Friends of Jesmond Library: Creative Writing Competition

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Wednesday 19th October 2016

Today’s Guest Post about the Jesmond Library Creative Writing Competition is from the lovely Victoria Watson of ElementaryVWatson:

Missuswolf - Poetry

In 2013, Newcastle City Council announced it would be closing several libraries in a bid to reduce costs.

One of the libraries to face closure

was Jesmond Library.

However, a group of residents decided to open the library on a volunteer basis.

Friends of Jesmond Library is now a limited company and registered charity. The library runs solely thanks to the efforts of the volunteers and the generous donations received from the public.

Missuswolf - Creative Writing Friends of Jesmond Library

As a lover of words and books, I wanted to do my bit to help Jesmond Library remain open so I volunteered my time and knowledge to help set up and run their Creative Writing competition. In July 2015, I launched the first competition along with members of my writing groups who took the time to perform their original works at the launch and Dan Smith.

Missuswolf Friends of Jesmond Library 2015 launch of Creative Writing comp - line-up of people

2015 Launch of Friends of Jesmond Library Creative Writing Competition

The entries were received were varied and plentiful and they certainly gave Dan and I food for thought. Dan very kindly gave up time to not only co-judge the competition but to also present awards to the lucky winners. Prizes were donated by local businesses including Caffe Z, FPP, Seven Stories and Mo Hair. The awards evening was fantastic as we got to meet the brains behind the imaginative stories we’d read. The younger writers, aged under ten, were particularly impressive.

This year, the theme of the competition is ‘Jesmond’

so your entry could be a short story in any genre.

This year also sees the inclusion of poetry so if you’d like to submit a poem to the competition, please do!

It’s £3 to enter and proceeds go to the library which receives no council funding and relies solely on volunteers. Jennifer C. Wilson, author of ‘Kindred Spirits: Tower of London’ is co-judging the competition with me.

There are categories for children and adults with fantastic prizes including book vouchers. You don’t have to be a resident of Jesmond to enter, last year saw submissions from around the world and we’re keen for the same to happen this year.

The closing date is midday on 1st of November so there is plenty of time to submit something. Good luck!

Download your entry form here.

Thanks Vic!

And best of luck to those of you who are entering.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch Up – An Author Interview with…Victoria Watson

SUNDAY 17th MARCH 2013

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Vic Watson, a fellow North Easterner who is on a similar mission to myself. She has published a short story called ‘The Piano’ as well as a collection of short stories ‘Letting Go’. I worked with her on the I Am Woman Anthology. Her current work in progress is her debut novel called ‘Fix Me Up.’

I had the pleasure of working with Victoria on the I Am Woman Anthology Volume 2, the second Anthology of short stories I am woman kindlewritten by women to raise funds for charities who help women both in the UK and across the world. I submitted my short story ‘Breaking The Rules’ to her for consideration, which she kindly accepted to be in this wonderful Anthology. She proofread and edited my submission before unleashing it on the world.

~Author Bio~

Victoria Watson completed a BA (Hons) in Media, Communication and Cultural Studies from NewcastleUniversity in 2008. Part of her dissertation was subsequently taught in an undergraduate module.

author picVictoria achieved a Masters degree in Creative Writing with Commendation in 2010. She is currently studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in the Post Compulsory Education and Training.

Victoria has contributed to publications including ‘True Faith’ (a Newcastle United fanzine), NCJ Media’s north-east titles The Journal, Evening Chronicle and Sunday Sun. She has also reviewed for Amazon, Waterstones and Closer Magazine.

She was awarded ‘Young Reviewer of the Year’ by ncjMedia in 2009 and her short story ‘The Piano’ won North Tyneside Council’s Story Tyne competition in November 2012.

Victoria had a story published in the ‘Home Tomorrow’ anthology published by 6th Edition Publishing in 2011. Her work is also featured in several charity anthologies. She published a collection of her short stories entitled ‘Letting Go’ in February 2012. ‘The Piano’ is also available for download on Amazon.

