Fifteen attended and we ran out of time for readings, which is no bad thing since it means that plenty of members had written work to offer for comment. I asked how many members were contemplating writing a novel (though I know of four) then briefly offered encouragement, using some quotations posted on the Black Horse Western yahoo group by writer Charlie Whipple. In short, you eat an elephant a mouthful at a time. A brief discussion on the structure of a novel ensued.
It was good to have Pat kicking off the readings; her character Jim’s nostalgic visit to the loft was poignant and touched the group: you can write, Pat, so don’t hold back! Jane gave us a sad piece about a mother lapsing into Alzheimer’s: well realised and deeply felt. Chris regaled us with a poem about the ‘perfect man’, incisive with biting wit. Mary K read out two poems, one entitled ‘Nobody’s perfect’ and the second about a Valentine with a twist. There followed a brief discussion about poetry and the modern tendency to opt out of rhyme, which most found regrettable. Bring back rhyming poetry was the clarion call!
Brenda continued with her saga about Belle, restricting this section to the modern day storyline, which most felt should be tightened up. Characters good as usual, however. Glyn returned to reading another sequence from his story of recruitment in the Army in the 1960s – which had everyone laughing; we were so wrapped up in the tale there was no feedback or constructive criticism!
Cynthia read a short item about the ‘perfect man’, concluding that such a creature would not be a good partner at all. Rob read another snippet about his Spanish mother-in-law – she won the lottery, she told him, explaining that as she was 86, she meant the lottery of ‘life’. Douglas ended by reading a short children’s story written by his late wife Jean, which was about cats and piglets whose tale deserves a home.
Alan’s continuing story about the inheritance will have to wait until next week.