Thursday, 22 January 2009

Meeting of 21 January 2009

A packed meeting – 24, with two new members and in addition three guests. Ian wrote about the theme, a meal, with a clever and topical tale of today echoing something that happened 2,000 years ago. These eco terrorists called themselves FATE – Fight Against Temperature Extremes! Brenda lingered on her Hard Knocks novel with some excellent period description but will need to address the lack of dialogue. Glyn finished his short story with a grim and sad ending; his problem will be finding a market, though competitions might be the way to go. Geoff dropped in from UK again was burning to give us the wonders of toast. Christine read a topical and clever poem, inspired by the inauguration of Barack Obama the night before. Anne Flynn read her humourous 1,000 word piece, held over from last week, about a call centre. It was written in the vein of Bob Newhart and raised many a laugh and struck a few chords with the members.

Considering we only had half a session for readings, quite a bit of ground was covered. When time allows perhaps more members should offer comments on the shorter pieces read out; difficult, since there’s less material to take in, but I’m sure the writers would appreciate feedback.

The second half was devoted to the talk given by Liane Carter, whose passion for writing generated much interest and enthusiasm. Her mantra comprised several key words: persistence, discipline and self-belief. She offered top tips from her experience and her author interviewees. These days it’s also essential to network and get plenty of contacts and don’t be afraid to promote your work and yourself. While there’s no right or wrong way to write, Liane finds it easier to write in 20 minute spurts; 20 writing, 20 doing other things then back to writing for another 20 minutes. She emphasised, quite rightly, that self-editing is essential as is the ability to take and use criticism. Never give up and never be too precious about your words. At the close, Liane sold copies of her book ‘The Chronicles of Joya’, the first in a projected series of twelve.

Next week’s theme: The storm – or The river. Or anything else that’s been written, of course.

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