Victoria writes a blog at http://elementaryvwatson.wordpress.com. She is the official blogger for Whitley Bay Film Festival and also contributes to The Cultural Thing and The Northern Line blogs.

Victoria currently runs two writing groups in WhitleyBay, North Tyneside but is looking to run sessions in Newcastle and Northumberland.

Victoria is currently in the process of setting up Elementary V Watson Proofreading and Copywriting Services.

Now get cosy with that cuppa as we catch up with this lovely lady and fellow North Easterner…

Hi Vic and welcome! It’s great to have you here and congratulations on the publication of your stories!

Tell us a bit about your work in progress and where did the inspiration behind Fix Me Up come from?

Oooh, that’s a tough one. While studying for my Masters in Creative Writing at Northumbria University, I began writing a story about a girl and her dead grandmother. The story was meant to be about the relationship between the two and the girl’s struggle to come to terms with the fact that they weren’t speaking when her grandmother died tragically after being mugged by a drug addict. However, when I read back the separate characters, I realised the more compelling story lay with Colin, the drug addict.

How would you compare writing this book with writing your previous books; ‘Letting Go’ and ‘The Piano’.Letting Go

 Fix Me Up is written mainly in Geordie dialect which definitely differs from anything I’ve written before. Letting Go is a collection of short stories and flash fiction and The Piano is a short story about a daughter trying to come to terms with her father’s dementia. One thing I think all of my writing has in common is the fact that I always concentrate on ordinary people in not-so-ordinary situations.

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurred you on?

I’ve loved reading since I was a little girl and I couldn’t imagine a life without reading. There have been lots of books that have inspired me over the years and one author who has continued to delight and surprise me well into adulthood is Roald Dahl. I love his use of language, how he makes up words that are so evocative is something I really admire.

I also love the fact that books can have an impact on society. For example, Anne Frank’s Diary and To Kill a Mockingbird have been massively inspirational to me.

The PianoI see that you are studying to be a creative writing teacher– congratulations! How do you organise your writing time?

With great difficulty! I run a couple of writing groups every week so you’d think that would give me time to write but I spend most of my time there supporting the other members of the group and working on the teaching side of things. I’m not complaining though as I absolutely love it. I write when I can but I am a big procrastinator, I have to have a deadline.

I’m a deadline kind of girl too – I seem to work better under pressure!

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

 I like to be alone when I’m writing. In the summer I like to sit in the conservatory and be able to look at the garden in bloom. In the winter, I’m generally on the sofa with the TV on in the background. When I’m overseas, I like to be near the sea or a pool, I’m a real waterbaby.

The only person I can bear to be around when I write is The Boy Wonder. Generally, I can’t write comfortably when other people are around.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

When I was a teenager, I constantly imitated Posh Spice. It was not my finest moment.

Thank you for being here today Victoria!

~Where to find Victoria Watson~

Blog

You can find Vic on Facebook

She is on Twitter as @vpeanuts

Letting Go

The Piano

I am woman

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catchup – An Author Interview With…Emerald Barnes

SUNDAY 10th FEBRUARY 2013

Big Mug

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Emerald Barnes, whose recently released her Amazon Bestseller Romantic Thriller ‘Read Me Dead.’

~AUTHOR BIO~

Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in aAuthor Pic small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it.

She’s the author of two books, mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages!

She’s constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with. She blogs at emeraldbarnes.blogspot.com and ebarnes23.wordpress.com which takes up more of her time than she anticipates but loves it so very much! She’s also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is so amazing!

She’s an auntie to two beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews who take up the other half of her time, but she couldn’t imagine spending her time in any other way!

She’s a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.

~SYNOPSIS~

Read Me Dead:

Read Me Dead CoverAlexia Wheaton’s problems go far beyond picking a dress and a date for the homecoming dance.

For seven years, Alex has lived with a painful memory – the memory of her parents’ horrific murder. As the sole witness, she has kept quiet about the identity of the murderer to protect herself and her family and friends, but when a journalist over hears her secret and writes about it in the local newspaper, Alex is plagued with fear that her parents’ murderer will soon find her – and silence her forever.

