Farewell Fitzwilliams

23/05/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

Farewell Fitzwilliams – Blog 191 – by Ms Paige Turner
Dear Creative Inkers,
I meant to do a speech at the Farewell Creative Ink Classes on Tuesday 22nd May at the Fitzwilliams Centre, Beaconsfield. But events or my emotion overtook me. I was going to say lots of things to give closure to my eighteen years of Creative Ink classes at the Fitzwilliams Centre and the twelve years before that at the Beaconsfield Adult Learning.
My last class’s theme was ‘Ending with Beginnings’ so let me simply say what AA Milne has said before me. ‘Can’t we go back to page one and do it again?’
And huge thanks for the flowers and incredibly generous Cliveden voucher. How fitting that Fiona Gibbs should go to collect it last Saturday and see a duchess in the making! And I felt like Meghan Markle for the day on Tuesday.

Creative Ink for Writers continues …
Editing, Proof Reading, Assessments and One to One consultations.
Or hire me for Creative Writing Workshops. (If you would like to be added to the evening workshops organised by Catherine Klyhn in Amersham then please email me.)
Or I can do a reading of ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ for you and if you haven’t bought a book then here’s the link: http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/jan-moran-neil/4593516523
Or I am at Gerrards Cross Library Prize Giving reading this Saturday at midday.

‘Now We Are 64′ 1959-65 Primary School Reunion.

15/05/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Now We Are 64’ – A Primary School Meet Up after 53 Years by Ms Paige Turner
Scary, eh?
I remember hitting the ground running on my ‘horse’ Snowy to get to school in the early 1960s. My besties: Pat Brewin (nee Eastwood) would be whipping along on her Apatche and Pat Rich (nee Harding) on her Espagna. (They might forgive me if I got the spellings of their ‘horses’ wrong. I never saw the names of these imaginary animals ever written down.) But last Saturday I was travelling from Buckinghamshire to East Croydon and I thank the gods that the 12.36 pm was late forcing me to catch the earlier train into Marylebone. For I discovered at Oxford Circus that the Victoria line was down so I caught another Tube and decided to get off at Charing Cross where I was told to get a train to London Bridge where I was told by a member of the railway staff with an Iphone and mile long fingernails to get an over ground to Cannon Street and from there to get an over ground to Blackfriars – where after multiple flights of escalators I screamed at the ticket collector ‘Does this train go to East Croydon?’. ‘Go forit,’ he shouted. The over ground from Blackfriars CRAWLED. When I got to East Croydon it was raining. I arrived at my primary school to greet my alumni I had not seen for fifty three years like a wet dormouse. Getting to school used to be a whole lot easier.
Adrian Spalding and Pat nee Eastwood did all of the alumni tracing and they brought to the table some of our letters sent to them when they were both in hospital. (Not at the same time.) Diane Allan who always came top wrote: ‘Robert O’Sullivan has just come back again from living in Australia. He must be twice the length of Pat Waine!’ (Diane always used – and still does – exclamation marks brilliantly!!) Robert indeed left our class for Oz, returned and then left again! And for a third time he returned last Saturday to our classroom via Face Time, expertly organized by Michael Luck who had spent most of the week in conference with the school’s IT department.
There were lots of Michaels and lots of Pats in our class. Michael Histed was regaled for having been swamped with requests from female members of the class to country dance with him. The one time I managed to get him as a partner he wore long white socks and flailed around the school hall. He is still as mischievous, buying me a large red wine at the end of our day. I said I couldn’t possibly drink it or I would be flat on the floor of the Uber going home.
Ian Shillingford looked so young I mistook him for the lovely caretaker Keith who kept all the classrooms open for us and patiently took sixty four photos on ten Iphones. Thankfully, Palace was not playing on Saturday so we got Ian in full splendour shorts. It’s the way I remember him.
Jean Fullen (that marvellous Mad March Hare in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 1962 despite the navy knickers she was made to wear for the part) and Pat Waine brought fresh olives and party humour to the table. Pat is still as petite and she looks twenty three. Did she send her daughter instead? And I was so happy to see Brenda Newman. Our grocery shops were on different sides of the Lower Addiscombe Road but we spent thirteen years at the same two schools and had the longest conversation we’d ever had on Saturday. It was a wonderful day. I was probably too garrulous at the end. For I downed that large red Michael Histed bought me. Well … couldn’t see it go to waste.
Many thanks to the Ark Oval Primary School and Eileen Lawlor.
So who’s going to volunteer to organise ‘Now we are 65’? I’m passing over the baton and being released from my Round Robin Monitor Duties.

