Thursday, 1 April 2010

Hot telephones, hot Arizona and hot pen

This was the dreaded monthly ‘Hot Pen Day’, when a word is selected at random from a book and all present have a set amount of time to write something inspired by and using the chosen word. Even so, there was a good attendance – 19. Apologies from John (car trouble), Rob (dentist), Heinke (airport), Pat (hospital) and Jenny.

Before we got down to the Hot Pen, however, we asked last week’s Leftovers to read their pieces.

Mary M kicked off with a revealing and rather intriguing sexual intrigue that involved phone sex and marital misunderstanding. Well received indeed!

Alan W gave us the first part of his reinterpretation of the Gilgamesh story, and employed some amusing turns of phrase. (The Epic of Gilgamesh was written some 1,500 years before Homer on clay tablets discovered in Mesopotamia in the mid 1800s and then decyphered; the story is incomplete).

Gerry gave us ‘A Taste of Freedom’ with a well realised description of a convict leaving an Arizona prison after five years. We all wanted to know more... and also wanted to feel the heat.

Nan read her first ever poem, a clever rhyming piece about going to the dentist and depleting her finances (must have known Rob was going…)

Stan gave us another amusing snippet about Granddad babysitting Danny.

The Hot Pen

The book used was Recoil by Jim Thompson. The words were either ‘lid’ or ‘until’ or both. As time had passed, only 7 minutes was allowed for writing.

Nik wrote a continuation of his last Hot Pen, still in private eye Pete Axiom’s office…

Alan G was summed up as ‘sod the accounts’, let’s go to the beach…

Maureen’s contribution was quite profound, fighting off ‘until’, the excuse for postponing life.

Christina read out a surprisingly long, and very good poem – ‘Until I met you.’

Lisa’s was expectant and deep.

Ian’s was an amusing cut above some, about a hairdresser.

Douglas’s piece was about being bedridden and not liking it.

Glyn was about a crafty DJ.

Brenda gave us a massive salvo in the battle of the sexes, ‘fits all sizes’…

Jane told us about a phone call, which coincidentally so did Mary K, though hers had the recipient being driven to distraction.

Mary S used ‘until’ as an empowering excuse.

Ann gave us her thoughts on shellfish, which she doesn’t like.

Anne opened Pandora’s box.

Heather was all concerned about getting the boiler fixed.

Mary M got into a stew.

Alan G wrote about apologists.

Gerry gave us a dramatic scene in a tense kidnapping saga.

Nan told us about a cemetery, which is often a source of ideas. ‘I’m not finished yet’ might be someone’s epitaph…

Stan gave us a further conversation between Danny and his grandfather; great stuff.

Overall, as ever, the Hot Pen showed what can be achieved in a very short time. A great many of the ideas brimming from these exercises could be transformed into short stories, or even novels! If ever a scribe has writer’s block, just pluck a word from a book and let the words flow – then go back to your ‘blocked’ piece.

Surprisingly, we had time for some fillers.


Alan W finished off the Gilgamesh rewrite, with hints of global warming and of course the echoes of the Flood and Noah.

Anne gave us a thoughtful piece about tracing family history – going back to Adam and Eve and coincidentally the ark! This was highly amusing and posed an interesting thought: very few women are mentioned in the early pages of the Bible.

Christina read out her reflections on her magical cruise to the orient – South China Sea, Raffles, and the New China resort, among other places, though most of us were most curious about the crew who ‘pandered to our every need’.

Lisa read out a lovely poem about the approach of Spring, when those ‘winter books’ are put away.

Thank you all for making yet another session interesting and thought provoking. Until next week - if we can keep a lid on it…


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like I missed a good session - caused by Whole Almond Chocolate attacking a filling (and winning)no more (yes I know - premature) Easter celebrations for me!