Alex is catapulted into a race against time to save her own life and bring her parents’ murderer to justice. She will face many secrets, lies, and betrayals before the truth about their murder is revealed.

Get that cuppa, find a nice cosy spot as we settle down and catch up with the fab Emerald Barnes, Author to Piercing Through the Darkness and her new release Read Me Dead.

Hi Emerald and welcome! It’s great to have you here.

Thanks for hosting me, Gemma!  It’s a pleasure to visit your blog! 

Where did the inspiration behind ‘Read Me Dead’ come from?

The inspiration for Read Me Dead came to me in a dream.  I know it may sound strange, but I had this dream of a girl, running from a murderer at a high school football (American) game.  I incorporated that scene into a novel I had been working on about a young girl who had seen her parents murdered.  From there, Read Me Dead was born.

 How would you compare writing this book with writing your other book, Piercing Through The Darkness?Piercing Through The Darkness

It was definitely different.  For starters, it was a full-length novel, and I was entirely sure I could manage the word count on a full length novel!  But, aside from that, Read Me Dead was a little darker.  Not that Piercing is a light read, but I was in the head of my main character who is suffering from the beginning of this one.  Kandi in Piercing didn’t know she had a reason to suffer until later. The two young women were significantly different.

 How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on?

I think that I’ve always wanted to write.  I’ve loved reading since a young age, and I always carried around a notebook and pencil with me.  What did I write?  I honestly don’t remember, but I remember having that on me at all times.  It wasn’t until high school that I really became interesting in writing.

I started writing a novel, that will NEVER see the light of day, but that is exactly what spurred my writing attraction.  I began writing more and more and fell in love with it.  Now, I can’t imagine doing ANYTHING other than writing.

But, there was this time in high school, in my tenth grade English class that I can remember clearly.  My teacher made us write in a journal, mostly my journal entries included a crush on a senior and talking about high school nonsense; however, I loved the feel of writing.  Not to mention, my teacher, she loved the written word!  Her enthusiasm spread to me, and I honestly believe that is why I love writing and reading so much.

I too had an English Teacher whose enthusiasm spread to me too! It really does encourage you to believe in yourself. You are Author to two blogs, a volunteer for the World Literary Café – how do you organise your writing time?

To be honest, that’s still something I’m working on.  I don’t have very good organizational skills, and I’m a super procrastinator.  (I think that’s my superhero name.)

I just wake up and start working.  But, I do take the time to do what I need to around the house, spend time with my nieces and nephews, and find time to go out on the weekends with my best friend.  I’m not sure how I do it; I just do.  I think it starts with making mental notes in my head about what I HAVE to do.  I get those done and see where I can go from there.  I’ve learned that not everything has to be done on a strict schedule.

 Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

I don’t have a special place.  In fact, I sit in my recliner surrounded by my wild and crazy family with the TV going nonstop.  I feel weird when I’m alone and by myself.  I actually work better surrounded by my nieces and nephews and their yells for Auntie Em’s attention.

 And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

Well, I’ve been told that I have a nice singing voice.  Personally, I’m not sure about that, because I hate the sound of my own voice.  But there it is! 🙂

Thank you for being here today Emerald.

 Thanks again for hosting me, Gemma! 

Connect with Emerald Online:

Read Me Dead

https://ganxy.com/i/73581

Piercing Through the Darkness

https://ganxy.com/i/73578

Website

Blog

Inspiration Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Google +

Amazon Author Page

Piercing Through the Darkness Trailer

Read Me Dead Trailer

Read Me Dead Cover

Love Missuswolf xxx

Creative Writing Cafe: Term Three – Lesson One

WEDNESDAY 26th SEPTEMBER 2012

Good Evening Ladies and Gents.

Today saw my return to the Creative Writing Class that is held weekly at the local High School. It runs for the next ten weeks and quite frankly, I can not contain my excitement!