Judging Writing Competitions

03/05/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

Judging Writing Competitions by Ms Paige Turner
I’m honoured to have been asked to judge the Gerrards Cross Library Competition and Prize Giving with a dash of ‘Red Lipstick’ will be at the GX Library midday on Saturday 26th May. The deadline is just coming up on Saturday – so write a sonnet mentioning any of Shakespeare’s characters’ names for adults and for under 13s it’s an acrostic poem using one of Shakespeare’s characters’ names. www.tinyurl.com/gxpoetry
I’m also helping to judge Watford Area Arts Forum Literature Competition and will be doing the prize giving on the evening of Monday 9th July with another dash of my ‘Red Lipstick’ performances. The theme is 100 and all details can be seen on www.watfordwriters.co.uk
Final Fitzwilliams Creative Ink Term is underway with my Farewell Fitzwilliams Drinks Potty at midday on Tuesday 22nd May.

Flip Sides …

26/04/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Flip Sides’ by Ms Paige Turner
Catherine Klyhn (known from now on as Miss Evening Workshop) gathered together a bundle of lovely people for our 20th Creative Ink Evening Workshop last night. We met in the Seasons Café in Amersham. The cost is £18 and I sometimes wonder if the huge attraction is Miss Evening Workshop’s huge Irish warmth and copious wine and food that one gets for the all inclusive fee. (There’s always a waiting list so do contact me and I will pass details on to Catherine.) Summer/The Protagonist – Wednesday 4th July, Autumn/The Stranger – Wednesday 3rd October, Winter/The Visitor – Wednesday 5th December.
Anyway, I’m half Irish too (which is by the by) and last night I repeated ‘The Antagonist’ which I did at Fish Hoek Scribblers in Cape Town last month. I enjoy living on flip sides and miss the kitchen knife I left in South Africa when I am in the UK and miss being able to have a full bath when I am in SA. ‘The Antagonist’ is all a matter of perspective we realised last night. Fish Hoek Scribblers are suffering from a drought, showering only every three days and running into the streets, shouting ‘oh frabjous day’ when it rains. When I arrived back in the UK two weeks ago everyone was saying, ‘Aren’t you lucky you missed the snow? But we have early summer sun next week!!’ Another man’s meat …Except I can’t cut my meat the way I can in Cape Town … that knife.
I was also back into my final Creative Ink Fitzwilliams term this week. I’m NOT retiring. Still available for my ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ readings, workshops, consultations and editing. And I’m busy writing a novel.

What’s in a Name?

13/04/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

Blog 187 ‘What’s in a Name?’ by Ms Paige Turner
Oh, everything. Many, many years ago ‘Woman’s Own’ magazine had a weekly section entitled ‘Call Your Baby This Week …’ and the week I was born suggested – Elaine Janet. My mother was obviously in a state of post-natal originality when she swivelled this suggestion and named me ‘Janet Elaine’. If she had simply followed the brief I could have shortened ‘Elaine’ to ‘Ellie’ and how different my life might have been.
Did Shakespeare give as much thought to naming his characters? Or did he think like Juliet did? What’s in a name? Anyway, here’s my nub. The Gerrards Cross Library are asking for poetry entries which include a Shakespearian name. You just need to be a member of Bucks Libraries and there’s a children’s section too. I’m judging it. So pen your poem and get it sent in before the end of the month. www.tinyurl.com/gxpoetry
On the poster the lovely organiser Lorraine refers to me as ‘beautiful poet’. I’m deeply flattered. I’ve never met Lorraine but maybe she’s referring to my poetry … I’ll be doing a reading at the prize giving on Saturday 26th May.
Many thanks to Scarborough Writers, Cape Town where I did a reading last month. I arrived on some much needed rain. One can’t rely on Cape rain but totally depend on Stimulating Chat especially when the North Wester, that harbinger of rain blows through, and sends leaves into my kitchen. Please let it rain until September there. Meanwhile, here’s to our UK summer: three days next week, I hear.
Creative Ink for Writers summer term is full. Open for one off workshops now and perfs of my poetry: ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’.

The Antagonist

28/03/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘The Antagonist’ by Ms Paige Turner
I know the UK is heading for a Snow Filled Easter and has had a basin of it but Cape Town would welcome a few handfuls. When the North West wind, that harbinger of rain blows through, Cape Townians clap their hands and are happy. Lack of Water was the antagonist at Fish Hoek Scribblers last week but the Brits know that Snow can stop all play and work.
I’m looking forward to tackling the same topic at the Amersham evening workshop on Wednesday 25th April. You can email me for details but I think Catherine Klyhn is saying we are full, as is my final Creative Ink term at the Fitzwilliams Centre this summer. But I am not retiring and am available for workshops and ‘Red Lipstick’ presentations!
Happy Easter Bunnies – may the sun shine on the UK and rain in Cape Town.

