Gallery

 

References

African Safari Travel. ( – ). Cape Town Holidays [image]. Retrieved from https://www.google.co.za/search?q=african+musicians&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjV6uHCve7OAhWIIMAKHTRPBX4Q_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=cape+town+culture&imgrc=gO1hMwY9BafjRM%3A

Cliparts.co. (2016). Cartoon sheep face. [Online image]. Retrieved from http://cliparts.co/cartoon-sheep-face

Dawn. (2014, November 19). How to draw a surfer dude. [Online image]. Retrieved from http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/21329/1/1/how-to-draw-a-surfer-dude.htm

Kubraf. (2014, November 22). Writing game: Draw the bank robbers. [Online image]. Retrieved from https://colorsofteaching.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/writing-game-draw-the-bank-robbers/

Mugg & Bean. ( – ). Mugg & bean. [Online website]. Retrieved from http://www.sandtoncity.com/libproperties/content/en/sandton-city/sandton-city-store-search?oid=461&sn=Detail&pid=179

Pinterest. (2016). Ear cartoon images. [Online image]. Retrieved from https://za.pinterest.com/pin/478789004111482018/

Pinterest. (2016). Grumpy. [Online image]. Retrieved from https://za.pinterest.com/tgbakcy/grumpy/

Wanelo. (2016). Smiley face mug. [Online image]. Retrieved from https://wanelo.co/shop/smiley-face-mug

My Final Post

Sadly, this will be my final blog post since the seminar has come to an end. I would like to end off by talking about my second short story. I decided to try and write using a completely different genre to my first story: one that is realistic and dramatic. I did, however, decide to keep some of the techniques that I used in the first story. Once again, I didn’t use a proper name for the main character. This was an attempt to make the reader feel as if the story could be about anyone, including themselves. I also started and ended off my story using similar paragraphs to increase emotion in the reader.

I have really enjoyed this course and how much it has helped me develop my writing skills. But the best part is that I now have a new love for short stories and I have been inspired to keep writing in the future.

Surf’s Up

I have just completed my latest task – writing up a glossary of slang and jargon of a particular group of people, profession or sport. Since my boyfriend is a surfer I decided to write down words from their language. Being a grom myself, I found this task to be heavy, causing me to bail. However, after much help from the boyfriend the task became more glassy, and if I do say so myself, I ended up ripping it.

The final short story we were asked to read is NoViolet Bulawayo’s His Middle Name Was Not Jesus (2016). My feelings about this story are a bit conflicted in that I’m unsure if I dislike the main character (Mukuka) or if I sympathise with him. However, I really liked how the author ended off multiple paragraphs with ‘Mnccc’ after Mukuka had been thinking about negative things like Julia’s husband, or when something went wrong. I think this repetition is a comical way to express Mukuka’s anger and frustration.

References

Bulawayo, N. (2016). His middle name was not Jesus. London: Granta Publications.

Eavesdropping

Our most recent task was to eavesdrop on conversations over the period of a week and write down bits and pieces of what we hear. We then had to put these sentences together to form a conversation, making as much sense as possible. This task was one of my favourites. It was extremely interesting to listen to other people’s conversations – a lot of the things I heard were very strange and very amusing.

This week we were also required to read Lagos: A Pilgrimage in Notations (Abani, 2010) and the first chapter of Open City (Cole, 2011). I decided to write down some of my favourite quotes from them and possibly utilise some of these techniques in my future writing. Here are two quotes from each:

From Lagos: A Pilgrimage in Notations (Abani, 2010):

“A cold Coca-Cola here tastes likes everything the ads on TV promise – I shit you not.”

“The Lagos Marina looks like the New York skyline. Don’t take my word for it. Check Google images.”

From Open City (Cole, 2011):

“Too tired to release myself from wakefulness.”

“I adore imaginary monsters, but I am terrified of real ones.”

References

Abani, C. (2010). Lagos: A pilgrimage in notations. In Edjabe, N., & Pietersepp, E (Eds.), African cities reader I: Pan-African practices (pp. 1-8). Cape Town: African Centre for Cities & Chimurenga.

Cole, T. (2011). Open city. New York: Random House.

Species of Spaces

This week’s task requirement was to visit a location in Cape Town and describe it as completely as possible while drawing from Georges Perec’s Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (1998). I really had fun with this task. I decided to go on a breakfast date with my boyfriend at Mugg and Bean in Cavendish Square and write about my surroundings there. I described the shop in front of us – Markham – as well as the sounds, smells and appearance of the restaurant. I then got quite distracted by people watching. There was something mesmerising about watching people’s interactions, and trying to figure out their background stories. There are so many different and interesting people that I struggled to narrow it down to who I would write about in my piece. Our food was then delivered to our table and we ate our delicious breakfast sandwiches. So I decided to describe that experience as well. How could I not?

References

Perec, G. (1998). Species of spaces and other pieces. London: Penguin Classics.

Poison

This week’s reading was Poison by Henriette Rose-Innes (2007). The story is about a nuclear explosion in Cape Town that results in many people becoming trapped on the roads while trying to evacuate.

