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Posts Tagged ‘Writers Group’

The ocean has alway been an important part of my life and this image show a beach in Melros, Western Australia, which is a place that we often visit with a group of friends. Cheap accommodation enables us to stay with another three couples and we enjoy endless beach walks, the challenges of 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles, games of scrabble and Red Wine sunsets.

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I grew up on the East Devon coast of England, near the Regency town of Sidmouth. It is a beautiful area of outstanding natural beauty, sitting a short drive from the Dorset border. A twenty-minute walk, through hedged pathway and lush public open space, could have me sitting on the pebbled banks, hankering over some of my wildest dreams.

When I stare out to sea, I can be anywhere in the world and generally feel more connected to the place I still call home. It has the universal ability to tune me into an amazing creator God, enabling me to reach new spiritual depths. Problems and concerns seem to magically lighten, as the reflective waters twinkle, dancing in delicate footsteps on the ocean’s surface.

On a daily basis, the skies and oceans work collectively to bring some of the most amazing scenery. People like me revel in taking happy snaps, photos that attempt to capture an aura of the Divine and choosing just one to share was hard, as many also include magnificent sunsets. I decided on this one, as it links in with a ‘Freestyle Poem’ that I wrote at Writers Group this week.

The prompt was to write a poem linking a favorite place to an emotion. Even I was surprised by what I wrote in the time-frame we were given.

Freedom Coast

My prison holds no walls

Emotions creating their own boundaries.

Escape is a road trip

Fueled by dark days

Powered by the need for sunshine.

Sand snatches at my feet

Grabbing at my stability

Until solid ground holds firm.

Distance is unfathomable

And waves roll to my heart beat.

Space and rhythm

Washed up debris

Working to erase the shadows.

Lighting my spirit with inspiration

Encompassing all things beach.

(c)Sandie’s Snippets 2013

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DrailmentWARNING

Holidays may cause you to experienced a blogging derailment.

It is no secret, that after returning from a wonderful holiday, it has been hard to discipline my writing life and keep up with my Blog. Even reading the stories and tales of the people I follow, has had to be squeezed into a time slot that has often been unattainable. So I am sitting at my desk, staring at the computer screen and wondering where this post may take me.

Yesterday it was going to be all about ‘Winning Wednesdays’. A reflection on how all my writerly friends, at the writers group I belong to, are so encouraging and supportive. A local poetry competition had us all putting pen to paper and fingers to the keyboard in order to make a submission before last Fridays deadline. We wrote, shared and helped edit each others work, before meeting the closing date (wow – seven of us submited a total of thirteen entries). Even before the winning entries are announce I believe we are all winners as there is no competitiveness amongst ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we win a prize or not, participation is the goal and we have been cheering each other on, seeing this as a victory for our productive little group.

On Monday, it was going to be ‘Birthday Cake and Candles’. Sharing with you all, the wonderful story of celebrating the 18th birthday of our grand-daughter. She was the first-born grandchild, holding a special place in my heart. Seeing her grow into a beautiful young woman has been a privilege and I am proud of her on so many levels. Finding the perfect gift needed several shopping expeditions, even though I knew it would have to be jewellery.

Last week it was going to be  ‘A Renovation Review’. An update on the renovations taking place, turning our under croft garage into a study, library, office. Is it only me who arrives home from a holiday relaxed and rested with an idea that suddenly turns into demolishing property and building walls? It has been a long job, which has taken four times longer than expected and the cost is still escalating, as I’d like some new curtains, a big rug, two large comfy armchairs, not to mention some other unnecessary miscellaneous stationary items, that are of course a must have. I confess to being a secret stationary addict.

So today post, is a brief summary of what I have been doing in recent weeks. Something always has to give when it comes to fitting in another project and on this occasion, I’m sorry to say, it has been my Blog.

Catch you all again soon – Promise.

(c) Sandie’s Snippets 2013

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Writers Group never ceases to surprise me as we; put pen to paper, create written drama and visualize the unexpected.  Leadership for each week is rotated through the group, which is a great idea as it broadens the versatility of the topics and genres we get to cover. It also takes the pressure off of the facilitator to come up with a ‘Work Shop’ each week.