Busy in Bourne End

24/02/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Busy in Bourne End’ by Ms Paige Turner
The people in Bourne End are so community minded. There was a great turn out for my perf of ‘Red Lipstick and Revelations’ yesterday at Bourne End library. This was assisted by four former Creative Inkers who have seen the perf before but came to support and encouraged me that the presentation is developing. So thanks to Pamela Mintner who followed my text faithfully (and said I did). It’s always good to have the actual books on show in the audience. To John Moore, who has seen the perf I think three times now and reviewed a number of Creative Ink for Actors’ performances. Added to this he is one of my three blog readers. To Richard Candy, who brought along a posse of lovely people and to Chris Johnson who brought along a life sized stuffed wolf. I tried to get the wolf into the perf but will cover wolves with Fish Hoek Scribblers next month when we examine antagonists.
These are the details for my next UK perf of ‘Red Lipstick’:Words for the Wounded LitFest – Guest Speaker – Saturday 21st April 2018, Downley Community Centre, Downley, High Wycombe HP13 5TR.
My next perf in the Land of No Water (Cape Town) is next month in Scarborough, Cape Town.
Creative Ink classes for the summer and my final term is full with a waiting list. Let me know if you have attended Creative Ink classes and would like to come to my Farewell Fitzwilliams Drinks Potty – just after midday on Tuesday 22nd May, Room 1.
This is not a retirement. I continue with one off workshops, editing and one to one consultations and of course my ‘Red Lipstick’ perfs. My website is still maintained beautifully by Mr Red Hat whom Mr Justin Case I met with his lovely husband last week. If you would like Mr Red Hat’s contact details for a superb looking website just email me.

Creative Ink for Writers’ Summer and Final Term 2018

11/02/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

Creative Ink for Writers’ Summer and Final Term at the Fitzwilliams Centre 2018 – Blog 182 by Ms Paige Turner

I’m touched that this course was fully subscribed as soon as enrolments opened last week. A number of former Creative Inkers have enrolled and I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy the term’s theme: ‘Beginning with Endings and Ending with Beginnings’. I wanted to let go of these courses which I have been running for 18 consecutive years when I still absolutely loved what I am doing.
I will still be available for any workshops. Catherine Klyhn runs my evening workshops. I will still be available for one to one consultations and editing. I will still be available for performances of my ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ collection. Mr Red Hat (an eternal friend) will still manage this website for me.
Present and former Creative Inkers are invited to a glass and some nibbles just after midday on Tuesday 22nd May, Room 2, the Fitzwilliams Centre.
You can get me reading and talking about the Gerrards Cross Poetry competition on Wycombe Sound Catch Up/Afternoons with Amanda. I croaked right the way through as I was on the tail end of something like bronchitis or internationally unknown flu. But I didn’t cough once …

Some Dates for Your Diary

28/01/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

Some Dates for Your Diary by Ms Paige Turner
Forthcoming perfs:
This Thursday 1st February – Wycombe Sound Radio at 2.00 pm.
Friday 23rd February – Bourne End Library – 10.30 – midday – free entry
Wednesday 28th March – Off the Wall Poets, Scarborough, Cape Town
Saturday 21st April – Words for the Wounded LitFest – Guest Speaker Downley Community Centre, Downley, High Wycombe HP13 5TR.
Saturday 26th May – Gerrards Cross Library – Gerrards Cross Poetry Competition Prize Giving and Performance. Details of entry on www.tinyurl.com/gxpoetry

Gerrards Cross Poetry Competition which I have been invited to judge.

Under 13s – an acrostic poem using a Shakespearian Character’s name. The letters of the name begin each line. Example:

Home Thoughts from an Inebriate Fairy Abroad by Jan Moran Neil (Using the word ‘London’)

London, London, you are like fine wines,
Oh how can I decant thee in eight lines?
Niftily have I fairied in the dark,
Dancing spirit and body in Regent’s Park.
Oh your magic to distil bereft I am
Now I’m bottled plonk in Amersham.

P.S. It’s Beaconsfield really, but it didn’t rhyme.

Over 13s and adults – a Shakespearian or Petrarchan sonnet which must include the name of a Shakespearian character.
Submissions open Thursday 8th February and closes Monday 23rd April.