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ThoughtTree workshop 240817

Write a story about a journey, any journey that you personally made that 'sticks' in your mind.

It had been a very lazy two weeks living in John and Linda's Chateau and now it was time to make tracks for home. John and Lin lived about 20 minutes car drive from la gere @ Poittier. It was a beautiful summer morning and the acres bright sunny very green and very yellow Sunflowers with that golden brown centre that we passed on the way all seemed to beam and smile at our car. It was a happy trip and the GTV was sitting on platform 1 with its bright neon sign saying LILLE was glowing in the general gloom of the covered station area.

I boarded.
John & Kin waved at us through the train window standing smiling on the platform. A French announcement Madames and Monsiuers .... it did not sound good and then repeated in english Ladies and Gentlemen we regret to announce severe delay due to lightning strike action...
My heart stopped.
'Oh no could only happen to me and Pat'
'Passengers will experience severe delays...'
Our connection at LILLE was crucial that we connect with.
Onwards was Paris, the tunnel and home in Essex.
I smelt Coffee. A smiling young lady put two nice neat cups down on our small travel table. She appeared to know that we were english 'Complimentary' she glowed at us.
I thought of smily french sunflowers, heaven knows why?
Pdrhaps the strong coffee lifted our spirits.
The train slowly moved of.
Ker Lunk Lunk
Ker Lunk Lunk
Ker Lunk Lunk
In morbid funeral toll endlessly slow repetitions.
We pulled in to LILLE station only to see our connection disappearing into the distance.
Blast we had missed the train by only a matter of a few minutes.
That was the last train to Paris that day.
So Overnight stay. 1 Euro Tax to pay
An apology for a lightning French train strike

The structure of a journey.

1. Emotional
2. Development
3. Characters
4. What happens to them?
5. Disorientation

Write an account of a personal journey in the present tense.
1. Vivid significant
2. Who are you with?
3. What is the mode of transport?
4. Purpose!!

Further suggestions before we started writing.
1. It was March and it was very cold
2. It was 2009
3. Clinical environment
4. Nothing to eat or drink
5. Try to describe feelings, smells, noises, mood [and changes in it]
6. If you sed a Sat Nav how did that go?
7. Any Music playing?
8. Car Journey - Canned Heat are playing 'on the road again.... or going up the country
9. Suggested reading Patrick le Firma 'Walking War Journeys 1938 - 39 - A European Picture
10. A Journey can be viewed/regarded as a person
11. We do not take a trip, the trip takes us somewhere else.
12. More reading suggestions. Homer - Oddessy, Call of the Wild by Jack ??, Cheryl Staid book [un-remembered title] about a journey which was an escape from grief and horrendously bad behaviour
13. Character 'dumps' BUT avoid The Pointless and TRIVIA
14. More suggested reading Death of a Dog in the Night AND Jane Ayre [very much a journey], Departure and Arrivals - Victoria Hislop 'The Island'
15. Thomas Hardy stories always connected to nature
16. MEMOIR writers always desire to reach restorative conclusions - Often a theme FEAR - kills
17. See 'a person who dies on a train' Edith Warton which just disolves into a bleak nothingness


1. Journey by a fairly conventional means
2. Make yourself late for the departure
3. Calm down when you actual achieve your destination [or on the way]


It had been a very lazy two weeks living in Linda & John's Chateau and now it was time to make tracks for home. John lived about 35 minutes drive from The Gere at Pottier. It was a beautiful Summer morning and the acres of bright sunny very yellow petalled and extreme green Sunflowers that we passed on the way all seemed to beam and smile at our passing car. It was a happy trip. The GTV was sitting on Platform with its bright neon sign saying Lille glowing in the general gloom of a covered station area. We boarded. John & Linda smiled and waved from the platform. An announcement in French interupted the smooth departure. Madame & Monsieurs.... whatever followed didn't sound particularly good. Ladies & Gentlemen we regret to announce... My heart fluttered. Oh No, It we agreed could only happen to us. Delays. The connection at Lille was crucial to getting to Paris, Calais, Dartford and Home. The smell of Coffee interupted our thoughts. A smiling young lady 'Complimentry Coffee...?' Nods. She placed two cups on our small travel table. 'How did she know we were english I pondered. And must have looked again in her direction. She smiled a broad pretty smile at me. I don't know why but I thought of Smily French sunflowers. Perhaps the strong coffee lifted us just for a short while.
The train moved off very slowly.
Ker Lunk Lunk
Ker Lunk Lunk
Ker Lunk Lunk in an endless morbid constant morbid Cant.
We didn't get to Lille on time.
We watched our connecting train leave without us.
Our journey to the station master revealed that we missed the last connection for that day, he apollogised that the lightening track staff strike had messed our journey up and on his telephone arranged for a hotel overnight stay for us.
1 Euro stay TAX each to pay.
Some seeming disasters have nice cosy endings after all.


