• The Hope Cafe Wednesday 8th of July

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    Second session in Mandy’s Place at The Hope Cafe!

     

    A small group of us met this week and we had a very frank, open and meaningful reading and writing session. We started with The Voyeur, by Tom Leonard, which is all about the word ‘wee’.

    It starts:

    ‘What’s your favourite word dearie

     is it wee,

    I hope it’s wee…’ 

    from  Tom’s book, Outside the Narrative which I recommend. It’s a very interesting collection of works for those of us who feel like “foreigners on their native soil.”

    A suggested prompt to write from this was: What are your favourite words?

    We made lists and some amazing stuff came out.

    Then we read William Stafford’s poems,  ‘Ask me’ and ‘The Way it is’. 

    We wrote from the prompt: Ask me… and got some strong responses with this.

    From strength to strength, we went on to experience the power of Maya Angelou, by reading ‘Still I Rise’ and chatted about it.

    We had a read of an item from the Scottish Recovery website,  Write to Recovery, called: ‘Eat a frog’  about anxiety- eating the frog is one step in breaking through something you are worried about- and relates to the technique of thinking of a big problem as an elephant,  How do you eat an elephant? In small chunks.

    My suggestion for home writing was: What are your frogs or elephants?Only a suggestion, as we can write whatever we want and know it is right!

    More mental wealth at The Hope Cafe next week! Anyone can write, please come along!

     

  • Bank Street Writers

    I rejoined my old writing group this week, after an absence of  a year due to being over committed time-wise. It was so good to be back with old friends, sharing our home-written poems and prose, in a gentle and supportive setting.  We take turns to facilitate the group, which has been going for many years- it was founded by Larry Butler and Kay Carmichael and we used to meet in Kay’s kitchen in Bank Street.

    This group has helped me to find my voice, with much encouragement from the others. We usually bring a copy for everyone, read it aloud then the author stays quiet while the rest of the group are talking about it. We follow a format asking : what it is about; then what we find striking about each piece; then ways we may change it if it was our poem; the author responds to comments at the end.

    We spend time writing on a prompt from whoever is leading that week. Someone also prepares a new writer to bring to introduce to the group. Tonight we heard about William Stafford, and I was inspired by his journalling for many many years of his life.I recommend his poems to everyone.

    Ask Me

    Some time when the river is ice ask me

    what mistakes I made …

    William Stafford