John’s workshop was a classic ‘get your heads down and write’ example and none the worse for that. He dealt out sixteen phrases and unfinished sentences for us to use and let us get on with it. Which, of course, we did. Most of us just used one or two of them to kick off our pieces, but there are always a few clever clogs who show off by using them all, of course!!
We began with a tale of a man erroneously called Bones and an exploration of why and how that had come about. That was followed by a parable on the difficulty of changing a habit of self indulgence even when the mind was insisting it would be beneficial. We all sympathised with that.
Then we moved onto a searing story of a woman trying to leave her abusive, alcoholic husband. That was the kind of mini masterpiece which takes your breath away, as well as perfectly illustrating why we Shorelinkers believe our programme of workshops is so constructive. Almost before we had recovered our collective equilibrium, the next tale used every phrase to embark on a threnody of regret that the writer had not opted to spend the evening on the beach. By the time he had finished we nearly sent him there, anyway!
We travelled on to a delightful fantasy where Johnny Depp was begging for a Shorelinker’s autograph (!), and then found ourselves in the middle of a tale about a search for a missing cat, which involved rescuing a stranded bat. The writer of this assured us that the bat bit was true, and, as I am deeply phobic about bats I moved her on swiftly, unable to even imagine such bravery. The stories came thick and fast, there was the prehistoric beast sighted in the jungle, an essay on procrastination, and another true story about a National Serviceman desperately trying to get back to base using a railway service that was useless. That sounds amazingly familiar, doesn’t it?
There was a rather sad one which we all hoped wasn’t true concerning a school girl, dying to be popular, who turns up at the fancy dress party to discover she is the butt of a cruel joke as no-one else is in fancy dress. And another sad one about how hard it is to get talent really recognised, followed by another from one of our older members about using DNA to go back to being forty and starting again.
Such diversity in such a relatively short space of time. Thank you, John, like all good workshops you inspired some great stuff.
Next week is our last reading week of term, optional theme, So you call that an incentive?
See you there. Sally