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  • Chalk The Sun » blog
    a new arrival on Reunion getting the feel of the place involves acquainting oneself with its unique geography and the words that describe it So an ilet which in normal French would mean a small island here indicates a self contained hamlet often situated on a remote mountain peak piton The cirques or circles are Read More Painting with Words Posted by admin on Oct 23 2013 in blog No Comments During our creative writing course in Gaucin Andalusia our classroom was surrounded by the tableau of grey green mountains and cobalt skies that is the Serrania de Ronda Among the group were visual artists resident in the area who found some common chords between painting and writing We were giving consideration to the way that effective Read More Peeping into Other People s Cupboards Your Writing is Interesting Posted by admin on Sep 27 2013 in blog No Comments I don t think anyone will be interested in what I ve written said Shelley as we reviewed our work over a bellini up on the roof of Masseria Impissi It s too prosaic I m just writing about my own stuff The Chalk students all demanded a reading and as the pink tinged clouds faded into the Italian Read More So Farewell Elmore Leonard they called you the Dickens of Detroit Posted by admin on Aug 20 2013 in blog No Comments When the Chalk team picked their top novelists we nearly came to blows over who got Elmore Leonard but we allowed Jonathan Wolfman the honour as he had introduced us to the great man s work way back in the eighties Sadly Elmore checked out this morning in his hometown Detroit aged 87 but here s why Read More Older entries Newer entries Courses Creative writing weekly

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?cat=12&paged=10 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » admin
    For a new arrival on Reunion getting the feel of the place involves acquainting oneself with its unique geography and the words that describe it So an ilet which in normal French would mean a small island here indicates a self contained hamlet often situated on a remote mountain peak piton The cirques or circles are Read More Painting with Words Posted on Oct 23 2013 in blog No Comments During our creative writing course in Gaucin Andalusia our classroom was surrounded by the tableau of grey green mountains and cobalt skies that is the Serrania de Ronda Among the group were visual artists resident in the area who found some common chords between painting and writing We were giving consideration to the way that effective Read More Peeping into Other People s Cupboards Your Writing is Interesting Posted on Sep 27 2013 in blog No Comments I don t think anyone will be interested in what I ve written said Shelley as we reviewed our work over a bellini up on the roof of Masseria Impissi It s too prosaic I m just writing about my own stuff The Chalk students all demanded a reading and as the pink tinged clouds faded into the Italian Read More So Farewell Elmore Leonard they called you the Dickens of Detroit Posted on Aug 20 2013 in blog No Comments When the Chalk team picked their top novelists we nearly came to blows over who got Elmore Leonard but we allowed Jonathan Wolfman the honour as he had introduced us to the great man s work way back in the eighties Sadly Elmore checked out this morning in his hometown Detroit aged 87 but here s why Read More Older entries Newer entries Author Info Courses Creative writing weekly courses monthly workshops

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?author=1&paged=10 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » Gloomed Youth
    I was in good company literature being replete with the mawkish musings of young people obsessed by age death and destruction The who wants to live past thirty mind set which can persist until you re about twenty nine and a half is particularly beloved of artistic floppy haired interestingly moody looking young men from Chatterton and Keats to Kurt Corbain The latter belongs to the 27 Club the membership requirement for which is dying at 27 Hendrix Joplin Morrison and Winehouse are other prominent members Of course non members have to face up to growing old comfy and contented or maintain a pessimistic self destructive pose into frumpy dumpy middle age like Dorothy Parker or Truman Capote poor Truman could be excused some chagrin if you compare his beautiful boy book jacket photos to the raddled reptilian mug shots of his later years Martin Amis has made a study out of his own metamorphosis from arrogant toothy skinny long haired velvet clad youth to arrogant toothy portly be fringed chino clad grown up It is the writer s job to record and examine the human condition for the entertainment and enlightenment of others after all The more you live the more material you have look at late starter Diana Atill 95 Alice Munro picking up the Nobel Prize at 83 and Philip Portnoy s Complaint Roth presumably still masturbating or at least writing about it at 81 The perspective provided by experience and maturity definitely makes for more nuanced less self indulgent writing it also makes for a more objective less angry take on life The faster you are hurtling towards the yawning grave the more cheerful you get Perhaps it s because ironically the nearer death is the nicer life seems you don t have time to indulge

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2306 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » Reunion: An Imaginative Gazetteer
    have no roads down to them and may be a two hour descent on foot But what did they look like these brave and desperate individuals who eked out an existence in the unforgiving landscape How did they feed and clothe themselves on an island that had no indigenous mammals and no human inhabitants until the first settlers arrived How did they keep their children alive How did they maintain their morale as slave hunters tracked them down chopping off their hands and displaying these trophies in the town squares to deter other runaways And what of the Ravine de la Veuve Widow s Ravine how did she lose her husband and what happened to her afterwards Which particular face of human suffering is commemorated by the Ravine a Misère Misery Ravine Easier to guess the scourge indicated by the Ravine des Poux Lice Ravine but who had lice and how did the ravine come to be named after them Happier occasions are evoked by the Cascade Délices Delights Waterfall or Cascade a la Voile de la Mariée Bridal Veil Waterfall but was there a particular bride in mind and who was she marrying Who was the Nicole of Bassin Nicole and what did she do there And the village of Dos d Ane Donkey s back does that suggest the best way of getting there or is there a story behind the name In the créole village of Entre Deux Between Two I plucked up the courage to ask a local the obvious question Between Two what His reply was most poetic Entre deux bras un coeur Between two arms one heart combining the physical the village is situated below a dip between two massive mountain ridges and the metaphorical Is this then a paean to the unity of

