Wednesday 5 June 2013

Writing a Story Using The Senses

These are the writing activities for the 4th June - the resulting stories will appear below

i)                   Look around you
Describe ten things that you see. Use adjectives in full sentences.

ii)                What sounds have had an impact on you?
Write down five sounds that have had an impact on you at any time in your life, including songs that are significant to you.

iii)              What smells can you remember
See how many smells you can remember that evoke memories for you, and say why.

iv)              Describe tastes
Try to describe three different tastes, pleasant, unusual or unpleasant, and any associations you have with them.

v)                 Touch
What sensations of touch can you think of, and what is your reaction to them? Describe them as fully as you can.

vi)              Write a story about the people you see around you
Use some of your thoughts on the senses in your story. Imagine the people’s lives, their past, their present and their future. Include some dialogue that you imagine they may be having now.

My Bar, Sunset House - by Fiona Pimentel
Seated at the wooden table in front of me are two women in their early to mid thirties. Above their heads, palm fronds are waving calmly in the gentle breeze.                                                                                                        
Alicia comes from Philadelphia, and is of Chinese origin. She has a passion for reading. She has come to the island recently, and is keen to meet as many new people as she can.
 Simone grew up in the Cayman Islands and has lived here all her life. She dresses sensibly, wears glasses and comes from a conservative background.
These ladies know each other from work, and although they aren’t well acquainted, each one is hoping to gain something from sharing a drink with the other.
 “So, Alicia, tell me about your interests,” enquires Simone, making an effort to speak over the loud music.
“Well, I love reading. When I find a good book, I just can’t put it down.”
“What type of books do you like to read?”
“Mostly I enjoy anything about vampires and also alchemy. I love mystery.” She sways her shoulders in time with the rhythm. She glances at the friendly group of people at the next table and thinks to herself that she would like to meet them.
“Oh, how unusual!” exclaims Simone. She suddenly becomes aware that the Christmas lights on the trees are quite out of place in the summer, and starts to feel quite uncomfortable.
 “Why? What kind of thing do you read?”
“I don’t really have time to read, other than books about accountancy.” She is aware of how pathetic that sounds but can’t think of anything else to say.
“I see…” replies Alicia, starting to drum her fingers on the table. She notices that the amber light gives the place an atmosphere of the nineteen seventies, and is slightly bemused by this.
She instinctively looks over Simone’s shoulder, as if wanting to be rescued, and is delighted to spot a pleasant-looking man who emerges out of the dark and makes straight for them, carrying a pad and pen. He is smiling at her, as if he knows her or wants to know her. The smell of B & H cigarettes reminds her of her grandmother, and she instantly feels comfortable in his presence.
“Is this the Cayman Writers’ Circle meeting?” he asks.
“Yes, yes, it is,” replies Alicia, grateful for the distraction.
Simone’s eyes widen and her mouth opens. She is just about to say something but the look on Alicia’s face stops her.
Settling down in a chair at their table, the man asks “So what are we doing?”
“We are writing a story about the people here," lies Alicia, "at the bar at Sunset House. There was a group of people at the next table I’ve been writing about, but they have just gone. They kept staring at us. They were probably all crazy.”
It dawns on Simone that the group at the next table must have indeed been the real Cayman Writers’ Circle, and she determined to check out their blog to see if they’d written about Alicia, and more worryingly herself. 

The table by the sea - By Michel Powery                                      

Somebody said: “brotherhood is built while climbing mountains.” I can now say, “writing makes brothers and sisters become as one. It is what happened on the night of June 4th, 2013 at Sunset Bar during the Cayman Writers Circle meeting. People who love the art of writing, gathered there with the intention of contributing to the effort of a building better world. They probably did not suspect the magnitude of what was occurring at that precise moment.

Fiona, hosting the meeting with a wide range of methods and techniques, started introducing everyone seated by the small wooden table. The table was, as a matter of fact, really small but it did not bother anybody since the human warmth and kindness were taking over the stage, as soon as the sea welcomed, blowing a fresh breeze all over the place.

At the very beginning there were beside the host, Brian and Barbara, a very happy and enthusiastic couple. They were extremely nice persons who filled the night with lovely stories of what Barbara like to call “the good old times,” referring to her childhood days. There were nostalgic memories of homemade bread, casava cake and the smell of coffee made by her grandma every morning. 

Brian, for his part, spoke continuously about his cherished memories of those moments in his native Canada. The remembrances of the coming spring after a long and snowy winter, the passion for the flowers and the soothing wind rubbing his face. But, he did not mention he was considered a milkoholic, as her wife told us suddenly. “Oh, that’s not fair!” he exclaimed, “I have not told anybody about your addiction to baked pork chops,” he said, trying to take revenge. 

Barbara just let a shy smile escape, like a kid caught doing something terrible. “Huun!” She yells at her life partner, immediately after that.

After a while, Grace Chambers joined the group, introductions are unnecessary for Grace; who does not know her? She is allergic to fish and peanuts sometimes, it is something yet to be understood but there the meeting kept going on. 

