I thought you might like a sample of prose from Writing at the Maison Bleue. Writers at the Maison Bleu retreat share their writing by leaving a sample on the table in the great salon in the house by the Canal du Midi.
Veteran writer Francine's 'writing on the table' speaks of her adventures forty years before when she was a child in France in World War Two.
She has been left without her parents
in the harbour town of Agde
At the deserted refuge I choose a small case from my mother’s collection and in it pack my schoolbooks, two suits that I cut down from suits made for my mother, the shoes with tyre soles that Auguste made for me, my red scarf, the little black and white photograph me and my mother at the door of the house where I grew up. A photograph of me on my bicycle, taken by Auguste. The little package with my mother’s cherry red dress. On top of them I put a cardboard folder with my butcher’s-paper stories on them. I add in more empty sheets where I decide will write more of my life out there in that secret place the country.
I will have to hold in my head the images of Auguste’s harmless kisses and the loving touches we shared behind the scenes at the blue house. And I will remember the bad things that went on there. The things we did.
I wedge the suitcase on my bicycle and walk it down to the harbour. Madame Griche is there outside the laundress’s door, now closed and locked. She has her heavy bicycle with her, with the baskets back and front quite common these days.
I look for Auguste and his mother. But there is no sign them him. I will not be able to kiss him goodbye.
Writers Francine, Joe, Mariella, Abby, Felix, Kit and Tom all leave very different examples of writing on the table in the salon at the Maison Bleuethat tells us a great deal about them and their role in the story.
Hope you are enjoying the book!