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Below are the 14 most recent journal entries recorded in Kilvites on LJ's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
1:56 pm
Friday, July 31st, 2009
11:08 pm
Words, words, words
And so the week draws slowly to a close.

It's been pretty damn amazing, if I do say so myself, and everybody else seems to agree, as this post demonstrates. Today Linda-Beth gave a session on writing for reluctant/semi-literate readers, which essentially asked how we would write for Nick, if Nick didn't have swords and cars to keep him busy.

It felt very strange. We were trying to restrict ourselves to words which looked the way they sound (not necessarily common in the English language), with as few sylabbles as possible, and the sentance structures & rhythm felt quite repetative and forced. since I couldn't use my natural rhythm, but apparently it turned out okay. Anyway, I based it very loosely on Kipling's The Smuggler's Song. The asterisks are page breaks, and the overall wordcount is only 171 words.


The Shadow MenCollapse )

I'm thinking of writing a version of Dracula for the same audience. The first sentance? Jonathan Harker had issues.

And, of course, there is the book. The Cuckoo Clock. The wiki of the WIP which we're currently envisioning as a Tim Burton-esque production and which half the energy of the course has been poured into. So far most of the input has come from Helen, but I plan on catching up as soon as I have time by myself to think & envision properly. Do head over and have a read, if you have time or need distracting.


4:03 pm
 Oh, and also....

The Cuckoo Clock

Current Mood: productive
3:25 pm
KWE 2009 and 1020

2009 and 1020

KWE 2009 is (nearly) at an ennnd :(

BUT we think it worked very well this year, and we have had lots of good feedback, and some hand suggestions.

SO here is what happened on the Last Day

- LindaBeth, who is doing work experience with Ransom Publishing, made us think about what it would be like to be a teenager and not very good at reading, and what kind of materials are available to encourage them to learn to read (obviously, teenagers don't want to be reading Roger Red Hat, or Mog), and made us write stories in 200 words, using controlled language and sentence-types, to appeal to teenage reluctant-readers.

- Dom told us the various methods of storytelling, with demonstrations. Christmas puddings, Lord of the Rings, Aragorn's paedophilic tendencies, and Orange Juice and his friend Lightly Pasteurised's adventures all came into it.

Then we had...

Thoughts on This Year and What We Should Do For KWE 1020

- everyone doing their own session, and having the party at the beginning, all works. There was a really good working atmosphere for most of the time, and we learnt all sorts of interesting things.

To Improve:
- ultimately all the workshops worked out fine; they were all interesting, and went down well, and got us thinking, and they were all in different styles. BUT there were points at which they risked treading on each other's toes, and a lot of people were very nervous or unsure beforehand. Next year, therefore, there will be more guidance on How You Might Do A Presentation (although there are loads of Right Ways, and variety is good, so we need to keep that up) as well as more discussion beforehand of what you might present on, and possibly a collection of titles and abstracts, so that we can avoid clashes (and maybe even provisionally schedule; just because it's fun.)

Incidentally, for those who weren't here, or as a souvenir for those who were...

here is a copy of the 2009 ScheduleCollapse )

The Dinner Experiment - an envelope containing topics of conversation and possible questions about that topic (Vampires, Kilvite Library, Harry Potter, The Secret Life of Cats) - also worked really well and will be reprised. Any suggestions, pls comment.

To add:

Workshopping time - a mini-, less-threatening-version of PPK. Each oerson can pick a small piece they're working on, we split into two or three groups, and discuss it in detail, how it can be improved, what works, what needs ironing out. If people really don't want to show a bit of work, they can at least share and idea and bash it into shape in a group of thinking minds.

An outing ? - depending on what's available nearby; also possible would be going to see a play. Then it can be discussed.

A 'set text' ? - something not-too-long that everyone can read before hand and that we can discuss at KWE.


If anyone would like to take my functional-but-slightly-boring KWE logo and spice it up a bit (I like the formatting of the letters, but something more colourful, or less smooth and plain and bluh) using a higher form of technology than Microsoft Word, that would be great. You could even make it 1020-specific.


