Saturday, May 21, 2011

Childhood: If your'e good you can go to heaven

Myths, Archetypes, Stereotypes, Cartoons

Children have been complaining not wanting to go to school since Shakespeare's time.  Most children would much rather play than sit in classrooms where teachers drone on about boring things that the kids have no connection to, and no interest in whatsoever.

What feelings do the words  behave yourself bring up?

Our reading list:

Lucretia is still reading Memories, Dreams, Reflections by CG JungMemories, Dreams Reflections, CG Jung
Oliver is reading Robert Graves The White Goddess, an intuitive scholarly enquiry into English poetry. It deals with the origins of poetry since the Bronze age and the connections between thinking of people from Egypt to Britain.The White Goddess by Robert Graves A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth
Sonja is reading The Healer Inside You by Neil Orr and David Patient, using Psycho-Neuro Immunology (PNI) to help heal your body. The book has quizzes and questionnaires to help recognise the stresses, anger, frustration and other sources that compromise your immune system and make you sick.  It also has exercises to help you ward off illness and improve wellbeing.The Healer Inside You by Neill Orr and David Patient Use PNI mind-bosy science to heal your body
Hugh is still reading the Map that changed the world by Simon Winchester (author of the Surgeon of Crowthorn of how the Oxford dictionary originated)The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester Birth of Modern Geology; a tale of Rocks, Ruin and Redemption

The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester Birth of Modern Geology; a tale of Rocks, Ruin and Redemption

The Surgeon of Crowthorn by Simon Winchester a tale of Murder, Madness and the origin of The Oxford Dictionary

The Surgeon of Crowthorn by Simon Winchester a tale of Murder, Madness and the origin of The Oxford Dictionary

Hugh and Karen read the Letters that  Ted Hughes' and Sylvia Plath's wrote to each other, as a feature during the Franschhoek Festival.
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes Poems

Hugh referred to The Golden Bough by Charles Frazer, an analysis, exploration and documentation of folklore, myths and magic practices that have died out. It is a report of the origins of mythologies, ancient customs of human sacrifice, fetishes, totems, corn dollies and more.  Even though modern Anthropologists have discredited his conclusions, it is still a very good reference book recording the customs and practices of these times. A must-have if you are a writer and interested in archetypes, myths, and folk-lore.
The Golden Bough by Charles Frazer

Killing the God by Charles Frazer follows The Golden Bough

The Aftermath by Charles Frazer Supplement to The Golden Bough

There are e-book and other versions

Frances is reading The Little Black Book of Stories by AS Byatt, a mixture of short stories.
The Little Black Book by AS Byatt

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Call for African Playwright Scripts


Arterial Network, in association with TeatrNowy in Poland, the National Theatre Studio in London and South Africa’s National Arts Festival and ARTSCAPE Theatre, hereby calls for the submission of scripts by African playwrights living in Africa as part of a project to promote African theatre on the African continent, in Europe and indeed globally.

The primary aims of the project are: introduce African theatre-makers (writers, directors and actors) to regional and international theatre markets in a manner that builds and sustains the presence of African theatre in these markets on a medium- to long-term basis; establish formal partnerships and collaborative projects between theatres, festivals and theatre institutions in Europe and Africa in order to learn from each other, influence the content and form of each other’s work and increase global market access for African theatre in particular ; contribute to the emergence and upskillingof new African playwrights, and to provide platforms to project excellent theatre work from Africa to Europe and beyond; engage in debates, research and intellectual and aesthetic rigour through seminars, residencies and exposure to each other’s work as a means of contributing to global and continental debates about the practice and future of theatre-making in an ever-changing, globalised world.

The projected outcomes of this project for 2011 are:

1.the selection of 4-8 African playwrights to participate in dramaturgical workshops at the National Theatre Studio (see;

2.the selection of at least 5 plays for inclusion in an African Play Series publication, a version of which will be produced annually;

3.staged readings of some of the selected work at theatres in Africa and Europe;

4.the selection of at least one play for production in Europe and/or Africa in 2012.

Plays may be submitted on any theme, and in any genre, style and language. If the play is not in English, it will be read in its original language.

As 2011 marks the initiation of this project, we are not looking for entirely new, un-staged or unpublished work. The aim of the project in 2011 is to identify African playwrights who have the best potential to stage their work in regional and international arenas.

