I hope everyone is OK in what is the 7th week of lockdown I think now? I imagine there have been batches of bread, a plethora of Zooms and other manners of activity and also perhaps some longer lie ins and afternoon naps!
I'm going to be letting you know all the Creative Writing news but I'm also bringing a more personal touch to the newsletter.
So, being a self employed person in the Creative industry, lockdown hit me hard economically. The market has become flooded with free content from funded organisations which is great for customers but difficult for those of us who are unfunded and income dependent. However! As a tenacious soul with a mainly optimistic and entreprenurial disposition I began to take two business webinars a week, look at what I could do to grow elsewhere and invest in some website updates and upskill myself in some areas.
One income stream that remained was my work as Publishing Lead for Hypatia Trust, and though only 24hrs per month it is something I am busy with and I also still have 3 hrs per week working with clients with dyslexia and dyscalculia for adult education. Whilst working through my own lockdown challenges I was also helping my 86 year old mother from afar, she's in Manchester, to get onto the vulnerable person scheme and receive some help and support – that took five weeks!
I haven't been hit by any feelings of loneliness - maybe because I am used to living alone and also as a writer I am often inside my mind. But like everyone I have had times where I have felt that anxiety is only a step away and my way of keeping it at bay has been to feel I am doing all I can to help my future and to keep connecting with creative people and my own creativity.
A wonderful thing has been that the week before lockdown I was fortunate to be taken on as a mentee by an literary industry professional who I approached in the first instance and then was able to secure funding for her fee by Cultivator. I am learning a lot under her guidance. Amazing fact: she was responsible for publishing Jeanette Winterson's first book Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – so being guided by her is a big deal. Cultivator are also providing me with business support and digital guidance.
Other than this I've been also working on my own writing, looking at revisiting an old project https://youtu.be/cu5iXlK3r14 and enjoying, as ever, all the valued interactions I have with writers and those interested in writing and the arts, all over the world.
So! Let us come to writing news:
Coaching for Writers
I have now added a dedicated tab to my website https://www.freewriterscentre.org/coaching.html where you can read all about my Coaching practice and how I can help and support you in your writing journey no matter where you are on it.
Coaching sessions can take place via Zoom and have been going very successfully using that medium. I worked with a client some weeks ago who is based in Cairo and our session was easy, enjoyable and without any technical issues – it really is a great way to connect! As an incentive to writers at this time Zoom mentoring sessions are one hour at only £15.
You can also read about my full range of Editing Services via that page.
Classes and Courses
In the Online Store
I have added to the menu of downloadable self paced products and now you can enjoy:
Online Live Classes
These can be scheduled as 40 minute classes for groups (minimum 3 people) for £5 each.
OR take a class privately for one hour for only £15.
Follow up sessions for each live group or individual, going over the writing you have produced, can be scheduled as required.
The topics to choose from are below:
Two Part Return - explores the theme of identity, distorted reflections and doppelgängers
Flowers for Frankenstein - ways to create, develop and bring your characters to life, especially anti heroes, also handing over techniques to help improve text and imagery.
Death of the Idea - what do we do when we feel we have nothing new to bring to the table? When we feel our ideas, our ways of being are outmoded or absent? What do we do when they way we thought of ourselves drops away and we have no comfortable new skin to step into? In this workshop we will discuss such experiences and situations and then create (write) characters and scenes exploring the theme.
Spectacular Bridges & Fabulous Beasts - following the theme of creating (in narrative) your own bridge between the worlds, a fabulous creature that travels across it and a love story of those separated in a physical sense but who can communicate between worlds.
Two previous live classes Point of No Return and Mindfulness & Creative Writing are now products in the online store for £10 each.
***Contact me in the first instance if wanting to take a Live Online Class***
If able then please consider donating a small amount here https://www.freewriterscentre.org/store/p12/Donate.html to help with the everyday costs of marketing, printing, website management, research and development. Your help and kindness is greatly appreciated.
Thank you all and bye for now! Linda
My dear friend, Amira, who is Chief Media Officer for the kickass company womena.com/ did an amazing Instagram story yesterday using one of the exercises from my Descriptive Text, Imagery & the Senses Course
Here is my a section from her story linked from my Insta where she mentions me and gives my Instagram 💗 www.instagram.com/p/B-uYZSuHV1V/ you can also see the video clip below this post 🙂
It might be my exercise but the way that Amira gave it and the digital tools she used were brilliant and all praise to her for that conveyance. I actually need to learn more about how to use those Insta stories!
I first met Amira when I gave my very first writing residential back in 2010 in Fayoum, Egypt. This was a year after I'd moved to live in Cairo, I lived there 2009 to 2015, and apart from giving my writing courses, residentials and literary salons, I was running an arts residency there.
