Sunday, 20 December 2009

Electric Tomatoes For Xmas

Ha ha - that title's got you guessing, eh? You probably won't remember: I'm part of a writing group, The Electric Tomatoes. We're named after a poem of mine, and have been meeting, once a week, for (incredibly) the last 15 years.

This week we had our Christmas bash. We all contributed food (I made king prawn Thai green curry - yum).

Most writing groups are about feedback, but we never bring work written elsewhere: we are simply making space in our lives for writing, purely for fun, and we do it on the spot. We have an envelope full of bits of paper, containing words or phrases as starting points. Each week we pull one out as a topic.

We only have about 50 minutes to write, so no time to think much, which is the secret. It's amazing what you can come up with when pushed, and how varied the responses can be.

We finish by reading out what we've done (not compulsory, but we generally all have something worth hearing, and it's surprising how often someone writes something rather special).

Then of course we go to the pub for a well deserved drink.


Jessie said...

I'm in awe of you and your group! Firstly the meeting every week for 15 years, that's some achievement! And being brave enough to write on the spot in the company of others! This must really help and feed into your creative life as an illustrator, amazing! :)xx

Lynne Chapman said...

It's lovely as it's come to feel really comfortable after all this time, and we have long since stopped being self conscious about writing and reading for each other.

I serioudly recommend the format though - great fun and so good for your writing.