This girl has a phenomenal sense of hearing and an enviable  capacity to remember. All that had moved, was said, or done, etc, around there was caught in her net. Some divers, getting ready for a night immersion and their instructor’s advice, in order to achieve a certain qualification, for example, were heard clearly by Grace, even though they were some meters from the table in which the rest of the group continued answering the requested exercises. She can hear, oh yes, she can! She could also catch the name of two of them and also listen to the complete story from the lady with the new full-back tattoo. 

One might wonder, how can a person pay attention to so many things at the same time? It is this writer’s opinion that Ms. Chambers was so concentrated in the diving activities that night due to her fear of cold water. Maybe she had remembered the competition in which it was tested who could resist the coldest water in the face, from where she left hugely traumatised about cold water, such is the case that she does not like to take showers... cold showers, I guess.

“Hi Fiona,” waved a tall man from the opposite end- “I can’t believe you guys have been here all night. We were looking for you desperately, I was worried we were lost”- said the newcomer, named Tony, in a funny way. While some laughs and greetings took place, two women accompanying him approached the small table, they were Valorie and Blanca. 

The chairs were moved back a bit more to let the arriving attendants be part of the improvised circle, formed around the table. The leader explained to them the objectives and activities developed during the night. It is relevant to inform you that this occurred almost at the end of the gathering, but anyway, the invitation was extended to join the group in the last task, although they basically participated as listeners.

Regardless of the time each one reached the event, or what was drunk or eaten, it could be considered a wonderful night at Sunset bar. Right there, by the sea, seated around the small wooden table, the sound of the waves embellishing the moment, the wind blowing peacefully and the very nice environment, it became the perfect excuse to create new relationships, new friends, new brothers and sisters. 

The table was the ideal link to tie together the participants’ minds, hands and souls through an invisible thread. It is healthy to predict that many others will be tied by the same passion, by the love of writing, which could unite brothers and sisters with one heart. 

First Impressions - By Valorie Grant

I arrived at 7:30 pm - Sunset House was packed. I’d had a heck of time parking, but fortunately someone left as I was turning to go back home.
I went inside ‘My Bar’ and looked hopefully around the crowds of people. No writer types popped up. I asked the barman where the “Writer’s Circle” were meeting?
“The what.” Looking at me as if I had just dropped out of the sky.
I give him my best smile. “I understand there is a writer’s group meeting here this evening.”
“Oh, let me check.” He picks up the phone and speaks to a mystery voice on the other end.
“Sorry,” he said shaking his head. “No one knows about any meeting.”
“Are you looking for the writers group?” asks a handsome young man standing at the bar..
“Yes, but at the moment it’s non-existent.” I smile at the young lady standing beside him. “Are you looking for the writers group as well?”
“Yes, the email said the first table as you come into ‘My Bar’.” She holds out her hand. “My name is Blanca”
I nodded, “We all got the same email.” I shake hands with Blanca and then with the young man, whose name was Tony.
“I’ve looked all around but I don’t see anyone looking like writers.” Said Tony.
We all have a laugh. “May I suggest we get a table and wait until someone comes along who looks like a writer.” I lead the way to a table.
After ordering some drinks, ‘2 – lemonade and a beer’ we settle down to wait, It’s now about 7:55.
In the background we could hear the scuba divers coming in from their late evening dive. The scraping of their tanks on the walk-way below us and their chatter and laughter drifted pleasantly around us.
“Where are you from.” I ask Blanca.
“From Spain.” She replies
‘That’s a long way from home.” intercedes Tony. What do you do?
“I’m a psychiatrist.”
“Oh my that must keep you busy. Where is your office?” I ask, thinking to myself, it’s always good to know a psychiatrist.
“Opposite Books and Books, it’s a private clinic.
“What kind of writing do you do?”
Blanca laughs, “Oh no I don’t write, I just wanted to join a group and see what it’s all about.”
“Oh my goodness you would have plenty of characters to chose from. Maybe we can get you interested enough to start writing, it’s very fascinating.” I turn to Tony. “What do you write?”
“Poetry, I’ve actually been published in a few magazines. I’d like to try a novel. What do you write?
“Historical Romance, not published yet, but working toward it.”
As this stage, it’s now about 8:15 pm, Tony decides to go and have another look and happily finds the group on the lower level around an umbrella topped table.
We are introduced to the rest of the group who are industrially writing. Brian, a fun type and very loyal I’d think, and Barbara, lovely lady who I’m sure can organize anything and get things done. Michel, he looks like he’s a lot of fun, a total extravert, always ready to help out. Grace, has a quiet personality but I’m sure with people she knows, she blossoms out. Fiona, couldn’t quite fathom her out, maybe next time. Blanca is studious, and likes to assess things before she becomes involved. A very gentle person. Tony, is industrious, likes to see things done correctly, and now Valorie. Doesn’t like to wait. And is persistent.
I love to analyze people. I spend hours in airports and restaurants studying people and thinking what their lives are like and what they do. Then I create them into characters in my novels.

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