Anyway, here we are now in 2020 and I just want to give some big InstaCONSTANTLove 💗💗💗
Twice weekly 40min #writing class via Zoom - we will follow a theme, in-class exercises plus a takeaway.
£5 per class. Drop in, no commitment to taking all classes.
Tuesdays & Fridays, 1pm, start next week 31st March onwards!
Open to anyone internationally.
Email for more information and to register: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am open to new clients and new income streams!
What can I offer you?
You can buy a Creative Writing course at half price, starting at £40 for an 8 hr course! that includes an hour of individual feedback. You can live anywhere in the world and do this! Courses are downloaded. self paced and contain written exercises, handouts, research links, audio and video links. Check out those courses here: https://www.freewriterscentre.org/online-courses.html
You can become a 1-1 client for my editing and mentoring services for writers working on their own projects: poetry, prose, short stories, novels, spoken word and more. We can meet IRL (in real life) or conduct sessions by email correspondence or any Skype/Facetime/Zoom method. Check out those services here: https://www.freewriterscentre.org/editing.html
I can also provide you and your business with services to write you copy(writing) for your adverts/marketing.
I can handle your marketing for you ie your social media/create a blog for you etc
I can do lots of things and so can you!
Contact me now and let's get moving and keep things going and expanding.
#onlineshop #onlinecourses #onlinecreativewritingcourses #creativewritingcourses #editing #mentoring #poetry #shortstory #creativewriting #international #global #local #Penzance #Cornwall #selfisolation #onlinelearning
Online Creative Writing courses
Global Creative Writing courses
International Creative Writing courses
Worldwide Creative Writing courses
Live Creative Writing Courses Penzance
Live Creative Writing Courses Cornwall
Creative Writing workshops Penzance
Creative Writing workshops Cornwall
Creative Writing classes Penzance
Creative Writing classes Cornwall
1-1 private mentoring for writers
I hope everyone is managing to stay healthy and grounded in this highly challenging time. There are many circumstantial pressures and real concerns upon us so it is hard to make that extra effort to tap into our creativity at this time. However if we can do that, it can lift us, even temporarily, from the fear zone.
Therefore, to help that creative process for all and also to encourage people to interact with my Creative Writing courses away from the live classroom and instead via digitally available worksheets, handouts, audio explanations, some video links and research links I have made ALL my Creative Writing courses HALF PRICE in the online shop for the time that we are in this situation.
I have also added a bonus in that they all include 1 hour review/editing time on the work produced! That in itself is worth £12 and is now included within a very competitive figure, starting at £40! for the whole course.
You download the whole course and work through at your own pace, as you like, no deadlines.
Make this the perfect time to write – and feed yourself some healthy mind nutrition.
Check them out now, there are FIVE to choose from! And please also share the link with friends:
Uplevel your writing and get your projects happening!
Individual Editing and Mentoring Services are available by appointment. You can read about the process here: https://www.freewriterscentre.com/editing.html
Get in touch if you want to check my availability.
All editing and mentoring can take place via email and if necessary also via Face time, Skype or/and Zoom. (In person meet ups as circumstances allow).
If there was enough interest we could have an online writers' meet up, perhaps share some pieces of writing, discuss topics. It could be done via a webinar model like Zoom. Or/and I could run a course 'live' with weekly sessions via Zoom. Let me know if interested!
Bye for now!
Woo hoo! One hour of feedback/ editing time is now included in all the Creative Writing courses in the online shop - for free!
Watch the short video below for all info!
And take a look at the courses here:
Secure payment, full download of course materials, take at your own pace.
Take a fresh look and make a fresh you - get writing!
I got back from Tallinn two days ago and I have unpacked the suitcase, filled the fridge and I'm now collecting the photographs and writing this post.
Tallinn is a most beautiful city. Its old town reminds me of Paris and Brno – full of charm and magic. And then it has this whole modern part with uber contemporary architecture and urban sass. It also has the sea leading out to two of its own small islands and onward to Scandanavia.
The reading and workshop was held at the Tallinn Backpackers venue and the events were organised by Míša Dlouhá, who organises Tallinn Creative Writers and had invited me to come to perform and host a workshop. There was a strong turnout of people for both my events and you can see the photographs at the end of this post, all kindly taken by Juan P. Ortiz to get a flavour. Unfortunately there were not many taken of my reading but you can still get a flavour from reading the content.
My reading on the 25th January consisted of a set themed on love, revolution and identity. The 25th January 2020 was the 9th anniversary of the Egyptian uprising – a time in history that I was present for as I was living in Cairo between 2009 and 2015. The set content can be read here: https://www.freewriterscentre.org/blog/tallinn-reading-poetry-film-set
On the afternoon of the 26th January I gave a two and half hour Creative Writing workshop themed on 'identity, distorted reflections and doppelgängers, looking at an extract from Murakami and working on characters, scenes and narratives producing pieces of writing within session time and utilising various writing techniques and methods.'
