Looking Back on the Journey

I opened the book with mixed feelings as I pulled it at random off the top shelf, hooking my finger on the frayed edge of its spine. Inside were pages of handwritten entries under dated headings. Neatness varied, the colour alternating between black and blue with the odd foray into red or green. At times the continuous writing broke into a list or poem – Becoming an astronaut isn’t rocket science – b
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Writing Round the Compass

You can get lost anywhere it seems – in a forest, up a hill, in an airport, a French village or, of course, an actual maze. As we swapped notes at Saturday’s Write for Growth Workshop, each of us had experiences to recount. Busy modern life urges us to look to the clock rather than the compass, but the latter is vital in helping us to set direction and keep us on track. Our workshop took the theme of ‘Wr
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Writing about Food

It felt like a meeting of the Slow Food movement: the room’s quiet settledness as the group sat round a large wooden table exploring their chosen fruit – apple, banana, orange, grapes – through each sense in turn, culminating in an attentive tasting and eating. We were at Gladstone’s Library for the latest Write for Growth workshop. ‘Food, Glorious Food’  was our theme. James Be
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What We Collect

‘They are records of ordered transcendence.’ So writes Helen MacDonald in H is for Hawk, the memoir that tracks her grief for her father’s death as she trains a goshawk. She’s describing her father’s plane-spotting diaries, six exercise books meticulously filled with information representing hour upon hour of gazing skyward. The data holds no intrinsic interest for his daughter. She has ‘no idea what th
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Savouring the Senses

Behind a shop counter down our way this week-end an animated discussion was going on. ‘What’s the smell of Christmas?’ Customers and check-out staff all had their ideas: Cloves, spices, oranges, mulled wine, turkey and the fresh evergreen of a Christmas tree. Smell was one sense we explored at Saturday’s Write for Growth at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden: Savouring the Senses. We opened with some free-w
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Writing in Colour

Pixie Green, Ruby Starlet and Wild Primrose. What if these Dulux shades came to life as people? What might their personality, behaviour and style be? We explored these questions at Write for Growth’s July workshop at Gladstone’s Library on Writing with Colour. Comparing notes on our imagined character sketches brought out some matching colour connectlons. It’s these common connections that enable colour to b
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Playing with Frames in Frodsham

Outside, the sound of children playing; downstairs, a clatter of coffee-cups and the steamy roar of a cappuccino machine, but in the room, no noise beyond the rustle of paper and an occasional sigh: Saturday morning’s Write for Growth workshop was fully engrossed in our first activity, a free-writing exercise. We sat round a large table in Frodsham’s beautiful Castle Park Arts Centre. Sunlight streamed in throu
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Friday Writing Prompts for May

  John O’Donahue’s poem For the Traveler contains the lines: And if you listen, You will hear What your heart would Love to say. Take a few moments to quiet yourself, to listen and take down what your heart would love to say to you at this time. You can read the full poem at http://www.ayearofbeinghere.com/…/john-odonohue-for-travele…   As you look at this tree, list five words you
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Friday Writing Prompts for Spring

  Take a walk outside on a familiar route, but go slow. Look, listen..what do you notice that you have not observed before. Free-write from the prompt: ‘What comes to light when I take time to attend is……’ Close your eyes and imagine you see a flight of steps leading upwards. Free-write about what might be at the top of this staircase. What steps are you taking or climbing at the momen
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Blue Umbrellas

  Since my last workshop at Staffordshire University the other Saturday, I’ve been thinking about blue umbrellas. Not that it rained on the day. In fact, I was impressed by the commitment and goodwill of the twenty-four counselling students sat indoors on a sunny April day, studying the therapeutic aspects of writing. No, ‘Blue Umbrellas’ was a poem that came to mind after a student’s passing comment. Alo
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  • About Julia

    Julia
    Creative Connections combines my commitment to personal development through face-to-face work with groups or individuals, and the impact of the written word. As a writer I am always looking to see things from a new angle...

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