This was an inspirational work shop. I have copied the instructions Sian gave us below in italics, as, for once, I remembered to keep them for just this purpose..
Ralph was very tall and thin. He had blue eyes, brown hair that showed the first signs of turning grey and really long legs. He had a sad smile though, which always made Emily want to hug him. He was nice too—at least, Emily thought so. When she passed his desk carrying the post every morning, he always said ‘hello’, unlike everyone else in his office. Emily didn’t mind being ignored by the others. She knew how ordinary she was (how she looked, how she dressed and her boring little job) and didn’t really expect to be noticed. Whenever she was having a bad day, she’d walk past Ralph’s desk and his greeting would make her feel happy. Emily had had a lot of bad days recently.
Your task is to do any one of these things (or more than one, if you’d like to):
1) Re-write the above, but expand on it and make it more interesting to read.
2) Tell me about why Emily has had such a lot of bad days lately.
3) Tell me Ralph’s side of the story, including what he thinks of Emily.
4) Start where my story left off and tell me what happens to Emily next…
As regular readers of this blog will know, Shorelinkers need no second bidding to rise to a challenge such as this. And what a variety of work was triggered. How could you not love the Emily who was weirdly phobic , not only unable to make friends with anyone whose name possessed more than five letters, and planned all excursions around routes with fives in the road numbers? She was eventually liberated by the chaos of barking no-name dogs, but somewhere there I lost the (quite delightful) plot!
And what about the secret relationship between Emily and Ralph, orchestrated by the positioning of coffee mugs on their desks? You sort of knew it would end badly – and it did. There was a funny and highly inventive skit inspired, I guess, by recent events in Salisbury , starring two incompetent Russian spies with very dodgy accents. Lovely stuff! Oh, and the one where Ralph turned out to be Jack the Ripper (bit of a time slip there!). Two similar stories had Ralph as his mother’s carer and another placed Emily in a comparable position. And there was a very clever poem triggered by the number of words that rhyme with daze – or was that days?
There were eighteen tales in all, cats, coincidentally, figured often, to the extent that they were finally greeted with cat-calls (sorry) of Not another poor moggie? The stories encompassed the usual serendipitous and eccentric thought process of the group, Comedy, tragedy, romance, we covered it all, featuring everything from a dead goldfish to sexy knickers . Oh, and some aardvarks. You had to be there.
Great evening, Sian. Thank you so much, you did good.
Next week we are at Westfield for another 500 word evening, as the first one was so popular. The optional theme is The Stranger.
See you there. Sally