Thursday, April 23, 2015

First Page to First Draft

Semester One, First Page to First Draft, began this week in the book cave at Ampersand Cafe and Bookstore in Paddington.

I arrived a bit early, around 10 am, and there was a man reading a blue book in the winged arm chair at the end of the room. (Did I mention he was handsome? I thought at first it was Rupert Arrowsmith who I had met only weeks before at the Irrawaddy Literary Festival in Burma. But how could that be, he was now in New York). Next time I turned around he was sleeping, head resting on the wing of the chair, book on his tummy, an absolute picture of peace.

I hoped he might stay that way well into our workshop, then wake up and join us, but sadly after twenty minutes or so a waiter touched him on the shoulder to ask if he would like something else to drink. I guess they have a no-sleep-while-reading policy. But it got me thinking, what a good idea! Like the hammock cafes in Vietnam only you get a book as well as your hammock and fresh coconut!

I invited him to stay but he said he had to be somewhere and that it had been a perfect nap. I took it as an auspicious beginning to our workshop series.

Soon the writers arrived and after hearing about their writing projects we got down to some serious writing. Three memoirists, two poets et moi. (I'm not sure what I'm writing next but it will probably be memoir based). Oh, and Roscoe the seeing eye dog, who was under the table. I will get a pic of him next week!  Samantha, one of my ex students from UWS (left below), is vision impaired and Roscoe comes along to help her find her way. He sat on my feet most of the workshop and I have to say I did enjoy it. Lets add dog foot warmers to the hammock cafe idea!

Then I invited people to read and we had a tantalising taste of what's to come over the next five weeks. People's stories are just so fascinating. I can't wait to hear more!

First Page to First Draft is run in three modules over nine months, designed to give you the opportunity to finish your draft by October. You can join any time. Read more here.

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