Sunday, 26 August 2012

7Arts Creative Writing Workshop 7-10pm

Attended the Let's Get Creative writing workshop run by Beth Daley this evening.  These workshops will be held on the last Sunday of every month (except October) and the one rule was 'no apologising.'  Sadly, only myself and P was in attendance, but Beth is hoping that there will be more at the next session.  The first task was to write three minutes with only one word to inspire us.  The first word was evocative, the second was water and the third was orange.

This is the piece I wrote on orange:

The fruit stung as it hit my taste buds and I felt the explosion of pain in my cheeks.  I dropped the orange and watched as it hit the ground and rolled inexorably away, covering itself in the dust and decay of the remaining world.  It seemed like a metaphor for the earth and I knew I could not let it go, I had to at least try and save it.  It's purity amongst the madness of destruction was a sign of hope that I could not ignore.  Maybe I was not alone in this God-awful place.  Maybe there could be a future.  Maybe if the fruit could still grow and ripen, mabye the human race still had a chance.

Beth then showed us some pieces on nonsense and playfulness.  Shakespeare invented 1,700 words and that we shouldn't be afraid to do the same.  She also shared a piece of Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales and The Jabberwocky from Alice in Wonderland.

We then made up some words and gave them meanings.  Mine were:

Forgleheaded: To be forgetful, but try and bluff your way through as though you know exactly what you mean.

Lombabard (this was P's word, but I gave it the meaning): A latin dance instructors back support.

Shupalate (this was Beth's, but my meaning): To heat your footwear by the fire on a Winter's evening before retiring to bed.

We then gave new definitions to existing words.  Mine were:

Interminable: To determine to become a doctor, no matter what.

Implicate: To copy the naughty behaviour of a child.

Puddle: The incidence of a deflated cake or pudding.

The next task was to write a letter in regard to some crisis between two recipients, using some made up words.

Mine was:

Dear Mr Smith,

I am writing in regard to the jankervator that I purchased from your company on 21 July.  Upon fitting of its carisporters, the fanglesnatch would not close and now I am left with a jaker that will not vate.  As you can no doubt imagine, this is most inconvenient and I would like this situation rectified immediately.  Please could you contact my office within the next 24 hours with a new installation date and an explanation as to why your fitters did such a forgleheaded job of it the first time.  Of course, I expect this to be at no extra charge and it is within my rights to expect full conpentarterledge for this.  If I do not hear from your company forthwith, I will contact my suersage and commence lawerledge against you, though I sincerely hope it will not come to that.

Yours rambuntirately,

Mr U N Happy

We then read our pieces that we had brought along to discuss and feedback upon.

The writing challenge for the next meeting (29 September) should be emailed around the attendees the week before the workshop and should be on one of the following 'game-related' themes:

1) Write a short story following on from the letter (as above) and be as playful and imaginative as possible.

2) Your own interpretation of the theme of playfulness.

3) Whatever you wish to bring along.

I will be going away for a week, so there will be no posts on the blog until my return.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Bronte Festival of Women's Writing 31 Aug - 2 Sept

Just received the following information from Anna Turner about the above Festival:

31 August

My Last Rochester Poetry Exhibition, Bronte Parsonage Museum free with admission to the Museum

1-3pm Making Up Stories, West Lane Baptist Centre, Fiction Writing Workshop with Anna Turner £15

7.30pm Sadie Jones West Lane Baptist Centre, Sadie discusses her latest novel 'The Uninvited Guests' (2012) £6

1 September

10-12pm Poetry Masterclass with Amanda Dalton, West Lane Baptist Centre, suitable for beginners and more experienced writers £15

2pm Amanda Dalton Reading , Bronte Parsonage Museum free with admission to the Museum

2-3.30pm Writing From Life, West Lane Baptist Centre, Ann Caldwell session suitable for beginners and more experienced writers £12

7.30pm Stormy Sisterhood: Jane Austen versus the Brontes, West Lane Baptist Centre, Claire Harman, Tiffany Murray and Helen Simpson, £10

2 September

Festival fun - a range of writing activities for visitors and families at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, free with admission to the Museum

For further details and for booking 01535 640188
015 640188/ 640188/

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cleckheaton Writers Group 20/8/12

At the meeting last night, D, N and I discussed workshops and events that are coming up in the various literature festivals (sadly P could not make it this week). 

