Brian began his workshop by telling us that it was one he had done before, not only for us, but all over this country and as far afield as Austin, Texas. We were suitably impressed, and when given the details understood how flexible and many faceted the challenges incorporated in the workshop were.
He presented us with a large pile of postcards, bearing diverse images, as far apart as Victorian ladies on bicycles to paintings of Japanese Geishas or various landscapes. We were also given a variety of first lines, one of which had to be used to start the piece. So plenty of material there.
Brian began the read back with his own poem, followed soon after by a piece involving a farting dog – Shorelinkers do like to lower the tone quite quickly! Then there was delightful one involving a boat race, and a nine year old spectator struggling with a recalcitrant orange, and a hilarious story about a murderous attack on – wait for it – a yucca plant. Great stuff.
The variety as always was breathtaking. The twenty-three people present had about fifteen minutes to think and then write. This timing is crucial as given much longer to write, many in the group can knock off a three volume novel and then reading back would take all night. As regular readers of this blog will know, the amount of creativity engendered is often extraordinary. We were treated to aliens, medieval flowers, dreams in Chinese (happily interpreted for us) the reluctant extraction of a baby tooth, and carp living in a kitchen sink. As they do. Or might, anyway!
Poems and prose, funny and sad, skylarks and piranhas, this is a mere taster for another great evening. And we finished with a side-splitting take on a folk tale about an old lady who had her wicked way with an innocent (?) farmer. You had to be there. And I am so glad that I was. Thank you, Brian, for another splendid evening
Next week is our third 500 word evening at the New Inn. I think it might be safe to say these suppers have become a Shorelink tradition. The optional theme is It was all going well until the battery died, and the only rule is that it must absolutely NOT BE MORE than 500 words long – or my timings for the evening go up the creek and I shall have a tantrum!
Looking forward to it. Sally