Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Sad Songs, Lipstick Lesbians and Mince Pies.

Christmas fever had stricken the Writers´Circle today slashing the numbers to a select gathering of 11 members who had battled their way to the Olympia Bar despite Christmas Day looming on the horizon.

Under the benevolent leadership of the sub-sub-Chairman, Ian, a very pleasant and relaxed morning was spent. Cake, made by the nimble hands of Jane her very self was consumed at the break, followed by Anne´s shortbread, Chris´Norwegian ginger snaps and then mince pies produced with a flourish, once more by Jane. At some point a mini lecture on lesbians was given by Kelle, don´t ask me why, I can´t remember, probably due to the fact that a generous helping of brandy had been added to my coffee by the barman as a gesture of yuletide generosity. But it was very interesting.

Gerry had splendid news. A story of his, which he had read in the group a short while back, "The Old Ranger", is to be published in the February edition of Frontier Tales. Congrats! Well done!!

We eventually got round to the business of the day .

Cynthia had written an email Round Robin by a lady who had finally snapped and put a knife into her spouse and was saying a last goodbye to friends and family before leaving for foreign parts never (she hoped) to be seen again. Very funny.

Mary M wrote about men met through dancing and gave them marks out of ten for their personality and twinkle-toed ability.

Jane´s contribution was a rant about the inability of the UK to cope with the winter weather.

Kelle had a love poem, which is included here in the blog. Very moving.

Chris wrote an anti-Christmas poem, which the sub-sub-chairman thought should be included in the blog.

Brenda had a further excerpt from her novel about Belle. Very well written it was, too.

Heather had a short poem "Sad Songs", which I meant to ask her to give me to include here, but I forgot. (Blame the brandy.)

Finally the SSC, Ian, read a short story called "The Folksinger" about how a member of an Irish folkgroup gets the inspiration to write a sad song.

Have a good Christmas!

Chris J ( See below for poems)

If my love for you were dance I would dance to the end of eternity.

When you charter your own ship
To sail the seven seas
And undertake great adventures alone
Battling with long dead demons.

In the middle of your longest, darkest night
When you fear the world has forsaken you
Polish this silver pearl
And be sure that you are loved.

For somebody, somewhere
Dances for joy
And Eternity
Because you are in the world.

Bah! Humbug!

I don´t know whether to laugh or cry
I don´t know if I should scream or sigh
It´s that time of the year when you have to choose
To be cheerful and happy or take to the booze.

I never buy presents nor choose any cards
Nor write zany emails and send my regards.
I loathe sherry parties and eating mince pies
Getting trapped under misteltoe kissing weird guys.

I chase carol singers away from my door
I find snowmen and reindeer a bloody great bore.
I really hate tinsel and glittery trees
And holly and ivy - they just make me sneeze.

I wish I could hibernate - sleep it away
Wake up in the springtime - miss Santa and sleigh!
If Christmas came at Leap Year it would suit me very well
I´d get some good books and check into a motel.

I´d take along my laptop and surf around the Net
Do anything I want to - maybe place a bet!
I´d order in some pizzas and open up some wine
I´d snooze and snack and tipple - it would be just divine!

When the holidays were over I´d come out of my lair
And say I´d been in hospital so everyone would care.
No-one would be angry, they´d all feel really bad
They´d been having such a good time while I was feeling sad.

So I´d be extra gleeful if I spoiled their Yuletide cheer
Give them a guilty conscience and to their eyes bring a tear.
I´d start to treasure Christmas - look forward to it all
If I could trash their daydreams, I think I´d have a ball!

Monday, 21 December 2009

DC Fails Late Fitness Test

The Deputy Chairman who was to have chaired this week's meeting unfortunately cannot attend to carry out his duties - he wishes to thank in advance Ian for standing in.

By Wednesday El Gordo might have solved all our problems - these are the numbers which hold our fate.

Happy Christmas everyone, and hope to see you on the 30th.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Homeless or lonely men, abandoned dogs, a grandad with Alzheimer's disease - it must be the bad weather that has got our members depressed!

Nik told the meeting about a magazine called Midnight Street. He had written a story for them in 2008 and it had only just got printed, which illustrated the virtues of perseverance and persistence.
There were apologies from Rob, Christine, Ian, and Jen.

Mary Morris read a story written a while ago called ‘Searching for power’. Sam, a lonely character, lived in a dilapidated cottage with a beautiful garden. He was a water diviner. The narrator had asked him to visit regarding the availability of water on a site where she wanted to build a house. An airmail envelope arrived from his son who now works for Red Adair putting out fires. Nik said she needed to introduce herself as the narrator, and the story needed more conflict and tension.

Douglas‘s contribution was a story about a homeless man accompanied by a small terrier dog who looked as tatty as his owner. They sheltered in a barn where there was dry hay. A youth set fire to the hay and the man and dog were taken into the farmhouse and fed. This was a turning point back to normality for them. Nik said we needed to know more about why the man left his house. There was some author intrusion; the narrator has told us something rather than the information coming through the eye of the character.

