Alex and Paul’s joint effort

Last Tuesday (19th) Rick set us up in pairs and asked each pair to write paragraphs of a piece of prose alternately. Alex and I wrote the piece below. I have transcribed it exactly as we wrote it on the night.

For some reason, the tide doesn’t want to be in or out during the middle part of the day. If you want to see ships enter the dock, you will have to catch the high tide, which is only early in the morning or late at night. I have only seen ships twice in my seventeen years in Berkeley.
Sometimes I watch the tides change, unaware that time has passed. The river sucks in water with an invisible straw, and lets it seep back in under the brows of the clouds.
Few creatures visit this place, preferring instead the comfort of the crowds up at the New Grounds. Sometimes I see a curlew; sometimes a sparrowhawk; but the sight of a lapwing, performing the aerial dance of a flock, alone, shows how empty it really is.
I remember once I took someone there. Dared them to share it with me. Ive tried to share it, but we soiled the silence with too many breaths, too many eyes; I was aware of the seconds and the moment seemed staged and finite.
There is nothing here that wants to be found. There is nothing to be shared except what you bring with you. You must bring the sky. You must bring the water. You must bring the emptiness, and the solitude.
I fear the people who bring nothing. I have distanced myself from their emptiness. I tell them to leave me alone by writing these words in the murky mudbanks with my weathered fingers. They get the hint and the fading daylight blends them into the night, whilst I stagger on.
Tomorrow they will be washed away. Tomorrow the river’s soothing touch will smooth away the scars. The healing has begun.


Normal For Stroud is a blog for use by members of Stroud Writers Group

Tuesday 17th August
A good meeting with six of us attending, including one new member.

We visited Stroud Cemetery where Rick asked us to choose a grave and create an obituary inspired by the name of the person buried there.

There were a few questions about the blog:

Is it possible to receive notification of new posts?
If you look at the bottom of this page there is a button entitled “Sign me up!”. Press this button and follow the instructions. If you have a WordPress account and you are logged in, emails will be sent to the address you used to sign up to WordPress. You will also note that if you post a comment you are given the option of being informed when there is a reply.

Can we embed links to other sites in the posts?
You can embed links in post, comments and we even have a sidebar of permanent links (on the right). If you can’t see it go to the top of the page and click on “Normal for Stroud”. If you want to add a link (e.g. to your existing blog) email it to me.

If you want to see examples click here.

Can we link to FaceBook?
Apparently there are various ways of linking to FaceBook, Twitter and a few other networking sites. The only thing I have tried so far is to set up a Twitter account and have tweets displayed in a blog (not this one, but it wouldn’t be difficult).

Homework (optional obviously)
Expand on the obituary created during the meeting (or whenever!)

Rick is thinking of creating a magazine and is looking for ideas for a name.

Members can post their work here for review and comment by other members of the group. If you would like to post for review please ask at the next group meeting, or leave a comment below. If you have problems posting you have a few options

  1. Email the text to me and I will post it on your behalf or
  2. Ask me for advice or
  3. Follow the link to the wordpress tutorial page

During the summer, meetings will be held at Rick’s house. I don’t want to post Rick’s address on the internet so if you need to know how to get there please contact Rick.

For blog related enquiries I am at most meetings or can be emailed at

Here are some draft rules for commenting on work (to be discussed)

  1. Polite and friendly
  2. Constructive comments are preferred
  3. No personal or offensive language