Overhearing the Ordinary

There have been some wonderful examples of overheard conversations coming in,  and many of you appear  to have a real skill – or is it just a certain setting on your antennae? – for picking up quirky, unusual, and downright surreal snippets of conversation. Unlike me.  I only seem to overhear the most ordinary things: “What time are you getting the bus?”; “Hot, ain’t it?” “Come  here! Now!”; and so on. Maybe there are others of you who have the same experience. Well, I’ve decided it doesn’t  matter. This project is about taking any overheard piece of conversation as a starting point, and the ordinary can be as much of a key to unlocking a piece of writing as the unusual. Each thing spoken is an insight into a moment of time, a mood, a story, a life.  So don’t let the lack of the unusual put you off. We can celebrate in writing the rhythms and music and poetry of ordinary speech. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. “Get writing! Now!”

David Calcutt

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2 thoughts on “Overhearing the Ordinary

  1. I have a habit of scribbling down phrases said by my classmates in school, such as; “It’s not my fault if I changed history because its boring!’
    However, these scribbles are scattered throughout textbooks and notebooks, some on post-its. I like it when I see one when I am not expecting it, they are quite funny.

  2. I do exactly the same thing. I have pages and pages of notes that I read back when I’m in the mood for a laugh. Most are x-rated because of the school I went to. Thank goodness it wasn’t just me.

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