Thursday, 31 October 2013

Here's One I Wrote Earlier

Well hello there blog friends. My first assignment is now submitted and I'm eagerly awaiting feedback, although it could be two weeks until I hear anything. Some students have assignments waiting to come back to them at midnight tonight (the deadline for submission) while others will have to wait the full two weeks. It all depends on how busy their particular tutor is.

One of the first stories I ever wrote (apart from cub hood jottings) was for my GCSE which I re-sat back in 2008. The remit was to write a 1000 line story and as we had been studying the works of Poe, who really inspires me, I decided to write a story based on horror and suspense. Would you like to read it? It's quite apt considering it's Halloween; a.k.a. fright night. Enjoy.

Horror Hospital.

I walked along the hospital corridor, checking that all the doors that should be locked were locked. My large key ring full of old and partly rusted keys dangled from my waistband; their jangling was the only sound apart from the clip clip clip of my shoes on the old tiled floor. All ward doors were closed and the beds lay empty. The hospital had been closed for nearly 2 months now. Cost-cutting, the government called it. Sheer lunacy I called i, which was rather ironic considering this was the old mental hospital, ‘The Looney bin' as the locals called it. Urban legend dictated that one of the inmates had been sentenced to an indefinite stay for the murder of his whole family. No one was sure exactly how he had committed the crime but popular consensus was that it involved cannibalism. Rumours abounded that he had escaped from his secure cell when the guard carried out his final rounds late one night, and that although he had managed the planned escape, he was still hiding somewhere in the vast hospital grounds. Tales were told of how, when the hospital was still occupied, he camouflaged his presence during the day by hiding in the woods at the back of the hospital. Then, under cover of darkness he emerged to steal back into the hospital building. Once inside, wearing hospital porter's clothing and avoiding eye contact, he was able to sneak along the corridors and enter rooms at random, killing and eating the inmates within. This had earned him the title of ‘Eat Em Up Eddie'. It was said that he now lived off the corpses of animals that he managed to kill, and that he lay in wait for a fresh human victim to die on. The details of the popular story were embellished upon with each new telling. I laughed at them all.

It was my first night on guard. I had been employed by local security firm as a temp. I used to be a doorman at a popular nightclub on a Friday night, and didn't really relish the idea of being an overnight guard at a disused hospital; particularly one as large and lonely as this. It was not because of the rumours surrounding the hospital, simply that life as a doorman suited me better as I thought of myself as a people person, but a few vicious rumours about my conduct by girls with no identification and a score to settle had put paid to that job. I've learnt to resign myself to a life of walking endless eerily quiet corridors to earn my living, and what a pitiful living such a job provides. The only reason I had been employed to guard the old hospital was to discourage a spate of vandalism that had begun in the last month. It was thought that local youths with time on their hands were daring each other to smash windows in the hope of annoying' Eddie' and drawing him out of his hiding place. Although I felt some pity for the youths as there was nothing to do in the area, I was not going to allow them to lose me my job-especially after my misfortune with the nightclub job.

It was time to move on with my chores. I had spent far too long loitering along the corridor and needed to check that the old entrance doors were properly secured. I faltered as the lights dimmed, switched off completely, and then returned as full as before. I sniggered softly to myself that I had been momentarily scared, a man as big as I, standing 6'4" tall and as stocky as a prize bull. As I started off once again the lights fizzled, then popped. The corridor was as black as pitch. I rummaged around in my cavernous pockets. Where on earth was my torch? Suddenly I remembered leaving it in my black bag, back in the watchman's hut at the hospital entrance. I would have to feel my way down the corridor. It was nearly midnight and I still had several checks to do. I was not scared of the dark; but trying to find my way along unfamiliar long, lonely corridors was a trial I could do without.

Suddenly there was a loud crack and something skimmed swiftly past my ear. I lost my balance and fell to my knees. Fumbling furiously around on the floor I felt something small and hard; a stone! Those local boys! They had probably turned the power for the electric off, knowing I was inside, and had been plotting my progress in the hospital by the lights, ward by ward, corridor by corridor. They were probably daring each other to throw the stones, trying to scare me. Well it wouldn't work. I had dealt with worse than them before and I would show them the error of their ways. Scrabbling as quickly as I could to my feet, I felt for the wall with fumbling fingers and followed it along with my hands until I felt a wooden surface; a door-and a massive one at that. I knelt down to the keyhole and felt the cold night breeze on my face. I had to try several keys in the rusted old lock before it finally gave way, groaning open. I heard muffled giggles and whispering coming from the woods. I had to catch the boys quickly. As fast as lightning I tore over to the wooded area which was dimly lit by a half moon shining through the bare winter branches of the trees. The remainder of the moon was in shadow, hidden by the cloudy sky.

I saw a shadowy shape and grappled blindly for it. The shape yelped helplessly and fell to the floor; I fell flat on top of the fallen figure. The cloud lifted momentarily and I saw pure fear in eyes of a young boy, and oh how young he looked. I felt no mercy though; I had heard their whispered jibes about' Eddie'. An old rage came upon me, long forgotten yet familiar still. I took his arm, a fat, fleshy thing. I hesitated momentarily. But no! The old urge overcame me. I took a big bite of that arm, and another, and another. Hunger overtook me and I finished my meal with a voracious appetite. Contrary to popular belief, I, Eddie, had not had a human meal for many years now. The inmates had been too well cared for to get anywhere near them.

With a satisfied sigh I headed away from the shrill screams of the boys shouting for help. I would have to wait a while longer for my next tasty treat.

2008, copyright, The House of Bears.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Silence Please

Shh, I'm proof reading my assignment ready to submit. I look very serious don't I?

