Sunday, 9 May 2010

Computers, couples and conflict

Fifteen attended and eleven offered readings of their work. Apologies were duly received.

Douglas began the proceedings and wrote about his relationship with computers, beginning in the Cold War of 1969 in West Berlin, when he prepared the ‘exodus plan’ – just in case. Then, the official computer filled a large room. In the 1970s, he was instrumental in introducing word processors into his travel agency. Then there was the Sinclair ZX, the desktop, the laptop, online access and networks. Considered both a curse and a boon, sites such as Facebook have nevertheless brought people together – not least, one of Douglas’s lost relatives. Meanwhile, some folk attempt to stay off the radar – yet probably fail. Try keying in your name on Google – you might be surprised what’s out there about you!

Mary M gave us an intriguing piece about dodging the truth, while Cynthia got near the knuckle with a sex-change story about pregnancy and soccer millionaires!

Most of us blinked so missed Chris’s flash fiction involving an orchard and apples – all in twenty words!

This was the day before the election. One subject dear to UK voters was probably rubbish collection – as opposed to the rubbish spouted for your vote. Mary K gave us her memories of her time in Switzerland in the 1980s. A place riddled with informers, spying on any misplaced rubbish and of course those beloved Recycling Days, with their magnets, queues and picnics. A really interesting article that’s worthy of a bigger audience.

Jenny’s flash fiction piece was about road rage. In the space of few words, she conveyed the gamut of emotions, with a chilling ending. This too deserves to go out into the world and be read widely.

Ian gave us a short story on the ‘odd couple’ theme. As usual, it was laced with good observation and description, and over it all was a looming threat. Grim, too. Nik recommended the book The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille; it covers similar ground.

Heather told us about ‘Once upon a time in NY’, during her exchange student days in the University of South Carolina. This 1960s tale really came alive.

Glyn read the first half of his love story featuring a National Service soldier and his girl; to be continued next week!

Heinke spiced things up with her sauce making. The subject of sex and food would probably generate an interesting mix, perhaps…

John told us about Glorious Gloria, the man-mad friend of his ex-wife. She boarded foreign students, among other things… An amusing and well drawn character.


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