Archive | September 2012

Writing Course at the Ripple Project


Last Thursday I delivered the first of a series of eight creative writing classes at the Ripple Project, based at Restalrig Lochend Community Hub in Edinburgh.

Eleven people had turned up, most were locally based, though one had moved away from the area and one had come all the way from Helensburgh. We talked about why we want to write and then had a short ice breaker exercise to get people to write about the Ripple project’s Speaker newspaper (which has its 100th issue coming out soon!). As this was my first time facilitating a course for the project, and as the theme for this eight week series is ‘Writing Our Lives’ I thought it would be good to write about early memories.

I read a passage from Bound Feet and Western Dress a memoir by the Chinese writer Pang-Mei Natasha Chang. We then briefly discussed what made the passage so powerful and thought about how we could use those features (eg vivid detail, exploration of emotion) in writing about our own early memories.

I then asked everyone to list some of their early memories and then break these down into the specific details that would be most interesting. Then after a tea break it was time for everyone to write! And write  they all did and produced some excellent pieces, showing that the class contains a wealth not only  of creative talent but also of interesting life experiences!

Remember, there’s still time to enter my recent give-away.

As ever, bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.

Watch and Do the Green Thing

I won a copy of Watch and Do the Green Thing DVD in a Twitter competition a while back.

This is a very entertaining and imaginative selection of videos on green topics which really makes the viewer think about how you can become greener in your every day life without preaching at you. The videos use animation, live action and a host of imaginative approaches. They are all very short so there isn’t time to go into issues in any great detail but they all make you think, which is a great starting point!

For example Ninjin the Vegetable Assassin takes a unique approach to the issue of seasonal food, while Touching the Stairs has a group of mountaineers trying to reach the first landing in a flight of stairs and Huddle has a group of naked people pretending to be penguins to show what we can learn from penguins about working together and keeping warm. My favourite video is Recycled / Reborn which shows a very creative craft project using recycled trash.

Most of the videos are online, along with a selection of other videos aimed at helping you to become greener. You can watch them on the Do the Green Thing website.

I first reviewed these videos on my Crafty Green Poet blog. Now though I’m offering the DVD as a give-away. If you’d like to be in with a chance to win, just leave a comment below saying which green issue you would most like to make a video about. You’ll get an extra entry if you tweet about the give-away. I’ll choose a winner in about two weeks.

Book reviews

I was delighted to recently win copies of The Art of Non-Conformity and The $100 Start Up, both by Chris Guillebeau, in a competition on The Clear Minded Creative.

The Art of Non-Conformity is a quick and easy read and you can read my review on my Crafty Green Poet blog.

I’ll review The $100 Start Up on this blog in due course.

As ever, bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other web-pages where you can find out more.