Week 11: Words from the Wild


Dear Readers,
This week marks the end of Words from the Wild until the New Year. We also finish the book we have been focusing on – The Stubborn Light of Things by Melissa Harrison.

We end today’s session by focusing on the last pages 203 – 209, written in May 2020. During this extract Melissa is thinking about the impact of COVID and reflecting on the fact that one good thing to come out of the pandemic is that it has helped many people to reconnect with the natural world. Melissa also focuses on the woodland and copses that she is familiar with and all the beautiful flowers and scents of Spring.

Inspired by this final chapter here are three tasks related to the final thoughts recorded in The Stubborn Light of Things. I hope that you enjoy the tasks and look forward to starting a new book and set of creative writing tasks in the New Year.

Task 1: Woodland. (5 mins) Melissa writes of a woodland where ‘the broad, glossy straps of their leaves have been creating an unbroken emerald sea for weeks’ (p203 In The Stubborn Light of Things). Imagine a squirrel running between branches amongst the tops of trees. Can you write five lines describing a running, leaping journey in Spring amongst new green leaves, and five lines describing running amongst the branches in winter? Be as creative as you like, you can either write an observational account, or from the squirrels perspective.

Task 2: Wild flowers. ( 10 mins) We are already seeing snowdrops poking through the ground at St Nicks. Imagine a wild carpet of your favourite Spring flowers stretching across a garden. Take your readers on a journey describing your joy at discovering the scene, describe what you do next. Do you pick some flowers for a vase, or sit and admire them? Perhaps you take out a sketch book to draw them?

Here is a list of flowers to get you thinking:

  • Bluebells
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Snowdrops
  • Crocuses

Task 3: Hope. (5 mins) Melissa makes note of our new found awareness of nature through the pandemic. Instead of making a New Years Resolution this year I’m going to make a New Years commitment to spend time in nature. How will you connect with nature in 2021. Write for five minutes about an adventure you would like to have in 2021 that involves the natural world. Perhaps there is somewhere you have always promised yourself you will visit, or return to. Perhaps you want to commit to spend more time outdoors, or perhaps you will plant something unusual or beautiful? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Take care and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,
With kindest regards,

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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