A couple of weeks ago we had the poetry prompt ‘Swirls of Dust’ and ten minutes to write. For me, it created a fantastic visual in my head and I thought I’d share my end result.

Swirls of Dust

 

 It dances along an outback track      

Pirouetting to the breeze

Twirling to the wind

Curtseying to the mighty gums

 It jumps over barren valleys

Hovers over bushy pathways

Then rests in majestic branches

Before falling to its knees

 

Moistened by the night-time air

It sticks like glue to the earth

Tired and weary it sleeps awhile

Till sun raises its golden orb

And then dust dances, to the thermals once more.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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It has been a busy week of writing this week, with the deadline for a local writing contest drawing near. After two attempts to stretch a couple of storylines to the required word count I almost gave up. However my conscience got the better of me, because in one of those rash moments, I had suggested to the members of our writers group, that we all give it a go.

Feeling somewhat grouchy about my lack of inspiration, I tossed and turned for the best part of the night, eventually realizing I may have just the story already written. Change a bit here, add a bit there, bring in one of the requirements of the competition and ‘Hey Presto’. Well it wasn’t quite that easy, but I did open up a piece  of work, that had me excited twelve months ago, before I had one of those reflective, ‘What-on-earth-do-you-think-your-doing times’, and put it in my ‘TO GET BACK TO’ file.

Working on this piece, has rekindled the spark and added a new dimension, as fresh ideas evolved. A sense of pure satisfaction now resides and wether I win a place in the competition or not, I know I have given it my best shot and in my heart, it is still a winner.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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So far Blogging has been in interesting journey. Not only has it stretched my imagination, helped me to overcome some fears, it has also witnessed changed mindsets, most of which have been established in my life for years. I can’t say it has been the only influence over the last few months, as I purposefully set out to explore new and creative ways to lock into, what I believed was my untapped potential.

Part of this journey has been belonging to a local writers group. A place where I have been able to experiment with words. Paint pictures with text and receive both praise and critique. Their shared vision and encouragement, has seen me discover poetry in its many forms, write prose, try my hand at monologue and even have a go at script writing.

Each person takes a turn at leading the group, and the topics are as varied as the individuals themselves. We are a motley bunch, whose skills and styles vary greatly, but I never seem to leave the Wednesday morning group without something that I feel I can work on and improve. Below is a poem, based on the prompt, ‘The Boundaries of Experience’ that we were asked to write earlier in the year.

The Boundaries of Experience

I fit perfectly within these walls

Caged into the safety of my space

Peering out for a miniscule glance

Then retreating to what I know best.

 

I live perfectly within these walls

Happy wandering their boundaries

Delighted to laze in the well-known

Sleep under rests shaded canopy.

 

I will die perfectly within these walls

A life lived without daring journeys

A eulogy read, void of surprise

Then slumber beneath its heart of earth.

In light of my growing confidence, I think it is now time to breakout from the past, embrace the future  and explore the big wide world that is beckoning.

©Sandie Stevens. 2012

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I recently saw an image that had the wow factor. It was one of the free stock images you find online and showed a black and white hand, with a tiny green bird perched on one of the fingers. Not too unusual, you might say. But the hand had only three fingers and a thumb, which took a while to register as I surveyed the whole picture, admiring how beautiful it was.

Thinking it would be a great writing challenge, I set it as a homework piece. It has lived up to all of  its expectations.

*****

A Place To perch

Beauty is focused on this feathered friend, as thought processes are challenged. The image creates its own illusion as my gaze admires the magnificent creature, not seeing the hand that welcomes the Exquisite One.

I now peer and question its weirdness, captivated by its ability to seize my ordered mind.

This bird of the air, does not question. It perches on the hand of its beloved, finding solace in life’s journey. Knowing it is free to fly when ready.

 I am forced to wonder, that I should think it bizarre, to see and be surprised. My psyche having the ability to be more deformed than this limb.

 With wisdom, I recognise that the hands that once held me were also deformed, distorted by family dysfunction.

 But I decided to fly and now it is time for me to soar to even greater heights.

And I must fly too, or I will be late for Writers Group this morning. 🙂

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

 

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