Alan’s story was called ‘Persistence pays’ which was about a mongrel who had been dumped on the street. He followed a man to his home and was eventually taken in, ah. Members thought it was a very funny story and that his writing had improved a lot since he had joined us.

Mary K read out a limerick. ‘There was a young man in Japan whose limericks never would scan.’ Very humorous. Then a poem about wedded bliss. That didn’t seem to last very long, how true to life. Nik thought it could be sent to Navy News.

A new member, Michael Walsh, introduced himself. He has been in the Costas 10 years and was originally from Liverpool, and takes writing seriously. He thought that the worldwide web had increased the possibilities for writers to get their work published.

Brenda continued her novel. The narrator reads Elizabeth’s diary written in her last few days of life. It explains her lack of warmth towards her daughter. ‘My dear Minerva I found it easier to give affection to sons rather than daughters. I love you in my own way. I hope you are happy. Your mother Elizabeth.’ The narrator felt sorry for Elizabeth. Brenda was advised to edit out the clich├ęs.

Heinke has written a story for Flash Fiction, which had to be no more than 75 words, concerning an air flight where two people shared the arm rest.

Glyn continued his story of Ned’s first day at apprentice College. It told of Ned complaining about the food and an ensuing punch up where Ned learned the wisdom of palling up with someone stronger than himself, Scouse Jock. Entertaining as ever.

Heather wrote about a mother being given a ticket to go to a show in London with her daughter but not being able to go because she couldn’t leave her husband to look after her father who had Alzheimer’s. 'I can’t leave your granddad, you know that.‘ The old man’s great grandson Jamie came in with a balloon. The old man’s arm shot out and played with the balloon, while everyone else was arguing. He and Jamie shared a secret smile before he withdrew back inside himself. ‘It was the best Christmas present I ever had.‘ Nik liked much of the wording used, ‘I used to think his head was like a honeycomb, like a deep dark forest, in another universe’ but the title ‘The Christmas present’ gave the game away. Once again a very readable story.

As ever there was excellent advice from Nik. Next week’s themes are Sad Songs or The Passing. Oh no, not more doom and gloom.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

It's being so cheerful that keeps us going!

Ian was the deputy chairman to the deputy chairman, Rob and Nik both being absent, and started the readings with a poem about the mother of the bride being mortified because someone else had the same hat on as she had, although she had been told by the shop where she bought it that all their hats were unique. He also read a poem about this week’s subject ‘Santa didn’t come’. It was a sad poem about a little boy wishing for his daddy to come back, who had been killed in Afghanistan.
Jenny read out a poem called BARSTOOL BABE, which is here below:

Sunbed brown
Diet thin
Platformed feet
Wrinkled skin
Too-tight jeans
Hair bleach dried
Lipstick bright
Tattooed backside
Fag-stained fingers
See-through top
Eyes glazed over
Fit to drop
Every night
On barstool sits
Belly pierced
Silicone tits

By Jenny Kearney

Glyn read out a poem that he had tightened up with the aid of Chris. It was entitled ‘TIME’. ‘I wonder where those seconds went.’ It showed Glyn’s romantic side. Yes he has got one.
He also read a poem written by his son Dylan, who was named after the famous Welshman Dylan Thomas, Glyn’s favourite author. ‘Of course I love you’ it began and ended ‘Shut up while the football’s on and fetch another beer’. A son after Glyn’s heart.
Heather’s story was called ‘Somebody to Love’ and concerned the narrator’s love for a person glimpsed in the street. The writer finds out where he lives but fears she will lose what she has not yet had if she approaches him. The story highlighted the blurring of love and obsession. The group thought it was an intense and brilliant story and very well written. The general impression was that the writer was a stalker.
Mary 1’s poem was called ‘All at Sea’. It was about a list of things to do before she reached 40. We all looked askance at this; not wanting to point out that she maybe was a bit late in the day for that ambition. Glyn asked if the poem was written on parchment. That was putting it a bit strong! Her number 1 thing to do was go on a cruise where she would have a ball.

Jane’s contribution was a poem written after watching a TV programme about the conditions that dementia sufferers live under. ‘Hooray for Geoffrey Robinson.’ He had conducted an investigation into the homes and it was sad beyond belief.
It’s being so cheerful that keeps us going!
There was nobody else to read - we all scrabbled in our bags for old stories to read at this juncture, but couldn’t find any - so we had hot pen in the second half. We looked at the picture on the front of the Coastal Press, which pictured a little girl and a small tree circled with stones. Christina wrote about a dog that had died and was buried under the tree, Heinke wrote about the tree being a little tree of hope, Heather wrote about the forest being indifferent, a monstrous regiment. Brenda’s story was about a mother looking for her little girl who was nowhere to be seen. She didn’t have time to finish it but the exercise had motivated her to finish the story for another time.
Mary 2’s contribution was about planting a sapling which would grow into a tree. Mary 3’s story was going to be about a little girl adopted by her sister and when the family secret was revealed no one would believe it. She will finish the story another time.
Kelle said the little girl reminded her of her foster children; two girls aged 6 and 9. The little girls’ mum put them into care and never came back for them.
Another excellent meeting.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Our Heinke is becoming Famous

You might be interested to read this article about our Heinke, fast becoming a famous TWCer.

