Saturday, 1 June 2013

Using a photograph as the starting point

This is Blair's Tree. If you could look closer, you'd see ribbons, faded by years of sun and rain, dangling from its lower branches. Write for 10 minutes on the story of Blair's Tree. Begin, if it helps, with the words "Blair's Tree is...."


  1. Blairs tree

    Of course you are here, where else would you be, between the elements
    Absorbing the breezes and ripples, over watching the little creatures
    The dappled shade the perfect balance of light and dark
    Blair is here.
    I can see him now, bent over, his brown almost black back to the sun
    stick in one hand, eyes and mind intent on some natural phenomena
    absorbed by the soil, its family, what goes on here?
    The gentle burbling soothes and hypnotises time till it seems to stand still
    Just me, Blair, the sun, the world - so intimate yet silent.
    I don't know if he's being cruel to some little critter, perhaps sometimes
    But normally it looks like some deep worship
    Absorbed by the enormity of the minutia beneath his feet
    Silently absorbed, lonely yet fulfilled
    He joins us briefly, and talks normal human stuff awkwardly
    THe mumble so well known by ants and bugs
    does not always translate so well
    PErhaps we will light a fire later
    Just a small one, he will prod and manoeuvre
    till its dark and we must go home
    I might go get the things for tea
    camping tea is great - Blair loves it
    Yes tea is required by young men after such arduous attenborough-ing
    One small step, perhaps looking at the clouds, or seeing where the sun is
    One miss step, not looking down for once
    One small hard little rock on the river bank
    Just one minute to get tea things
    I'm so sorry Blair I wasn't there
    How come you are still here under this tree?

  2. My best bit: "The mumble, so well known by ants and bugs"...
    It's a useful trick to go back through raw writing like this and circle any bits, "the diamonds in the dust", that you particularly enjoy. You can use these bits for other work, or of course rework the whole thing.