The brief was to produce 500 words of creative writing based on a pop song. I decided to challenge myself by taking Smash Mouth’s “All Star”, pulling it apart word-by-word, and then piecing it back together to form a new narrative. I had to alter the punctuation to fit the new piece, but not a single letter was deleted, only moved somewhere else. Only a small few lines remain perfectly in-tact.
I was given the prompt, “The Road Less Travelled”, to create any 500-word piece. An idea came to mind in a fantasy setting. As I haven’t established a fantasy world of my own yet, I pictured this little scene happening in Analand, a region of Titan from Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy series.
Here is the explosive final scene (but you can watch the whole thing from the UWE ITC Vimeo account at https://vimeo.com/user2729874/videos/) – I played Florio, father of the doomed siblings. This is the production featured in another written piece of mine: Simon Garrington Goes to Hospital
These updated poems were first written by me in 2005, not for any particular reason. I tried to link them together into a series of poems about different animals either going on adventures or learning important life lessons, though that never came to fruition. Maybe one day.
In spring of 2010 we were tasked with creating a short scene of Tragedy, pulling influence from materials studied. I wrote a contemporary adaptation of Antigone, moving the story’s events to modern day Iraq, where my semi-fabricated conflict of American Occupiers against Militant Insurgents replaces the Civil War that precedes Sophocles’ play.
In 2006 my A-Level drama group created a half-hour piece of theatre based on the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment of Dr Zimbardo. A lot of time, sweat and tears went into the production, and so did this poem, which kicked off the piece (this version is edited, as the original was filled with mistakes in meter and rhyme):
During the summer of 2006 I saw a particularly rubbish snippet of a television show called Brainiac Test Tube Baby in which a child made a funny face for 15 seconds of fame, and thought, “I could do that”. I emailed the show, saying that I could do at least 5 interesting things with my
A university essay I produced for a module on representing the self and representing others. Researching this piece truly opened my eyes to the narrative-driven, entertaining, and deceptively well-planned world of American professional wrestling.
I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was to rediscover this poem. First written to be performed at a student open mic night, I gave it a thorough edit and submitted it a year later as part of my final Creative Writing handover (hence the rationale, which is about as good as explaining a joke ever is). This poem is in no way dirty, so take your filthy mind out the gutter.
Another 500-word creative writing challenge – write something based on real-life events. When I visited Minsk almost a decade ago with a student theatre group, I kept track of everything in a leather-bound diary (snarf snarf snarf – what a nerd). The one momentous happening that never reached the pages of my journal was when Simon had to go to a Belarusian hospital, where a burly nurse administered an injection to his rump, for which he was expressly thankful. I used this opportunity to write down Simon’s experience, from the time-damaged memory of his own recount at the time (plus a few embellishments, natch).
The first hand-in for a 1st-year-undergrad university course on Creative Writing I took in 2009. I couldn’t bring myself to read all of it again, it’s so badly informed (notice the complete lack of critical perspective in my bibliography). I assume that I’d rushed this last minute; choosing instead to dedicate the weeks I had in preparation to partying and playing megadrive. That first line even – eurgh! “EVERY film and play has at least one defining theme”?! What tosh. Past Monty is, and always will be, an imbecile. Well, enjoy…