Have you ever seen that episode of Friends where Monica goes with Phoebe to an evening literature class (titled The One with Ross’s Sandwich) You can watch a clip here (The Monica part starts at 4.57) Well, I’m not on the extreme level that Monica is demanding pop questions, but I do share her enthusiasm. So much so, I could not wait until the end (not for the class to be over – oh no) but because our homework assignments get handed out! True Geek!

The first half of this class was a bit of an ice breaker – a round robin of the table where you introduced yourself, what you wanted out of the class and what you had been reading. I loved this bit as I love getting to know people and I love learning about  fellow class mates. This term, there are no Y Chromie’s (apart from the teacher) – it’s a full on Ladies at Literature.

One of the women in the class informed us all that she had a condition called Dyspraxia. I had never heard of this and I was relieved when someone else piped up and asked her about this. She explained that it was a condition that affects the planning of movements and co-ordination. She explained she had difficulty remembering the next movement in a sequence and that it causes her to be clumsy; falling over or bumping into people. She also explained it made her quite naïve. Her goal was to be able to write about her experience, not only for herself but for others who have the condition. It was really admirable listening to her as she wants to put a positive spin on it; showing others with he condition what they can do and bringing awareness to it

I made a note to google this and I have located details about it here.

FROM THIS SESSION – ADDITIONS TO MY TO READ LIST:

* The Forsyte Saga – John Galsworthy

* Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities – both by Charles Dickens

HOMEWORK

This weeks homework is a two parter and is studying Semi Autobiographical writing; where you draw on your own experience and bring imagination to it (Miss Pooshoe certainly springs to mind).

We looked at two writer’s who appear to have written semi-autobiographical books; Charles Dickens David Copperfield and Ernest Hemingway A Farewell To Arms.

The first part that we need to have ready for next weeks class is ‘Plot Outline’:

* 1 page of bullet points of the beginning, middle and end

* Draw from a real experience (whether it be your own/family/friend)

* Add fictional bits to it

* Take it in a different direction to what happened in real life

We will then discuss as a class and then pick a scene that makes up part two of the homework assignment; which has to be written in approx 750 words to read out at class the week after.

Hmmm now which of my ridiculous real life experiences should I pick and how to elaborate on them (I somehow don’t think much elaboration will be necessary)…..

Love Missuswolf xxx

Geek Club – Term Two – Lesson Five: Coincidences and Happy Endings

 

 

WEDNESDAY 19th OCTOBER 2011

Missuswolf Geek Club

Tonight’s lesson I didn’t seem to enjoy as much as the previous ones; I think it was because I was night shift and had to go to work afterwards, plus I had  a bit of a headache niggling boooo.

TOPIC

We managed to fit most of the class’s homework in, bar two of them. There was a varied interpretation across the class as to what the homework entailed; some writing a couple of pages of an actual story, some not involving three characters and some unsure of what object was the focus of their story as they included more than one. At first, I thought I hadn’t done enough, it turns out I had done what was required. The majority of the class used either the glass or the book.

I was the only one who chose the gun.

The feedback came in the form of the following ideas:

* DNA on the gun could be traced back to Taylor Morgan then traced back to the pawn shop then Mrs Bertram

* Consider the legalities of weapons and pursue this aspect in the story

* Find out that the deceased Mr Bertram has been involved in various Serious and Organised Crimes over the years and this leads to the recovery of the house his widow now lives in as part of Proceeds of Crime

* Mr Bertram could actually be killed by someone else who had the gun

* children playing with the gun could be relatives of Mr Bertram (however this could be too much of a coincidence – see below about coincidences)

* Why is Taylor running away from the police – explore and expand this

* What kind of gun? Could it be a small handbag gun so it is small enough and not too heavy so that the child Abigail is able to lift it and believes it more so as a toy? Handbag gun? In that case it could be more linked to Mrs Bertram than her husband.