Míša mentioned about my reading and workshop in this blog post:
It was a true boon to not just be in Tallinn but to be amongst so many writers from various parts of the world and throughout my stay to be immersed in arts and culture as I visited many fabulous exhibitions, installations and performances – amongst them Kumu https://kumu.ekm.ee/, KAI https://kai.center/, met people from KORDON residency https://www.kordon.ee/ where I hope to go for a week's writer's residency later this year and saw A Streetcar Named Desire performed by the Estonian National Ballet http://www.opera.ee/en/lavastus/a-streetcar-named-desire/ and I also had a meeting with the backpackers regarding helping set up a yearly Creative Writing festival in Tallinn – watch this space.
I also visited Helsinki for a few days where I saw some further amazing art – you can see this reactions video I made for information about that: https://youtu.be/Fik_p4YmCx4
I wish to thank again all the people that donated to my crowdfunder campaign which enabled me to fund the travel to Tallinn and accommodation whilst there – you are all true gems.
Now back on Cornish terra firma I am looking forward to giving the full course material that the Tallinn workshop was sampled from and all interested can view and book for that here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/two-part-return-a-creative-writing-course-tickets-90009981277
Meanwhile, individual Editing and Mentoring Services are available by appointment. You can read about the process here: https://www.freewriterscentre.com/editing.html So get in touch if you want to check my availability. And the online shop is always open! :) https://www.freewriterscentre.org/online-courses.html
1. Ode for Cairo
Can be listened to as a live version with music here: https://m.soundcloud.com/linda…/cairo-the-definitive-version
I am coming to you, to your first stirrings in that dreaming sea
Did you hear it as I hear it?
This is an untrackable destination.
The muezzin calls, salutations rise as cars rumble in the wide belly of this night. We cross the Nile, cross ourselves, cross into gypsy heart opened, the tears of so many
whispered with longing for night to meet day, moon to meet sun in endless devotion, earth and sky making love for eternity.
Cruising Cairo by that star powered river; open top convertible, a black jewel speeding through the bracelet of streets. Downtown plunged into pharonic salutes, libations, talismanic truths. Anubis watching still.
The heat and the noise and the light. The heat and the noise and the light
We stumble out into the ongoing night and walk along streets of shadowed images, snakes and lovers entwine to the Nile.
I rise, demolished by drink and heat, demolished by love, everything passes like an hallucination. Lying in the darkness of the Cairo night I see my heart, my winged heart and feel the blood begin to descend and
I don't know, I do not know anything.
And now the totems come; crocodile deity at my knees, Sekhmet above.
Let them come, let them take me; here I am.
It's pouring down upon me; the realisations the abandonment the loss the love the fight the fire the beauty of your form
I want to touch you have your hands on me your lips to mine I want to start and never stop
This city, this madness of streetlife and cars
hawkers and call to prayer
big business and farmers in the mixdown
Oh Cairo you are some strange musical, some script of old, curling under the surface
There in your gypsy glamour and in cool girl heels, lipgloss perfect with perdita eyes
with your galleries and bars, your spoken prayers in fashion boutiques, your hijabs and tight pants, your men with eyes searching for a meeting, your desire for indulgence and dance with denial, your love, your closed doors, your chaos and sanctity
and here I am careering through your streets, changing my life, I felt I was changing my life
What's the time it takes for something
What's the time it takes to know
I thought I knew
I never knew angels had fear
I never knew any angels to ask
And did you hear the djinns in Cairo jaywalking across the stars
as wide boys marked hearts for target practice
Did you ever do what you wanted?
So the tears fell like a rain of white flowers, flushed with the sound of
emptiness is the dreadest weight
and thousands of words and beliefs growing
We are into each other. We fly, we run, we float, we eat the fruit of each other, we taste the possibilities and walk in real and imagined gardens, our souls stroll through rose temple paradises
seduced before the next S P L I T
2. The Cherry
The morning air did not dare to breathe, the trees tried to hide and even the birds kept their songs in on that day, on that day.
The man from the kiosk who always clapped his hands and shouted happily was counting anything he could count, his face turned into his work.
Some people ate breakfast, watching non stop television, aching for live death. Others waited. Waited to die.
And now the jazz piano plays, making you remember, what do you remember, what will you say you saw.
I went to the closed shutters, looked out onto the army tanks, row upon row, as they started to move. Each with a young man atop, like a cherry to the gods, his machine gun aimed.
We knew where they were going, we all knew. And we followed their path, watched and stored what we saw. We said We will not talk about this. We did not say anything.
I heard the sound of tear gas canisters exploding one by one and automatic gun fire scattering opinions yet still there was silence. I saw photographs of burnt bodies sat as charred husks and blood upon blood yet still people said there was nothing to see.
