll be first in the queue for. I too feel ‘privileged and grateful to be invited along.’
Well done to the (stupendously splendid) Mungrisdale Writers who have their 100 words flash fiction homework already in the bag in time for tomorrow’s meeting – Thursday 9th March at 10.30am. And commiserations for those who have been trying to coax their 100 words onto paper for the last fortnight, and all to no avail!
Hang in there. Maybe there’s a bit of last minute help to hand. Local artist Ros White met up with our Chair Cathy Johnson this week and hopes to join MW forthwith. Ros can be assured of a warm welcome. In the meantime it struck me that some of Ros’s gorgeous work (click the image above to go to her website) might serve as inspiration for those of us who only ever seem to get down to homework when the clock’s ticking louder than usual …
Signatureis a major resource for inspiration-hungry writers and readers. Its strapline ‘making well-read sense of the world’ invites me both to read and write well. I signed up for theirfree newsletter and received The Ultimate Guide to Writing Advice.
Friends, I hope you managed to catch last night’s wonderful Channel 4 programme ‘Great Canal Journeys’ – the second of two with actors Timothy West and his wife Prunella Scales. Last September we saw them both filming in the churchyard on Iona, and there was a big section about Iona, including Prunella and Timothy sitting in the Argyll! Both that programme and the one before are worth catching up on if possible, as they are both about the Highlands, and the context of Iona.
A dozen writers met in Mungrisdale today for what turned out to be an inspirational morning, buzzing with light and ideas. Our tutor Angela Locke’s ability to listen to a piece of work with loving acuity enables her to offer precise and pertinent advice, together with encouragement, in every case. This gives us a marvellous sense of making progress!
Once again there was great writing from all participants and some of this will be posted here over the next week or so. The pieces posted today are Sue’s We will remember themand Tanya’s Moments.
Angela’s proposal for homework to be heard at our next meeting on the 24th November invites
a 1st person speech (soliloquy using “I”) by someone who isn’t you but you have to research a bit (eg – a countryman or woman, a streetwalker etc). The piece can be either prose or poetry in 150 words or fewer. You might look to Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ or to TS Eliot’s ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ for a bit of inspiration.
The sharing of resources is part of our regular conversation at Mungrisdale Writers. Some of us spoke recently of the huge inspirational value we find in YouTube videos. Poets of every kind can be heard reciting or discussing their work – and our own Angela Locke is among these. So, type ‘Carol Ann Duffy’ or ‘Donald Hall’ or Ted Hughes, or ‘Angela Locke’ into YouTube’s search box and you’ll wile away a couple of happy hours before you know it. And then you could have a coffee and p-p-pick-up-a-pen …