All scripts should be typed (no handwritten submissions will be accepted).
Submissions are to include the writer’s full name, email address, postal address, country of residence and telephone number (country code, city code and number). Each writer may submit only one script.

Submissions may be sent by email to Rebecca Radford (Subject line: African Playwrights’ Project) Submissions may also be sent by post to African Playwrights’ Project, Arterial Network, Union House, 25 Commercial Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.

The deadline is 31 May 2011.


For more information about the partners, see:
Arterial Network:
National Theatre Studio:
National Arts Festvial:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Birthdays and Deathdays

We commemmorate our birth day every year. Our Death day comes and goes, and we just don't know what day it is going to be. Most of us cannot decide when this is going to happen and have no control over the day we are going to die.

What if we celebrated each day; made each day count, then it wouldn't matter what or which day we die, would it?

Our reading List:

Devoured 13 Uur by Deon Meyer. Stayed up until 3 in the morning reading.

The last Afrikaans book I read like that was Kringe in 'n Bos of Dalene Matthee.The Englsih translation of this book is called Circles in a Forest.

I am also 'reading' (mostly looking at  pictures) a book about Franz Marc's art by Susanna Portsch.
It seems neither Loot nor Kalahari have this specific book.  I got it out the library, maybe its an old or obscure book.

Just started The Ghosts around Cape Town. The subject of ghosts stimulated a long discussion.
(this book is unfortunately  not available on either of the online book stores)
The links in this column are for Kalahari Online Store

13 Uur by Deon Meyer

Kringe in 'n bos, or
the English version
Circles in a Forest

Franz Marc Der Blaue Reiter

These are the Loot books (usually cheaper)

Lucretia is re-reading Memories, Dreams, Reflections of CG Jung for the 6th time.

She says each time she reads it, she notices different things, because she is different.  The book is about archetypes, how the mind works, about imagination, concepts of self, and how we limit our concept of self.
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Oliver is reading Christopher Tolkien's translation of the Niebelungenlied, legend of Siegfried (Wagner), the Icelandic/Norse version of it.

Seamus Heaney's Beouwulf translation is more poetic according to Hugh.

The Lost Road and other writings

BeoWulf by Seamus Heaney
Hugh is reading How a change of climate made us human by John and Mary Gribbin
The Gribbins seem to have written a plethora of books about Pop Science with very interesting titles. I have sampled a few.

He also suggests the following books if you are serious about writing:

Editing made easy by Bruce Kaplan
From Here to Infinity - The Royal Greenwich Observatory Guide to Astronomy by John Gribbin

Almost everyone's guide to Science - The Universe, Life and Everything by Mary Gribbin

Moons by John Gribbin

Stardust - Supernovae and Life - The Cosmic Connection by Mary Gribbin

Origins of the Future - Ten Questions for the next 10 years

Universe - A Biography (e-book)

Do Martians Recycle? by Sharon Gribbin

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sans teeth

Sans Everything?

We can still read, even if it is with glasses, so not sans everything...yet.

This is our reading list for this week:
Oliver is reading The Blank Slate by Oliver Stephen Pinker, a cognitive Scientist writing about the mind.

Gail just read Stones against the mirror by Hugh Lewin, a very moving account of the story about John Harris, the Station Bomber that was hanged. He was in a group that called themselves the African Resistance Movement (ARM). Apparently the armed struggle collapsed after this. Gail can't get it out of her mind and is wondering what went through his mind to do this. What was he thinking? He had a young family and he was only 27 when this happened.

This reminded Hugh of a book called Shepherds and Butchers. Apparently a warden is assigned to a person that is to be hanged and he has to accompany the prisoner everywhere he goes, everywhere. This was a about a prison warder who murdered someone and how they tried to get him off.

These two books got us talking so much the rest of us didn't get to say what we are reading.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Afternoon Light

Writing about Late Afternoon to Twilight Years

In our twilight years most of us have lost something; love, an arm or leg, a digit, a breast or two, perfect sight, our teeth, a child, our innocence...

What have you lost?  What have you gained?
Fortunately there is a bit of both; loss and gain.

What happens is that we may focus only on what has been lost, and we forget about what has been gained.  We take it for granted.  I include myself here.  I can only write about something if I have some degree of experience of it myself, otherwise I have to imagine it.

How close can one get to imagine what it must feel like for a woman to have lost her breasts to cancer and how that impacts on how she sees herself, and to what extent she still feels like a woman when she has lost such an important part of her womanhood.  Fortunately a breast does not a woman make...

