Creative musings from the Perth Writers’ Festival

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In February, I attended the Perth Writers’ Festival and completed two mini creative writing workshops. The workshops required us to write in class (stressful at times!) and gave us various strategies to enhance our creative writing. It was so inspiring to be amongst so many talented creatives some of whom were already published authors. I was definitely a newbie at this but I gave it my best shot. Here are some of the pieces I wrote.

In this task, we were asked to write about a character who has just found out about the death of a loved one:

For the first time in her life, time seemed to slow down. She didn’t hear the chirping of the birds outside her window, nor the distant roar of an engine on the highway; only the incessant ticking of the grandfather clock punctuated this moment. Her breath came in shallow sharp bursts as she wondered how she would place one foot in front of the other and continue to move and breathe as she had done before. The sudden ache that began in the pit of her stomach slowly grew in strength as the abandoned tea cup rattled against the saucer on the counter.

For this next piece we were give only given an image to work with.  I was given the following information: setting: A park bench in the middle of the Perth Writers’ Festival crowd. Character: A man sitting on a park bench surrounded by bags. Conflict/problem: He is single, lonely, and desperate to find someone. He bumps into his female neighbour who is also at the festival.

There was no denying it. She could recognise that brand of desperation anywhere. His sullen expression permeated through the sea of faces from where he sat, surrounded by a barrier of bags. She edged sideways in an attempt to change her course of direction and kept her gaze low.

“Melissa!”

She stubbed her toe on the edge of the tropical grove and her pained expression revealed more than she intended.

For this next task we were asked to write about a childhood image that came to mind:

The playground was a battlefield of successes and failures. A sandy minefield that witnessed the consolidation of friendships and the ruination of others. It facilitated the improvisation of adult roles and imagined characters.  In between the monkey bars and the seesaw solemn pacts and promises and pledges were made, sealed with spit, and pinkie promises. It forged identities, this desert landscape. It made us who we are.

We were then asked to ‘destroy’ that place! :

When the last tree burnt down, there was only one lone kookaburra left to witness it. The charred bark crackled and writhed in the stifling heat and the once jovial bird now sat crippled in fear unable to move, let alone fly away. The phantom cries of children echoed throughout the desert landscape as the sand danced in unison with the wind and the sparks.

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