Current Mood: cheerful
12:34 pm
Inspired by LindaBeth's talk on writing for young adults who don't like reading


There was a little girl called Alice. She was outside having a picnic. It was sunny and she was happy.
Then she saw a rabbit with a watch. He told her he was late. Alice followed him down a hole. The rabbit ran away and Alice was too big for the world.
The world was dark. Alice was scared.
She cried and her tears were too big or the world. The animals were angry because she got them wet.
The world was dark. Alice ran away.
She met some new friends. She met a caterpillar and a man who sold hats and some twins. The new people were strange.
The world was dark. Alice wanted to go home.
Then she met the queen. The queen was kind and Alice played games with her. But then the Queen got angry. She shouted "off with her head!" The men who came were made of card.
The world was dark. Alice wanted to go home.
Everyone Alice had met was nasty to her. They wanted her to die. They chased her.
Then Alice woke up. The world was sunny and Alice did not need to be scared.

Current Mood: cheerful
Thursday, July 30th, 2009
7:45 pm
KWE days three and four

- Mary thrust many books in front of us by American Fantasy Authors, including those by Robin McKinley (link to witty blog), Tamora Pierce, and Patrick Rothfuss (who has a rather fine beard). My favourite Robin McKinley book is Spindle's End, (which even has it's own Study Guide) because unlike in Deerskin, the heroine is not beautiful (or feminine), and unlike in Beauty, she never becomes beautiful. The ending of Beauty always seemed cheap. I just happen to like Rosie better than Lissar. These books rely a lot on audience identification with the protagonist, in order to enter into the fairy tale escapism they continue the tradition of and so I suppose it's natural I I think the one with my favourite heroine is best. But also the plot is quite complex, anf the initial premise which defies the stereotyped princess is quite clever. And... you know... Narl.... (then again, though I sympathise with Rosie's unfemenine, non-pretty, socially-awkwardness, as well as the whole Narl deal, I always have to try and forget she just wants to stay at home in the village. Because, even if I didn't want to go to the palace, I would definitely be up for an adventure).

- Then Jess Nonsense poetried us, as evidenced by the many fine specimines found below. My favourite nonsense poem is the not-well-enough-known The Cheetah My Dearest, by George Barker.


- Tam told us about Magic Realism and we discussed the grey area of not-quite-fantasy. Angela Carter, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Marukami, etc. Lesser known recommendations include Margo Lanagan's Black Juice and Kelly Link's Magic For Beginners (the title is a tribute to Diana Wynne Jones).

- And I explained the Old English poem Wulf and Eadwacer, and made everyone write equally enigmatic, difficult poems using this method. (Results below, and, one hopes, above).

And then we went alcohol shopping as a corsetted team in Stratford Morrisons. Photos to follow. Post-wine.
4:31 pm
the Day of Ambiguity

So, today we traipsed through Magical Realism and Wulf and Eadwacer, by Tam and Helen consecutively. I was, and am, intrigued by both. There's an elusiveness to the content of each, a liminal ambiguity that is very alluring. I'm currently slipping magical realism into one of the novels pooling in my mind, so I won't post much from that session, but I think the poem inspired by Wulf and Eadwacer should be archived. We  created these initially by taking a page of prose (mine came from Robin McKinley's blog. True story.) and tearing it into sections, then trying to form sentances from the small squares of unrelated words before our eyes. Then we manipulated the sentances into poetry.

Mine, so far, is still


[In other news, the Book
progresses beautifully.]

Current Mood: artistic
3:48 pm
Wulf and Eadwacer...
 ... and The Victim of Cepheus

Her funeral seems full,
though corpseless. Cepheus, in his rightward degree,
devours her tears. And the surrendering flood proposes shipwreck,
mercifully. Ah, sighs her father,
the price of tender limbs. The king is bound for suffering.
She will submit, she repeats, to redemption now.
But hurrying feet shine in the folding waves,
and cruel constellations untangle the sea,
so liberty never leaves maidenhood.
A procession of crags left in possession of her bridal slip.
A shame. The sacrifice time is ruptured. All that follow
are selfish fish shoals.