How have your losses made you a stronger, better, more compassionate, jaded, disillusioned, [fill in the blank], person?

Following is a list of the books we are busy reading at the moment

I have found that the Loot books are cheaper than Kalahari, but Kalahari has a bigger selection of books, audios and other electronic equipment.

If you do not find the books in the Loot side, it just means its not available at this stage, and I have listed an alternative.

Loot Links

Who is reading what

Kalahari Links

Lucretia is reading:
Till I end my song by Harold Bloom following a theme of looking at life in retrospect, that is very appropriate for our theme this week.

Hugh recommends:
Harold Bloom's Best poems in English. A collection of poems where he writes about the circumstances of the poet when they wrote the poem. Harold Bloom has been called the most influential critic of the last century. He takes the art of critic to the level of literature itself.
Till I End My Song - A Gathering of Last Poems

The Best Poems of the English Language from Chaucer to Robert Frost by Harold Bloom
Hugh is reading:
Ted Hughes' Letters to Sylvia Plath as he and Karen are going to present them soon.  Karen doing Sylvia's letters and Hugh doing Ted's letters.
Ariel's Gift, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of the Birthday Letters
Gail is reading:
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, a saga about people's lives with amazing insight into human nature.
Prodigal Summer
Frances is listening to the Audio of The Social Animal by David BrooksThe Social Animal - How we become the people we are and do the things that we do

The Social Animal - Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement
Another book by David Brooks
The Moral Animal - Why we are the way we are - the new science of evolutionary psychology

Readings about the Social Animal by Elliot Aaronson
Brett is reading:
Elizabeth Costello by  JM Coetzee

He found it took a bit to get into, but once in, a page-turner.

Hugh said that JM Coetzee's essays are outstanding
Elizabeth Costello

JM Coetzee - The Nobel Lecture in Literature 2003

Waiting for the Barbarians


Oliver is reading
Zen Mind by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
The Zen doctrine of no mind is about the philosophical side of Zen.

A popular book about Zen is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig.
An Introduction to Zen Buddhism

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - an inquiry into values

Zen its history, teachings and impact on humanity - Osho with audio CD

The Transcendental Game of Zen OSHO Zen Tarot

Zen Lessons, Zen essence, the five houses of Zen, Minding mind, Instant Zen, The collected translation of Thomas Cleary

Japanase Death Poems written by Zen monks and Haiku Poets on the verge of Death
Hugh is reading:
Ted Hughes' Letters to Sylvia as he and Karen are going to present them soon.  Karen doing Sylvia's letters and Hugh doing Ted's letters.
Ariel's Gift, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of the Birthday Letters
Sonja is reading:
Sources - Contemporary Sculptures in the Landscape by Nirox Foundation .

See more about this in my art blog here Art for Joy blog
Landscapes for Art - Contemporary Sculpture Parks by Twylene Moyer

Look at these links for more books

Recommended Reading
Books we are reading
Must Haves

If you do not find what you are looking for you can search on the Loot and Kalahari online shop sites for the Title or Author you are looking for by following any of the links (you will need to subscribe as you would with Amazon). Amazon no longer exports to South Africa because our government adds on import tax and makes it quite a bit more expensive. A number of people did not collect books and they were sent back, so Amazon no longer send books here, nor other electronic equipment.

Bookmark this page

If you wish to get to this blog easily, save the address in your Favorites or Bookmarks, or use the control key which works in all browsers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Do extra-terrestrials have fire?

Do extra-terrestrials speak English?

How would you show and tell an alien how to make a fire if they do not know what wood, paper, matches, or blitz is.  That's hoping they can understand you in the language you speak, have some sense to absorb what you say, and another sense to observe what you are demonstrating, not to mention some form of physical-ness if you want them to reproduce what you have done. How do you make a fire if you don't have arms and hands?  One wonders what form of perambulation they would have to get around. So much we take for granted.

I can tell you it is a very long exercise to tell someone how to make a fire if you have to start from scratch. A lot of words are needed to describe a word, and then you have to describe those words, and so on.... ad infinitum. It boggles the mind.

Our reading List

Kalahari and Loot are the online shops we have in South Africa where you can buy books, DVD and other elecrtronic equipment. I have found that Loot is usually cheaper than Kalahari for buying books online. Kalahari has a bigger selection of books, DVDs, and electronic gadgets.

