Aaah eight o’clock on a Thursday night! My favourite time of the week.
I love being a Woodcraft Folk leader but I find preparing for and running the sessions a bit of a stress (especially as I have a day job doing something else and no child-wrangling training what-so-ever). Tonight was our Halloween party and it all went really well (Fancy dress, Zombie Games, a Pumpkin Assault course, Apple Bobbing (“You have to hold his face under” “No you don’t!”) and a Baba Yaga story at the end. Now I can relax with a glass of wine and not think about the darling little Woodies again ‘til after half-term.
This time last week I was still on a high from our writing group’s night of “public readings of our stuff” at a local wine bar. It was fab. A couple of hours before it started I was having big concerns - I knew that half the group weren’t actually that keen on doing it and I was worried that they either wouldn’t turn up or would have a horrible time. I was asking myself "Why are we doing this?” and couldn’t remember the answer.
In the end everyone turned up and did brilliantly. Having to read to an audience had really made us focus on our writing and the pieces were all polished to their shiniest best. We started with a couple of poems about pants then went on to ‘Duelling Haiku” - two men reading out alternate haiku - to great effect. We had stories, poems and excerpts from novels (one of which is to be published next year).
I read one of my SAF stories (about a woman dancing naked in her conservatory) and a micro-fiction piece published in a Leaf Books anthology last year, about a woman who gambles away her lover. I was also the compere and I was in my element. It was my birthday, I was wearing my favourite floaty green nylon vintage dress (how did they manage in the ‘70s with all that smoking in close proximity to flammable material?) and I had a microphone.
Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and we had some wonderful feedback from the audience. We all ended up on a big high, feeling really confident about our writing. And that’s when I remembered why we had done it.