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2289 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » Painting with Words
    artist might make a selection of marks on the canvas which the viewer then forms into a castle a temple or a prison block In this way the reader and the viewer are not passive recipients but are imaginatively engaged in the creative process When deciding how a character will react in a set of circumstances it is important for the writer to know all kinds of biographical details their upbringing past relationships and inner desires even though they may not state them overtly in a piece of writing This detailed work nonetheless informs and gives authenticity to the final piece When re writing authors may also need to slaughter their babies delete a certain phrase or image that they may be very attached to but that is no longer apposite in draft three Similarly an artist must make every stroke and mark with sincerity knowing absolutely what its provenance is at any stage of the painting s construction but may need to obliterate a delicately wrought section of the canvas in one stroke of yellow if a later stage of the work demands it Just like the author who trusts that all the character work will reveal itself through the character s reactions and decisions the painter trusts that their sincere mark making will serve to support and give resonance to the final painting In a similar way it may be that our incomparably beautiful surroundings worked a mysterious alchemy with the selection of words arranged on the page causing our Anadalusian writing group to produce work of particular depth and dimension We will be returning next October to test the premise out again assisted by the autumn sun and fruity rioja Jo Hepplewhite Look out for news of our writing holidays in Italy http chalkthesun co uk page

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2174 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » Peeping into Other People’s Cupboards: Your Writing is Interesting
    by her description of teenage girls in cut down shorts disapproving fathers Xhosa click language and Cape Town slang It was fascinating You see I said in my best pedagogic manner We enjoy insights into other people s lives It may seem ordinary and mundane to you but to others it s mesmerising It s like peeping into other people s kitchen cupboards and saying Wow You put your spices in alphabetical order Well I never Hey you arrange your jars by height and you ve got five kinds of lentils Amazing So don t be afraid to write about your own experiences and remember what makes them interesting is the authentic details the specificity Concretise Be exact You will hold your reader s interest Look at it this way one woman s Sainsbury s Basics baked beans are another woman s Carluccio s marinated sun dried tomatoes with white truffle shavings Ardella Jones a bellini is a prosecco with peach juice first made at Harry s Bar in Venice for Ernest Hemmingway so literary legend would have it Chalk the Sun are on their annual writing retreat in sunny Puglia Italy Leave a Reply Name required Email required Website

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2164 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » So Farewell, Elmore Leonard, they called you ‘the Dickens of Detroit’…
    producer for Justified the TV series based around characters from Riding the Rap and the short story Fire in the Hole that s one way to make sure television doesn t mess up your work Snappy funny slang filled dialogue that screams street or hick town or backwoods Kentucky or Spanish speaking Miami It s dialogue that multi tasks setting the scene illuminating character elucidating plot and entertaining the hell out the reader Dark idiosyncratic humour whether it s dealer Ordell Robey memorably played by Samuel L Jackson kicking back watching his fav video girls in bikinis marketing AK47s or the illiterate Yardie jackboys whose educational shortcomings mean they fail to read the launching instructions on their stolen RPG and point it at themselves Strong unusual women Leanne ex performing mermaid with clairvoyant powers and wife of tough judge Maximum Bob channelling her slave girl spirit guide Ava Crowder showing hubbie Beaumont her opposition to domestic violence through the barrels of a sawed off sixty something Simone in Rum Punch wigging up to do her Diana Ross impersonation for gentleman callers Elmore s women are never bland or stereotypical Shifting Narrative viewpoint Although Elmore writes in the third person he manages to do it almost entirely from character viewpoints and in their voices whether it s parole officer Cathy Baker or her low life client Dale Crowe Elmore can shift viewpoint seamlessly between characters in mid paragraph don t try this at home retaining their authentic individual voices not only in their thoughts but in the narrative This coupled with use of the present continuous long before MacDonald s started loving it creates an authentic facsimile of natural speech that is of course skilful artifice Add pared down prose pacey plots time shifts and flashbacks and you have one of

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?p=2129 (2016-02-15)
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  • Chalk The Sun » blog
    on Aug 8 2013 in blog 3 Comments Without wishing to sound grouchy and grasping I am amazed when aspiring writers put time into their work and sometimes money into printing it without being prepared to do the same in terms of attending writing classes and getting professional editorial feedback One would be novelist actually said to me Pay for feedback Never It s like Read More The Mousetrap More than a Game of Cluedo Posted by admin on Jul 31 2013 in blog No Comments Last week I went to see Gregory Cox occasional Chalk theatre tutor in the 25 282 performance of The Mousetrap at St Martin s Theatre Like many Londoners I had rather taken this remarkable long running play for granted leaving it to American and Japanese tourists I assumed I knew what it would be like and yes it Read More Justified vs Luther Home or Away Posted by admin on Jul 22 2013 in blog No Comments Late on Wednesday nights I face a Luther vs Justified playback dilemma Until this personal scheduling clash arose I would have said that I loved both cop shows and that though very different both were top of the crime genre Both feature charismatic mavericks the eponymous Luther a gruff Londoner played by convincingly gritty Idris Read More Cycling in Saudi Wadjda Posted by admin on Jul 8 2013 in blog No Comments I was so glad I caught Wadjda the first Saudi film written and directed by a woman at a Clapham Picturehouse preview yesterday The eponymous Wadjda is a feisty 10 year old girl who wants to own a bicycle badly which is one of the thousand and one things females are discouraged from doing in Saudi Read More Older entries Newer entries Courses Creative writing

    Original URL path: http://chalkthesun.co.uk/?cat=12&paged=11 (2016-02-15)
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