Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

I started posting to jtns on 20 February 2010 with just one word, 'Mosaic'. This seemed an appropriate introduction to a blog that would juxtapose fragments of memoir and life-writing. Since 1996, I'd been coming to terms with the consequences of emotional and economic abuse that had begun in childhood, and which, amongst other things, had sought to stifle self-expression. While I'd explored some aspects of my life through fiction and, to a lesser extent, journalism, it was only in 2010 that I felt confident enough to write openly about myself. I believed this was an important part of the healing process. Yet within weeks, the final scenes of my family's fifty-year nightmare started to play themselves out and the purpose of the blog became one of survival through writing. Although some posts are about my family's suffering - most explicitly, Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story - the majority are about happier subjects (including, Bampton in rural west Oxfordshire, where I live, Oxford, where I work, the seasons and the countryside, walking and cycling) and I hope that these, together with their accompanying photos, are enjoyable and positive. Note: In February 2020, on jtns' tenth birthday, I stopped posting to this blog. It is now a contained work of life-writing about ten years of my life. Frank, 21 February 2020.

New blog: morethoughtsnstuff.com.

Saturday 26 September 2015

chilly, mist over the thames valley, hounds and horn, mst residence, department for continuing education open days, doing the police in different voices...

Cold start - probably just above freezing, according to the forecast. Certainly felt like it! Shock!

The landscape was autumnal - leaves turning, tilled fields and mist over the Thames Valley, towards the Berkshire Downs.

Along Calcroft Lane, four-wheel drives were parked up, their occupants on the edge of the fields staring towards the far-off woods. In the distance as I cycled on came the sound of hounds and a hunting horn.

I've never been hunting, although members of my family are keen, and for anyone like me who grew up on a farm in hunting country, the sound of hounds and horn in the distance on a chilly clear-lit morning can't help but stir memories of far-off days.

Tomorrow and early next week, it's the MSt in Creative Writing residence. Looking forward to starting the year's work in earnest with the students I'm supervising.

Yesterday I did a creative writing event at the first of two open days being held by the Department for Continuing Education. The group was terrific and I loved working with them - hope they enjoyed it as much as me! For those living in or around Oxford, there are still some places available at today's events:


My event - called, I think, a 'taster session' in official terms - was called Doing the police in different voices and had the following blurb:

'Why is voice so important in fiction? In this hands-on creative writing workshop we will first look at an extract from a novel that uses voice in an entertainingly compelling way before trying this technique for ourselves in a writing exercise. We will then examine a further extract that helps us to explore the relationships between voice, character and the shape of fiction. We will conclude by glancing at a page from an experimental novel, watching a short video and writing a second exercise that brings what we have learnt together. Please note: this workshop lasts one-and-a-half hours and participants should come prepared to discuss, to write and possibly to read out the work they produce during the session.'

So, where does the original line that the event's title makes use of come from - and for bonus points, who thought of making use of it for the title of a later work?

No comments:

Post a Comment