Friday, 27 February 2015

Journal Beauty Pageant - by RCJ

Bus Meet, by Amita Murray

The journals sit side by side, each separate from the others, with covers facing outwards. There’s something oddly vulnerable about them, as if the fully visible front of each says ‘I’m here! This is what I have to offer - take me or leave me!’. On the left there is ‘CITY’, title in all caps, with black and pink, a bold look. The covers of some are peeling outwards a little, whether because of use, or condensation, or just cheap material I’m not sure. It gives this journal a trashy vibe - as if it’s the good time gal wearing high heels and slightly too much make up on a night out. This is especially true compared to the ‘Transactions’ and ‘Area’ next door: staid and sober Transactions with its classy green on white, and Area channelling a severe hipster monochrome look. ‘Talk of the Thames’’ look is just all over the place, multiple fonts, clashing colours and overlaid panels crammed together, jostling for attention. This one certainly needs a makeover before any prizes will be won.

At the Traffic Light - by RCJ

by RCJ

It’s a lovely sunny day, crisp air and blue skies. Not much traffic either. There’s a faint rattle in the distance, getting louder, and louder still, then screechy brakes, and then the noise stops. She is breathing hard, but perhaps trying to hide it a little from the guy next to her, who has a fixed wheel, a beard, and wears a beanie hat rather than a helmet. Her own helmet is a garish fluorescent yellow number. She drags the right pedal upwards with her scruffy trainer and steps her foot down onto it with a determined little clunk. She stares straight ahead at the lights, jaw set, steely-eyed. Though just for a fraction of a second her eyes dart to the woman in front, clad in head to toe lycra, and her eyes narrow just a tiny bit. There’s that strange quiet now, silent but full, where several people have kept their bodies still all at once, poised on the edge of movement for just a bit too long. 

Frictions/Pace - by RCJ

Detail of 'M however measured', Sister Corita, Kent 1968, by RCJ

I was almost late. Checking and re-checking the time as I disembarked the train, then nervously scanning the street names as the bus puttered down the road, pausing for what seemed like an age at each of the traffic lights. Then I hopped off, staring down at my smartphone as I walked. On the corner there was a Ladbrokes with a couple of middle aged blokes outside. Next door a jumble of mismatched furniture and a bargain bin sat on the pavement outside a charity shop. The sight of the glaring green and yellow of Subway competed with the guilty pleasure of the smell of sausage rolls wafting out from Greggs. An older lady shuffled along the pavement and I stepped out into the road to pass her. As I walked along, the blocks seemed to loom taller on each side, grey and tall and faceless. I really was almost late now. Two minutes until the meeting, and it still looked like it was a way down the road. I was breezing down the pavement in a real power walk when I saw the blockage ahead. A lady pushing a pram loaded with shopping bags, and two policemen strolling with that slow, confident gait a few yards ahead of her. There was a railing to her right, and so I took a few jogging steps squeezing past to the left, bumping very her slightly with my handbag as I passed. ‘OI! Fuckin’ well look where you’re GOIN!’ - I jumped, slightly shocked. The policemen immediately rounded and barked out a deep voiced ‘alright, now’. Red faced, I continued along without looking back.  

Telling the Truth/Making Stories

by Amita Murray

In the third workshop, the group practiced writing the "truth", using elements of storytelling. The idea was to draw an experience like a scene, instead of a summary. Some fabulous, moving, mesmerizing, evocative, tasty pieces of writing came out of this workshop. It was thrilling and humbling to hear the experiences that people had had in their travels, relationships, research explorations, and forays into the past. The pieces were at once dramatic and easy to relate to. 