I particularly enjoyed the irony of the story. Lynn (the main character) spoke about how she led an unhealthy lifestyle – constantly eating junk food as well as regularly drinking large quantities of alcohol. This is another kind of poison that features in the story, in addition to the more obvious poison – that coming from the explosion. It is only after the explosion has taken effect and started to impact her health that Lynn decides she will cut out the unhealthy food and begin a detox as soon as she has been rescued. I found this irony to be sad, and was left uncertain about Lynn’s fate.

References

Rose-Innes, H. (2007). Poison. South Africa: African Pens.

A Collection of Quotes

In one of our recent seminars, we spent our time reading passages from our first short stories. We were asked to write down quotes and phrases from our classmates’ stories which we particularly enjoyed and would like to try and draw from for our future writing. There were so many incredible phrases from the different stories and so I will pick just a few of my favourites. I’m not going to speak about each phrase but will rather leave them as they are, as I don’t think I need to explain why I enjoyed them so much.

“No subtle side agenda.”

“That was the last sentence of the letter.”

“This nugget of valuable information.”

“Your body stops being yours.”

“Welcome to the lonely island.”

“Chandeliers like astronomical gentries.”

“I am you.”

“I’m fixing Arnold.”

“Sincerity was for the loser.”

“Dance around the proverbial elephant.”

The Little Mug

Recently, I have been working on my first short story for the seminar. I spent most of my high school career writing stories and essays on sad and serious topics and so I decided to try a more light hearted approach to some of the tasks for this course. I’m not so sure how I feel about my story at the moment. I really like the idea behind the plot but I feel like it could be improved upon greatly.

I’ve been interested in Roald Dahl’s adult short stories lately, particularly his more unusual stories, and so I decided to write mine from the perspective of a mug. My second inspiration for the story is the cat (Troy) that my cousin and I recently adopted from DARG. Using these two inspirations, my story follows the life of a little mug from Checkers. All he wants is to be adopted by a family that he can call his own. One day, a lady comes into the store and purchases the mug. And so his new life begins. I think it is important that I state that although the story is sad at times due to the mug being forgotten, this is obviously not how Troy’s life with us is going to be. I know the story sounds strange, but this is a creative writing course after all and writing from the perspective of a mug has been fun for me.

Another Task and Reading

Mount Nelson

This week we were asked to choose an image/photograph that intrigues us and write a description of this image in prose. After the initial description we were required to slowly transition into telling a story based on this image. I chose to use an image of a group of musicians performing outside the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.

I struggled with this task at first since the idea of writing in prose was new to me. But I think that I managed to do it correctly. At least I hope I did. I tried to subtly move from my descriptions into telling a story about the one member of the band who is playing the trumpet in the picture. In my story, the man describes the different rich, snobby, tourists who walk past the musicians without so much as a glance or a donation. I really like this task as it contains themes of poverty and embodies the vast gap between social classes in South Africa. This is something that is a major issue that I feel guilty about myself for being born privileged. I must note, however, that I am unsure if I was able to successfully convey the emotions felt by the main character, having no personal experience with poverty.

The second thing that I wanted to talk about in this post is the next short story that we read and discussed in class. The story is titled The Sex Lives of African Girls and was written by Taiye Selasi (2011). Similarly to my task discussed above, Selasi’s story (2011) is written in prose. It discusses the gap between the classes in Africa, as well as the hierarchical structure of society. The story follows the life of a young girl who witnesses infidelity and domestic abuse within her family. It is an extremely dark and disturbing story. This is emphasised by Selasi’s (2011) use of the second person, causing me to feel as if I were the young girl in the story. I think this is a clever devise used by the author – as it personalises the urgency of another major global issue.

References

African Safari Travel. Cape Town Holidays [image]. Retrieved from https://www.google.co.za/search?q=african+musicians&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjV6uHCve7OAhWIIMAKHTRPBX4Q_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=cape+town+culture&imgrc=gO1hMwY9BafjRM%3A

Selasi, T. (2011). The sex lives of African girls. Granta: South Africa.

Five False Starts

So this is just a quick blog entry to talk about our task for the second week of seminars. As implied by the title of this post, the task required that we write five false starts (opening paragraphs) to a story of our creation. At first I struggled with this as I could not come up with a story idea, let alone write five introductory paragraphs to it.

I was sitting in my neuropsychology lecture, finding it difficult to focus on what the lecturer was saying (this doesn’t always happen – but it was a bad day), when suddenly an idea for a story popped into my head. I decided to write five paragraphs about a crime, mystery story revolving around a bank robbery in Cape Town, each paragraph written from a different character’s point of view.

I really had fun with this task, putting myself in the mind of five completely different people. Not all of my paragraphs are of great quality, but that’s okay since the point of the task was to show us that story writing takes refinement. I have to say that my favourite beginning to the story, is the paragraph written from the perspective of the second robber (Robert Anderson). I really like his character as he is an anxious man who has been manipulated into driving the getaway van, and I think writing from his perspective adds a comedic tone to the story.