I was apprehensive beforehand, needed a nudge to join in, because I have never done a Zoom programme before. Setting up was easy and facilitated by Alicia and Katie with great ease. Although I have done other courses on Creative Writing, I had some apprehension about what to expect from this one.
Once we entered ‘the room’, Mary and Katie were there to settle us and Mary has an easy welcoming manner. It felt extraordinary to be meeting up with folk from around the globe in different time zones and a number knew each other from previous courses.
Mary set us going with some good warm up exercises, first with single words and then sentences. We shared these if we wanted to and I, for one, began to relax. Later we left the session and moved outside into our gardens to write. The 1 ½ hours went by in a pleasant unrushed way and by the end I felt we had connected. I was amazed at the wealth of talent in the group and the desire to write so imaginatively, as if each person was bursting with things to share about the natural world and what it meant to them, after all the trauma we have been faced with. A few mentions were made about the Covid virus and there were some painful references but we held them as a group and I thought Mary skilfully contained the broken pieces. The group was trying to heal what has been overwhelming.
We ended on time and it felt well rounded off – we have some homework for next time. Afterwards I felt uplifted to have been transported into another realm where we could use our senses to be creative and have some space away from the awfulness of what is happening in the outside world. So, although it is a strange experience to be on line and would be wonderful to be in a group together at Hawkwood, with all the beautiful surroundings and care of this haven, it was a very worthwhile experience and one I would recommend. Indeed I wonder if there will be a continuation.
– Diana, Stroud UK