Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Get bugging!

This post is later than I intended but is still just in time to let you know about Big Over-hearing Day tomorrow.

Promoted by Bugged, it is a mass 'happening' for writers in the UK. On July 1st they are asking you to eavesdrop, wherever you are - on the train, in the pub, at the checkout. What you overhear becomes the starting point for your writing. 

It's a great exercise in observation for writers - which of us can say we haven't caught snippets of real gems in passing from random strangers? When coming up with characters it's so important to give them different voices, and what better way to get a feel for different ways of expressing yourself than listening - really listening - to other people.

I shall be positioning myself in one or more likely locations and will post again about it if I come up with something juicy - hope you join me! The intention is to build a piece of writing based on these 'eavesdroppings' but they're often beauties in themselves:

Stressed mother to small child on Merseyrail near Bootle: 'You do tha' again an' Bob the Builder's goin' in the bin!' 

Bugged is also on here on Facebook and is organised by Glastonbury Poet-in-Residence Jo Bell.

p.s. does anyone like my new broken biro? I broke it myself.


  1. You made quite a job of that biro!

    I am planning to participate in Bugged tomorrow. I'm going to sit in the library for a while, pretending to read. Strategically positioned between the newspapers and the romance and large print section should hopefully be fertile territory!

    Hope you have a happy B. day.

  2. That's a very beautifully broken biro :)

  3. I shall try and remember this tomorrow. Thanks for the heads-up. (Hate that expression, but it was the only one I could think of.) And I LOVE your library!

  4. Christine: I rarely overhear anything of consequence in the library but shall endeavour to listen more closely (though not in tomorrow)

    Rachel: I thenk you

    Fran: you love my library background picture or you've really been to MY library? You're not a stalker are you? I'm not going to find you lurking near the 364.5 (serial killers) am I... if you are you'll have to form an orderly queue with the good folk of Wallasey

  5. Nice PEN, BB! I just can't bring myself to say biro. It's as pretentioius as inserting random French words into my speech.

    But to the point of this post - this is a fabulous idea! I love it and think Canadians should adopt it too, ESPECIALLY since July 1 is Canada's birthday, and this would mean that a significant number of oerheard conversations would actually be drunken rants.