Sweet Home Ayapua - by Tula Maxted

by Tula Maxted

All my ambitions, aspirations finally drawn together here. Everything  complete. Standing on the shore, stepping from the shore – over the gangway onto this incredible boat, on the most iconic river in the world. The dark turbid Amazon water rolled past – never ending. The boat ‘Ayapua’, Peace, restored with love, care, borrowed and cobbled parts. A resurrection of the spirit of those  ‘Rubber Boom’ days way back. I would live here for the next few weeks with all the gentle creaks and shifts as the full slow water ran beneath.  The hum of the engines, the smell of mud, plants and all the scent of the forest mingled here alongside the background of damp dust and moist air inside the cabin. My cabin, tiny, oddly shaped, home. Looking out over the rail I saw pink river dolphins playing, and playing to the crowd. Cavorting and diving. Their smiling jaws hoping for fish waste thrown out from the galley. I looked back inside the room. The captain’s desk, small trunk, and the walls… The walls! I realised with a quick jerk from reverie, the walls were ‘papered’, not with paper but with very old lace. Obvious really, silk lace, far more lasting in the tropics. Paper would just be reduced to a smear of mould in a few days. I could see then that the Amazon and all its component life forms were not the only important things I would be learning about . The Ayapua also had a history, and a mystery. All its contact-polished wood, black ironwork and burnished brass, all ready to explore. This trip was going to be rich in discovery on all levels.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Closer - by Linda Fuller

‘We’ll try up Bracks first,’ he says as they pull out of the yard, dawn breaking across the frosted earth, the sky wide streaks of pink and violet, like a child gone crazy with the crayons.  He leans over slightly to see past his daughter and across the mere.

‘Magga saw a whole family down there a few mornings ago, down near Hundred Foot,’ he says, sweeping his arm out in front of her.  He looks over at her, her long hair obscuring her face, and wonders if she’s bored.  It was easier when she was a child, running around the farm in her red wellies, sitting on his lap in the tractor, pointing out the cows, the trees, the birds, pointing at everything.  The glee of it she felt.  He felt.

He let his eyes return to the fields, the familiar.  A map of crops and hedgerows he could draw with his eyes shut.  Black fen peat that will soon turn emerald and gold as winter recedes.  He lives this land, he’s made of it, every bone, every ache.  He scans the horizon, searching, every so often slowing down  where he’d seen some recently.

‘Look, rabbits!’ she shouts.

He smiles as they watch two rabbits bounce along the grass verge, before disappearing into the ditch in a flurry of white.   He takes a left off the main road and down a dirt drove.

‘There!’ he says, breaking hard and pointing to his right.  ‘Do you see them?’

‘No, where?’

‘Three of them!  Do you see, look, you see the gate in the far corner of that field, look a bit to the left, the other side of the ditch.’

‘Oh yeah!  I see them!  I see two, bit I don’t…’

‘The other one’s just gone behind those brambles, look you can see his head, hang on I’ll get us closer.’

They bump across the field, and he stops as near as he dares.

‘Look Dad, they are looking right at us,’ she whispers, eyes fixed ahead.

They sit and watch in silence.  The doe bends her head, pulling at the long grass, then raises it and starts to lick the fawn’s back.  The younger deer nuzzles against its mother.  The stag emerges and takes a few steps towards their vehicle, the stops, statuesque, looming large against the endless flat of the land.

After a while, the stag turns and leads his family away.  Long thin legs slow and graceful, the follow the ditch in single file before disappearing into a thicket.

‘I can’t believe how close we got!’ she says, grinning, turning towards him.

‘We’ll have a look at Hundred Foot before home, we might see some more,’ he says, switching the engine back to life.

Much later, long after she has returned to London, he thinks about that morning they shared with the deer, and he feels like something has shifted.  That something lost had been, for a moment restored.  Though he could never have explained this to his wife or daughter, or even to himself. 

"A wonderfully evocative picture, drawn by Linda, of the yearning of a parent to keep their child from disappearing into adulthood. Lovely phrases like 'a map of crows' and 'the frosted earth'." 
Amita Murray

Monday, 23 February 2015

Eclipse: An Unexpected Conversation - by Tula Maxted

Memories, by Amita Murray

I sat on a yoga mat, making a barrier against the red-hot sand. A camper-van nearby had stalled in a deep rut, leaning over a little to the left and forward. There were thousands of people here at this featureless spot in the Libyan Sahara. Europeans with cameras, telescopes, and baggage, Libyans and Egyptians crammed into rickety vehicles. There had been many falling by the wayside, broken down, engulfed by sand, all along the route from Benghazi. People collected up by other, already overfilled coaches, cars even motorbikes, and wheeled carts. Here we all were now though, waiting for the eclipse totality. 

The boys from inside the van had gone off to make their midday prayers. The two girls, no longer confined to waving at us foreigners from within the van, now crept outside. They huddled together, nodding silently to each other then made their way over to me. They stood smiling, one of them carrying a small book, held tightly in her hand.

