Tuesday 13 November 2012

November Writers Group

This week I actually had something to read out to the group.
There is nothing better than reading something out and getting the responses you were hoping for, the groan or the laugh as you mess with your characters head.
The fact that it also helped me to deal with the frustration of the police being able to do nothing when things are stolen from 'im outdoors truck is a bonus.

This months homework: What does 11th November mean to you?  Poppies, parades, or family history?  Use this to inspire a short story or poem.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Operation Christmas Child

With just 7 days to go my shoe box is packed and ready to start its journey to a child somewhere who has nothing.  This year it's aimed at a little boy, but I'm sure most children would be happy to get their hands on a monkey and lots of pencils and felt tip pens etc.  I just hope it makes them smile, but maybe it will be the start of the journey to becoming an artist or maker, who can create things to make other people smile.
Good luck little monkey, I hope you are loved.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Fantasmagorical Machines

Yesterday I drove all the way to Oxford for the first Lola day school.  I managed to see a little more of Oxford than I was expecting but the day went really well.  Just a shame that there were only 2 people from my tutor group in attendance – 3 tutors and their groups made up the session so we had the chance to work on three very different sides of design – photography, problem solving and my favourite; the making of Fantasmagorical Machines.
We were given a choice of machine to make, things like a machine to make a mountain out of a mole hill, or a machine for weighing up your options or, in my groups case, a machine to help you find cloud cuckoo land.  Of course with only an hour to work on it no one was expecting a fully working machine, but I was impressed with all the prototypes that were produced.
We ended up creating a compass which would take your thumb print and then calibrate to find your very own version of cloud cuckoo land.  We added a light to help with navigation and a button on the lid which would fold everything away when we were finished with it so it would travel in a pocket or bag.  If I’d been working on my own it probably would have been a little more minimalist, but these are all part of the challenges of design.
I can’t wait to see what they get us doing at the next day school.