We are reading the following books:

Where to buy books online in South Africa: (Loot and Kalahari)KalahariLoot
Sonja: An illustrated Life, a book about personal journals of a number of people; drawing, painting, and collage. A very inspiring book. I wrote about it in my Art for Joy art blog; see here Art Journal Inspiration An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory; Drawing Inspiration from
the sketchbooks of artists, illustrators and designers

Brett: Elizabeth Costello by JM Coetzee about a Woman writer who has reached the end of her career and receiving a reward. She is not sure whether it is for her thinking or for her writing. Does it have to be either or?

Elizabeth Costello by JM CoetZee

Hugh: An Anthology (Manuscript) by Patricia Schonstein - coming out soon.

Lucretia: Defy Gravity by Caroline Myss about embracing the dark side as it shows you there is much more to life when you connect with your soul. She maintains that logic does not provide meaning in Life, but aligning with your soul, and universal truths, does.

Defy Gravity by Caroline Myss; Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason

Gail: The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. A number of religions maintain that one should not pursue happiness. Martha Beck says you should. 

The Joy Diet by Martha Beck


Gail says she would like to learn the love poem of Four Weddings and a Funeral (DVD)
Four Weddings and a Funeral DVD
For more books check out our Favourites, Must Haves, Recommended ReadingBooks we are reading, and the other posts as they have the other books we were reading that week.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is there any victory in War?

Writing and thoughts about War

Free writing exercise about War

We did a free-writing (automatic writing) exercise about war.  No stopping, no thinking, no punctuation, no language or tense censoring, just writing whatever comes up.  I write here, unedited what came up for me about war....

Is any war ever necessary. We complain about the big wars where people are maimed and killed, shot dead, but what of the wars in our homes where we fight with each other, and diminish each other with each hurtful word, each deriding remark, each time we put someone down. Can any of us really survive that or is that the reason so many of us have little or no feeling for our fellow man because we have been emotionally cauterised, not only by our relationships, but also by movies about war and killing, where one bullet into a person is no longer enough, but the whole magazine has to be emptied to make sure the person is deader than dead. And the media where they show the most horrible things happening around the world and we watch while we are eating oiur supper, because that is usually the time we have our supper. Who actually has suppers together around a table chatting, talking about whatever happened during the day and actually listening to what the others have to say, not lost in our own thoughts or planning what we are going to say next. When will we stop warring. We may win/lose the battle, but you can never win a war. And yet maybe even war has some function. It is a culling process. What would we do with all the people if there weren't any wars? As it stands we already have a problem with too many people ridding the earth of its water, its oil and other resources. But maybe there are better ways to do the culling by not having so many babies in the first place do we really need to have more than 2-3 kids in this day and age? As I see it the developed countries seem to stick to this more or less, but the third world countries where people have no money nor entertainment other than sex, it is at its worst. That there is no natural way that stops women being fertile when there isn't food is beyond me. Most animals have an inherent barometer for that. Humans don't.

NOTE: We would love to hear what you think about war; its implications, whether it makes sense, what use it has, or not.  Please feel free to add your comments to the blog.

Other books on war poetry

Pieces of Intelligence, The existential poetry of Donald H Rumsfeld
Castaway by Yvette Christiaanse
The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon Stallworthy
Keith Douglas Poems selected by Ted Hughes

Our Reading List

Lucretia is reading Bad Dirt by Annie Proulx; short stories about Wyoming and people's connectedness to the land.

Sonja is reading about Cy Twombly's art; Cycles and Seasons. He broke away from the norm with writing-like scribbles on a fairly monochromatic background, as well as some colorful marks with his hands and paint drippings, rather than brush-marks.

Gail is reading The Hunter by Deon Meyer about the struggle years. Sonja remembers reading the Elephant Whisperer and enjoyed that.

Frances is reading Fritz Perls' In and out the Garbage Pail

Brett is reading Nugungi Whatiyonga who had a great aspiration for education, and how the Mau-Mau hung the teachers that taught him on Winston Churchill's decree, and how he had to deal with that.

Oliver finished off John Dominic Prosson's Historical Jesus and has started Stephen Hawkins' Grand Design

Hugh is reading Phantom Noise by Brian Turner, and read from Here Bullet during the session, by the same author.