‘Hello’ I said, pointing to myself I added ‘my name is Tula’. I stood up and pressed their hands in turn.

The older girl spoke, ‘Fatima,’ she said indicating herself. The made a gesture towards the younger girl, ‘Lula.’ 

Lula grinned widely, ‘Same like you – Lula, Tula’. 

‘Yes’ I agreed, ‘Hello Lula, hello Fatima’.

Fatima opened up the book she was carrying and held it out towards me. I glanced at the page, it was a book of English phrases. Fatima put her free hand to her chest and then spread her hand out towards me. She marked a page line with her finger, and carefully read it out to me. 

It said ‘I love you’.

The Falls - by Regan Koch

by Regan Koch

A tap on the shoulder. ‘Please, do you mind?’ A young woman, eighteen maybe nineteen, in a radiant blue dress gestures with her camera. The water roars beside us, kicking up foam on the wooden planks. The falls are impressive; easily worth the ten-minute walk from the main road. But maybe not worth the 8,000 won. The whole place feels more theme park than nature preserve, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were somehow fake. This place is weird like that. “I’d be happy to, I reply, reaching for her camera. “No, with you’ she replies. Her smile is sheepish. She is embarrassed and I am confused. I then realise there are three of her. Ok, not three of her, but they all look alike to me. Long brown hair, hoops and heels. Except one’s dress is pink, the other’s is green. They look like they’ve dressed up to shoot a pop-video, or maybe go to the prom.  ‘What, me with you, in front of the falls?’ I want to laugh, but I don’t. I can tell she’s serious and I don’t want to offend. ‘Avoid doing anything that might cause offense’ is the one rule I remember from the guidebook. 

Matthias's Bliss - by Will Wright

by Will Wright

This morning I wake up and I’m like “whoa, Matthias, what am I gonna do today?” I could hear the sea from my bed, and I’m like, “yes Mattie, I’m gonna hit the Point”. I love this. It’s not like ‘can I surf today?’ but the question is always ‘shall I surf today?’ So, I’m like, “yes, I wake up to paradise, I live in paradise”. I leave my place, and walk into the morning sun, hitting my face, hitting my face, oh man. So good man! And I’m walking to the beach, onto 
the beach. And I’m like:

Beautiful sun.

Beautiful flower.

Beautiful sea.

Beautiful place.

I remember to give thanks for this.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Beaming Shaggy Man - by Joe Thorogood

Diary of a Victorian Dandy, by Yinka Shonibare, Black Britain at the V and A

He frowned. Neil Smith appears to be the only one who got a look in, or, looked at. The journal with the beaming shaggy man portrayed on the front was the only one with a dog eared tip, the rest stood stoic on the shelf, indifferent to the indifference they themselves are subject to. He sat drumming the table top in a manner not too loud, lest the chatty undergrads collected around a laptop in the corner were department informants, sent to do reconnaissance on him before the formal interrogation. Perhaps he should too give Neil a quick once over, to show just how academic and fit for this job he was. His reverie ended. No, he chided himself, they're here for me, not you Neil!

Richmond Park - by Caroline Bressey

Not the Park, by Amita Murray

She walks slowly through the ferns, pushing them aside from the overgrown path.  She pauses to watch the plane passing overhead, turns to count those stacking up behind, 1 , 2, 3.  She pushes on, her hands trailing behind, as she pulls at the fern leaves crushing them between her fingers, but they do not crumble and she lifts them to her face breathing them in before wrapping them around her hand. As the ferns open out she is able to walk more quickly towards the ponds, her fingers brushing along the top of the blankets of soft grasses, golden in the light that dances on the water. At the edge of the pond she stops.  A dog barks, but it’s a distant sounds and she does not turn around.  She kneels and chooses a stone, rubbing her thumb over its smooth surface before flicking it across the water.  It skims once, twice.  She tries again.  The third time she simply pulls back her arm and throws the stone up high, towards the centre of the pond.  It sinks with ripples and she smiles.  She looks back up the path the way she has come but then turns on her heel towards the setting sun and the shadow of the oak trees.

