Friday, February 20, 2009

" A Bit Of A Mishmash!"

It's a cliche, isn't it?? : "I don't know where the time goes!" .... but I don't and it's about time I posted another blog, be it merely a swift one.
SO this is a sort of word ratatouille...hope not as mushy as my soggy vegetable ones.
So here comes a bit of a mishmash!

I've been writing a fair bit since Christmas. Still not enough, but I'm attempting stuff and best of all, I'm enjoying m'self doing it. Perhaps I can develop some discipline..but still...the sheer delight in actually doing some writing IS the essential thing.

What else?? Apart from having good times with family ( new babes included!!) also friends and generally appreciating Life's simple stuff a lot more than usual. After that Christmas flu, even the ordinary glows, if you get my drift....

Two HUGE films seen this week. Most folk reading this have probably already wallowed in them . Both are up for Oscars. Both are very different ( " Slumdog" and " The Reader" ) portraying vastly contrasting worlds, cultures, themes. And both had SUCH massive, strong themes, including horrendous ones.....
BUT both films had one identical theme, that of "First Love" ( no doubt a memory crucial to us all ) and both experiences are told in the form of a young guy's story.

The actors were superb: Dev Patel ( aged 18, born London) was the Slumdog who wins a fortune but never forgets his first love ( Frieda Patel, who...ssh! it appears he may well be dating In Real Life) .... A fine actor indeed.
And here's a snippet: it appears that when Patel took his GCSE Drama, he played the part of a child in the Beslan School Siege SO brilliantly , that his Examiner was moved to tears...

In " The Reader" David Kross ( also 18, born Scleswig Holstein) plays Michael Berg who as a teenager falls in love with Hanna Schmitz ( ex concentration camp guard, played by Kate Winslett)
Kross REALLY must've thought his luck was in... being cast with Winslett.
BUT we too were indeed in luck, to see the talented Kross play this part. ...
I look forward to seeing those 2 guys receive Oscars of their own and I bet it's in no time at all....

2 local writers have visited my class since Christmas. Caroline Smailes called in last year so it was great to see her again this year. She talked with us about her very full writing career; lots has happened since we met. The day after Caroline visited, her book" Black boxes" was out in paperback. Have a look at her blog ( for lots more about her work/publications ( and also the nice things she said on her Feb 9th post about our group!!)

Our second visitor was local poet Clive McWilliam, who is a landscape architect by profession. He shared lots of his work with us and we glimpsed how he creates it and what influences this process. Clive has won several high-profile prizes, most recently, the Virginia Warbey Prize for his poem " One Place Twice", set by the sea on the East coast. As with Caroline, both poets and prose writers alike had a great morning.

A couple of weeks ago Andrew Rudd ( Cheshire Poet Laureate 2004) ran a workshop for Friends of LitFest, hosted generously by/at Chester University's English Dept. This was by arrangement with Senior English Lecturer Ashley Chantler. Ashley also jointly edits an exciting new bi-annual magazine called "Flash"; this deals in short fiction up to 360 words.
Andrew's theme for his workshop was " Finding the poetry in your own voice"; this made for talk about metaphors, their place in language and reading poems ( including " Nirvana" by Charles Bukowski) and also creating off the cuff stuff ourselves.

No more time now but I've enjoyed this splurge in Blogland. And I hope to come back soon.