Last night was the second of three writing workshops with ‘place’ as its theme. We had three opportunities to get scribbling, treating the task: (a) dispassionately, concentrating on a raw descriptive style (b) putting the emotional associations into the description and (c) focusing on a particular event at the place.
My own efforts weren’t that great, so I was reluctant to read them out (although I forced myself to read one piece of mine about the Black Mountain). Others managed to dash off very polished pieces of writing with some great turns of phrase. Russell has a soft spoken voice that leads you gently around Ormeau Park (his place) describing things of interest. Lulled by the description you are suddenly aware of a mood shift he has created with a ‘Do not cross’ police tape or other literary device. Good stuff.
Jan provided some visual aids to inspire us: Van Gough’s The Night Café, Gauguin’s Café at Arles and Hopper’s Night Hawks.
I persuaded Mick to go for a pint afterwards in the John Hewitt where we chatted about the group and our own reasons for attending the workshop. Mick is a musician, so I was interested in his song writing technique. Like many artists, Mick found that songs just came to him. There was music in the bar. The first turn was a bit of a disappointment so we both legged it.
Next week we have to deliver our final drafts and polished prose. There is talk of some kind of publication and readings.