Baileys and Hot Chocolate - by Joe Thorogood

And Some Cake or Ions Patisserie in Borough Market, by Amita Murray

'Hey Guys, you thirsty, perhaps something to drink?' I wearily turned my head as far as the precariously balanced skis would allow. It wasn't even noon, I hadn't got on the slopes yet! But my indignation softened as as I looked ahead at the icy piste snaking off into the heavy cloud that refused to bless the slopes with the much needed powder. At this rate they'd be closing the entire mountain, and their would be no more skiers, and no money for Ivan, as he had now happily introduced himself as. He needed me to be thirsty, since that was how he eeked out a living, subsisting of the drunken whims of passing tourists. I could definately spare the 8 leve it would cost me, and the lift queue to the sparsely covered piste was already formidable, as punters desperatly sought refufe on the upper slopes in spite of the ailing snowcover. I looked at the hopefully named,"Red Lion" that Ivan was no enthusiatically babbling about. "I hope you have baileys and hot chocolate Ivan!"

Sunday, 15 February 2015

7.14 - by Tariq Jazeel

Reflections on Trains, by Amita Murray

It’s the 7.14 to Ely, via Cambridge. Filling up steadily, with work weary folk, tired, hungry, smelly, eager to get home. There aren't that many seats left, but there’s still a full 7 minutes before the train leaves.
There he is, I’ve seen him before on this train. Sitting in a bay of 4 seats, studiously avoiding eye contact with anyone, but looking quite expansive. Well, his slightly tatty, misshapen blue workbag is placed on the seat beside him, scarf and gloves balancing on top of them. His legs crossed, and the points of weird green shoes nearly touching the seat in front of him. How is it possible for this bloke to effectively take three seats all to himself? Every bloody evening. He’s pretending to be engrossed in that poxy work thing he’s reading, must be an academic, this train’s full of ‘em.

But I know he’s seen me, I know he’s doing everything in his power to avoid acknowledging me right now, to avoid having to move his bag for me to sit down, or to uncross his legs, pull them in, create some space for others. Come on dude, look at me, I want you to move. I could, I suppose, sit elsewhere. But no, I want this selfish fucker to move for me. I bet he doesn't even use this train every day, during rush hour, like the rest of us. Like all those work-shy academics, I bet he works at home when he bloody wants to. There! I knew if I stood here long enough, he’d have to acknowledge me. Yes, I do want to sit there mate. Haha, unfold your legs and move your bag sucker.

A Whaling Ship! - by Tula Maxted

A Day in the Life of Tula

A whaling ship!

We lay side by side in the long grass, smoking flat foreign cigs, spent all afternoon talking and snogging. I was very young. Geir, a few years older, was a lot more life experienced. A merchant seaman, Norwegian, tall, strongly built, with a gaze that travelled miles.

He talked about himself, half in mixed English and French, half in mime and pencil pictures on the fag packet. “My father worked the whalers, I followed when I was old enough. The ship was the biggest thing I’d seen, a whole city on the sea. We caught whales and cut them up and everything of the whales could be sold, used or eaten.” Geir paused, looked at the sky, squinting… “There’s mist coming up river, it’ll get cooler.”

How would you start to cut up a whale? “Everyone does their bit – sharp hooks to rip through backbone, then knives, saws, machetes, anything. A dangerous time, all is covered with blood and slime, everything washed down below deck. It takes time, we tire, there are injuries. But this first trip was good, successful.” He lit a cigarette, inhaled, exhaled, brushed a kiss across my mouth.

“Next trip was big, Antarctica. Weather bad, seas heavy. There were accidents. “Geir drew on the cigarette – holding the smoke a while then exhaling slowly. “As I said, I followed my father. We were in the catcher, chasing the whale. High waves and winds tipping us this way and that. We lost our bearings in a trough, a harpoon line snagged under the boat.” He took a last drag on the cigarette and handed it to me, “Finish it,” he said, “I don’t want any more.”

He lifted my hand to his cheek. “So, there we were – towed along by the whale. Very fast! The whale turned and made a great wash with his tail. The boat tipped and three of us rolled into the sea, Lars – the Swede, me, and my Father.” Geir patted my hand. “Lars just vanished, Father was swimming, shouting to me. I was shocked with cold, stiff with fear, I couldn’t get his words. Then I heard 'Swim – swim!' "

He squeezed my fingers tight, I bit my lip, said nothing. “I swam but with no progress, the current was too strong. Then Father was beside me, grabbed me close, hooked his arm under my shoulder, pulling me to the boat, slowly, so slowly. Other hands hauled me aboard. Then my father was not there.” Geir’s face was firmly set, bar a small tic in his cheek. He looked directly at me, repeated, “My Father was not there.” He shrugged, “Now I work the merchant ships.”