Current Mood: artistic
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
1:54 pm
Horrific Bob was a studious boy
He’d eat his Glorbic Cheese
When wattling down his Withy Toy
He whittled off his Knees
When Bobby’s parents Came around
They said “How small you seem!
Whose pretty Knees are those you’ve found
One blue one red one Green?”
But Bob just wailed right piteously
And cried “Mama Papa!
Those knees upon the floor you see
were mine - that’s whose they are!”
Their calm reserve it was now done -
Ma fainted, father ponged.
“Oh god what have you done, my son,
To do your legs such wrong!”
“How dare you wrog our sacrifice!
Have you no splergle doop?
Your mother’s healthy way with dice
Now Will surely over-floop!”
But up shot Pa and shouted “Jeeze!
I have a spoofus plan!
I shall myself replace your knees
With pistons from my van!”
Well Ma she blanched, But out Pa went
And returned with Pistons three.
“They’re Greased and oiled and Renault sent
From your trials they’ll set you free!”
And from that day our Bobby went
About the dewy loam;
In his wake a petrol scent
From knees of shining chrome.
By Dom, Mary & Tam
12:50 pm
Nonsense Poetry

As inspired/instigated by Jess' session today

clickety clack went the teeth in the sackCollapse )

Current Mood: amused
12:16 pm
The Lovesong of Flird and Memoom

A fantastical Flird, who cpould brill like a bird,
serenaded Memoom till she glistelled and glowed.
He bubburrelled her maw, and then placed in her paw
a gillpilly he'd pulled from the gree where it growed.

Then a sneeze in the trees brought the Flird to his knees,
but the source of the snuzzering nobody knowed,
till a Flell with a bell, and a purplish smell,
ungereeched the Memmoom from the meerying road.

So the dring fell in flocks, and the gree turned to rocks,
and the flimmel gurmgrud, where before it had flowed,
and the Flird with a cry, trist a tear from his eye,
as his glow durruhed up and then dode.

Current Mood: forlorn
Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
7:28 pm
KWE day two
 Today I have made three batches of bread. These included about 20 bagels, 10 large flat breads and two enormous ciabatta-shaped loaves (one with cheese).

Every last crumb has gone. Everyone is going to get FAT.
Today, Joe led a session where we did evolutionary writing: a kind of consequences, but each time you rewrite-and-modify what has been written immediately before so that, ultimately, it becomes completely different. Then we embarked on a quest into the garden to find weird things to tell weird stories about, describing how they got their names. And Dom took photos of a (by the end) rather traumatised caterpilla.

Then Liz led a talk on stereotypes, archetypes, and tropes in writing. The consequence is far to epic to describe here. So I present you with a link:

The Kilvite's New Sterotype-Busting Steampunk Novel of Death

Mary is designing the costumes.

If you're not here (and you're not Sam, AKA Lord Phosphorous) then a seed of you will be planted in a minor character to grow into importance in the inevitable sequel.

- Phantasmagoria (Mag for short)

Current Mood: crabby mentor
Monday, July 27th, 2009
10:43 pm
KWE day one
 We has Kilvitees!
... and a logo.


Ben perforce stuck around, and treated us to a talk about how History can influence Story, whether modern people can fully sympathise with historical values (we are formed by our upbringing v. we are all human) and led a visualisation based on a painting on the wall of a storm and waves and rocks. Jess pointed out that it could be a ripple in a stream or huge intimidating waves. Beth had something about a rift in space and white dragons (birds) flying through. I noticed the island in the gap in the waves and had a woman, trapped, and wanting desperately to get off her island to this promised land beyond the storm (which she knew nothing about), meanwhile obsessively painting both it and the means of her entrapment; storm, waves, rocks.

Then Luci led a workshop on character development, which was not unlike lectures/papers I've heard (the good sort, with digressions), introduced us all to Regeneration (and convinced Mary and me at least to read the thing) and produced a mysterious urn out of which characters sprung. A promising career in academia ahead! (With recovery tea and hugs.)

On a related note, Behind The Name has a Name Generation Tool which includes options such as 'witch', 'fairy', 'hillibilly', and 'rapper' alongside the more traditions 'mythology', 'biblical', and many many nations/regions.
And naturally we have had many serious discussions and whatnot. About personal mutation and language, and, of course, religion, and also, of course, relationships. Woop bleurgh etc.

All in all, KWE is working! Everyone knows they are here to produce a certain ammount of fish, and the fact that each person realises the effort involved in producing an hour-long presentation on a topic means we respect it in others and do what they say. All in all... success.


Report in paralysis....
Friday, May 16th, 2008
8:41 pm
Nothing may come of this site... but I wanted it listed as a group on my LJ profile, so yeah :P


Current Mood: cheerful
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