Saving Private Ryan

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's Love got to do with it

Creative Writing Activities

Saturday 19 March, 2011


We each have a different interpretation when we hear the word love. For some, the first thing they think about is romantic love, for others it is agape, love for a deity, child, or partner.

A very warm welcome to our 3 new course participants; Lucretia, Frances and Gail

Our reading List for this week:

Sonja is reading An Introduction to Drawing the Nude by Diana Constance
Gail is reading The Trilogy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stig Larson
Frances is reading The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
Lucretia is reading Antonia Fraser's Autobiography Must you leave?

Hugh is reading The Map that changed the World by Simon Winchester
Brett is still busy with Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Links to buy great books below
Follow this link to buy one of these books we are reading.
This is the link to the books we think are Must Have Books
This link takes you to Recommended Reading
..and Our Favorites

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Creative Writing - Monday's Child

Monday's child is a fortune telling song, told as nursery rhyme to children.                                                
                                                      .....Guess which one is me....

Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is ful of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Brett is Friday's child.
Oliver and Sonja are Wednesday children.
Hugh is a Thursday child.
Gail is a Saturday child.
Lucretia is a Sunday child.

What day were you born on?
Click on the link to find out here ==>  day of the week you were born

We will be joined by 3 more people on Saturday.  Wouldn't you like to too?

Direct Links to other pages in the blog
What the course is about, benefits and facilitators
Course Structure
More Participants
New Participants
Poetry and Prose
What English is correct?
More Benefits
Weekend writing workshop

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend Writing Workshop As You Write It

Writing exercises at weekend workshop

Brett, Sonja, Oliver, and Hugh spent an enjoyable Saturday morning with writing exercises at the weekend writing workshop.  We found ways to give constructive critique and are in the process to hone our writing skills to a fine art. We also found out what editors look for to make our writing more likely to be published. Over the next few weeks the other participants will be joining us.  It doesn't matter when you start, as the sessions are different each time even though the basic infrastructure stays the same.

Each time the different people, different writing exercises, different grammar rules, different concepts and ideas, makes for a wholly different experience.

Brett Myrdal,  who has just joined the group, is reading Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children

Hugh Hodge, editor of New Contrast, organizer of Off-the-Wall Poetry Gigs, and presenter of the Creative Writing Workshop based on Shakespeare's  As You Like It, was his normal inimitable self.  His jocular wit entertains and his love for people shines through in his gentle teasing. His weekend workshop, this time in Kommetjie, was most enlightening.

Hugh is reading Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

He also mentors writers and can help you get your work published, this includes poetry and prose publishing.

To subscribe to New Contrast or buy an electronic or paper copy click on the link here: Buy New Contrast

 Oliver and Sonja are doing the Creative Writing Course for the fourth time, and still finding great value in the writing exercises to improve our creativity,  the interaction, camaraderie, and building a community of writers that can assist us to make our work sparkle. We have a special member site for participants that have done the course with access to resources, recommended books, must have's for any aspiring writer and poet, and much more (we are planning great things).

Sonja is reading Making your Art Work and Facebook Fanatic

Her art blog is here Art for Joy
Oliver is not to be outdone.  He too has a wry, almost irreverent humour that comes out in his writing. He is delighted and intrigued with the unleashing of his right-brain writing that has given his work a new energy and lightness of being.

Oliver is reading The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Cross
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why will you benefit from these Creative Writing Courses?


The exercises in this course will serve to heighten your sensitivity to the craft of writing creatively - the extent to which working carefully on your words determines their level of originality, nuance and zest.

You will learn ways of turning your pieces of writing on their heads, coercing them to move backward when they have no natural inclination to do so, or to move forward when they insist on going back in time, or sideways when they are committed to the straight and narrow. Thus, you will put into practice strategies to overcome your writing's resistance to the liberatory power of crazy motion, a craziness that brings your words to previously hidden self-knowing.

This will be accomplished in the presence of fellow writers, guided by myself, Hugh Hodge (editor of New Contrast, the oldest surviving literary journal in South Africa). The steps taken on this journey are geared towards creating a community of listeners and inspired critics who’s aim is to help you shape your words until they sing, until they shine.

Your fellow journey(wo)men will join previous participants in creating a community who will support you in finding inspiration in the feedback, and work towards an annual published collection of work.

Check the calendar for the time and venue of the next session. Join at any time - every session is a little different.