Geir kissed my fingertips, stood up, pulling me with him. “I smell salt from the river, the ship will leave soon. I must go.” He kissed me once more, “It was good to know you.” Then he was gone, and I felt a little older.

Euston Road - by Tariq Jazeel

Street View, by Amita Murray

I’m crossing the road, along with what seems like hundreds of others, walking in step with the flashing green man. I try not to catch his eye, he’s coming towards me. Homeless? Maybe. Down on his luck? It seems so. Knotted hair, grubby, long torn overcoat, dirty dark trousers. I think. And why, oh why, is he carrying a broom? Like some kind of 21st century witch, or wizard? No witch. I look away, hoping he hasn’t seen me looking.

Then, “ARGH!” He screams violently at me, not 2 metres from me as he passes my shoulder. I jump, startled. Embarrassed that I jumped. He scared me. He jolted me out of my voyeuristic conceit. Did anyone see me jump, did anyone see how petrified I was for that tiniest of nano-seconds, how my pupils widened, my body stiffened, and my stride was broken? Now I laugh, from relief, my body relaxes, my stride and composure regained, I’m at the other side of this interminably busy street, at last. So is he, I look back, he’s meandering across the road, holding his broom purposefully. Going to god knows where. God knows where, as I check my composure, and wonder about him. Where does he go? What does he do? How was it for him?

Are they laughing? No, I think I’m OK.

punctum - by Tariq Jazeel

Why is there an issue of Granta, on contemporary Brazilian fiction, in this room? It sits there, incongruously, on the magazine stand that occupies half the length of one this dreary room’s walls. Next to old and recent copies of Area, Transactions, and City. But what is this particular issue of Granta doing there? A literature journal in a Geography department’s common room? And an issue that focuses specifically on contemporary Brazilian fiction. Its colours stand out, the bright yellow and green cover against the drab and very familiar black and white of Area, the cream and pale green of Transactions, and the black and pink of City.

I wonder, I always wonder, who on earth put it there. Did they put it there for me? Is it some kind of a sign, no probably a reminder, of how my worlds collide here? Geography and Brazil. Who put it there?

Author Profile - Tariq Jazeel

I teach Geography at UCL, having worked previously at the University of Sheffield and the Open University. I work at the intersections between human geography, postcolonial studies and South Asian studies, and as a ‘jobbing academic’, writing in various forms is a large part of what I do. Rarely have I stopped to think about, and work at, how to write more effectively, though often I have stopped to think about the fact that writing about places and people should not be undertaken lightly. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Author Profile - Tula Maxted

I was born a ‘Georgian’ girl, 1951 in Whitechapel. My family was a little unconventional, being composed of what my son refers to as ‘a lot of very strong women’,  and amused menfolk who would let my tiny self  ‘help’ mix concrete, develop photos, paint and wallpaper rooms, dig the garden, or guide me through interesting books. True to form I was bossy, wilful and experimental. That ploy has served me very well through my life, self-reliance being preferable by half to disappointment in others. 

My mind is full of trash, obscure knowledge and inconsequential events. I was fired by the air of hope and discovery in my uncle’s collection of ‘tween-wars encyclopaedias, and the ‘modern’ explorations by Jacques Cousteau, Edmund Hillary and of course the views of Africa presented by Armand and Michaela Denis. I took it personally when I learned that the Quagga and the Thylacine in my fuzzy book-photos were no more. This may be why I love to write, to join things together, make a tale and make it all live again.

I have a grasshopper brain, which may account for my seemingly random career ladder from apprenticed hairdresser, through filing clerk, typist, to stay-at -home mum doing day-college, night school and C&G Operating Theatre Technician and then back to work. Ultimately, while studying for my OU Earth Sciences degree, I got a job which suited my style, University Lab Tech. 

I discovered travel. Volunteering in the Peruvian Amazon, a hair-raising trip into the Libyan Sahara for the 2006 eclipse, and a variety of other trips have all left me hungry for more. I sing, dance, paint and draw, walk garden, you name it I will try it. I have a love of all things that may teach me something about the world, or about myself. I am surprised to find I have not only two grown children, but now also their partners, and my four grandchildren, and they are all lovely people. 

