Creative Writing for all!

Back in September, when I had money, I decided to sign up for a 6 week creative writing course in Cardiff.

The course is designed and delivered by a published children’s writer and I thought it would be a brilliant thing to do to get some formal writing tuition and try be a better writer.

My first class was this afternoon so off I popped to Cardiff on the train. A former colleague told me that on every course there’s someone he develops a deep an irrational hatred for. Someone who really irritates the shit out of him for the entire duration of the course. This person typically loves the sound of their own voice and dominates the class.

As it happens, I have one on my course. This person sat next to the tutor and tried to hold a conversation throughout the class with him as if it were only the two of them and they were on a date.

The tutor got us writing straight away. We had to choose a celebrity we hated and write a letter to them as if we were their Number One Fan, but we were also a person who liked to talk about all the banal facts and details of our lives, details noone else was interested in.

I wrote to Katie Hopkins. The girl sat next to me wrote to Piers Morgan. I can tell we’re going to be friends.

We had to read our letters out to the class. This was mine, please bear in mind this is written from the perspective of someone who idolises Ms Hopkins.

“Dear Katie,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know about something that happened to me the other day that I just know you will find completely hilarious.

I took the baby to soft play on Monday, as I always do, because after I’ve dropped the other two off at school I don’t like to go straight home as the cleaner is there. I feel awkward just sitting there when she’s cleaning, not because I feel like I ought to be doing it myself, but because I think she’s judging me. She’s jealous of my life and I think she fancies my husband.

Anyway, I took the baby to soft play and there were a gaggle of young girls there. You know the type, just left school, probably no qualifications, nannying for the women who can’t be bothered to look after their own children.

I was there with baby Genevieve when one of these girls started speaking to me. To me! Like I was one of them. I think she thought I was a Nanny too! I mean I’ll take the compliment because I do make sure I take care of my skin and I’m always properly hydrated so I know I look younger, much younger than all of my friends, but honestly. This girl clearly didn’t recognise the couture outfit I was wearing, I mean why would she? The poor dear will never be able to afford to go to my shops so why would she be able to tell I wasn’t a hired help.

That evening when I told my husband, Roger, we laughed and laughed but I think he was also a bit annoyed as he pointed out that there must have been something out of place in my appearance that suggested I was staff and I know he doesn’t approve of those type of places.

Katie, darling, must dash.

Write soon,

Felicity”

And then we had to read them out. I wasn’t expecting to be as nervous as I was and it was clear when people started reading their out that I had gone way harsh with mine.

Annoying student wanted to explain the letter they had written in length, but was cut off by the tutor.

Our next task was, using the same character to explain to our chosen celebrity, something that had happened to us that had had a profound effect on our lives. Same characters, different situation.

Annoying student didn’t understand. Tutor explained in five different ways. At this point I would have given them their money back and asked them to leave but I’m horrible. I can explain it to you love, but I can’t understand it for you.

This is what I wrote for the second task;

“I know that like me, you will be absolutely mortified when I tell you this and I also know that I can confide in you as you have a reputation as a sympathetic and empathetic person.

I know you will provide me with non judgemental support.

Prior to the birth of Baby G, Roger and I had agreed that her birth would be completely natural with minimal medical and medicinal intervention. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t lighting candles and listening to the sounds of humpback whales fornicating but Roger decided that I ought to be totally present in the moment as it would be better if our baby was born drug free and not to a pethidine addled mother.

Anyhoo, I had been constipated for a few days and no amount of enemas were shifting a week’s worth of foie gras. When it came to push baby out, I asked Roger if I was defacating and he assured me I wasn’t. When I looked at his face he was silently mouthing to the midwife “she is” and pointing to the bed.

Suffice to say I was no longer constipated but Roger decided that because of my digestive faux pas, Baby G would be our last.

We couldn’t look one another in the eye for weeks afterwards. I will never forget the shame.”

I was quite relieved that at the end of the class I didn’t have time to read my second effort out. Annoying student was visibly upset about missing this opportunity and asked “will I be able to read mine out at the start of the next class?”and didn’t like the response. No.

Our homework is to stay in character and write another letter to the celebrity making an unreasonable demand.

Homework!!!???? There’s an unreasonable demand right there.

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