The second assignment for this week was to write about someone we recently encountered. This was meant to be an exercise in character development and we had a word limit of 200 words maximum. Here’s my character …..
The sound of the hacking cough was the first thing I noticed. It echoed round the village shop, filling the aisles with its deep brutality. In fact, I was surprised to see the sound emanated from a woman – her face as haggard as her throat sounded. Deep set wrinkles etched the contours of her face and her dark hair hung limp, highlighting signs of a harsh life. As I approached the counter, the edges of her lips lifted in a faint smile, deep entrenched smile lines hinting at happier youthful times. As she stood bent over, emitting another lungful of cough, I couldn’t help but think she looked the perfect poster girl for the cigarette display backdrop behind her.
So the first assignment for week one of my creative writing course was to write two short paragraphs – the first to contain three facts and 1 one piece of fiction. The second, three pieces of fiction and one fact. So here is my contribution …..
3 facts and 1 fiction Squashed up at a mini table at Pooh Corner, we savoured the taste of our sweet tea. Midges tickled my skin and annoyed, I swished them away with my spare hand. ‘Come on mama, let’s go and find the hermit’s cave,’ Jack shouted over the sloshing of the waterfall. The sun was beating down on our skin, which had cooled slightly after our refreshing lake swim. Drying ourselves off, we set off in search of the mystical cave, admiring the greenery of the forest surrounding us. Before long we approached the oversized rock cave. “The Hermitage” was etched elegantly on the side. Pleased at our find, we found a pleasant spot to roll out the blanket and tuck into our picnic.
3 fictions and 1 fact Strolling though the greenery of the forest, we soaked up the quiet serenity around us. Still wet from our lake swim, the feel of damp clothes against my skin was refreshing in the scorching heat. A beautiful blue butterfly swooshed past, its sparkling wings tickling the back of my hand as it went. When we arrived at the hermit cave, the hermit was home and he kindly invited us in for tea. Sipping tea and eating cake together, we laughed – knowing no one would believe our story when we returned home.
You may remember a few months back I had my eye on an Open University Creative Writing Course. I’ve been waiting in earnest for the registration date to approach (and the release of the fee information). Well the date arrived, and da, da, da – they wanted over £2,700 for the bloody thing! Needless to say I fell off my chair and quickly wrote it off as an option. I know studying is not cheap nowadays, but for a short course, only 8 months in length, studied remotely from home on a part-time basis – well this was way out of the realms of my expectations. Talk about making it hard for people to develop their skills and learning! And to add insult to injury – if I lived in either Scotland or N. Ireland it would only cost me £775. How does that work? Do they have some subsidised fees system in place? I think I need to move!
So a bit peeved and disappointed, I was almost ready to write off challenge 24 completely. That was until the OH came to the rescue. Not only did he manage to find me a cheaper option – he found me a completely free option! Offered by the Open University too! Luckily enough they have just launched their Future Learn programme of free short courses, which includes creative writing as an 8 week option. There was no stopping me …. I am enrolled and under way.
I am planning to post my assignments up here as a record of my writing, as well as a chance to share and get feedback that anyone wants to give, so watch this space ……