Creative Writing Group Session – June 2015 “When I was 10…” by Karen Robinson

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View 1 of 7 Abstract Figurative Painting Titled 'When I was 10...' Acrylic Paint on Canvas 60cms x 60cms by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson inspired Creating Writing Session June 2015 .JPG

View 1 of 7 Abstract Figurative Painting Titled ‘When I was 10…’ Acrylic Paint on Canvas 60cms x 60cms by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson inspired by a Creating Writing Session June 2015 Features myself, my sister and my brother on walkabout in Cairns rainforests and along the edge of the mud flats of Cairns’ Esplanade – Australia in 1965 during childhood adventures .JPG



My Creative Writing Group Sessions always leave me feeling, with a sense of having taken a little journey into a new world of endless possibilities, a world where it can be of utter truths or pure fantasies.  Our sessions not only give us an opportunity to engage in creative writing exercises, but also give us the opportunity to listen to others whilst they share their precious words.



During this particular creative writing session June, 2015 we participated in a creating a writing piece, that was generated by a string of words, offered by the creative writing facilitator. The subject matter for this creative writing piece was this ‘…When I was 10…’ and that was it.  We could interpret this string of words in any way we wished.  I decided to interpret the string of words literally, so I wrote about ‘…When I was 10…” and this writing piece can be found below:



Title:  “…When I was 10…”

When I was 10 life was difficult, but let me think more about my childhood adventures instead. I was the oldest of three children. I had a younger sister by 3 years and a younger brother by 4 years. It was my job, most days, to look after us all, whilst mum worked and dad … well, he would work sometimes, and mostly drink other times, and sometimes both at the same time – but enough about dad.


The three of us children would take ourselves off into the tropical rain forests and along the Bay’s esplanade for walkabouts. These times became the sum of our childhood adventures! We would swim in the crystal-clear creeks that were refreshed daily by outbursts of torrential rain. When the creeks were still and quiet, we would study the clear water and search for small fish, tadpoles and look for tiny specks of sparkling gold dust at the bottom of creek beds. We would stalk blue mountain butterflies as they fed on showy tropical flowers within the neighbourhood’s green lush gardens.


Sometimes we would look for mango trees to climb and retrieve mangos to help satisfy our hunger and other times we would search for the freshest coconuts that lay at random beneath the numerous coconut palm trees. It would take us hours and hours to remove the outer hard dark-brown hairy husk of the coconut, but all seemed to be worth the effort once we had reached its inner sanctum of creamy white coconut flesh and opaque coconut water.


We would walk along the Bay’s esplanade and collect the sour-sweet fruit pods that had fallen from the shore-line Tamarind trees onto the ground, then sit on the wall, looking out over the bay, while we sucked on the sour-sweet fruit seeds. At low tide we would venture out onto the Bay’s shore edge which did not consist of sands, but of a mud flat. Each step we would take would have our feet and legs sinking into squishy, soft and sometimes smelly, mud.  Many small soldier crabs lived on these mudflats and would run for cover upon the sight of us three small children.


There were other times where we would take retreat from the burning hot sun under the shade of frangipani trees where we cooled down and rested our tired little legs. We would collect the fallen perfumed frangipani flowers that lay beneath these trees and string them together and hang them around our necks, or my sister and I would place them in our long hair.


Stray dogs always seemed to become our friends and we would often have to tell them to go back home, and stop following us. Perhaps they, too, were looking for adventures. We were always on the hunt for fresh water to drink and over time we grew to know where every fresh water tap was within our walkabout region, where every fruit tree was with available fruits to pick as needed, whether on public land or in private gardens – to us there was no difference. All land was our playground, awaiting our arrival to explore.


These days would end in the inevitable journey back home, where our tired bodies found baths to wash away a day’s play and with sleep ahead to prepare us for the next day’s walkabout adventures. This is how it should have been, but many times the thought of returning home was full of trepidation as we would never know in what condition we would find our father. Would he be there? Better if he was not! If he was there, would he be drunk and angry, fearsome and scary? Would we be able to avoid his tirade, his imposing drunken rampage?