1. Trying to fulfil a great desire
2. Restore something to its rightful place
3. Restore someone to a place that they deserve

As a quest progresses character can come, achieve something and then disappear. OR come back into the story later OR return and achieve something else. Be Creative!

You can change the place where the action happens.
Change the pace. Fast Slow, quick quick slow.
DRAMA = introduces tension, ramp up the drama ramp up the tension, be careful not to overdo it.
TRY TO CREATE A LINEA FEELING *Start here *progress here *End here.
The end of course can be the start for the following Story/Chapter/Set of Events.

FOR HOMEWORK - Choose a particular object and form a Quest around it [how about a ring that makes you disappear :-) ]

***** Write about a memorable personal Journey that you have made *******

The journey was over at last. It was only 500 metres but I had felt apprehension all the way through it. I knew what lay at the end and that was scary enough but not knowing how you got there , staring at an all too familiar far away ceiling , through the constantly changing over hygenic smells, the echoing calling outs and clamour and urgency of events out side the confines of my very nervous bed as I sped at some speed down endlessly long corridors and up floors in a lift towards an impending change of fortune.

TESTS! I hated them. The destination room was very cold, my bottom lip quivered. A nurse said "Yes the bloody machine has to be this cold for it to work properly". And I noticed that she was shivering as well. It was like being in a refrigerated meat store and the distinctive smell of cold was in every small nook and cranny. The nurse said "you can watch on the screen if you like." I did once. A stolen, almost forbidden sqwint in teh direction of an insignificant black and white monitor on the very high ceiling 18 feet or so above the gurney type table. Look at something else / anything else a small frightened child in my head screamed at me.

I was so cold / cold / cold.

Getting on that Gurney had not been easy, it was fairly high off the ground, the metal was cold, and once in a prone position some hands appeared and slid small barriers in place that prevented you falling off this very narrow contraption. "Small Scratch" said a voice and a needle went in my right groin area. Pressure and a tube entering and disappearing somewhere inside me.. A camera mounted of three chrome rails went head to toe, toe to head, head to toe, toe to head, head, stopped, left, left, left, left, right, right, right, right, head to toe. Click. Click. Clank. Clonk. Getting off that gurney was not easy, fear made muscles jelly and positions unclear. Things swam a bit abd I was more of less led back to my journey bed and wheeled into the corridor outside the ANGIOGRAM room. I was unceremoniously left. It was warmer here but inside me was freezing. Shock kicked in following all this trauma. A nurse took a quick glance at me shivering and shaking in the travel bed, grabbed a thick blanket from a nearby huge pile of them and tucked it round me. I sensed the sounds of panic and a very rushed journey began to return me to the original ward from whence I had come in the older hospital wing.


1. A character gets lost
2. Pile on the pressure
3. Falling asleep and waking up somewhere unexpected
4. Meeting someone that you make the wrong initial judgement of Likeable to loathsome, just to bent, trusted to devious

*** NEXT IDEA ***

Keep a journal which is like a Diary BUT in it you record thoughts, feelings, experiences + lessons learned. USE THIS JOURNAL AS SOURCE FOR POTENTIAL FUTURE STORIES

*** Practice People Watching ***
1. Observe
2. Evesdrop
3. Real life reports
4. Listen to gossip
5. Practice free writing - this allows brain garbage collection
6. Create in your mind an imaginary safe place - go there often, there are no critics in there except yourself, and be kind you make the odd mistake by hey generally your a genuine real loveable person
7. Say and think what you really want to
8. Dont be dull! Be more larger than life and creative
9. Analyse what your Verbal Diarhea really can be compressed down to
10. Dictophones are really old fashioned but the idea of regularly recording the odd thought or snatch of a conversation you had with someone.


