Committed writers dedicated to working together to produce excellent poems, short stories, drama, life writing, and creative non-fiction

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Sheila 01823 67 28 46

Valerie 01884 84 04 22

Thursday 29 November 2012

Strategies for Writing

 In honor of Anne Lamott, here’s a tips list summarizing, very briefly, some of the points she makes in her terrific book on writing, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.
  1. Write regularly, whether you feel like writing or not, and whether you think what you’re writing is any good or not.
  2. Give yourself short assignments. Keep it manageable so you don’t get overwhelmed.
  3. Write sh**ty first drafts. (I’m not being prissy about the word choice, just don’t want to get hung up in spam filters.) Don’t expect a piece of writing to flow perfectly out of your fingers on the first go. Of all the points she makes, many people seem to find this one the most helpful.
  4. Let the Polaroid develop; in other words, observe, watch, listen, stay in the moment, until you understand what you want to write about.
  5. Know your characters.
  6. Let the plot grow out of the characters.
  7. If you find that you start a number of stories or pieces that you don’t ever bother finishing…it may be that there is nothing at their center about which you care passionately. You need to put yourself at their center, you and what you believe to be true or right.”
  8. Figure out ways to jam the transmissions from Radio KFKD, the interior station feeding doubts and criticism into your brain. Especially about jealousy of other writers.
  9. Have pen and paper ready at all times. (She always carries an index card.)
  10. Call around. Ask for help.
  11. Start a writing group.
  12. Write in your own voice.
  13. Being published brings a quiet joy, but it doesn’t transform your life, and eventually you have to write again.
  14. “Devotion and commitment will be their own reward.”

Tuesday 13 November 2012


Edges curled, grey
with age and mould.
The valley at the base
of the toes, reflecting
the lift and push of
each tarsal, working in unison
undulating sculpted into this
battered old man’s shape.
The lip of the heel sucked in
towards itself, gnarled, splayed,
as his personality pushed and forced
the leather into its own coffin.

© Valerie Taylor
All rights reserved

Phnom Penh

               A shoe, small, dark-stained
               crawls up between the burrowing roots
               beneath the tree
               where music once shrieked on
               and on to kill the screams;
               the pits, some empty wounds, some not yet pits
               where shoes now tread on hardened earth
               and jutting bones;
               a shoe, emptied of despair, begs remembrance.
© Sheila Rogers
All rights reserved

Monday 12 November 2012

“I don't mind your showing me your legs... it's a pleasure to make their acquaintance”

The mean streets were still dark with something more than night. 

He had done his research, like gumshoes do - mostly in the apartments of tall blondes.  Killer heels were history; wedges and braided sandals were to die for. 

 Jack Slipper set up his stall, lit a cigarette and waited.

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved


Creativity of my mind; whispers in my ear
 Inner thought provoking image
Brush strokes I can’t hear
Eyes focused on the picture; a serious task in hand
I’m working to achieve an image
Of this desert sand

Kenneth Campbell
© All rights reserved


Watch them on the pavement; watch them in the Park
Fashion window shopping; even in the dark
Trainers in the playground; thick soles used to hike
Some are for fashion; whilst Runners use a spike
Special ones for dancing; others used to walk
Some are achieving fitness, but many merely talk

© Kenneth Campbell
All rights reserved

A Girl's Gotta Do What a Girl's Gotta Do

They fought to the death over the flowers. 
Mother said red carnations were unlucky. 

Selina said “Who’s superstitious?”
We compromised

for the Processional
agreed ‘Queen of Sheba’.

Behind me the congregation
gasped their pleasure.

I turned, lifted Selina’s veil  
as she whispered,

“Girls who wear red shoes,
don’t wear knickers.”

Sophia Roberts
© All rights reserved

Friday 9 November 2012

An ending - William's Story

I was aghast. "But their roots are anchored at least inches, perhaps feet into the cliff; I, however, am balanced on top of it. In THIS wind.  Anyway, there’s too much windshake.’
            As though to emphasise this, the neck flap of my anorak gave me a stinging slap in the ear, then followed with a volley, as I struggled savagely to clip it in.
            ‘Nonsense,’ she says and thrusts the camera at me.
            I point and shoot.  A desperate move this as I have to temporarily release my white-knuckle grip on my trekking poles, (all right walking sticks).
            ‘My turn,’ she says and we swap places.  I’m safe in the niche now.  As the wind howls with extraordinary force, she wobbles.  I reach to steady her.  She steps back...
            Oh bugger!  She’s....regained her footing as lightly as a prima ballerina.
            ‘Ah-ha,’ she says.  ‘Your face made the perfect picture.’

© Gill Dunstan
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