Tag Archives: games

Underground Formation

Third time starting this post. A most efficient way of prioritizing what I want to write about before the blog glitches up on me again and vanishes into thin air.My recent Young Writer’s Craft evening for our local library went well. Six children attended with ages ranging between five years of age to eleven years of age. Three sets of siblings consisting of four girls and two boys. Two parents, one interested and supportive relative(mine), the librarian and myself spent the evening with these kids. We played some sensory games, memory games,discussed some shared interests, evaluated favourite kinds of books, made some word banks, wrote some summer graffiti on a poster… intentionally,…. created some graphic illustrations and labelled them, created a group story, dramatized some lines from the story using different genre styles, shared a great book and some storytelling and examined some memories in a basket. There were cupcakes also. Some takeaways like little journals, stickers and pencils were the final touch. Every child, every parent and the librarian thanked me for my efforts. My relative invited me over for coffee and snacks. The Word Garden, although very tiny seems to have some strong sporadic growth and is rooted nicely and may produce a harvest yet.

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Yard Work, Digging Mostly

Keeping me on my toes, the gathering of two family members, a neighbour, my librarian and  her daughters, I went ahead with my night to meet and encourage other community writers.

The sensory games and  creativity ideas were tried. Some poetry, mine and another’s ( a professional) published piece were read. A story about the influences of the neighbour attending the event, upon my writing, was pulled for my stockpile and read in it’s entirety. We ate fruit and dessert squares. Another evening, led by me, encouraging young writers was planned for the summer.

In the meantime, stories and threads of ideas were revealing themselves, The group dynamics were interesting. From the mixture of a very small gathering came ideas of reading with very young children, the trauma of  caring for elderly pets,decluttering household contents and wondering about the unforeseen future, knitting, crochet, tatting, hooked rug making, church yard sales, baking, cooking, reading cookbooks, dealing with children, throwing away blackened pots of burnt spaghetti, recalling the chores of working with father in the barn milking the cows and going to the mill and cleaning the house, despising those awful hooked rugs so heavy to drag from the upstairs bedrooms all the way downstairs to air them and clean them while sister baked, studying French and setting up a writing blog …. one that the mom , the librarian, can’t read because it will be all about her according to one of the young daughters.

At the conclusion of the evening another neighbour arrived. A young mother returning her library books, noticing us finishing up the brownies and the fruit tray, realizing we were a bit over the closing hour at the library. Familiar to me, a neighbour, we often say hello. I knew she was a fellow teaching colleague on maternity leave and an artist. Now I know she writes a blog. From just skimming through some of her blog posts I’ve also discovered that her husband is a poet.

All in all, a successful gathering . A very small community gathering of supportive people just planting the seed and nudging together the warming circle of stories, ideas and creativity.Tending a word garden takes effort and patience and with a sprinkle or two of interest it might even take root.

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Writers in a Polar Vortex

Putting out the call,

writing up the bulletin, drawing the poster and gathering

together

ideas

Sensory games analytical for some

insightful for others

Listening to the inner voice before it dissipates ignored

Snow falling, repeating the warning in the words spoken, bulletin printed and sketched

postponed as expected

and yet the interest stirred enough to warm the inner voice

muffled in layers

surviving

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Imprinted

Tracks in the freshly fallen snow on my yard were made with a variety of little feet. Some were from the little ones lining up at the school bus stop. Other tracks were recognizable as rabbit, squirrel,bird, dog and cat tracks.

At the farm, later in the day a slow moving possum made his own muddled way through the snow drift under the bird feeder. As the day wore on and I made an effort to go into town to do a little Christmas shopping I found the slush from the street and sidewalks treacherous to track through. Town was somewhat busier than usual but that didn’t mean the two main streets and sidewalks had been cleared properly.

Footprints from the ice melt salt used to make my sidewalk entrance safer caked onto the indoor entryway floor before footwear could be removed.

This all brought to mind the game my mom used to play with me on the farm. She called the game fox and goose because just the two of us played it together. It was an adaptation of an old country school game of tag correctly called Fox and Geese. We made tracks and chased each other trying to get to a special safety spot designated as the henhouse. Often I would just plunk myself in a drift and make snow angels or watch my mom run as fast as she could on her own round and round the zigzagged track. The game would have been normally played with a large group of kids all spaced out around a big circle trying to get to the centre henhouse for safety without being tagged by the fox. Mom didn’t worry about those details.

 Our version didn’t really make a great deal of sense to my three year old self but to this day,( well) over half a century later, I remember the glorious deep glittering snow drifted at the side of the faded red chicken house and my strong and pretty mom laughing and stomping a big path of tracks through the field like a child herself. Ordinarily, she didn’t have time to play. Her long day was filled with farm work , worry and taking care of the family. To see her at play, eyes shining, face rosy, running like the high school athlete she was in her glory days was significant to a little three year old, rare and memorable, like tracks in the snow.

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