Thursday night I took a break from writing fiction and was lucky enough to see west country rockers, Reef, and black country bruisers, Broken Witt Rebels, at the Cheese and Grain in Frome. If you’d like to know what I thought then you can read my review on the impressive Rock ‘n’ Load magazine here. If not, visit the page simply for the energy captured by the great photography, courtesy of my pal, Pacific Curd.
As part of the course the group was asked to write two short pieces, one dystopian, one utopian. Afterward, it was generally agreed that dystopia was a lot easier to portray. Not surprising as we are surrounded daily by suffering and injustices.
Member of Bristol Climate Writers, Emma Turnbull, argued that “when we feel threatened with no perceived possibility of escape, we are at risk of experiencing trauma and developing PTSD”. With this in mind, maybe a prevalence of dystopian themes can be damaging.
If we begin to imagine utopias more, bring them into debate and discuss the possibilities, is that not positive thinking? And might that not bring about change? It’s hard to imagine in a race so scared living on a world so depleted, but it’s worth a shot. Start a conversation today.
My two workshop pieces:
Outside my window the last tree stands. The July sky is dappled by crisp dead leaves.
I am the only one who still comes to the office on Narrow Quay.
I am the only one.
I do no work as there is no work to be done.
Sweat replaces the tears that used to moisten the brittle rubber seal of my oxygen mask. They continued to manufacture rubber and plastics until the end because the masses continued to buy them; only the rich could afford the sustainable alternatives and they were the ones who made the plastic.
The cylinder by my legs is finally empty. A voice doesn’t need breath, just somebody to hear it.
Their fingers pressed those buttons years back and dystopia died along with the many.
I may not have mastered utopias yet, but I’m going to keep trying.
Another collaboration discussed this week was a series of short stories exploring tunnels and familiar strangers, with the exuberant master of tales, Joffre White, author of the Frog Series and Earthland. I’m looking forward to unearthing some mysteries for your entertainment with this collection.
Met up with the legend that is Mutartis Boswell the other night, talked about art, horror, writing and the oddity that is Cerne Abbas – I’m not kidding that is a weird place! We also discussed publishing, and I’m stoked to announce plans for a collaboration with this talented artist to publish a very special chapbook for you all.
More to come on that one. In the meantime go check out Bos and let him know that Nash sent you.
If a writer doesn’t study writing how does that person hope to thrill the reader?
Write for the reader.