Yesterday’s good mood has been tempered somewhat by L throwing up firstly in his bed and then an hour later, in ours. I have had four and a half hours sleep.
On the plus side, however, my hair’s still looking nice!
This is the second piece I wrote for my writing group. The topic is still ‘Memories’ and I chose the prompt ‘A relative’s story’.
I have fabricated some of the detail, but the fundamental story is true and belongs to my grandfather.
Somebody asked me whether I would be prepared to share some of the pieces I write as part of my new writing group and I’m happy to do so for anybody who is interested. This is the first:
The theme was ‘Childhood Memories’ and the prompt I chose was ‘visiting an elderly relative’.
Spring 1924: Madeleine Allsopp visits Downton Abbey. A growing friendship with Tom and her instinctive affinity with his daughter give cause for optimism. Canon compliant.
They wrote to one another throughout that spring of 1924, as tulips
emerged in haphazard fashion across the lawn and the ancient oak brought forth new buds after its winter slumber. When he later looked back, Tom couldn’t be certain what initially drove him to continue with their correspondence. As promised, he sent her the information Sarah had given him – the qualifications needed, the name of a reputable college in Eltham which he had looked further into himself. It came as no surprise to receive a swift response. Madeleine’s upbringing meant that a gracious reply of thanks would be forthcoming under any circumstances. But there was something in her letter – more expansive than a courteous note – which led him to pick up his pen once again.
A couple of people asked me to report back after my first session at the writing group I’ve joined. This took place last Thursday and I’m pleased to say that it was a resounding success!
The eight of us (plus two were absent) ranged in age from 14 to 91, so a real mix. Nobody was published and best of all, noone was intensely serious as I had feared. Two of us were new so we all talked about what we wrote, when we started writing, why we wanted to join the group. The 14 year old had written fanfiction too (Hunger Games) and others gave the impression of being interested. The discussion moved on to famous works of fanfiction - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Death Comes to Pemberley and several scribbled the website name down – perhaps off for a curious browse later on?
One person writes poetry, another wants to write a play for Radio 4, the group leader has written a film script, another man read an extract from the monologue he is working on (and ambitiously wants Anne Reid to perform it), others write short stories, a couple harbour dreams of a novel. So we were a mixed bunch, but all enthusiastic to learn and improve and to exchange ideas. I mentioned that writing is a solitary hobby and that fanfiction had given me a sociable exchange within it (with all of you, even though I know I’m hardly ever on here!) and they agreed that part of the group’s attraction was to meet other similarly minded people.
Anyway, my homework for a week next Thursday is approximately 500 words on a childhood memory, not written in the first person. We have to read it out loud, which makes me feel decidedly nauseous, but the whole point of joining is to receive constructive criticism so hopefully I will get used to it over time.
So to conclude, it was an unqualified success and I’m really looking forward to next week’s session already!
Aw, thank you for your message! I’ve had a tricky day so I was very grateful to read this.
However, I’m probably not going to give you the answer you want. I just don’t feel that I have another S/T story in me at the current time. You may already be aware that I’ve written some canon pieces since ‘Step with Me’ and in fact I am in the process of writing a second chapter to ‘Out of the Shadows’ which I hope to post in the next few days. However, I appreciate that in many cases this is reaching a different audience than my previous stories. Other than that, I’m doing some original writing, which is going extremely slowly, but I’m enjoying nonetheless.
Never say never though - if inspiration strikes, I’ll be back. Thank you again.