Sunday, April 6, 2014

Creative Writing

The Aust Assoc of Infant Mental Health holds an annual essay prize The Ann Morgan Prize and we try to encourage entries. As part of this endeavor we have started offering a Writing Workshop with an expectation of attendees submitting an Essay on their work with infant/s.
This year they had a spot available; I had always held off so members could go but Christine asked if I was interested, so i agreed with some trepidation.
It was held at The Wheelers Centre and the facilitator was Lee Kosman

Lee Kofman is an Israeli-Australian author of three fiction books (in Hebrew). Her short works in English have been widely published in Australia, the UK, Scotland, Canada and the US, including in Best Australian Stories and Best Australian Essays. Her first book in English, the memoir The Dangerous Bride is due to appear in October 2014 through MUP. Lee has been mentoring writers and teaching writing classes for over ten years. She also blogs monthly about the writing process for Writers Victoria. Her website is:
lee Kofman (from her website)
She is also the wife of Daryl Efron a Paediatrician at RCH that I have worked with for years!

We had two exercises to write of the 5 senses. the first was on sight and sound.
So Lee took us on a silent walk down to the bar underneath, then out to the street then back in
Then we had 10 minutes to write about what we saw or heard. Starting with 'I' ...
I had ' I' sitting on the paper for a few minutes then followed her instructions on just writing of what I saw or heard.
My first effort
I descended into a red vault.(the stairwell was lined with re flock wallpaper) The stairs resounding softly as I went down to more red then darkness. The hum of the air-conditioning was replaced with the clink of glasses and the muted chatter in the gloom of the bar.
A welcome breeze! The darkness on the street was broken by a red neon light and the loud pounding of a band in a nearby venue,that I could not see. The sounds in the street were constant even in a quiet corner of the city.
God those awful loud 'private' mobile phone conversations! She's off to Byron tomorrow and has reserved two rooms! Great! 
Then the clang of a distant passing tram echoed up from the bottom of the hill,and was the last sound as I came back inside.
Beeping pass access card, the aircon hum and rising out of the red vault again to the light.

Was amazed at the great feedback I received About vocabulary and syntax and the rhthym of the piece. She also commented on using 'descending" but then the next 3 people had as well!
The second piece was about smell
We read the first part of Perfume by Suskind
The Story of a Murderer is a 1985 literary historical cross-genre novel by German writer Patrick Süskind. The novel explores the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may carry.

We were then asked to write for 10 minutes about a strong smell we had experienced .

The subway train rushed in with the gritty smell of iron dust being pushed ahead in the wind. I was secretly pleased with my choice of position on the platform as the doors opened to an almost empty carriage. The section to my left, I saw had a dozen people there, as I headed for my selected seat. Suddenly as I sat down I was hit by a rolling wave of the rank odour of urine and faeces!
The smell burnt my nose and mouth, and looking around I saw a bundle of clothes lying on the seat. Breathing in shallow breaths I looked around for escape. Would he (I presumed it was a he) be offended? But looking for escape, I took a few shallow breaths that even then seemed to coat my nose and mouth with the awful stench.
I saw everyone int he carriage watching me; Nonchalantly standing up, I moved to join the others, but brought a wave of aroma with me as they fanned the air as I sat.
The bundle slept on!

The point of doing this is to encourage us to write for the Anne Morgan Essay Prize. I was not intending to, but enjoy the writing so will maybe give it  ago!

1 comment:

Celia said...

It is a fabulous piece of writing Mich, you should keep going writing something.

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