Connect to Nature Creative Writing Class

01.07.2020

All things by Moonlight!

Welcome back to my Connect to Nature Creative Writing Class. This week I started Monday off with a little bit of prose taken from a Thomas Hardy novel. (If you missed it you can follow the link at the bottom of the page).

In the paragraph that I chose, Thomas Hardy is describing the sound of trees, and how a group of men could navigate by the sound as well as the feature of the trees on a dark night. This got me thinking about how different our senses respond at night time and I thought it would be fun to write a Connect to Nature Class that involved thinking about the natural world under moonlight when everything is magical and ethereal. This is hopefully something we can all also experience now that summer is here, even if from our window we can appreciate a new moon and the way that the mood changes with the sky.

Task 1 (5 mins) Here is another Thomas Hardy quote to set us off:

'The white stars twinkled so vehemently that their flickering seemed like the flapping of wings.' (Thomas Hardy Under the Greenwood Tree)

Write ten words that describe star gazing!

Task 2: (5 mins) Walking at dusk (or even standing on your doorstep and looking out) adds a completely different feeling to the day time. Write a paragraph describing a late evening walk. Consider how the colours change, and the sounds. Contrast what is different to the day time hours.

Task 3: (10 mins) Using the three images above as inspiration begin a story that begins:

Under moonlight……..

See where the story takes you, try to include as many things from the natural world as possible. Here are some ideas of night time visitors to get you started (owls, foxes, bats, moths). You might also want to think about dusk and dawn, who goes to sleep, who wakes up, how does the flora and fauna change.

Or….if you prefer…write about a real memory of a night time adventure or experience outdoors.

Task 4: (5 mins) In my back yard I have some seating, lots of pot plants and some fairy lights for good measure! I really enjoy sitting outside on a cool evening. Often all I can hear are trees rustling behind the house, the odd whirr of a bicycle passing on the street and an occasional caterwaul! Find five minutes in your evening to spend outdoors (anywhere you like) or looking out of a window (you might want to switch electric lights off for clarity if indoors). Record your observations. Notice what you find.

Sometimes it’s really evocative to write from a different time of day. We touched on this before in the skyline sessions. I hope that you find it inspiring thinking about dawn and dusk and the evening hours. Have a lovely week.

Best wishes,

Emma

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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