 

WHAT I HAVE LEARNT TODAY

* Can’t have coincidences

* Happy endings have to be earned, not jammed onto the end of the story

 

BOOKS TO READ

 

* This week it was a film: Adrian Brody – The Pianist

 

HOMEWORK

No homework this week woohoo as it is half term next week so we are off

Love Missuswolf xxx

Creative Writing Cafe Term Two – Lesson Four: Three’s Up

SUNDAY 16th OCTOBER 2011

This homework was much easier than last week’s Shakespeare modernisation, so much so that I had the below done within half an hour on a Friday night (wild!) This was so much fun; having to pick an object and take a reader through the stories of three character’s who have been involved with that object.

Straight away I was drawn to the gun (a psycho-analyst could have a field day on that one).

Missuswolf Geek Club Gun

I have to provide a one page summary of a longer piece of writing that involves these characters.

I thought I would share with you the ideas I have so far….

* Mrs Bertram, a distraught widow, is cleaning out her deceased husband’s property when she comes across a gun. Unsure what to do with it, she takes it to her local corrupt (unknown to her) pawn shop and sells it there. Mr Dayle, the owner, has always been good to Mrs Bertram (little did she know he was involved in sinister criminal activity with her husband hence the gun) he therefore is only too pleased to take the gun back off her.

* Taylor Morgan buys the gun from Mr Dayle at the pawn shop. He is chased by police officers shortly afterwards after an incident and throws the gun into a nearby bush whilst being chased. The police are unaware he ever had a gun and therefore don’t look for it

* Abigail Lynch is a seven year old out playing with her friends. Her older brother, Ross, who she idolizes, is also out with his mates but as he is older, he thinks he is too cool for his little sister and makes fun of her. Whilst playing with her friend, she finds the gun in a bush. She doesn’t think it is real and starts waving it around. She shouts at Ross, trying to look big and clever and impress him. She waves it around and points it at her brother, a shot is fired – seriously injuring him, leaving his life in the balance.

I debated killing the brother off, but then felt that it took away a bit of the reader interest so to speak, hooking them in with ‘will he/won’t he live’. The story could start with this accident and then re-tell of how it came to this – the reader finding out the fate of the accident at the end of the book.

It could narrate in the following ways:

  • By the little girl when she is older looking back
  • Through a Police Officer’s eyes doing the investigation, discovering along the way that they made an error with the incident with Taylor Morgan when Officers weren’t aware he had a gun. This could spark a serious investigation where Officers are suspended.
  • Through the ghost of Mr Bertram looking down on the journey of the gun

Love Missuswolf xx

Creative Writing Cafe Term Two – Lesson Four: Cliches

WEDNESDAY 12th OCTOBER 2011

At the beginning of the lesson, I was handed some written feedback from the teacher relating to Lottie Bonner. It was really good and the teacher liked how I had chosen the black comedy route. However (and I had braced myself for this tut tut naughty tap on bum moment) I used a well known cliché – ‘The icing on the Cake’. I could kick myself as I did actually pick up on that before I handed in and even googled clichés’ and metaphors but then ran out of time and just left it as it is. As a writer, it is our jobs to come up with better ‘clichés’ if you like.

Missuswolf Creative Writing cliches

TOPIC

Each classmate took it in turn to read out their version of ‘Modern Shakespeare’. We managed to fit everyone in this week and there were some thoroughly enjoyable stories amongst them.

I wasn’t very confident with mine as I had spent all day Sunday with writers block and then all of Tuesday afternoon with words tumbling out, then fumbling them around into some context. It did receive some fairly positive feedback, but I got more of a direction of where to go with the story, which I really appreciated.

Ideas:

* Keep the father alive and have him pushing Cal into the Police Force, then you have the pull aspect of his friends – creating more tension

* Take a route that causes the character the most problems. Consider that Cal goes to a job as a Police Officer involving Rhys and doesn’t arrest him. Follow both characters as they move up the ladders in their Police and Criminal careers then have it come to a head too late. Cal’s colleagues could question his authoritative position and why he hadn’t done anything about Rhys in the first place.