R250 if you want to pay per session, with additional incentives for attending all seven sessions – a R500 discount. If you pay up front, a R750 discount

To contact Hugh phone 021 783 5303 or email

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How do you know what English is correct English?

If you speak Pidgin or Sheng is it English, or not? What makes it English and what not? English has borrowed so many words from other languages, that it has become an International form of communication. It is new and evolving. Languages have to adapt to serve the needs of the society, its politics, economy and communication in general, so surely cannot exist solely for its own sake.Would it disappear, like Latin did, if it stops assimilating new words? Who knows. Only time will tell.

Afrikaans is also a mishmash of words from other languages with a slightly different pronunciation from the original. It, too, is a young and growing language.

Hugh wrote about editing and the English language in the latest New Contrast, the 50th Birthday Issue, about this very issue. See more on New Contrast website

Sheng involves a mixture of English, Swahili, Kikuyu, Dholuo and other Kenyan languages and is spoken mostly in the urban areas.  It developed out of the popular culture industry.  Another version of Sheng is called “HUG ME” (an acronym for Hindi-Urdhu-Gujarati-Malayalam-English). Pidgin, another mix, is spoken in West Africa, and Creole in the Caribbean. And here is an article about the effect of Sheng in schools in Kenya - Article about Sheng/English

On the mobile phone front, there is also a whole new way of expressing oneself that has nothing to do with the traditional way of spelling english. It is a cre8tive shothand, that u need 2 get 2 grips with, specilly if u want 2 b withit.

Then, have a look at this link which is, maybe, seriously funny.

So my conclusion is, there is no definitive right or wrong way to speak English. The closest one can come is to decide within a specific context whether it is correct or not.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Benefits of the As You Write It Creative Writing Course

The course uses Shakespeare’s  Seven Ages of Man to give it a base and structure to build on and around.

You do not have to do it in sequence as each session can stand on its own.  No two sessions are the same. The sessions have the same structure, but different triggers, different people, different input, different exercises and different ideas to work with. If you miss a session you can catch up on the next course.  The courses run back-to-back.

What will you get out of the course?·        
  • Practice and hone your writing skills
  • Get stimulated by interaction with others
  • Get constructive  feedback
  • Find out what an editor looks out for and expects
  • Have fun
  • Find creative and innovative ways to make your writing more appealing, maybe even compelling
  • Something that often gets overlooked, is that you meet new, interesting, and like-minded people, make contacts, and new friends.

One of the delegates, who only wanted to do a single session, is now gearing up to do the course for the third time.  It has given his poetry an injection of spontaneity and vigour.

Creative Wrtiting - Poetry and Prose

Karen Leigh has joined the group

you are
in you
i take your shape as mine

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

As You Like It, As You Write It II

The seven ages of man.
Hugh Hodge
Hugh Hodge

Margaret Clough
Margaret Clough
Rae Nash
Rae Nash

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Hugh strutting his stuff.

Margaret and Rae have joined the group.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Creative Writing Course - As You Like it

Participants at the first As You Write It creative writing course using  Shakespeare's As You Like It as vehicle for the exercises

Paul Mason
Paul Mason

Hugh Hodge

Oliver Price

Nancy Murray

Kolade Arogundade

Emma Arogundade

Rebecca Tyler

Jana van Niekerk
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Sonja's web album

My most favourite poem of the course by Emma Arogundade

Tasting Yellow
(a poem for Wikipedia and you)

You are my stellar classification
my caratenoid pigment
that traps me in shades
yellow breasted I’ll boast chat you
white bellied bill
Your yellow shafted flicker flies
south in winter to migrate my
heart to a warmer place
Aedus genus transmitting this
infection to a state of fever
I will reach heights of 20m
deciduously to match your
used to build the furniture of our lives
Bring your goldenrod to flower my
tweet and turn to tuliptree
making my process electric
Canary lasers blast through the
earth igniting nuclear explosions
in allotropic fireworks
Mars yellow, pigment yellow
hydrated ferric oxide
taking me to India in
the cow fed only on mango leaves
Heat your titanium oxide to
resin-ate the planet of kings
ripe and precious emperor of
my heart
Sensationalise this, exaggerate
for maximum profit to the
ends of your fingers and my
Sink deeper in this yellow submarine
world, light flickering mellow
banana peels
cause its all yellow
And make us political, because
Everything’s political.
nationalised, loonified and
striped into oblivion
This new age, this easter spring
harmony through conflict
clashing and smashing together
And when you need to breathe
raise your yellow card
and re-enter the sin bin, racing
to be first to finish
Be this, do this, drive me
through unknown streets with
no warning, no slowing,
and maximal amounts of sugar
Be my quarantine, and help me
Taste yellow

