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Travel Broadens the Literary Mind?

(Hallgrimur Helgason reading from his latest book)

Travel Broadens the Literary Mind?

After a few days in Iceland Ive returned home with the knowledge that this small rocky island in the North Atlantic has a strong literary tradition. As we were told, with a population of roughly 330,000 and one Nobel laureate of literature Iceland has the highest ration of literature laureate per capita in the world!

The Icelandic story telling tradition began with the sagas, originally spoken tales mostly based on family and historical events. that took place in the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. They recorded the struggles and conflict in society including many tit-for-tat killings.

We visited the home of Halldor Laxness (1902-1998), Icelands laureate, and were given a reading by Hallgrimur Helgason. He read from his latest work, a very funny account of someone trying to make an appointment at the crematorium for himself, and then the poem Suit and Tie that he wrote for the first anniversary of the Icelandic financial crash. You can see him reading the poem on You Tube.It is well worth listening to.

One evening we did a literary tour of Reykjavik. Not only was this a great way to see the older buildings in the city and hear the history but it also introduced me to readings from other Icelandic writers. I already knew Yrsa Siguroardottir, but will now make sure I read more of her books. Im also going to look out for Arnaldur Indrioasun, another contemporary Icelandic crime writer.

Finally at a fireside tales evening in the hotel we were entertained by an actress reading excerpts from the sagas, a piece by Laxness, and a charming childrens story about giants who, story has it, are turned to stone by sun light and since giants are not very bright Iceland is littered with giants who have been turned to stone.

So Ive returned with a greater understanding of Icelands literary traditions and a list of authors and books to look out for. Travel can broaden the literary mind.

This Week
Category: Site News
Tags: news

I hope this week finds you all well.

Monday Muse Crilly has posted the muses with six sentences ideas and four picture prompts.
- there were two moons that night
- Her passport had expired...
- brushed away the dust from the gass mask
- or a picture of a midwife, some Vietnamese(?) peasants, or a station master

People seem to be finding the muses a good prompt. See how many can write this week. Any style any number of words - just get something down on paper.

Chris has provided us with the blog this week, Write for One Person - takes inspiration from Carl Phlilips and William Kenower, about writing for an audience of one, as each reader is an individual. Don't try and cover everyone and learn to find your own voice.

On the Bragging Stool this week Sue's illustration has been used for one of the Ad Hoc winning stories, and a week wouldn't go by when she hasn't had a story on the Ad Hoc challenge!

February Challenges and Opportunities are up and there will be work to look at very shortly when I post a story for critiquing! How about entering a competition this month? Lots to chose from at the moment.

The next informal meeting will be held on Sunday 12th February at 11am CET

The next formal meeting will be held on Sunday February 26th at 4pm with Maggie in the chair.

Bright and chilly this morning here in Cumbria. I hope it is nice where you are. Wishing you a good writing week!

Site News 24th October 2016
Category: Site News
Tags: news writing

I don't believe I already wrote the site news and then lost it as it didn't post! Feeling rather annoyed.

Hamish has written this week's blogon the best way to use writer's groups. He has already collected many comments so go over and check it out. He may also be looking for a crit partner for a novel, which seems a fair exchange to me.

Crilly has added this week's muses - a mixture of pictures and starter prompts. The musing has been quiet of late, but maybe the autumnal weather will keep some people inside to write (sorry Crilly, I know its different for you!)

Vanessa and Dianne are on the bragging stoolwith a new anthology out Pearl Harbour and more in ebook format from 1st November. I'm sure Laura and Sue are on the Ad Hoc flash fiction pages this week again but I can't find the brag at the moment.

Sue has posted the minutes of the meeting yesterday on site. Check them out.

Jill has a story for critiquing on the October challengeand if anyone has suggestions for November challenge I think Sue will be posting a forum soon.

Nanobegins next week. Many will probably be busy with that but I shall be around with normal writing if anyone wants to hang out still! Good luck to nano-ers and happy writing to all.


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