Monday, 6 April 2020

Live Session 6th April ~ Billy Collins

Oh I do love seeing you all!

Another great session, some on zoom and others on email.

Our first writing prompt today was

press your ear to the hive

from Introduction to Poetry by from Billy Collins

(click on that link and treat yourself to a read of that - perfect for anyone who finds poetry intimidating!

We managed a second very swift writing session with the  prompt this time coming from
Michael Blackburns' poem called Before That.
I'm afraid I can't find it online and copyright precludes my publishing it here but it's in the
Being Alive anthology (p253) if you have it. The prompt that we used was:

in a pub back home

We did a swift one minute on this one and a quick share - but rich as ever it was.

We have some bits and pieces promised for the Quarantino Diary so please do pop back here to keep an eye on the blog; and we will zoom again on Monday 13th April.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Sharing some ....

Ahoy Water Story Writers

This post is to share a couple of creations and a link from Giovanna. Our "mass observation", the writing we are doing as part of our Quarantino Diaries (final format is still being finalised) might result in pieces of writing that you could submit to the Museum of Ordinary People. Click the link here to check it out: 

I am Stuck
Peter Gallagher

I am stuck.
Stuck to know what to tell you.
It has overwhelmed me.
I put on a brave face but I am alarmed.
Everything is the same but different.
The world has been jolted off its axis.
We crave certainty and order but no one has an answer.
There is only confusion and at the same time that we need to feel the comfort of a loving embrace we are forced to keep our distance and cope alone.

March 2020

... and of course here is a beach painting from Aileen just to cheeer us up:

Monday, 30 March 2020

Live Session Monday 30th March 2020

Good morning sweeties!

No doubt you are missing being on the water so your writing prompt for today is

I heard the first wave of the rising tide

Write for 7 minutes then get the zoom meeting ID from your email and join us to share.

Incidentally, this quote is from a poem The Sound of the Sea by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - you can find the full poem here:

 And just in case you are also missing Cathy's gingerbread...

Friday, 27 March 2020

Live Session 27th March 2020

An excellent session, how wonderful to see you all!

Zoom worked so well and so simply that I will make a concerted effort to help you all to connect (so will Aileen). Go to 

These were the session tasks:

7 minute prompt – What is well about me?

Exercise: Describe this situation to an relative who died more than 30 years ago
(20 minutes)
This situation is alien to all of us but let us attempt to zoom out and analyse what it is about our normal lives that is being violated.

Quarantino Diary ~ a scientific approach
Sheila came up with this excellent name (mine was Coronavirus Diary – yuck).
Unlike the free writing that generally fills up our journals, might I suggest that the approach here should be somewhat scientific? There may be things we are missing… Looking back on the developments of the past weeks some unimaginable facts have emerged. If we could anticipate some things perhaps we could build resilience. This also gives us a writing warm up, gets the pen on the page, and I guarantee that most days that you fill it in will find you inspired to write something at the end. Even if you don’t, you can feel good about writing something, and the data you have entered may prove to be valuable fodder at a later stage.

Here are a few suggested headings – only use the ones that feel relevant to you and discipline yourself to write just a phrase or sentence under each one. And please send more; you may will think of something important that now one else has. I will publish them here and people will then have plenty of headings to choose from:

Headings for diary entry:
(There may be points that remain the same, day to day; just write them again anyway.)

  • am I ok?
  • are there any major developments
  • what particular item has the news focused on today
  • note one positive story that has come out today
  • note one perception of humanity that struck you today
  • one hero
  • one thing you feel able to do to help the situation
  • one thing you hadn’t thought of till now
  • one thing you look forward to doing once this is all over 
  • has the thing that frightens you most changed?
  • list one thing you really miss?
  • list one thing you thought you would miss but don’t 

Thanks to all who attended - it was an absolute tonic to see you.

Ahoy, Cap'n Bev

Monday, 16 March 2020

Putting Pen to Water

Cruise Loch Lomond hosted our brave Water Story on Friday 13th March, with the legendaryCaptain Bob giving us a rare exploration of the northern reaches of the loch, beyond Inveruglass and as far as Ardlui. What a stunning day of sunshine on snowy peaks, deer and wild mountain goats. 

Aileen took the theme of the day literally with her watercolour and when we cut the engine to drift three was some rich sharing of words.

Peter has asked me to share this moving song by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling; it really captures the sentiment of the day.

Friday, 31 January 2020

Burns Boat on Brexit day

Well well well, what a Burns day we had with the bard stalking our chat, our pages and the nation's exit from the union. Our Pat Sutherland wrote a piece about it... click the link

Sic a parcel o rogues

Monday, 13 January 2020

Happy New Year 2020

What better way to welcome you all back than with some more of Aileen's Lego art, this a depiction of Water Story mornings on the barge. 

We have a couple of new writers joining us this week and so shall we give them a taste of our writing with Helen's marvelous acrostic that howled out of one of Lesley O'Brien's wolfish sessions:

by Helen Elsley

Lights up