Inspiring Rooms, A Writers’ Circle, and the Open University Again

Hi people! Well, after my good intentions to get back to blogging after my holiday, I discovered that it’s very hard to concentrate when your house is a building site. But – the Great Kitchen Renovation is done! Complete! Finito! Thank f*** for that. (Pardon my French.) It looks fantastic, and together it and I have already produced a lavish Scottish-themed dinner for me, hubby, and two German friends who were visiting last week. You should see how much wine food I can fit in my new fridge!

Pic courtesy of blogyourwine.com

Pic courtesy of blogyourwine.com

The ground floor of the house is now resplendent in a colour scheme of reds and creams, although Frodo Cat is trying to add more cream by spreading his fur far and wide. Now that downstairs is back to normal, I have finally been able to tidy the office (which has had half the downstairs furniture in it up until now). This is in readiness for much writing, especially as I have taken on two new ‘things’, as follows:

A few weeks ago I attended my first meeting of the Falkirk Writers’ Circle. I enjoyed it very much and have been going weekly ever since. I received a lovely welcome in week 1, and said so at the end of the meeting. When I turned up for week 2, several members expressed delight, as apparently people often turn up for the first time, enthuse about how much they’ve enjoyed themselves, and then never return. I guess no-one wants to say, ‘Oh dear, I don’t think this is for me after all’, or whatever. Maybe it’s the prospect of reading their own work aloud? Who knows. Anyway, I loved it and I loved week 2, which was indeed a ‘Read Your Own Work’ week. Such a great variety of pieces! Poetry: rhyming, not rhyming, and written in Scots. Chapters of novels. Memoirs. Flash fiction. Short stories. I think I’m going to be in good company, and encouraged to write more and improve my writing, which is great. I’ve already been inspired by two guests, Janet Paisley and Alan Bissett, who spoke about poetry and prose respectively, and gave us writing exercises to do. The Circle has a packed programme of events, so whatever you write there’s something to interest you.

Pic courtesy of falkirkwriters.org.uk

Pic courtesy of falkirkwriters.org.uk

Aaand…I decided a few months ago to bite the bullet and go for my degree in English Literature and Creative Writing with the Open University. Some of you may remember I did their Level 2 Creative Writing course last year, and that will count towards the degree. I have to fill in the gap, as it were, of Level 1 courses this year and next. So this week I start a course on The Arts Past and Present, which has literature, but also painting, sculpture, film…I think it will be interesting, and hopefully my studies last year will stand me in good stead, as I already know how the OU website works, how to submit work, and how to take part in online tutorials and chats. Now that my preferred writing and study space is sorted, I’m raring to go!

Of course, there is a tiny spanner in the works: the OU tutorials are on the same evening as the Writers’ Circle! Aargh! They’re not every week though, so I’ll attend the first one, introduce myself, meet my tutor…and then see how many I actually go to. If the Writers’ Circle is doing something particularly good that night, I think they’ll win. 😉

This might be me soon...

This might be me soon…

Phew! That’s all my news, I think. Feel free to bombard me with yours in the comments. I’m bound to have missed some things over the last few weeks.

(Oh, and don’t think you’ve escaped my Istanbul photos. They, and a blog post, will be on their way soon… 😀 )

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11 thoughts on “Inspiring Rooms, A Writers’ Circle, and the Open University Again

  1. Frodo is probably trying to show your guests that he is a vital part of your home. (at least our four-legged cohabitants see it that way)
    Working for your degree is exciting – have fun!
    I’m looking forward to seeing your Istanbul photos. Have a good one, my friend.

    • Thanks, Karen. Yes, Frodo and his sidekicks are definitely putting their stamp on the new furnishings. When I was cooking for my friends last week, the Lady Arwen had to be removed from the kitchen for ‘helping’ too much. 😉

      • You would miss your cats’ usual behaviour, Karen. 😀
        They just want us to involve them in everything that matters. A house without cats, dogs or kids is usually pretty boring. 😉

  2. I’ve belonged to a writers’ group for years and years–an eclectic group like yours. I love it. We all encourage each other to improve and submit. I’m a better writer because of them. Glad your house is finished, and hooray for you for signing up at OU! And mostly, I’m SO impressed with your fridge and All That Beautiful Wine:) Wow!

  3. We’ve had a lot of budding writers ask us for advice about the literary field, the creative process and the technical aspect of writing and we always tell them the first thing they should do is join a writing club. It’s educational and inspirational. BTW, love the pic of the fridge, Karen. It reminds me of…. mine. 😉 lol

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