Heinke's article

PS For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting Heinke's dog, Misty Blue, her photo is attached. She is also becoming famous, but still rather shy.

For more see her blog, which appears on our blog list (look right)


What is Poetry?

Discovered a great new site which via videos answer anything about everything - try this one first. Click on arrow head to play

Poetry Basics

If you want more go here

You will have to register to view.

Friday, 4 December 2009


Nik read out the story which will be published in the Winter edition of the magazine Telling Tales - “Remorseless Time”, which is about behaviour control in the near-future. He also read out the Secret Seven Sins committed by many contestants in the recent Harlequin novel competition...

Glyn continued his novel about Ned and his first day in the Army. The recruits were all starving and making their way to the cookhouse at dawn. They could see the food there which was for special people like the boxing team, which consisted of sausage, bacon and all the trimmings. Unfortunately that food was taken away and replaced by PSE, processed scrambled eggs, dried up beans, and sausages which looked like pigs' willies, and thick lumpy porridge. The recruits thought the food could not taste worse than it looked but they were wrong. Everyone enjoyed the continuing saga.

Nik said, "It was food for thought" and Rob said, "Don’t egg him on." When will the puns dry up? Is there an association called Puns Anonymous which they could be sent to for treatment?

Ian read a story called “The cutting edge.” The main character was a surgeon and it was his job to perform the tricky operation. They were in Camp bastion, Helmund province, Afghanistan where it is not unknown for soldiers to be blown up by IEDs. The surgeon removed the layers of flesh, then .... there was a very neat twist at the end which I won’t reveal. Everyone thought it was a cracking story and festive to boot.

Joy read a poem called “Life’s a bitch’ about having a tooth abscess and root canal problems which gave her a rash; the antibiotics the doctor gave her made her face swollen and she was off to Benidorm for the weekend not being able to have a drink, while her friends were drinking wine. One bonus was that the swelling smoothed all her wrinkles out. If only that could be patented! Enjoyable as always.

Jenny read a poem about complacency. It was about a homeless person and was very sad. The past was best forgotten and there was no future.

Mary’s story was about the time when she was a teacher called “Flash of fame”. It concerned a visit from Blue Peter. She was thrust into the limelight against her wishes and a programme appeared on Panorama and Blue Peter showing her in her baggy tracky bottoms, which she had tried to avoid. Her stories are always good fun.

Mary M read a poem about random thoughts:
As I lie in my bed many thoughts go through my head
The smell of granny’s baking bread, news of children not being fed
Many bodies lying dead, standing near the garden shed
The bonfire turning faces red, little puppies being bred to test the drugs and give them cred
Wish lists up the chimney sped, Santa coming on his sled
The step on the stairs bringing dread, the beating after which you bled
The holy bible being read, the rosary being said

Heather’s story concerned a single mum and her baby. “Mrs M will be round saying oh poor you when really she wanted to make sure the baby was being looked after OK”. “Most men think babies are a pain in the arse!” How true that is. The girl admits she was stupid to have this baby. She should have talked like a ‘les’ then she wouldn’t have strayed in the graveyard with Jay. She didn’t mind being pregnant because people had to talk to her, and there was a lot of fuss. “When did it fade into nothing? This world is shite and there is only me to blame.” Everybody thought it was a fabulous story and very sad. Jenny suggested that it could be read at a performance evening where there could also be poetry reading.

Maureen read out something which she wrote for the Lonely Planet website: “Africa the hard way, a beginner’s guide.” It told of a holiday where the kitty was seldom enough to provide meals as it had to provide the driver with his beer. Africa proved not as romantic for the travellers as they had imagined. Following several mishaps eventually their battered transport gave out in the Namibian desert. Maureen said the holiday was, however, fabulous.

Gerry’s contribution was about justice. The jury said not guilty even though everyone knew the people in the dock had done it. An old couple had been attacked in their home, the police found the husband dead and the old lady died 2 days later. Loopholes used by the defence counsel meant that both brothers were acquitted. Rick was the grandson of the old couple and was determined to wreak vengeance for their death. He texted the eldest brother, "You are about to die." That was half of the story so we wait to hear if the brothers got their just desserts. Very entertaining.

I think I forgot someone, apologies for that.

That was the end of another good meeting.