Tag Archives: workshop

The National Glass Centre, Sunderland

Last month we visited the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.  I had never heard of it before but it is certainly well worth visiting.   Apart from all its other activities (check out their website):


there is a fascinating section on the history of glass and glass-making in the area with interesting examples which will take you back to your childhood or even your mother’s and your grandmother’s childhood.
There was a beautiful display of glass art by a local artist and an exhibition of stunning glass pieces on loan from USA.
A display of glass blowing showing all the skill and patience required to produce even the simplest piece of glass, let alone one with different colours, swirls and shapes, completed our visit.  Well, perhaps not quite, there were also the very tempting wares on display in the shop and an exploration of the glass roof, scary for me, but not for everyone.

So this is June?

Can I see sunshine and blue sky out of my window?  The willow tree is in full William Morris attire, its elegant branches whirled about with the wind.  The potentilla is sporting its yellow dabs of colour and the Kolkwitzia, which I thought was a Deutzia until it grew to over eight feet, is in full bloom.  Its deep pink flowers stand out well against the dull grey sky.  I’d like to see it against blue though.

Further along the ferns are fabulous, the buddleia looks healthy and the roses are just waiting to burst out.  We just need the sun.

Sadly, we have had a leak in our new house.  A hole had to be cut out of the dining room area ceiling and we are still waiting for an estimate before we can send the quote to the insurance company. I have my cousin and her husband visiting from Australia on about 10th July.  I can just see this all being a nightmare the week before they arrive.  The leak is fixed but the ceiling requires new plasterboard and then the whole are will have to be redecorated.

I may, or again, I may not post some poetry tomorrow.  Am attending a Poetry Workshop run by our writing group’s Creative Writing Fellow.  Am a little worried about it because there do seem to be some very good poets around.  I was pleased with my mark for the poetry section of A215 but I do not feel confident, in any way, about writing poetry.  Well, we will see.  Must go with the right attitude – I am there to learn.  More tomorrow …..

A Day of Writing

A brief outline of what happened at the Writers’ Workshop.  About twenty-odd assembled from various groups around the county.  I thought it might be a long day but in the end it all passed very quickly with very little stress.    As an introduction we had to write down one true fact and one false fact about ourselves.   TM our creative writing guru then went round the table, we introduced ourselves and read out the two facts.  The rest had then to guess which was true and which was false.  It was all done in a very light-hearted and amusing way so was great to break the ice.

We were then asked to write down what we thought were the three most important aspects of a novel.   Mine were:  an easy writing style, characters I could relate to and a believable plot, even if it was a fantasy novel.   Most people’s were a variation of the same.  We were then given some card upon which to draw a face.     This was our character.  TM gave us five ages, 10, 30, 50, 80 and 100 and five scenarios:  back to school, going to a wedding, leaving work, moving house, birthday party.     I have tried to reproduce the face on Paint to show what we had to do with it. The link to the face is here: http:// placeoftranquillity.wordpress.com/scribblings/whose-face-is-this/

Having finished, or nearly finished our face, we then had to chose to write one of two things:

  1. School Report from a guardian or teacher  OR
  2. Letter or email from one relation to another, about your character
  • A diary entry from our character

The final part of this was to write the story, or at least start it.

Plenty of coffee breaks interspersed with this, time for reading out what had been written and commenting on it.  We also read through a couple of TM’s stories which he had analysed to show how they were constructed.   All very useful.   I don’t believe I wrote anything very meaningful but it was a very interesting day and not as scary as I had anticipated.   I think we are very lucky with our Creative Writing Fellow who has a very easy manner and was excellent at keeping the whole day interesting and moving along at a good pace, with with enough time to write quietly too.

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