This is what it’s all about, stories that are born from little ideas created as part of our homework.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNT TODAY

* At times, you can take the beginning off a story and find that it is not needed, you can start the story further along and cut out unnecessary words.

* Rhyming couplets (reminder) – two lines rhyme at the end

* Tell the story in the style of the unreliable narrator – telling us the story but lying to us/withholding details. For example, discussing the disappearance of a character however the narrator has been involved in the disappearance, such as murdering them the night before – ooooooh!

BOOKS TO READ

* Although I read some of King Lear for GCSE English and bit of Othello at the start of A Levels (which I dropped out of – a bit gutted I did now) – we have been advised that if we want to read any Shakespeare that an easy one to start with is Macbeth.

HOMEWORK

For our homework this week, we were issued with a sheet of paper that has the following on:

* A glass in a bar

* A plate in a restaurant

* A repossessed home

* A gun

* A stolen Passport

* A second hand book, over 100 years old

* The bike stolen from Cassius Clay/Muhammed Ali

From the above, I must:

* Pick one object

* Take us through three characters who have been involved in that object i.e three different persons in a bar who have drank out the same glass over the course of the night

* Provide a plot outline

*A one page summary of a longer piece

* Bulletpoints to discuss

* Write as ambitiously as you want

I am tres excited over this one!!

Love Missuswolf xxx

Creative Writing Cafe Homework Term Two – Lesson Three: Modern Day Shakespeare

 

TUESDAY 11th OCTOBER 2011

After spending a few hours on Sunday with my laptop firmly fixed to me, deliberating how to put into words a modern-day version of one of Shakespeare’s plays, I battled a severe case of Writer’s Block. Eventually, having to admit defeat and pack up, I have returned to the challenge this afternoon and, thankfully, found words flowed much more freely today. I decided upon:

* Prince Hal is living a wild life with a group of criminal friends, although his destiny – he’ll soon be King – is never far from his thoughts (Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2)

My modern-day version is based on eighteen year old Cal from a council estate, who is living the wild life although his destiny is in the police force and is never far from his thoughts:

Cal takes a long drag on the bedraggled communal spliff that has been handed to him by Rhys. The laid back hip hop beat pumping from the IPod speakers in the background also melting into his brain, the recipe allowing his thoughts to drift freely and unedited at the forefront of his mind.

Missuswolf Modern Day Shakespeare

It’s five am and Cal is leaning against Rhys’s living room wall, bobbing his head up and down to the music; as if he is nodding in agreement with what his brain his projecting.  All around him are strewn limbs belonging to owners who have long since passed out from the cocktail of booze and drugs.

Rhys is striking up a deal with a fellow party goer, pushing his illicit drug ways on him, hooking and reeling in yet another punter; another addict. Cal shakes his head to himself, another unsuspecting victim to the vicious drug circuit. His mind drifting to thoughts of Rhys, and how he subsides his nice little business with an income from the occasional newsagents and off licenses robbery.

Cal’s’ eighteen year residence in the Turnhill Estate has him stereotyped as born, bred and destined for a life of crime and drugs. However true this may have proven so far for Cal, he was managing to turn it around. He would still be living a life of crime and drugs; only now he would be preventing and detecting it.

Tonight was his covert last send off. He had been successful; the letter had come through from the Turnhill County Police Force announcing his start date in a couple of weeks’ time. Cal had ensured he was careful, managing to jump through hoops in order to be clean for all the drugs tests.

Tonight was his last one. He inhaled it slowly, savoring the lightheadedness and relaxing sensation pulsing through his veins.

He had managed to keep himself out of trouble all these years, his typical teen wild partying ways his only crime. He had made a promise; ever since his father had died from the gang related violence that he would get out of the estate. He wanted to make a difference, make something of his life. He thought about his poor mother, who had been left to struggle with him and his even wilder younger brother Timmy. He knew that he was going to lose friends along the way, an inevitable sacrifice of the job. He had once promised Rhys the good life that he would turn a blind eye as long as he attempted to tame it down, try and help himself to wean of his criminal ways.