1. Music
2. Caring directly for someone or something
3. Think about losing confidence and clawing it back again
4. Dwell on something you really want for you

*** That Homework ***

FOR HOMEWORK - Choose a particular object and form a Quest around it [how about a ring that makes you disappear :-) ]

The lady I had just met leaned across to me and deposited the large marble in my left hand. I looked at the glass globe in my hand. It was pink and this wasn't glass. When I held it up close to my eyes it contained millions of tiny alternate layers of red and white. Held further away it went pink. Held closer lots of little layers, hey the layers went it definite patterns.
"It's a crystal." Said the lady who had placed it in my hand.
"It's very pretty, lovely internal structure."
"There are lots of different crystals, this one is a rose crystal, do you like it?"
I looked at the crystal and had to admit that I did like it, somewhere in its depths lay something trying to tell me something. "Yes its very nice."
"Has it changed at all?"
I felt the crystal. I turned it through 90 degrees so its bottom was now its side. It was hot. I turned it again 90 degrees, wow I could hold it again. That was a surprise.
The lady leaned towards me. "Crystals vibrate, different crystals vibrate at different frequencies, they use them in watches, you never heard of quartz crystal controlled watches?"
"Your internals vibrate, your brain has a frequency, if you find the crystal that vibrates at your internal clock frequency it will enable you to do things that you cant do now, without it."
This sounded like pseudo science and could be plausible. I said "Is that right?"
"Yes" she said, "it is right, so one more time, did it change?"
"Well? How did it change?"
"It got hot, so hot, I had to turn it round to a cooler spot."
"No shit!" She said "I usually get the crystal right second or third try, first time right." With that she clapped her hands and like a delighted child threw herself back into the chair. The smile on her face was worth a million smiles.
"Your left hand is your receiving hand and your right hand is your giving hand"
Me, being a bit of a techie, said "Send & Receive, right."
"Right!" She said.

I went searching for shops that sold crystals. I went in a suitably mystical looking shop and sure enough there was a cabinet. It was illuminated with several LED spot lights. In it were lumps of crystal, shards of the stuff. Blue, Orange, Black, Yellow, Green, White, Brown and ... Pink.
"Have you got any round ones?" I asked the shop assistant hovering near me, but trying so hard not to be noticed.
"Oh yes, they are in the cabinet just round this corner, follow me please."
I followed. She had a nice behind.
"There you go we have all sorts of sizes, what did you have in mind?"
i collected my thoughts that had drifted off somewhere, "Pink Crystal."
"Are good choice, sir wants a rose crystal. 24mm is a good size."
Now this was the size that the lady initially placed in my hand back in Silver Street. I asked could I hold it. The lady said 'Sure."
She placed the globe in my left hand. Nothin, it remained cold. I swapped it to my Right hand. The sales assistant smiled at me and I am certain winked at me. She undid her top button on her blouse and said "It suddenly got hot in here, do you feel it?" She took the globe from my right hand our fingers touched and she was sweaty.
"I'll take it" I said.
"£12, you sure its big enough? Hold this one for a while." She leaned below her counter level and came back with a hefty looking object. "63 mm, this is the biggest one we keep in stock, they do bigger ones but they get so heavy." She passed it across the counter top, it had a sort of stand that it sat on. I put a hand on it and lifted it off. It was heavy. Also it wasn't mine, it was heavy, you have to be careful with heavy round objects that are not yours, you know what I mean? So I placed both hands under the globe using inter-linked my fingers. Magical, heat flowed out of the globe travelled down my left hand went up my left arm across my chest and then travelled down my right arm. Then back into the globe. This was puzzling and worth further investigation. "How much is it?"
"You want both?"
"Could do both for £75"
"How much just for the big one?"
"That does not make sense."
"How much for just the little one?"
"Told you already £12."
"Give you £6."
"Right, like I cant sell it for more than that. Tell you what you can have it for £11 or you can have both for £72:50." She blinked her big brown eyes at me so what could I do "Can I take you to dinner tonight?"
"No. We got a deal or what?"
"Oh Okay. £70 it is."
"You're robbin me! But okay deal."
So that was it. I left that shop with my new acquisitions, all wrapped in protective bubble wrap.

Next week I was in Silver Street. My crystal Lady leaned across and said "These are lovely, you know I sell these don't you? Where did you get these?"
I told her.
"They are so nice, especially that big one, you tried them out yet?"
"Can we try them out now?"
"Go for it!"
I held the large globe in my left hand. It was mine now I didn't have to worry about dropping and breaking it. It warmed up almost straight away. That was weird so did the small one that was in my pocket.
My crystal lady leaned over "Really? She was that nice eh? You know she played you. You could have saved £10 buying them from me. I would only have charged you £60, still she did have a nice butt so that was worth the extra huh?"
"How did you know all that?"
Simple you told me, you're broadcasting dude, Hey and I thought you liked me. Only kidding it don't work like that."
"It does for me, can I take you out for dinner?"
"Where we going?"