Monday, 8 November 2021
A Child At Heart
Hello everyone, and my grateful thanks for your support and pledges. It's really appreciated by both myself, our many wonderful contributors, and the lovely team at 'Unbound' itself. I am attaching a more detailed video to this, and you will have to forgive me for not always looking at you. It's still something I need to get to grips with. I do have dyspraxia and this can make for an often funny but sometimes frustrating relationship with technology. In the meantime here's a little aboiut me.
My name is Steve and I'm a storyteller. I have been a further education drama teacher by trade, but also a self-employed writer, performer, workshop leader and storyteller. Stories have always been important to me ever since I first wrote them long ago in 'Picture Story' class at Nunsthorpe Infants in Grimsby. I trained in Drama and English at Bretton Hall College, which was a perfect grounding for a book like 'Land in Mind'. The great mansion swept down on to a big lawn and then on to two lakes. Among other delights were a pooh-sticks bridge and a hidden Greek pavilion in the woods. Behind Stable Block where the drama department was resident, was a Greek-style amphitheatre, and in the first few weeks of being a first year drama student, we had to set out alarms very early, so that we could watch the comedy of Aristophanes's 'Frogs', followed by Eurpides's Medea from that hidden little pavilion. At least I think it was that way round. At dusk we gathered, somewhat more alert and less yawny to wach the same programme in the stark, stone magnificence of the amphitheatre. The moment I will aways remember is the ending of Medea, the deus ex machina when her chariot towers over the city after the slaughter of her own children.
I'm not sure why it's that memory that should come to me so clearly now, but I suppose it combines all of the things I love most - drama, setting, the liminal times of dawn and sunset and of course story. Sadly the Bretton Hall that so many of us loved and were inspired with is now being broken apart, although the Yorkshire Sculture Park, (which wasn't there when I was there between 1977-80), is still there of course.
So I think that maybe it's that that familiar Bretton landscape of memory embodies all the good and marvellous things which make up our lovely anthology 'Land in Mind'. It's that that 'Land in Mind' is about! The rekindling of the memories of our childhood and youth and the landscape in particular and being able to take them forward into the rest of our lives, to be called upon as a sanctuary for when we need them. Some of us are more capable of doing that than others, but you'll find that 'Land in Mind' is full of people - mainly writers and poets, as well as historians, musicians, actors, psychotherapists, drama professors, travel writers, artists etc
'Land in Mind' began as a series of blogs on children's writers' site An Awfuly Big Blog Adventure' http://awfullybigblogadventure.blogspot.com/ on the theme of 'A Writer in their own Landscape'.
Alternatively it was inspired by the first poem in the anthology, 'Lifelines', by Kevin Crossley-Holland, and the show we were both unable to do based on it.
Alternatively it is a sort of creative and spiritual autobiography, (which was never my intention) featuring a great many of the people who have been my mentors, inspirations and a few who I have only met through 'Land in MInd'
Alternatively, and perhaps most excitingly, it is a magical book, created through a number of sevens - a journey and a quest at one and the same time to follow an ancient Welsh tale of apprenticeship and enlightenment.
Whichever of these it is, I hope you will enjoy it and thank you so much for starting the ball rolling and your belief in the project..
Finally, all of the images here were taken by the late and lovely Kit Berry, a lovely friend, inspiration and mentor to so many aspiring and actual writers. 'Land in MInd' is dedicated to Kit, with her own and her husband MrB's permission. if you would like to contribute to Kit's fund to combat Motor Neurone Disease, here is how you can do that.
Thank you, and do look out for further regular updates. Please feel free to share your own reminiscences of land and childhood and encourage others to do that, and hopefully also pledge.
take care and until next time.
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