Now, leaning his head against the cool fabric of the walls, his mind swimming with euphoric thoughts, paranoia niggling somewhere, he wasn’t so sure. Watching Rhys force innocent, vulnerable young people destroy their lives, he was starting to regret confiding in him. Of course he wanted to help him out and protect him, but deep down, he knew this may not be possible.

HOW THIS COUlD BE PROGRESSED

From another snippet given to me last week:

Falstaff, an ageing wastrel, expects to live the good life when Prince Hal becomes King; but when Hal does become King, he rejects Falstaff. (Henry IV, Part 2)

I am thinking that Rhys will want protection given to him by Cal, a blind eye turned to his criminal ways. Although Cal will have a tug of war in his head, he will know his job is to arrest Rhys when he becomes involved in one of his cases, rejecting him.

I will take this idea tomorrow night and see if my modern-day interpretation is any good….

Love Missuswolf xxx

Image from Unsplash

Creative Writing Cafe Term Two – Lesson 3: Shakespeare Plots

WEDNESDAY 05th OCTOBER 2011

After completing my Lottie Bonner story on Sunday and spending the past few days tweaking it, I excitedly emailed it to myself and then printed it off at work (naughty), ensuring I had placed it carefully in my work bag, ready to transfer to my temporary Geek Club bag (which is currently a lovely plastic carrier bag with Paperchase plastered on it).

Missuswolf Geek Club

Once I got home and had completed my housey jobs (which were to buy tea, make tea, eat tea, then lie on the couch and let tea digest – whilst watching a couple of episodes of ER), I transferred all documents from my work bag. These included snippets from magazines that I had ripped out in the hope that they will be useful/inspire me, as well as my manuscript. I then flew out the door in a whirlwind, excited to read my story.

I took my place at the table and pulled out my folder, which I have yet to buy Polly Pockets for to keep my papers in. Thinking my story was lodged in there, I sprayed the papers and snippets out across the table.  Only for the horror to then dawn on me that I appeared to had somehow left it at home. Doh! (On my return home, my beloved manuscript was lying brazenly on the rug on the living room floor)

TOPIC

In today’s  lesson, we went around each person and listened to them read the story out that they had chosen to write about their eccentric characters. After each one, the class were able to give feedback; giving opinions on the story route they had chosen, the style of writing, the context of the writing and what direction it could take.

I didn’t feel so bad, there were a couple of classmates who had not been able to bring their stories due to various reasons. Plus the class is quite big now so not everyone got a chance to read theirs out anyway. Never mind, I have emailed mine to the teacher for feedback.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNT TODAY

* That it is essential to have a backstory within a story so that it helps the reader develop an idea about what the character is like and where the story is going

BOOKS TO READ

* None of note this week

HOMEWORK

For our homework this week, we were issued with a sheet of paper that outlined Shakespeare Plots and Subplots:

* Prince Hal is living a wild life with a group of criminal friends, although his destiny – he’ll soon be King – is never far from his thoughts (Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2)

* Macbeth has his ambition to become King – by foul means – stoked by his wife (Macbeth)

* Once he gives up his throne, and the power that goes with it, Lear comes to realise the evil ingratitude of two of his three daughters. (King Lear)

* Ophelia is driven mad by the changing moods and erratic behaviour of Hamlet, her love (Hamlet)

* Othello has his love for Desdemona poisoned by the malicious innuendos of Iago. (Othello)

* Falstaff, an aging wastrel, expects to live the good life when Prince Hal becomes King; but when Hal does become King, he rejects Falstaff. (Henry IV, Part 2)

From the above, I must:

* Pick one

* Put it into the modern world

* Jump straight in with a scene (not necessarily in play format, can be prose)

* 500 words

I think I may find this one tough.

Wish me luck.

Love Missuswolf xx

Image from Unsplash

Creative Writing Cafe Homework Lesson 2: Lottie Bonner in words

 

MONDAY 03rd OCTOBER 2011

Today I have put my Eccentric Character for Creative Writing Class – Lottie Bonner: The Hat-Loving Psycho Killer, into words.