D and I will be attending the Creative Writing Workshop run by Beth Daley at Seven Arts in Leeds on Sunday (it is the first one in a series) and we will have to take a piece of writing with us to share (apparently we will be set writing tasks for the following meetings).  I told N about the Brighouse events (The R. L. Royle talk and the Ann Cleeves Literary Evening) and informed him that one of us was going to one and one to the other.  Not sure yet if he will be wanting to attend either (or if P will) but priced at £5 and a local venue, we didn't want to miss it.  We agreed that we would all be getting a ticket for the John Connolly author event at Cleckheaton Town Hall (I have got a ticket and I believe P already has hers) and attending some of the Morley Literature Festival events.  N informed us that he was unable to get a ticket for the Sci-fi and Superheroes event on the 6th of October as the website indicated the event was sold out, but he is hoping to contact them and get his name on the reserve list in case anyone drops out.  If not, D and I can give feedback at the following Writers Grooup as we managed to secure ticktets.  D and I are booked into the Creative Writing Workshops on the 8th and 12th of October and we discussed which of the Ilkley Literature Festival events we would like to attend.  We narrowed it down to 3 events that we thought we could go to (30th Sept, and the 12th and 13th of Oct) but will have to wait until the 10th of September to book, as that is when tickets are released (full details of the Ilkley Literature Festival information to follow on a future blog).  We also agreed that we would all attend the Writers Roadshow at Hebden Bridge on the 14th of October and are going to secure tickets this week, this will be an excellent event as attendees get two workshops with established writers or publishers, as well as two writing-related talks.

We then discussed the writing that we were working on at the moment and our plans going forward.  We also decided between us that if/when we are published authors, that we would give talks/workshops for other writers to help them, even though the thought of public speaking or reading our work out to an audience would fill us with dread.  We agreed that the inspiration that novelists like Ros Barber had given us was invaluable and should we ever be in that position, we would also like to give back in a similar manner. 

The next meeting is at 6pm on Monday 3 September at Cleckheaton Library.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Tan-tastic tenerife

I had a fabulous holiday in Tenerife (this was why I didn't blog 27 July - 11 August) and I really miss being there.  The weather, the sea, well everything really.  This is probably compounded by the truly rainy weather we have had since we got back.  My friend B is going there on Tuesday and I thought I would post some of the pics to give you an idea of why we go back there year after year.  Enjoy....

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Ted Hughes Festival

Anna Turner has sent me the information on the above Festival and it looks like it will be really good.  It runs from 19-21 October at various venues and tickets are available to buy from 10 September at

For enquiries contact   Festival details -

I am really looking forward to all the festivals and events that are coming up and I have already got myself tickets for the 7 Arts Creative Writing Workshops starting on Sunday 26 August,  the Ann Cleeves Literary evening at Brighouse Library on Friday 31 August, the John Connolly author talk at Cleckheaton Town Hall on the evening of Monday 17 September and the Sci-fi and Superheroes 6/10, Fiona Shaw Creative Writing Workshop and evening talk 8/10,  Stephen May Creative Writing Workshop and evening talk 10/10 and Leah Fleming event at Morley Library as part of the Morley Literature Festival.  Will be looking into the Ilkley Literature Festival dates tomorrow, which I will post details of on my blog.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Seven Arts Creative Writing Workshops

Earlier this year I attended some creative writing workshops at Seven Arts where I met Beth Daley and I am pleased to tell my followers that she is running a new series of Creative Writing workshops at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton as of the end of August.

They will be on Sunday evenings from 7-10pm, at a cost of £12 per session, and will consist of a hands-on exercise-based workshop, which will end with a writing task to take away and work on for next time. Then a break for drinks/chats etc, and end with a reading/feedback session at which you can read a piece of writing you've worked on over the last month, and discuss it as a group.

The contents and topics included in the sessions will be wide-ranging and cover both creative and professional elements of being a writer. Beth would be pleased if attendees let her know if there's a particular area you'd like to work on.

The dates are generally the last Sunday of the month (except October and December) and are...
26 August
30 September
21 October
25 November
None for December cos it's between Christmas and New Year.
27 January
24 February
31 March
28 April
26 May
30 June
28 July

I am booked on these and I would be pleased to see you there.  For further details and to book either contact Beth on Twitter @cupcakerybakery or email her at Beth Daley []

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

2 events at Brighouse Library in August

There are two local writing events at Brighouse Library this August:

Writing workshop with R.L.Royle

Tuesday 28th August 2:00pm – 5:00pm, Brighouse Library

Tickets: £6

R L Royle is a professional author based in Brighouse, Yorkshire.
Writing books from the age of seven, Rebecca swapped her pens and typewriters for a computer at the age of seventeen to pen her first novel, Lucy’s Monster, published in 2006. After her second published novel Eleven Terrible Months was released in hardback, Rebecca sold everything she owned and left the UK to travel Asia, Europe and North America for nine months, taking leather books to record day-to-day journals of the adventures that were to change her profoundly and inspire future novels.
Upon her return to the UK, Rebecca set up independent creative writing courses that ran for two years. With her current novel now close to being finished, Rebecca has shut the Town Hall doors to her writing classes to concentrate fully on her career as an author once more, excited about sharing her most mature and challenging piece of work yet.
Her three-hour workshop to be held at Brighouse Library is a one-off. Please book early to avoid disappointment.
Reviews from White Rose Creative Writing:

A really enjoyable course with a fun, relaxed atmosphere… Rebecca is a teacher with limitless enthusiasm who really inspires you and helps you to believe in your work. If you’ve ever wanted to give creative writing a go this is a perfect place to start.

A very inspirational course, that both pushes you out of your comfort zone then reels you back in, learning so much on the way. Rebecca is a fantastic teacher, sharing her work and her experiences, which inspires you to want to write more and more. Wish we could have stayed longer!

A Literary Evening with Ann Cleeves

Friday 31st August 7pm, Brighouse Library

Tickets: £5

Ann’s latest book is The Glass Room, a new Vera Stanhope novel; two series of Vera, the ITV adaptation starring Brenda Blethyn and David Leon, have been broadcast in the UK, and sold worldwide.

Ann’s short film for Border TV, Catching Birds, won a Royal Television Society Award. She has twice been short listed for a CWA Dagger Award – once for her short story The Plater, and the following year for the Dagger in the Library award.
In 2006 Ann Cleeves was the first winner of the prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award of the Crime Writers’ Association for Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet.

Ann’s books have been translated into twenty languages. She’s a bestseller in Scandinavia and Germany. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best translated crime novel in Sweden in 2007. It has been adapted for radio in Germany – and in the UK where it was a Radio Times pick of the day when it was first broadcast The radio adaptations of Raven Black and White Nights have both been repeated, and an adaptation of Red Bones is currently in preparation for television.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Lucky One film review

Went to see this film today and I really enjoyed it.  The Lucky One stars Zac Efron (High School Musical, 17 Again) as Logan, a Marine who travels to Louisiana after serving three tours in Iraq to search for the unknown woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war.  Taylor Schilling (from TV series Mercy) stars as Beth, the woman in the photograph that he believes kept him safe.  Unable to tell her why he is there, when he finally tracks her down, he accepts the job offer that she presumes he has come for and this leads to him getting closer to her and her family, much to her ex-husband Keith's (Judging Amy, Sleeper Cell, Easy Money, Mad Money) annoyance.  Her mother Ellie (the excellent Blythe Danner) and her son Benjamin (The Beaver) take to him, but she finds it difficult to trust him following the death of her brother (also a Marine) and her ill-judged high-school marriage that ended badly.  Based on the book by Nicholas Sparks, this film was very emotional and as usual, had me crying most of the way through it (I know, I'm a softie) but I recommend it as a great girlie watch.  7/10

My children went to see Ice Age 4 and they thought it was very good, better than the last movie.  It had lots of new characters, but most of the old ones (Buck appears for 2 seconds), and although most of the characters are a bit crazy, they seem to always pull through (except Sid predictably).  The continents are drifting (thanks to Scrat) and they have to find a new home, but Manny, Sid, Diego and Granny drift away on ice and encounter pirates, sirens and more.  In all, a good film but not as good as the first movie.  8/10

Monday, 13 August 2012

Morley Literature Festival

Have just got back from a fabulous sunny holiday in Tenerife (tan may fade quickly due to British weather sadly) and seen the following information in my inbox:

MORLEY LITERATURE FESTIVAL 6-14 October 2012 details announced
featuring Gavin Esler, Val McDermid, Stuart Maconie, AL Kennedy, Peter Hook, Polly Toynbee...

Reporting the Royals Literary Lunch with ITN's Tim Ewart at The Village Hotel, Monday 8 October noon
Best-selling Wire in the Blood series author Val McDermid at Morley Town Hall, Sunday 14 October 7.30pm
Creative Writing Workshops with Fiona Shaw, Birth, death and the big bits in between, Monday 8 October 2pm and Stephen May, Writing a novel, Wednesday 10 October 2pm

For full programme details, prices and how to book

I attended quite a few events at the Literature Festival last year and will definitely be booking myself on some of these as soon as possible.  Hope to see you there.