Rock. Paper. Resolutions.

Jan-u-ary - sick and tired you've been hangin' on me...

Well, since it is nearly the end of January and my New Year’s Resolution has been reduced from “Write everyday” to “Write once a week” to “Write something – ANYTHING!” I thought I’d get back in the saddle of the blog.  So here goes… *blows dust off the saddle and climbs on* Whoa… is it just me or is it cold and stiff for you too?

Anyway, starting with a roundup of local writerly news from the Rock (aka the Isle of Lewis) this week I braved the gales to drive into Stornoway to visit our lovely local library for local people. The Western Isles Libraries’ very own Writer in Residence, poet and author Ian Stephen, is holding a series of workshops entitled Read, Listen, Create, to discuss reading and writing – and all for free. Where do I sign?

I attended the first session on Wednesday evening, held in the cosy library café, and as I pulled up a chair was at the same time delighted and dismayed to find plates of biscuits (including Jammie Dodgers!) and bowls of Pringles adorning the tables. I won’t even go into the Diet Resolution; suffice to say just as I’m progressing on one resolution (writing) the other one is about to be ruined (dieting).

However, once our little group assembled and Ian Stephen began to regale us with traditional tales from the Western Isles and enlighten us with the processes and considerations of storytelling and re-writing oral traditions, I didn’t think about the Pringles once.

I wasn’t tempted by the biscuits because we were too busy writing text messages in our groups to summarise the tale of when the Factor and His Wife Went to Sea in an Open Boat to St. Kilda. Long story – challenging task! I’m not about to attempt to re-create the full version here – but you can have a quick read at the text message version our group came up with:

Open boat sails from Harris to St.Kilda good weather with Factor’s wife onboard sea full of herring sky full of gannets a huge THUD stuns boat half way there

Gannet beak breaches hull crew leave dead bird stuck in boat wind picks up coming in fast islanders catch boat and see beak WOW!

Being the only one with a mobile phone in my group *shrugs shoulders and puts hands in air* I was elected as chief scribe. Not knowing how to save to drafts I sent it to my wee sister. She replied: ? Am confused x

Text Me a Story Jackanory

This morning when I spoke to her I explained that the message was an exciting task – that I’d been doing writerly things and meeting up with lovely like-minded writerly people.

“Oh,” she said, “I thought you were drunk.”

Hmm… maybe I need another resolution.

Read, Listen, Create with Ian Stephen next meeting  29th February 2012 6.30pm at Stornoway Library – All Welcome!

Don’t live in Lewis? Follow Ian Stephen’s Writer in Residence blog here instead.