I've written all three parts of the assignment, and added a bearbliography, I just about remembered how to do that as it's been a while since my last student adventure. Still, it's all done now and I'm thinking I ought to get it submitted, just incase we get the predicted storm and all the power flies away in the wind. As we live in the deep dark back of beyond it would probably take longer to get back online for us if there was an outage. You can tell I was a bear scout in my cubhood, always prepared, that's me.

Keep your paws crossed for good feedback from my tutor. I may not know the outcome for a fortnight or more as yet, I'll have chewed my claws to the quick by then, gnash gnash!!

With love from Wilbear.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Do you Haiku?

Hello there. i'm well into my third week of studying now, as well as freewriting and clustering (aka mind mapping)my course has covered getting into the habit of writing daily. It doesn't matter what you write, the important thing is to get words onto paper. The idea is that among the gibbering there may appear a few gems that can be utilised for a story, poem or suchlike. I've enjoyed writing in my notebook, decorated by the lovely Horace. It's almost half full already and includes ideas for stories, character profiles and daily random thoughts as they occur to me.

Now, you may wonder about my title? Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry consisting of 3 lines with 17 syllables in all. The required format is 5 7 5, IE line one is 5 syllables, line two is 7 syllables and line three should be 5 syllables again. It's a way of expressing thoughts succinctly.

Here's some of my earlier Haiku

Silence from within
Frantic knocking, breaking glass,
Found in final sleep.

Autumn Haiku

At September's end
The sun shines defiantly
Denying autumn's end.

X Factor Haiku

Endless sob stories
Manufactured for TV
Viewing figures.

October Haiku

Closing the curtains
Snuggling down in the duvet
Shutting out autumn.

Try one, they're fun and not too time consuming. You could always turn several Haiku on the same subject into a longer poem.

This week I've been working on my assignments, I've written a short story, it's a shame I can't share it on here but eventually, when all my work is marked and returned I'll be able to share it all with you.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Day School

Hullo there, I've been to a creative writing day school as part of my course. Wow, it was such a great day, my furry head is buzzing with so many ideas, I just need to get them all down before they disappear into the chocolate filled fuzz that fills most of my brain space.

One handy tip I learnt yesterday was to write bullet points for story ideas. Previously, whenever new creations came to me, I'd sit and try and write a whole story at once. The (fabulously inspiring) tutor set an exercise where you recall an incident that happened to you, but only note it down in bullet point style. He then took all the notes back and re distributed them so you were in possession of someone else's jottings. Out of the bullet points we were asked to write a short passage of fiction, it didn't need to include all the stated points, but rather, use those as inspiration and see where they took you. Once again I can't post mine as it developed into something I'm hoping will be worthy of an assignment piece, but if I change my mind I'll post it here at a later date. I thought though that the technique of taking an event and paring it down to bullet points was well worth sharing. Whether for a real life event or something sparked by your imagination. It's an easy way to get your ideas down before they float away. Have a try, think of something you've experienced recently, write down in bullet point style some facts from it, now, write a story either based on or sparked off by those points, it's a lot of fun, and can be quite amazing where your imagination takes you.

I was so inspired by my tutor that I wrote a little ode to him;

Oh teacher, I'm in awe
Of your clever head.
The quotes you spout,
The books you've read.

Hopefully he'll never discover this and realise it's about him or My brown fur might flush a little red!

With love from the bears

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Week one course comments

Hello there, It's been almost a week since I started my course, and so far I've loved it. Although it's left us with little time for anything else at the desk, it's worthwhile as studying is something I always regretted having to stop when I became ill. Luckily I found out I could continue my degree studies with OU, with all my credits transferred that I'd earned at the local uni.

This week on my course the focus has been on freewriting, the idea is to develop a writing habit and try to write something each day. freewriting is jotting down whatever thoughts come into your furry head, whether from a prompt or just seeing what words your paws form. The freewrites are not supposed to be heavily edited at this stage, it's raw writing as it lands on the page. However, if the freewrite leads to a spark of inspiration for a story then it has achieved one of its objectives.

We've also been attempting clustering, which is another word for mind mapping, taking one word and creating maps from that word, wherever it may lead you, both techniques can be used in conjunction with each other. I've found clustering tricky as my brain wants to race on and finish the map before it's even started.

I'm not able to post anything I'm planning to submit for assessment until everything has been marked at the end of the year, but if I create any little ditties along the way, or think of anything to share, I'll be posting here for you to read.

With that in mind, here is a freewrite based on the prompt 'She Turned Around and There he Was......

She turned around and there he was, appearing as he did each night, his bag slung casually over his shoulder. sometimes it was full, sometimes empty. Tonight it was stuffed so full, she was sure that he would share its contents with her. She had gone without for so long now she had almost forgotten what it felt like to be folded into its gritty layers. The experience was seldom nondescript, occasionally extremely exciting, often intermittent in its delivery, but welcome, always undeniably welcome and wanted. Whatever form it took, she needed it. She willed him to turn, to notice her need, an addict denied her drug, she silently pleaded, 'come on, please, send some of your sack of sleep this way for a change, Mr. Sandman.'

You may have guessed this was written on a sleepless night! Now I'm off to try clustering word by word instead of attempting to reach the end before I've completed the beginning.

With love from the bears

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Greetings from Wilbear

Hullo there, it's Wilbear here from The House of Bears.

I decided that I would make my own blog, separate to the other bears. I've just started an OU course, as I missed studying after having to postpone my degree at the local university due to illness. I'm studying for a BA (hons) Humanities degree, and my first module begins this Saturday, what excitement. I knew the other bears would accuse me of hogging the main blog, so thought that an add on would be in order.

I shall use this blog for my musings on my course, maybe adding some of my writing, or what I've learnt, or random witterings on my thoughts of the world and its weirdness. I hope you'll stop by to cheer me on, and maybe offer some comments as you pass by.

With love from Wilbear