And now the jazz piano plays, making you remember, what do you remember, what will you say you saw.
I saw the tanks return, and those young soldiers were somewhere we could not see them, faces of the underworld forever turned to the dead they had created.
Some people celebrated. Others were quiet. The talking ones were taken away. And they renamed everything to make it clean and right.
But the air saw, and the trees saw, and the birds saw and the wrong stayed alive.
And now the jazz piano plays, making you remember, what do you remember, what will you say you saw.
Lest we forget
Rabaa massacre 14th August 2013
What stories did Nana Lynch read you
of Galway tales and
that blood in your veins that knew the wrongs that needed righting
that blood in your veins that sprang from a flame of red hair and a fight against famine and rule from many years before
I wonder if Eva Peron understood the sneer when you wrote and asked for a jeep
before setting out across that continent of inequality
did she even hold that letter herself, or was it read to her as she had another manicure of invisible blood and misplaced pride
When friends lay dead and Cuba was reborn
how long did the moment burn as you picked up the ammunition
leaving your physician's case behind
knowing the wounds that would have to be opened
within and without
What screams of pain did you shower into the unrelenting Congo night
when the news came of your mother's death
disallowed to enter the hospital
because you were her son
the son that gazed upon a sorrowful African earth and weeped with the canopy that covered your fire
Oh the songs you must have sang in Limerick as they welcomed you with sprigs
and Quinlan captured your thoughts in the airport bay
enroute to your last story with Fidel
and disillusioned with the new power you would leave
struggle to breathe in a Bolivian jungle
that fight for breath being the one fight you'd had all your life
and so few comrades came to help you
their eyes saw a Russian supremacy which wouldn't care for your ideals
Barrientos asked for your head on a spike in downtown La Paz
but it was America that got your hands
What Neruda did you last read
before they shot you in the heart
before they stole your grandmother's watch
before they concreted your dismembered body under the airstrip
and sent out the press release
your amputated hands; shelved as a trophy in the offices of the CIA
4. Kill Your Darlings Parts 1 & 2 Poetry Film: https://vimeo.com/367088816
5. Followed by the reading of Kill Your Darlings Part 3
One day you realise you don't know the exact date any more; the date it began or ended. That date which before marched in front of your head and gripped your heart tight - is lost. Just as the memories of touch are gone. Though I can remember your smile and your eyes. Thoughts of what happened come in flashes, sometimes after months of respite – only yesterday I tried to remember the last time you left the house, the final closing of the door - and I couldn't hear a sound. I closed my eyes to hear it; that angry shutting, that end; but the sound wasn't there. And then I remembered that it hadn't happened that way, with you. With you it was through the telephone only and you said you wouldn't come again, that there was nothing you needed to explain. For your heart had nothing to forget.
And if that cart and bull turn over,
Papa's gonna buy you a dog named Rover
Now those men like ghosts, I watch their faces; perhaps I am the ghost and what an advantage, those ravaged faces, time held upon them, magic and flirtations no longer available in their eyes – only age and the catching up of the body that has eaten them.
And behind their ghosts are the priestesses of Babylon in the temples of healing and the fish head priests, is the lapidarium, the stones standing as a providence within the realm of creation, epigraphs testify to the great importances now replaced, the musty odor of the fall of the Romans, the air of lovers now all gone, nations and empires now columns and fragments, the gates to historic cities dissembled to tombstones for their song, is the torn down theatre, citing fire hazard, some of the beauty remains but much has become defaced, ugly, built over, now one has to find charm in concrete. Some dirty charm. Like a stolen fuck behind an abandoned building.
And if that dog named Rover won't bark
Papa's gonna buy you a horse and cart
Yet for him the tree was emanating light. It quivered and moved, an archaic divine bird, a super conscious being; sparkling, remembering, opening, responding, speaking, awakening. Bright, white light. So much so, that it hurt his eyes. He was looking for a way out of there, for a more comfortable place within that forest for them both to lie down. Perhaps there was a hut or covered area, for they were cold. He was stumbling in the dark, trying to give out that he had a plan, that everything was alright, that he could protect her – keep her warm – that it was just the night and nothing more, just some dark hours to wait through. And then as he trod slowly over the dead bracken and tried in vain to find a resting place there suddenly was the tree – somehow lit – alive with light.
And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.
Do you remember when we experienced the tide turn, that very moment, that magical flip of the water's pull as it started to recede – just as we had begun to be oceaned yet still danced with our veils to our mistress' song. It was you and I and the great blue sea, it was you and I and an alchemical spell that formed a priestesses' alliance in our hearts. Do you remember when we felt that joy, sister, of embracing the path of the heart.
Memory, is like another land with no bridge. Only water that is too strong and too wide to traverse.
The absence of everything kills me.
Hi, I am Linda Cleary. I will be keeping you up to date with all News & Events here on the blog!