Missuswolf Lottie Bonner headteacher in a hat

Having taken on board the feedback issued at last weeks lesson,  I have decided to take Lottie down the Black Comedy route and not the Crime/Thriller path.

Please find below my ‘500 words ‘ (inevitably I went over and wrote 6 – doh). It is a snapshot of what could potentially progress into a bigger story, possibly a novel one day.

Oh there was Polaroid at the top of this blog. It’s been upgraded. This blog sees me spending more time on how to adapt photos than writing! The hour before this publication I spent trying to adapt a picture on Photoshop only to find a Polaroid App that pandered to my request in seconds, grrrr. *edit – this post has since been updated now I’ve uncovered Unsplash and found far more suitable photo’s 🙂

Never mind. I shall take this snippet along to the class on Wednesday and await the fate of Lottie’s feedback.

Enjoy x xx

Lottie Bonner

Lottie carefully removed the rubber gloves one by one with a satisfactory snap. She then stuffed them into a carrier bag in her briefcase, before replacing them with her demure purple velvet gloves. She steadily adjusted her bowler hat, which had slipped slightly during this sequence.

Her briefcase was soft brown leather, with an internal compartment big enough for her Polaroid camera, her only witness. She retrieved this and blew off the invisible dust.

Missuswolf Polaroid camera Lottie Bonner

She turned to look at Jim Doogan’s lifeless body on the floor, and lifted the camera up with a grin, “Smile Mr Doogan,” she smirked, tapping her finger on the button.

Jim Doogan, the postman, had it coming. It was ever since he had ripped her payslip whilst carelessly shoving it through her letterbox one morning during the school holidays. She had watched his sloppy walk to the front door, his fat fingers fumbling with the pieces of post as if they were bits of toilet paper. The back of his hand had been used to wipe his running nose then the same hand openly scratched his backside.

This had infuriated Lottie. He had no respect for her property whatsoever. She had watched in amazement as he had kicked her front gate shut as he left.

That had been the icing on the cake.

Previous to this, Lottie had witnessed Jim Doogan’s escapades around the estate; barking angrily at the children who got in his way, smoking cigarettes all the while and flicking the ends into the beautifully trimmed lawns, one of those being Lottie’s. He shut peoples’ gates with the thrust of his foot, not to mention any feline friends or dutiful dogs that got in his way.

Lottie had decided that something needed to be done about Jim Doogan and his foul behaviour.

He needed to be taught a lesson; he needed to be disposed of, the world would be a better place without Jim Doogan.

Lottie wafted the Polaroid, admiring her real life creation whilst she waited for the artistic version to develop.

It had been so easy. She had followed him home one early afternoon during the Easter holidays when the gloomy sky peppered the estate with raindrops. Lottie remembered it well; she had worn her knitted grey bobble hat as there had been a slight chill in the air.

She had been surprised to see that he did not live far from her, in one of the flats at the entrance to the estate. She had watched as he had fumbled with his keys to let himself in. She noted there was no sound of a dog to greet him and that it appeared all the neighbours were out at work.

On this fateful return a couple of days later, again on a wet afternoon, she had played the damsel in distress, claiming her car had broken down a few streets away and her phone battery had died.

Surprisingly, Jim Doogan fell for this charade and invited her to use his phone and made her a cup of tea. Lottie had cleverly left her purple velvet gloves on feigning coldness, disguising the rubber ones underneath. It was then, when he had retreated to the kitchen, that Lottie had slipped the poison in his tea. Whilst she performed a well-rehearsed false account of her life on his return, he began to sweat and his eyes started to bulge.

Missuswolf cup of poison tea Lottie Bonner

Jim Doogan then slid off the settee onto the floor, subsiding into an unconscious, deadly heap.

Lottie had said nothing. She simply checked his pulse and calmly reached into her briefcase, pulling out the Postman Pat hat that she had bought especially for the occasion, and gently placed it on the dead man’s head.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images from Unsplash