Well after quite a week it is finally time for me to sit down and to put into words what has happened and to reflect. Those of you that follow me on Twitter, Facebook and down darkened roads might know that I’ve had quite the week. I should probably cut to the chase and cut the hyperbole, which is actually what the majority of this post will be about.
On Wednesday, after delivering a class to around 45 student, I had my laptop stolen. It still hurts. Not only is this a horrible thing to happen, to have your possessions taken from you, but it also could (I stress the possibility, not the accusation.) have been one of the students I have just given my all to teach. That’s too close, too despicable to really describe how I felt. I forced myself to go in the day after and teach them, but the very thought made me sick and I have to say it is one of the worst lectures I have ever given. But despite all that, there is the fact that that laptop was a core of my life, a pillar if you like. It is where I wrote everything. It was full of personal stuff, some of which I’m sure I can’t even remember, but at some point the sickening memory will arise and add to the pain of its loss. Since I started using Scrivener on 1 September, I had written at least 15,000 words, I believe, which I stupidly hadn’t backed up yet. (I wanted to organise the folder and back it up, I hate mess! More fool me) Now, that’s all gone. Unless by some miracle of police work or honesty the laptop works its way back to me.
There is plenty of other things I could talk about the situation of the theft, but I have talked enough and as I say: It still hurts.
I had planned to spend that afternoon, before my MA class, in the library writing and revising some work for that evening. Of course that was all scuppered. I refused to let it affect my uni work, so I went to the class regardless of my emotional state. Everything I wrote that night turned out very angry and I apologise in advance.
Wednesday night was about poetry. I hadn’t written poetry since I was in school, and despite my mother’s insistence to the contrary, I always thought I was pretty bad at it. Never the less, as I said in class when we were asked our opinions on poetry, I was determined to give it a go. I think that learning the pacing and style can help with prose writing. The teacher also managed to dispel the myth that poetry need be overly flowery or pretentious. It is just another style of writing, and can be as simple but as powerful as prose writing.
The first exercise was to write an overly complicated and descriptive piece, then a very basic piece. I wrote prose because I was finding it hard to concentrate and I think I missed the point. But here follows:
The boy sat waiting, like a defendant awaiting his time in court. He calculated and planned, a thing so devious it would not be forgotten. When the man would leave, carefully placing his papers like a stack a time, and exit the room. He, the boy, with the whole of his devious experience and cunning would take from atop the desk, the computer of the man. He would never know that it was that boy and not any of the others that snuck away like a ghost in the night, no not he.
The boy sat waiting in the classroom, planning the theft. He waited for the teacher to leave, after he stacked his papers. The he stood and quietly placed the teachers laptop in his bag and left. No one would know.
Part 3 (We were then asked to write a combination of both)
The boy sat waiting in the classroom, planning the theft. A thing so devious, so wrong it would not be forgotten. He would wait until the teacher left, stacking the pieces of paper like a timeline of the class edging back into the beginning, and exiting the room. Then he would sneak and place the computer in his bag. Like a ghost in the night. No one would know.
As you can see all three examples were pretty close to home that night. It was indeed the only thing I could think about. I must stress that I have no idea if this is what happened, this is just where my upset and hurt mind went.
After that we talked a lot more about poetry and looked at some good examples, which I will definitely be looking to read more of. We looked at poetry that sought to discuss large, abstract topics, but in a human way. I liked that idea. I’ve always hated overly abstract writing, sometimes you need to get to the point. But it is always about balance. The next exercise that night was to write a poem about an abstract idea, while keeping it balanced and honest. Naturally, I chose ‘Anger.’
Red is often the colour,
of anger, but
it is so much
more than that and
yet, much simpler.
Not something to
Something pure, vengeful.
Something plan, an emotion
of our minds
in reaction to something
that upsets, something
I must admit I have no idea about the line structure of poetry, but that to me was how it should be laid out. It gives some of the lines other meaning if read in a certain way.
After that we discussed how reported speech/dialogue can also be very powerful in poetry. It doesn’t just have to be flowery description or abstract ideas. So for a final exercise we were asked to write a piece with reported speech at either end, to bookend if you will. I wrote two pieces:
‘Did you see it?’ she said.
From the look that accompanied the question,
he should have.
But he didn’t know what it was.
He had his own questions.
Where should I be looking?
What are you talking about?
What kind of conversation starter is that?
‘See what?’ he said.
‘Today sucked,’ he looked sad
and angry. Gone, the familiar smile, the easy
demeanour. It wasn’t the same.
‘Tomorrow will be worse,’ he said.
As always thank you for reading. I appreciate any comments you might have about my writing, but go easy on me at the moment!