You’ve been terribly busy, as have I, mostly trying not to drown in the appalling weather we have had since September, but there’s not a lot I can do about that other than find another job.
In the meantime I’ve joined a creative writing group, I’m not a joiner of things and don’t really like meeting new people, or people I already know if I’m honest. But we meet once a month, in a café that sells amazing cake.
We do a few exercises centred around a theme, it’s December and it will come as a surprise that the theme was Christmas. It’s a sort of stream of consciousness writing thing.
Here are my notes:
First Exercise – Imagine you receive a Christmas card, from anyone living, dead, fictional or non-fictional. Describe that card.
I’ve received a Christmas card from an Innkeeper, with one of those round robin letters (no good ever came from those) attached.
“It was a normal year, but business tailed off in December, so it was good to get someone knock on the door. Unfortunately it was a bloke and a heavily pregnant woman, obviously not from round these parts and I heard them bickering, apparently he wasn’t the father of her child. I didn’t want her to mess up the sheets so said we were full but they could use the stable. She had the baby and then it was bedlam, 3 guys claiming to be kings following a star turned up. Shepherds showed up and ran amok. Carnage. I wonder what became of that family, I don’t reckon they will amount to much. Would things be different if I let them stay in the inn. I guess not”.
Course leader response – That is a unique take on the Christmas story.
Second Exercise – Described Father Christmas’ childhood, how did he become so generous.
Father Christmas was brought up in an orphanage. His only toy was a piece of string, well a bit of old rope really. He was lonely and picked upon because he was fat and made up preposterous fantasy characters that lived in his head and he thought people were always good to each other. To try and be popular he always gave away anything he found. The orphanage was next to a reindeer sanctuary for abused reindeer. He befriended one of them who had foot and mouth and a bleeding nose. This reindeer was called Rudolf, which is Icelandic for lottery winner.
Course leader response – slightly macabre and do you speak Icelandic.
Third Exercise – reset, in modern times, T’was the night before Christmas.
The night before Christmas in the modern house finds a family tucked up on sofas, the children scrubbed, excited and drinking hot chocolate and the step-father starts to read a poem.
The children are enchanted but also terrified, we don’t have a chimney, but if Father Christmas can get in with a skeleton key that means others can get in and murder us in our beds.
We better wear all our clothes to bed in case we have to abandon the house. Any slight noise could not possibly be a reindeer and sledge, it’s the riders of the apocalypse. Father Christmas can’t be trusted, he might be friendly and believable, but all con-artists are.
Father Christmas’ message is one of kindness and hope. The step-father’s message is that perhaps the kids can go to their dad next year.
Course leader response – That is a very clever and imaginative reworking of the poem. No, no it’s not – it’s autobiographical.
So this, dear reader, coupled with the fact that a 500 word book I wrote 2 years ago is still, apparently, being edited, is the reason I won’t be giving up gardening any time soon.
I wish you the merry Christmas.