As I said at the beginning of this little story, our lives as children were difficult but I do remember my childhood walkabout adventures with my younger sister and brother with much fondness. I know that these times, for sure, were the birthplace of my love and respect for nature.”


© Karen Robinson, 10th June 2015

*Special thank you to my Creative Writing Facilitator for checking over my creative writing piece above and updating the punctuation, correcting a tiny spelling error and a grammatical error and applying the correct form of copyright so that it looks quite professional. My Creative Writing Facilitator had not changed any of my words, but had removed 2 superfluous ones that detracted from the meaning.  Thank you so much J.B…


After each creative writing session, I personally wanted to use my creative writing stories to inspire an art work.  These artworks are not ‘masterpieces’ but are an important part of a therapeutic process that I enjoy; and helps complete my art for therapy journey after each creative writing group session.  These particular paintings are produced in a quick and spontaneous manner and are unlike my other painting method which is planned and takes many, many hours to complete.  I enjoy both methods!

When photographing my art work, I like to photograph sections of it, as a way of capturing smaller painting stories within the whole painting itself.  Below you can find three figures which represent us as children, myself being the largest – as the oldest child with my younger sister and younger brother.  In the whole painting image, I have little specks of blue which mimics the Blue Mountain butterflies we used to try to catch.  The figurative tree on the right, is a mango tree with ripe mangoes hanging from its branches and at the base of the painting is the silvery grey mud.




Once again, after our creative writing session, we headed off to the local restaurant to share a meal together and engage in good conversation – such a wonderful privilege. Thank you for joining me on this Creative Writing Group Session Journey!  Please click here to view previous Creative Writing Group Sessions.


NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Creative Writing Group”, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session.  I hope you will understand.


Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson

8 thoughts on “Creative Writing Group Session – June 2015 “When I was 10…” by Karen Robinson

    • Hi Gillian, I have to convey a very big thank you, to you, for giving me the opportunity to be part of your organisation’s ‘Creative Writing Group’ & ‘Art Therapy Group’ sessions 2014/2015. It has been an amazing way to reach into the depths of my soul and reach out to other like minded people. Being able to learn to share precious words, to hear others speak of their precious words and to participant in art therapy activities has very much helped to improve my sense of wellbeing. Once again … thank you … sincerely Karen


  1. Great memories and dwelling on the magical adventures. It shows how elastic we can be – escaping from tough times into fantasy. You must have been a great comfort for your siblings – do they have the same ‘happy’ memories of just being together with nature? I had those kind of adventures alone with my dog – being the only kid around most of the time – loneliness can be broken with similar experiences. Adult issues are so perplexing for kids and I remember running off to be away from conflict – even minor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jacqueline…thank you for your response. Yes, you are right about how ‘elastic’ we can be – especially as children. Our childhood adventures certainly helped maintain some sort of balance in our lives, gave us something good to remember so it was not just about child abuse and family violence. My sister and brother being that much younger than I – do not have as strong a memory of these events as I do and we don’t talk about our childhood very much at all. Too painful with many unresolved issues I feel. I found it interesting what you had to say about your dog being your friend and there were a number of dogs in our childhood that were very much our friend. Dogs can be such a comfort… Thanks for sharing … sincerely Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post. How wonderful that you had such a beautiful place to escape life’s difficulties, if only for awhile, and to share it with your younger siblings. I bet it is a memory they cherish. I love how your paintings tell your story also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for reading my story and making your comment. Yes … I believe my childhood adventures with my brother and sister were our way to escape the child abuse and domestic violence in our family home. It was one extreme to another. I enjoy writing and painting – and as you understand both these mediums are a wonderful form of therapy – good for the soul … thank you again for your support … warm regards Karen

      Liked by 1 person

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