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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

05 October 2020

Posted by Matt L T Smith

Carving a Week Out of the Alphabet

If you had to carve your week what tools would you use? A hammer and chisel against marble? Against stone? A knife against wood? Did you slice with precision or chip away at your week? Was it a labour to get to the heart of it? Or as easy as a knife through butter? Our week is carved from bread, but not bread toast, a toastie, but not a toastie, more a puddle of bread and cheese. Our week is made of limestone, dead things from the sea. Our week is soap carving ASMR. Our week is carved from candles, a sea of wax colours. Our week is a little wet squirrel carved out of butter. 


Welcome back to the Mayflower Creative Writers weekly blog. I hope your week has been a pleasure to carve and there wasn’t a splinter in sight. Today we are carving from our own memories. Antosh guides us to write down a memory, write down the details that we can recall. “Now rewrite it, but fictionalise it, change details about the memory, either how it plays out, changing person/perspective, you could change it into a script, stage it, rewriting a shot list for it perhaps?” “This is a gauge for how comfortable you are editing things from your life.” Antosh says. “If you’re working maybe more in poem, look at the feelings, look at a particular scent, extend beyond what happened. Some of you might radically change the setting.” And so we get to work, shaping and reshaping our memories. 


Antosh asks us for the next editing exercise to address the text to a You, in second person. “When the text is addressed to someone, sometimes the ‘you’ is really vague and sometimes it’s hard to know whether the narrator is talking to themselves or someone else.” Antosh says. “How do you control what kind of messages go through. Who is talking to them? (the audience) Am I just chatting as me? Or am I chatting as a character of me? Fictionalising yourself. All these intricate little steps you can take when you choose how you narrate. What I want to try is this idea of ‘Who is the You?’”


You write the end of a blog post. You stare at your week, words carved from mouths and chiselled into liquid crystal displays. You marvel at how somewhere in the infinite permutations of the alphabet was a carving of this week and every week to come.


You will be back here next week. 

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