What would I do without my lovely, local writing group, Off The Cuff?
We quite literally write off the cuff. We enter the library with no clue as to what the task will be and settle down to twenty minutes of writing. This may be inspiration taken from a line in a book, or ideas gathered from the roll of a set of story dice, or one person’s suggestion, prepared especially for the session.
Our meetings are split into two, refuelling with coffee at the break. The second half is shorter than the first and can consist of flash fiction, or poetry, amongst other styles, and this is when I experiment with different forms of expression. We’ve even tried writing a twenty-six line story, each sentence, or each word beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, but an observation was made today that, whilst this certainly stretches the creative muscle, most stories end with someone having an x-ray or playing a xylophone in yonder zoo.
Andrew Began Counting Daffodils. Each Flower Grew Higher…Whilst X-raying Yonder Zoo.
I love Off The Cuff for many reasons, the first being the wonderful friendship offered. I am looked after and nurtured by writers with greater knowledge and understanding than I, and I am in awe of these wonderful friends and their skills. And how different we all are. Give seven of us the same title, the same subject, and we will produce seven different projects.
It’s a fantastic way to get the brain kick-started, and with a notebook full of OTC tasks, I have a collection of ideas and stories waiting to be developed.
At our latest gathering, we were given the title ‘Speak of the Devil’.
This was my twenty minute offering.
Speak of the Devil
Say my name, and I’ll cock an ear
Speak it twice, and a mist appears
A third time now, you’ll see my head
My tail you’ll see, a fourth time said.
Say my name, and I’ll come to you
We’ll whirl a dance in devil’s shoes
But take my hand and a deal we’ll make:
Your soul turns black, it’s mine to take.
Say my name and I’ll show you how
With worldly riches you can endow
Your lust for life will see no end
If I remain your one true friend.
But turn your back on all I’ve done
The gift I’ve wrapped will come undone
Betray me once and you will see
My living hell: Immortality.
Speak of the devil, and you will see his tail
Which writing tasks flex your creative muscle?