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Feedback Night – Wednesday, 7th February 2024

A Mingling of Myths, Metaphors and Emotion.

Welcome to February and our first Feedback Night of 2024.

Three groups reviewed around 10 anonymous pieces, covertly handed to Carrie and Linda upon arrival, including one from a new face – welcome again, Fraser, we’re delighted you came along.

One thing that always strikes me at these evenings is the variety of writing we produce as a club. I’m still asking the question, even after being with AWC for four years: where does the inspiration come from? Of course, the answer is: everywhere. Writers never truly turn off their “Ideas radar,” it merely takes a standby snooze every now and then to recharge!

Perhaps your inspiration comes from literature and legend, references that can develop into a children’s story, for example. I’m sure you’ve heard of Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology, but did you know unicorns can have wings too? No, me either – they’re called Alicorns, apparently. Every day is a school day, especially with AWC. One such creature disappeared off this evening carrying a young girl on his back, and we want to know what happened next! Talking about disappearances, I suspect one or two fellow reviewers also fancied their luck with a magical chair from another tale!

Moving on from those children’s stories, a song on the radio might spark life into your scribbles, bringing cryptic phrases that hint at the original lyrics and get your readers guessing. Alternatively, news and current affairs may appeal to your satirical side – tonight’s big kids’ story time was brought to us by political birds and dancing giraffes! Photos are another source, some directly feeding our writing with descriptive energy, others taking us along tangents where inanimate objects become humanised or develop mysterious powers. I’m still feeling a little jealous of a certain phone box…

Life itself brings plenty of writing opportunities, when that internal “Ideas radar” is set to “Observe.” An overheard conversation on the bus – due to loud voices, of course, never nosy writers – can generate a wealth of ideas, as can some casual people-watching over coffee in a local café. These situations may also provide insight into cultural differences, including how certain words can mean different things to different people, something we discussed this evening following the review of one of the poems.

Major life events definitely act as catalysts for our writing, arrival and loss being so much more than the acts of birth and death. These events generate such depth of feeling, it is inevitable the whirling maelstrom of emotion in our brain will eventually burst forth and tumble onto the page. The poetry reviewed tonight was certainly influenced by such episodes, beautiful language transporting love and anguish in equal measure to their readers.

All too soon 9.30pm was approaching. The evening came to a close with emotional opposites: first, a reading of a poem about a loved one involved in a serious accident, its metaphors drawing us into the devastation experienced by the writer, then the results from our recent Non-Fiction Article competition to finish on a celebratory high.

It’s said that therapy comes in many guises – tonight’s fancy dress choice was a keyboard or pen.

Maggie Morton.


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