Below you can find summaries of previous meetings and events.
We're very grateful to Lapidus London regular Marie Therese Keegan, who led a wonderful session on journalling for our September meeting.
A diary keeper since childhood, MT shared her own efforts, resources and insights on "time-catching" and inspired us to record aspects of our own lives. She discussed the work she has been doing with Age UK Richmond during the Pandemic where she's been encouraging older people to revisit happy memories. The session included a variety of activities, including the chance to create our own "sensory timeline" and to nourish ourselves with some gratitude writing.
For this meeting, we were very pleased to welcome one of our regular attendees, Roshni Beeharry, who ran a fascinating workshop for us.
Connecting as a Community
In this 90 minute workshop, Roshni used a mix of textual, visual and media as inspiration to get us thinking, writing and reflecting within facilitated discussions about what 'community' means to us before, during and after the pandemic. Also woven in was the educational concept of 'communities of practice'.
Roshni Beeharry is a former NHS Consultant, and currently a Portfolio Medical Educator and Writing for Wellbeing & Personal Development Facilitator, published poet and short form writer. Roshni trained in MA Creative Writing & Personal Development, Sussex University in 2003-5, and in the lockdown period of October 2020, she set up her own small business, Storied Selves. More details on https://storiedselves.com/
Our third meeting of the year took place in June. We were delighted to have Charmaine Pollard running a workshop for us. She guided us through a variety of activities using a selection of carefully chosen writing prompts, including an image of a mountain and the poem 'The Explorer' by David Ignatow.
Charmaine is a Certified Poetry Therapist, a Counsellor, Life Coach and Author. She has recently published her new book Writing for Resilience: Finding the Courage to Bounce Back.
Writing By Hand
Many writers have praised the act of writing by hand. But just how beneficial is it? How does typing compare? What does the research say? Kate McBarron has been exploring this fascinating topic and at our March meeting she shared her findings so far. There was also a chance for us to do our own writing using topical prompts.
The slides from this session can be downloaded below.
To kick start the new year, we indulged in plenty of writing during our January meeting. Focusing on a variety of prompts, we explored the themes of 'the natural world' and 'doorways & journeys'. You can find our January writing prompts here.
This November, Lapidus London co-coordinator Kate McBarron led a topical session for us on 'change'. It's all around us at the moment, with huge changes taking place both locally and globally. After a chance to relax and focus our minds, we delved into our main topic through a series of writing activities. We watched a short film about the changing seasons called 'Breath of Change'. And we responded to a comment made by Jane Austen, about change, in a letter to her sister.
For our September meeting we went on a virtual outdoor adventure, visiting idyllic autumn woods and reflecting on the process of writing in nature. Nicky Torode led a stimulating session, sharing with us some of the exercises and materials she uses in her outdoor sessions. She also guided us through a selection of nature-inspired writing activities.
On Saturday July 25th, we got together via Zoom to enjoy a selection of writing activities.
Alison Clayburn ran two sessions for us, getting our creative juices flowing as we reflected on the image below and considered the concept of 'dawn'.
Alison then invited us to dwell on an everyday object, which we wrote about and shared afterwards with the group.
For our final writing session, Lapidus London coordinator Mary Burns invited us to think about what has brought us joy so far in summer 2020. We shared selected ideas & images, which you can find in the group poem below!
Comfortable shoes in bright colours.
A cheese sandwich and a cup of tea.
Warm scones with
clotted cream and blueberry jam
on mismatched china.
The waft of frying onions,
bubbling lentil soup.
Real cooking, real joy.
Gin infusions from my
next door neighbour.
Playing bingo on Zoom
with my family in Ireland.
Go for tapas
smelling of neroli orange.
In the empty street
a song thrush serenades my solitude.
A joke on the phone
after a long walk home.
Chasing my grandchildren,
Jesse and Ximena.
Meeting my daughter, Maya, in Amsterdam
after months of being apart.
new friendships, swimming buddies.
Laughing, letting the waves lift me,
being in the flow.
Breathing in nature's scents
- the sweet, fresh air.
So much to be thankful for...
We sing together and dance,
lip synched harmonies,
easy like a Sunday morning.
A sudden burst of dancing to
an old pop favourite.
When all else had been swept away
the simple pleasures remained.
Alison Clayburn has been a creative writing tutor for 30 years in diverse settings. Along the way she gained an MA in Writing for Personal Development, poetry and short fiction from Sussex University. Her main interest is in the crossover between self therapeutic writing and the production of powerful poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.
She facilitates workshops in Writing for Pleasure, Poetry and Writing for Self Discovery. They were all based in Rotherhithe SE16, but now they're virtual!
Lapidus members and non-members alike gathered together on Zoom for a catch up at the end of May. Having checked in and said our 'hellos', we enjoyed some guided writing exercises with time to share afterwards. Our thanks to Mary Burns and Christine Hollywood for the thought-provoking and nourishing writing activities.
To get the new year off to a flying start, we hosted a full day of writing at The Poetry Cafe.
Writing Past, Present and Future
In the morning, Lapidus member Judi Sissons led a simple writing exercise combining memory and imagination to reflect on a period from the recent or distant past. We then turned our attention to the present and future at the start of this new decade.
Judi uses these exercises with groups as a tool for self exploration and understanding, supporting people to access memories, transform their relationship with the past, improve self esteem, creativity and wellbeing. For more info about Judi's work see her website: www.thewritingspace.co.uk
The Healing Power of Poetry, with Rachel Kelly
After lunch, we welcomed best-selling author and mental health campaigner Rachel Kelly. Rachel shared how she turned to poetry in her darkest hour and why it helped her. She also revealed some of the poems which spoke to her most powerfully. www.rachel-kelly.net
The afternoon continued with more writing and sharing, led by Judi.
A Dose of Writing: One-Day Event
There was a buzz in the air as we gathered at The Poetry School for a fantastic day dedicated to words and wellbeing. We were treated to three wonderful workshops by Ted Bowman, Christine Hollywood and Narayani L. Guibarra. Find out more here.
Writing for wellbeing at The Victoria and Albert Museum with Kim Sheldon.
We were delighted to take a trip to The Victoria and Albert Museum in June, all thanks to Kim Sheldon. Kim is a regular at our London meetings and she works in the museum. The session included a short tour and the chance to write in response to a couple of selected items. There was also time to share our writing. Feedback about the experience was glowing. Thanks Kim for a wonderful writing session!
Graphic Short Story Workshop by Ottilie Hainsworth.
London Lapidus were fortunate to have the gifted (and very modest) Ottilie Hainsworth share her love and talent for graphic novels with us. She told us how "Talking to Gina – a love letter to a dog who came into a family's life and turned it upside down" came into being and and she spoke about the popular course "Graphic Novels Real Life Stories" she runs in Brighton. She brought along her own diaries for us to view – notebooks filled with graphic accounts of daily life for her and her family. These were truly inspirational.
Ottilie then guided us in an exercise to produce our own graphic short story in a hand made booklet featuring our own cat or dog character. This was a lot of fun and insightful too!