Saturday, 1 June 2013

Ghost stories....what is a ghost?

I've read my book of ghost stories - a mixed bunch of tales. I enjoyed them but thought most were tenuously connected to ghosts and could have been included in several categories. Some were funny, others surreal and one or two were mysterious.

Ghost is an expression that seems to cover a range of mental as well as physical anomalies and sometimes the fantastic is just that...a bit fantastic.

I'm going to be looking at ghost stories in the September term so I'll have to read a few more, study the form and write a couple. 

The fact that none of them gave me a decent attack of the creeps was disappointing...was I asking for too much? 

What is a ghost?
Have you ever been in the presence of anything you could describe as a ghost? Write about it.
Do you think ghosts exist or that a state of mind creates them?
Are there any ghost stories in your family? Tell them!
Why do you think people like ghost stories and want to be scared?

Thursday, 30 May 2013

What could you write about buttons?

Do you like buttons? I love them and know lots of people who love them too. Some of the buttons above were sold to me at a car boot sale. The woman I bought them from held them to her chest for a few moments, told me they belonged to her grandma, wrestled with some guilt I expect and then sold them to me. I've cherished them. 

When I say that I love buttons I don't mean dull things from ordinary coats or workaday trousers. I mean gorgeous buttons. Shiny, blingy, jewelled, expensive, rare, art deco, surprising, complicated and desirable.

As a tutor of textile based and craft subjects I've met people who detest buttons and feel sick at the sight of them. They can't handle buttons and choose clothing with zips, velcro, ties, hooks, press studs ....anything but buttons.

In creative writing I've used buttons to stimulate stories - what fantastic stories. I've invited people to take a button from my collection and imagine where it came from and on a few occasions people have asked to keep a button or have taken it!!
In my experience men like buttons as much as women, sometimes for different reasons.

What d'you think about buttons? 

Write a few lines about where some of the buttons in the picture came from.

Do you know the word that describes a button phobia?

If there's a button jar/box/tin in your house, have a look at it. Write a story about the person who owns it. If it's been passed down write about who it belonged to and the people who inherited it. Are the buttons workaday or fabulous? What clothes do they come from?