Other flights of fancy

Yesterday I shared something I had written for my writers’ group entitled ‘Flight of Fancy’ – it was the given title which we all wrote to (it’s optional), so some of us did and some of us didn’t. It’s amazing the way people’s minds work and end up with us producing such a variety of pieces!

My story was a continuation of other pieces I have written for the group which are becoming the chapters of a novel; I have no real idea where it is going as I wait for the next subject suggestion!

Another writer also began a longer piece; his was about a young woman who had left school after her exams and was wondering what to do next. She had the sudden inspiration to become a flight attendant – hence flight of fancy! There were some lovely touches – another trainee  described herself as ‘strong as an ox, me’ and there was the image of an ox pushing a drinks trolley up the aisle of an aircraft.

There was a beautiful short story about a magic carpet. The descriptions were wonderful and we shared a child’s imagination, better than any ‘grown-up’ because they become what they are dreaming of. In this case the carpet travelled to a seashore where there was a cave in the cliffs. Sitting in front of  it was an ancient lady who spoke a foreign language and took the child paddling in a pink sea, wrapping her head in a silk scarf to protect her from the sun.

Taking flight as the inspiration, ‘The first flight’ brilliantly evoked the literal first flight of a pair of eagle chicks.  There was a very clever balance in the narrative of the chicks and their parents being understood as characters, without them becoming  anthropomorphic. Information about the birds wove through the story line so at the end I had learned several things – for example that these massive birds have ‘ancestral homes’ and that their different feathers affect their flight, as well as having enjoying the read.

The given subject is optional and two of us who usually write poetry did just that. We had a poem about an inn at Bickleigh Bridge in Devon – a place I have been to. There’s a mill nearby too, although I don’t think it is still used to mill and grain. The poem beautifully evoked the scene, particularly the sounds and the play of light on water. The point was that in this simple scene, river, willow, old stones, a traveller will find refreshment, peace and beauty. However, what I  enjoyed  was the thought that the traveller took things away but everything was still there!

Our other poet shared two poems, very different from each other. One was a marvellous description of a childhood memory, of being on a boat somewhere in Queensland, and pottering round on the water in the sun, among other craft. I could just imagine the scene, and shared the nostalgia of messing about on a river in a sunny childhood.

She also shared another poem, a lovely piece of observation. She had been sitting in Marks and Spencer’s café when among the elderly shoppers having tea and buns was a younger, handsome man, very striking, sitting alone at a table. After a while he was joined by a woman, obviously his wife but she didn’t have his same presence. Later, our poet was wandering in the shop and she rounded a display to see the handsome man again, standing patiently while his wife burrowed in a pile of ladies’ underwear!

Here is a link to my story from yesterday:




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