Thursday, 26 July 2012

Creative writing workshop in the woods

The sun was shining again today as  aspiring writers, film makers and poets stepped into the Sherwood Forest with me.

Yesterday myself and Esha-Lily (aged eight) attented an inspiring nature walk by Christine Poulson - the Forest Holiday ranger- and we discovered the perfect glade for me to set up our open air creative writing workshop.  In this peaceful woodland live all manner of butterflies, birds and wildlife.

An amazing bug creation by Ollie
Ollie's mobile
We learned how to identify deer tracks through the woods, afterwards the children created their own art works made from nutural treasure that they had collected on their walk.

Today I returned to the same glade and placed objects that inspired me to write 'Jasmine Skies' among the woodland. After reading from 'Artichoke Hearts' we took a walk in the sunshine into the symbolic world of 'Jasmine Skies'. The workshop participants hunted around the wood for objects and symbols that fed my imagination in the process of writing 'Jasmine Skies'.

Afterwards the groups of aspiring writers began to explore their own inspirational characters, places and symbolic worlds. We freed our imaginations with the help of the holey stone (Nana Josie's favourite symbol in 'Artichoke Hearts'). As we passed it around the circle we thought of how the woods inspired us all and wrote our own communal tribute to our Sherwood Forest Holiday.

Here are the words we shared all wrapped up in a poem for you....

By: Ellie Wright, Amanda and Niamh Cottingham, Leih, Matthew and Rebecca Foley, Christine Poulson, Charlotte Howell, Sean, Dylan and Sinead Power, Danielle Hart and Sita Brahmachari.

Holey Stone Poem!
We are lying on a magic blanket
Inside a circle
Eyes closed
Listening to the trilling, knocking creepy, clanking echoing of the wood
This glade is a privilege...a goldmine for the imagination

Dappled green sunlight
Echoing spirits
Squirrels skitter up the trees
Rabbits hide in the hollows
Among the tree trunks
In this glade
green grasses

Gnats hover around itchy heads
 the imagination
Who would have thought that all these were hiding here?
highway men
So many characters past and present sheltering under these branches

If you were to step out here at night
placing your bare feet in mud still warm where deer have trod
You would find a haunted hollow
Twisted branches 
Rotting wood
In the distance the scent of a fox
The bark of a dog
A bat diving down down
Uncertain sounds...
creeping forms, shapes, smells
A russling and a skitting underground

We are lying on a magic blanket
Inside a circle
Eyes closed
Listening to the trilling, knocking creepy, clanking echoing of the wood

Thanks to the lovely staff at Forest Holidays, Sherwood Pines for hosting such an imaginative, happy and sunny residency.

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