© Emma Arogundade, October 2010
(with great thanks to As You Write It)


Links to other pages in the blog

What the course is about, benefits and facilitators
Course Structure
More Participants
Frequently Asked Questions about the Creative Writing Course
Contact us for more Information about the Creative Writing Course
About Hugh Hodge
About Paul Mason

Friday, October 15, 2010

As-You-Write-It: Creative Writing Course - As You Like It

As-You-Write-It: Creative Writing Course - As You Like It
the seven ages  of man
  1. mewling and puking infant
  2. whining school boy
  3. lover sighing like a furnace
  4. soldier, quick to quarrel
  5. justice with round belly
  6. slippered pantaloon, bespectacled with shrunk shank
  7. second childishness, oblivion, sans teeth; eyes; taste; everything

Links to other pages in the blog

What the course is about, benefits and facilitators
Course Structure
More Participants
Frequently Asked Questions about the Creative Writing Course
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Creative Writing Course - As You Like It

Who will benefit from this writing workshop?

Anyone interested in writing poetry, autobiography, biography, confessions, short stories, novels ...

Why will you benefit from these seminars?

The exercises in this course will serve to heighten your sensitivity to the craft of writing creatively - the extent to which working carefully on your words determines their level of originality, nuance and zest.

You will learn ways of turning your pieces of writing on their heads, coercing them to move backward when they have no natural inclination to do so, or to move forward when they insist on going back in time, or sideways when they are committed to the straight and narrow. Thus, you will put into practice strategies to overcome your writing's resistance to the liberatory power of crazy motion, a craziness that brings your words to previously hidden self-knowing.

This course has no desire to take itself too seriously; as you learn you will have fun.

This course offers something different and original. 
The techniques offered here will unmake you as you make words sing.

What is the Creative Writing Course about?

The vehicle we use for this journey is the famous Seven Ages of (Wo)Man speech by a character called Jaques in Shakespeare's As You Like It. The course consists of 7X2 hour sessions. Each session will focus on each of the 7 Ages, from birth through to death.

You will tap into your own life's Seven Ages through experiencing the bliss of crafting words. This course will take you on a creative journey that some might call a path to enlightenment, and others, ululating sweetly, might call a mind-blast.

Dare to join us with notebooks and pencils.

Schedule of upcoming session

You can join any time at any point. The sessions do not have to be done in sequence.

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Writing Course Conveners

Hugh Hodge -
Editor of New Contrast
The South African Literary Journal

Some of his sms poetry can be seen at the following blog:
HAHodge blogspot

Hugh Hodge is a Baby Boomer Brat. He was born in 1946 on Nelson Mandela’s 28th birthday (Hugh’s closest brush with fame) at Tavistock in Devon, England.

Rondebosch Boys’ High attempted to educate Hugh without much success. Later, Essex University endured similar disappointments, but got over them. He has  B.A. Honors in Literature.

He has (had) three wives, and three children. Each marriage was happy in its own way and in its own time. The children are more beautiful than he expected.

Hugh has had a job as a small, and sometimes negative, contributor to the technological revolution. He also produced bug-free code, but very rarely.

Despite being commonly left-brained, and occasionally no-brained. Hugh writes poetry that is sometimes published. He attends the Off-the-Wall poetry gig Mondays in Obz, and hosts monthly gigs in Kalk Bay and Kommetjie.

Paul Mason -
Creative Writing Teacher

Paul Mason (born-and-bred in the 60s) has published poetry, short stories and critical reviews in South Africa and the United States.

He currently makes a living as an English teacher. He tries to instil in teenagers a love for literature, poetry in particular.

His and Peter Esterhuysen's dialogue of poems - Comeback - was published by Botsotso Press and Bodhi Books in 2009.

Paul Mason is moving to Grahamstown and will probably be continuing his Creative Writing Courses there.


Links to other pages in the blog

What the course is about, benefits and facilitators
Course Structure
More Participants
Frequently Asked Questions about the Creative Writing Course
Contact us for more Information about the Creative Writing Course
About Hugh Hodge
About Paul Mason