Jubilee’s first creative writing course proved a huge success and we are running more. Register now for the workshops, run by author and arts therapist Fiona Ware.
Fiona encourages participants to unleash their creativity and start writing about their lives – a powerful tool to acknowledge who we are, where we have come from and what we’ve learnt.
Previous participant Candy, who has one story from the course featured below, said she had been writing her memoirs for several years. “This has given me a new burst to get into that again,” Candy said. “Fiona as a teacher is so encouraging. She has given me some good guidance.”
A course for new participants will run online each Wednesday from April 7 to May 26. Existing participants can continue in a second course on Mondays from April 5 to May 24. You will need access to a computer/tablet and internet, but only basic computer knowledge is required. To register phone Vicki on 3871 3220.
Jubilee Community Care friend Candy, above, recently participated in Jubilee’s first online creative writing course. Here is one of her pieces from the course in which she was asked to be descriptive.
Sarah awoke early with the feeling that something was not right. She crossed to the large picture window which looked out onto the valley. She gazed at five acres of eucalypts – ironbarks, stringybarks, boxbarks, smoothbarks and bloodwoods. Some of the trees were so large that she could not see the bottoms of them and she could not see the tops of them. Usually, at this time of day, the sky was what she called Brisbane Blue, with little fluffy white clouds, and there was a breeze moving in the tops of the trees, causing a gentle rustle in the leaves. Magpies and kookaburras and noisy mynahs sang on the branches and the raucous crows joined in. But today … today was different. The sky was overcast, with dark thundery clouds. The leaves were silent and still. Later on she heard the wind howling, long and loud, sometimes very low and sometimes higher. It had not rained for weeks and she could smell the red, pungent all-pervading dust. There was an ominous feeling in the air. What could it be?
She waited and listened and looked. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something small and red in the valley, and it seemed to be moving. In the next few seconds it grew and she recognised it – fire! It was moving slowly up the hill towards the houses, just nibbling at the dry leaf litter at the base of the trees and scorching the surrounding grass. Everything seemed slow – but was it the fire or herself who was slow? She was hypnotised by the flames and felt unable to move. Then her brain screamed at her “Do something!” Suddenly she realised how serious this was and she sprang into action – sprang, that is, as much as her tired eighty-year-old body would
The first thing was to alert her daughter. A quick text message was all it took, and her Anna phoned. “Quick, Mum, remember our fire plan. I’ve sent the children out already, and they are running up the driveway to the street. I’ve rung the fire brigade and Paul is reeling out the hose in case he needs to start fighting the fire alone.” Her voice became more urgent: “Mum, you’ve got to get up the driveway. Use your walker – and hurry Mum, hurry up!”
Sarah had always said that in case of a fire, the young, fit and able-bodied should go first and not be held up by the aged and infirm. She knew that she could not out-run the fire. The drive was too steep and her walker too heavy. But she was determined to try. She would not wait for the fire to reach her.
She set off up the drive. In her mind she commended herself to God and asked that, should the worst happen, she would be received into Heaven. Her chest was tight from the exertion of walking uphill. Her throat burned from the smoke she could not help breathing in. She remembered her grand daughter’s fire slogan from school: Get low and go, go, go! She would never be able to do that. No, she must just keep putting one slow foot in front to the other, until she could go no further.
It was at that very moment that the fire brigade turned into the driveway. Two strong firemen lifted her up and carried her to join the children. Another ran on ahead with her walker. “Now” ordered one fireman “You must all remain here until I give the all clear. You children, you look after your granny.” And with that, he joined the rest of the fire crew, who were assessing the situation in the valley.
Sarah gave a brief hug to each of her four grandchildren, then gathered the littlest girl onto her lap. “What shall we do while we wait, children?” she asked. “Pray” replied the oldest. The little one, who has only ever prayed out loud to say grace before meals, piped up “Dear God, thank you for our food and please stop the corona virus”. The other three burst into laughter – warm, affectionate laughter for their much-loved little sister. “Well,” suggested Sarah “what about practising your songs for the church Christmas musical?” So they spent the next half hour singing Christmas songs until the fire chief re-appeared. “All clear, all clear” he called from the bottom of the driveway. You can come back down now. But you wait up there grandma, and we’ll bring you down in a car.”
When she reached the house, Sarah went downstairs to see Anna. “What happened?” she asked. Anna replied “Apparently there was a change in the wind direction and the fire turned back on itself. There being nothing left to burn, it just fizzled out. The firemen wetted down the whole area just to make sure it wouldn’t re-ignite, and we’re all safe and sound, thanks be to God.”
“Thanks be to God” Sarah murmured to herself as she headed back to her house. All it would need would be a good airing and then the fire would be no more than a memory.