Saturday saw seven of us gathering for our Humber-Ouse-Tees Lapidus workshop ( at the James Cook museum in Whitby. And what an inspiring time we had of it. A guided tour of the exhibits was followed by a series of interesting facilitated writing exercises around the topic of objects and journeys. We all came up with some great pieces, many of which will prove to be starting points for more extended work I am sure.

It is the untold story which often snags a writer and a number in our group were drawn to Mrs Cook. She lived until she was 93, having been widowed and lost all her six children from middle age. What had happened to her? What had been her background? What was it like for her, apparently a 'poor traveller', to have her husband circumventing the world? These and many other questions clamoured for an answer as we gazed on her bonneted face looking back at us from her portrait.

Lapidus promotes creative writing and reading for health and wellbeing. During our time together on Saturday, I was told about a recent Radio 4 documentary on the subject. I managed to track it down and it is, indeed, worth a listen: It made me consider once again the difference between Pennebaker's expressive writing, which invites people to write freely about an emotionally charged subject, and what I try to do with creative writing. I also invite people to write freely about emotionally charged subjects, however, and I think this is crucial, creative writing techniques also supply tools for bringing perspective and order into chaos in a healing way.

Meanwhile, here is a taste of what I wrote on Saturday.
Kauri wood.
with the coming of light,
of knowledge being passed
from one generation to another.
Pitted wood fashioning the perfect circle.
Yet human patterns were ever misshapen, broken, snapped.
An aspiration then.
Watched over by fish, hands, eyes, beaks, noses, whorls, snakes, shells, chains, feathers
in tattooed
Totara wood.