Category: poetry

Finding Creativity Through Folklore

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been taking a course run by the fabulous Sandra Ireland – Finding Creativity Through Folklore.

Ordinarily, Sandra’s courses are run face-to-face out of Dundee but due to the COVID-19 crisis, the course has moved online. Which is brilliant for me on the other side of the world, because now I can participate.

Each week, Sandra circulates materials on a folklore theme with prompts for creative projects. The themes to date have included water, trees and family stories.

Rather than writing novels or novellas (which is my usual comfy place), I’ve been playing with visuals and poetry.

In addition to the prompts, we have a weekly Zoom where the group discusses folklore and creativity. I’ve been blown away by the stories and creativity of my course-mates and look forward to the call each week.

#55 – Orna Ross – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 55 – Orna Ross – poet, novelist & non-fiction writer

“Formally practising with free writing gives you all sort of training as a writer but also as a human being.”

Episode 55 – Orna Ross – Show Notes
  • Wanting to write fiction when writing non-fiction and vice versa
  • Write for the first couple of hours each day
  • Writing full time led to procrastination
  • Coffee. Never tea.
  • Themes of conversations around difference.
  • Self-awareness – free writing – writing fast, raw, exact & easy with no end-game
  • Meditate for 15 minutes, then free writing for 15 minutes, review once a week
  • Closed Facebook group
  • Creatives need to stay open to change
  • There are no short cuts to becoming a good writer
  • Ezra Pound, Yeats, George Eliot – Middlemarch, modern poetry movement – rap, performance, slams, in the pub & in the street, Instagram poetry
  • Keepers – inspirational poetry collection. Self-published as a low-risk experiment but began to question assumptions
  • Non-fiction project – Go Creative nine book series for creative business people
  • Trying a different approach to launch – once target for pre-orders is reached, the book is launched
  • Agility in independent publishing

“Writing as a stolen pleasure.”

“Coffee is the fluid of the devil.”

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#54 – Sandra Ireland – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 54 – Sandra Ireland – writer of tartan gothic

“I like to be scared when I’m writing.”

Episode 54 – Sandra Ireland – Show Notes
  • Morning writing – not as creative in the afternoon
  • Goal of 500 words per day
  • Ritual of two cups of tea and one cup of coffee in favourite mug
  • Dark, creepy with a heavy dose of menace, toxic relationships
  • Landscape as a starting point for writing – sense of place to inform writing
  • Manipulating people’s fears and shadow sides.
  • Not just scaring the reader, not just horror but writing about what personally scares you. Vulnerability and readers not knowing what is imagination and what is true.
  • Currently writing non-fiction about the folklore surrounding the Mill (setting of Bone Deep). The words coming out faster with non-fiction.
  • Fiction as a therapy – creative release.
  • Giving herself the permission to be creative.
  • The tribe with the right vibe – people who understand to bounce ideas off.
    Be careful who you share your writing with.
  • Brontes, Benjamin Myers – The Gallows Pole, Julie Myerson – The Stopped Heart
  • A resurgence of gothic writing – perhaps as a reaction to current events
  • Bone Deep – inspired by work as a tour guide in a water mill. At times the mill felt unwelcoming. Modern story with a strand of an old folktale (Border Ballad).
  • The key struggle for writing students is a lack of confidence. One technique is forcing students to share their work.
  • Upcoming – The Mill (non-fiction) and The Unmaking of Ellie Rook
  • Residencies – productive but sometimes lonesome

“Write about what scares you.”

“It’s a basic human drive to be creative.”

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#29 – Lara Meone Savine – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 29 with Lara Meone Savine – writer & editor of Musae Mosiac

“I have to be creatively engaged everyday or I’d go insane.”

Episode 29 – Lara Meone Savine – Show Notes
  • Getting into a mindset and committing to a project
  • Friday Phrases #FP flash fiction. A mini release of creativity
  • The rewards as a host of word game prompts
  • Safety jacket, tea and K-Pop
  • The journey of the mind and the soul. Symbology of dreams
  • Hypnotherapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to focus energies
  • Tolkien, King, Chris Mahan, Keats, Coleridge
  • Developing “Neuro Creative Reinforcement” techniques
  • Musae Mosiac magazine, 200 Word Tuesday #200WT and community

“K-Pop is super important to my writing.”

“With a destructive mindset, I can’t be creative.”

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#24 – Sione Aeschliman – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 24 with Sione Aeschliman – editor, writer & writing coach

“Approaching both praise & constructive criticism with curiosity”

Episode 24 – Sione Aeschliman – Show Notes
  • Pantsing short stories but plotting novels
  • Defining Prose poetry
  • The Beverage Triangle
  • Key theme – being your true self without shame
  • Attitude towards feedback both positive and negative
  • Learning about reader’s expectations and ask questions
  • Giving editing clients at least a week to process their feelings
  • Editing improves ability to read critically. Making notes as you read and going back to analyse why you reacted this way.
  • Learning about structure and storytelling. Working on beginnings
  • Margaret Attwood, Ursula le Guin, Alexander Weinstein, James Tate, Russell Edson
  • #RevPit: annual Twitter contest focused on editing and learning. Starts April 21st 2018
  • Working on four or five projects at the same time, including historical pirate romance novel and an ebook on structure, plot points and pacing.
  • Madeleine’s tip – Grief and change

“It’s hard to know what you’re going to write until you’ve written it.”

“We all need an outlet for our angst.”

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#17 – Abbie Williams – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 17 with Abbie Williams – Historical family saga & romance writer

“There’s a different thought process when you write long hand”

Episode 17 – Abbie Williams – Show Notes

  • Plotting the story as a bridge
  • Exploring family dynamics and gritty historical detail
  • Giving a voice to women working as prostitutes in 19th century American history
  • Trusting your gut and the story
  • Building a writing community to commiserate
  • Poetry as inspiration
  • Larry McMurtry, Sherman Alexie, Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes
  • Ending a series
  • Balancing two series at the same time
  • Madeleine’s tip – Twenty Solutions

“Punching you in the guts with words”

“Writing the first draft is telling myself the story”

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