In the Beginning

Updated: Sep 19, 2019

It’s now a few months since the Creative Writing project started.

There was a ‘Festive Breakfast ‘ launch just before Christmas 2018, followed by an introductory series of workshops in winter-spring 2019 where we tried different approaches to creative writing, and explored different takes on the theme of Survive and Recover, defining and refining this as we went along.


As Claire wrote:

Life takes so much out of you that you need to learn how to survive and recover.

The input of others in the early stage of your existence can appear loving but in real terms can be very deceptive. Just surviving can take all your energy and the remainder of your life.


And Andy reflected:

Well now, let me see, is my mind working the way it should?

Well let me tell you, there's days when my mind has a Laurel n Hardie moment,

that's the days that I never plan ahead or think things through,

which is quite often.

Well now, let me see the days that I do plan ahead

and think things through

it certainly doesn't seem or feel like a Laurel n Hardie moment.




Creative writing is one way we can make sense of our lives, past and present. It can be both a tool for exploring issues and difficulties, and a means of distraction from them.


This blog contains participants ‘ responses to the exercises we do in the workshops, using existing poems and texts, pictures, or music as starting points; responding in our own words to the Erskine building and local environment . . . or just writing down the name of a topic on a blank sheet and seeing where it takes us . . .



In the first session we thought about ‘why write’, building on proven techniques from Victoria Field, and Lapidus Scotland's Larry Butler, and then took the following starting points:

I come from. . .

I’m going to . . .

I write from. . .



Why writing?

Writing is what I perceive to be one of my stumbling blocks.

I can verbally articulate what I want or need to say most of the time.

I need to explore the untold depths within, without the conscious brain getting in the way.

To write openly from the heart: what's in the heart or on the heart.

The inner you??

The feelings, emotions, will - aspects of life itself, our moods whether the situation is good or bad.



I come from a place of ignorance, a place of not knowing, a place of darkness and emptiness.

As I travel along I slowly amass experiences bringing me to a crossroads of familiarity with other travellers and explorers.

Each little lightbulb moment takes me onto a firmer foothold along my journey, filling me to fullness of understanding me my surroundings and the workings of the world.

Once full I start the process of emptying to learn all anew.


I am going to search and stumble, scream and shout, listen and learn, hold and release, move and stay still, hope and despair, laugh and cry.

I am going to live and die.

(Claire)


I'm going to do God's work in the not too distant future. I was baptised on the 30th June 2016. It has always been in my mind and heart to help people. I was imprisoned for a period of 8 years and released in 2014. As time went by I had to get a grip on my own life before I could help someone else's!

(Andy)


CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE ONCE MORE

I’m going to…

Get out my bed and have…

Coffee…walk ‘round the corner…

Catch the 5 bus…

I get dropped off at James Street…

N walk through the Kings Gate…

Went into Poundland tae purchase

A phone cable…I am still able to

Walk to my motor, Parked

At the Glen…opposite the ‘Tavern’

Where I was playing last night…

John Ward Music…a band from Lowestoft

Their playing wis gid…at half time I

Bought raffle tickets…no joy…

I sang ‘Pub With No Beer’…

Crowd sang along…

That wis last night n this is today

Picked up Toyota Yaris n drove…

All the way to old Erskine Church

‘Yes U Are’…brought my guitar…

Had some food…ever so good…

Met all the people’s writing

With Helen, Mark n John n all…

Facebook pages run through…

The brain…easing the strain…

Freeingup space in my brain…

I rest my case

N finish this piece…

It’s good being alive…

Good to survive…

Connecting with people

Once More.

(ALEXANDER SHAND HUDSON)





Why Writing?

I write things down…

To get stuff out of my system

Making sense of the...

Indescribable…Chaos…

Things become clearer…

Changes can be made…

At any time…A record…

Of what I’ve been through…

‘A day in the life’…

A poem a thought an idea

A creation…a map for

Future plans and goals…

A letter to friends or family…

A job application…

A way of navigation

A picture with words

Song lyrics…poetry…

Story telling…nightmares

Dreams…good bad and ugly…

It’s raining outside…

Well that is wonderful…

At least we have plenty water

( Alexander Shand Hudson)




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Heart & Sound

As part of Survive & Recover, we delivered three sessions for the wonderful Dunfermline youth organisation Heart & Sound. Sixteen brilliantly creative young people, most of whom had experience of com

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