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 clichés.

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.


  1. Hope to be next Wednesdays meeting (I always turn up when there are Mince Pies around)

  2. My best wishes to all for the next two sessions, when I'll be away. (Can't stand all that doom and gloom, obviously...) - Nik

  3. Hi! I found your site via Rob Innis, and I'm glad I did! Sounds like an interesting group, and I'm looking forward to following!