Can’t say I ever had a plan… but it all worked out okay anyway. What could be better?

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Road to Shimla - by Amita Murray

  Excerpt One
“The first time you saw me, you handed me a glass of bubbly and punched me in the face,” Alice says. She turns to study her husband – if he is still her husband.
Jacob pauses in the act of doing nothing at all. “Nostalgia? You? Shocking,” he says. “And anyway, I did not punch you in the face. You took one sip and only bloody choked on it. I was trying to give you a neighbourly thump.”
“More like a neighbourly hump, if I’d only known,” Alice says virtuously.
Jacob reaches out a hand to her, then stops, takes out his phone and starts doing heaven knows what on it. She clenches the steering wheel, and stares out at Kalka, the last town in the plains before the road climbs up to the Himalayas. Life presses in hungrily on both sides of the car. The rain has formed gullies, and there is garbage swimming its way down – onion peel, soggy cabbage, Band-aid, a plastic bag of Amul Milk, a half-dead lizard, hair scrunchies, a child’s pacifier, known locally and succinctly as a “nipple,” a dirty sock, assorted life debris. continued...

Excerpt Two
He stares at her for a second, and frowns. The road is dark as they head up out of Kalka, their headlights the only foggy beacons of life. Visibility is fifteen feet. Around the curve, Alice sees approaching headlights and creeps closer to the mountain. The approaching truckers skirt the edge of the road, a millimeter or two shy of the sheer, mile-long drop to the valley below.
There is a traffic jam, truckers lined up. An orange-turbaned trucker shouts to another driver who laughs into his beard. Alice catches that it is something about the bearded man’s mother. Beard-man responds with a comment about the turbaned man’s testicles. She inches forward, her foot aching on the brake. They pass a banner advertising hotel rooms at Mountain Dawn View, where the rooms come with a double-bed, clean towels, Star television, and tandoori chicken with Kingfisher beer in the bar, “For the Savvy Customer.” continued...

These are two short excerpts from a very 'place-based' short story. A slightly different version of it was published in Inkspill Magazine in 2011.

Writing Voice

The second workshop focused on figuring out what the heck a writing voice is.

A writing voice is about authenticity, a unique take on what's going on. It's about what you notice, how you understand it, and how you communicate it. It's about filtering your mass of thoughts and feelings, making them conceivable and understandable, but at the same time, not losing the vulnerability that comes from revealing who you are. When you write from your writing voice, it can leave you feeling exposed and vulnerable. Yet. It also allows you a sort of catharsis, a reflection on and a re-experiencing of your thoughts and feelings. It allows your readers to engage with you, empathize with your feelings, and relate to your experiences. It shows you how mundane experiences can be about something much bigger.

In the first exercise, the group thought of someone they knew fairly well. And narrated an event, a story, an incident from this person's point of view. 

In the second exercise, the group wrote in third person, where the narrator was looking at them doing something.

Writing Place

The first workshop focused on Writing Place.

Place plays many functions in writing. It is not just factual, but gives texture to the writing. It creates and establish a visual image, and scene. The description of place acts as a metaphor for feelings, and creates mood and atmosphere. The place establishes not just the natural or urban landscape, but also the social and cultural politics of that location. It tells you who inhabits that place, who travels there, what encounters you are likely to have.

In the first exercise, the group was asked to look around the room, and allow one of the objects to lead to a short piece of writing.

In the second exercise, the group was asked to remember and narrate an encounter on a street.

About Encounters

Encounters is a place to share writing-in-progress.

It emerges from a fortnightly creative writing workshop at the Department of Geography, at University College London. The workshops are part of a Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence grant, that allows writer Amita Murray to collaborate with human geographer Tariq Jazeel, and others in the Department of Geography and the larger community at University College London, to produce writing, readings, workshops, and more.

Amita leads these workshops. Staff and PhD students take part, coming from a range of interests and perspectives – fiction, poetry, academic writing, performative writing, and more. The workshops focus on various themes: how creative and academic writing produce place, developing a writing voice, encounters with people in faraway locations, the erotics of place, and more.

While an anthology and readings will probably come out of these ‘encounters’, mainly it’s a place to have fun with sharing writing-in-progress, drink lots of coffee and eat too much chocolate!

If you can't take part in the workshops, but would like to share your writing, illustrations, ideas, pictures, please get in touch at