Thursday, 24 June 2010

a good laugh and a bit of innuendo

John Major (no not that one) had written a story called ‘The Bus’. Pauline with her 2 children was making her way to the shops in Dublin for the sales. A vertically challenged person (in other words a dwarf) got on the bus. A young boy offered her his seat, having been brought up to be polite, and the short person told him to sit down saying that she was not disabled just small. The young boy was embarrassed. When Pauline got off the bus she turned round to the young boy saying, ‘your mum and dad should be proud of you’, and to the short person, ‘I hope Snow-white beats the shite out of you when you get home’. Political correctness had not reached Ireland at that stage. Everybody burst out laughing. It was a brilliant story and a very good first effort.

Michael read out a story called The Box. Some young lads went to play in the forest and found a box. It was difficult to fit all the parts together but eventually they did and one of the lads, Robert, sat on the box and promptly disappeared. In desperation another of the lads, Douglas, sat on the box and he disappeared but Robert reappeared. Robert is still in hospital now and Douglas was never seen again. The story was thought to be entertaining but needed more dialogue. Advice was that Michael should re-write the story with himself as one of the boys and that it could then be sent in to a short story competition.

Jenny had written a poem on the theme ‘talking plants’; about what plants out here in Spain would say if they could speak, i.e. asking for the hose to be switched on.

Mary's contribution was a poem about keeping a secret. How people are sworn to secrecy but can’t help but tell all. How true.

Brenda read out more of her book about Belle. About how her children were so glad when their mum finished with Richard because she had made their life hell while she was trying to keep him in her life. As always there was good dialogue, which comes easy to Brenda.

Douglas (see Michael’s story) suddenly reappeared and gave us details about when he got his MBE from the Queen Mother (the Queen being in Canada at the time). It was very entertaining and interesting and was obviously a day to remember.

Glyn read out a poem about a prostitute ‘Burnt out Brass’. It was a very well executed poem about the life of a prostitute from birth to when her services were coming to an end at the age of 50. Very relevant to today’s society.

John’s contribution was a very amusing story about a holiday to Portugal when he stayed with Sylvia and Clarence. Another guest Claus turned up with a new young girlfriend. The other ladies thought her breasts were false. Clarence couldn’t get his head around this, although he would have liked to! When he revisited 4 years later he learned that Claus had had a heart attack. (I wonder why!) Entertaining and a bit naughty as ever. It was thought the travel documentary side of the story should be separate from the amusing anecdotal side.

Maureen wrote a poem called ‘after the rain.’ 'My heart was empty, shunned by society.' She wrote this in memory of a line in a poem by Racine called Phaedre.

Extract from Wikipedia about Racine. ‘Phèdre is right to fear judgment; she is driven to an incestual love for her stepson Hippolytus, much like the other women in her family, who tended to experience desires generally considered taboo. Her mother, Pasiphaë was cursed by Aphrodite to fall in love and mate with a bull, giving rise to the legendary man/bull hybrid the Minotaur. Phèdre meets Theseus, her future husband, when he arrives on the Minoan scene to kill her monstrous half-brother, the minotaur.’ Them ancient Greeks were a naughty lot.

Another enjoyable meeting. Hot pen next week!!


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Rain in Spain.

It´s mid-June and it should be boiling hot but today saw the third day in a row of violent rain which, at times, rivalled the Gota Fria we see in the autumn. It´s been bad up north with horrendous flooding but the Costa Blanca has been spared until just now. It´s decidedly cool (especially after the temperatures of 30 degrees only a week ago) . What´s going on? I didn´t come down here for this!

We were about 20 at today´s meeting, trying to hear and make ourselves heard above the noise of the rain outside.Nik was still off on visitor watch (Poor devils! They probably think they got off the plane at the wrong airport!), so Rob did another sterling turn at the helm. Two newbies turned up today. John Major ( sorry John, Edwina wasn´t here today) and Michael White, who unwittingly revealed computer skills and was immediately surrounded by those of us who are computer witless.

The themes for today were Recycling and Moving.

Gerry wrote a serious (and seriously good) piece, bemoaning the fact that your average bod doesn´t really care that the Earth´s closed system is being over-exploited and its resources run down.

Chris wrote a mild rant on how language and fashion is recycled from its original form to something it should perhaps never be.

Brenda continued reading her novel but the subject today coincided with the theme Moving.

Two members then followed with true stories.

Douglas´s was topical, being about the final of the World Cup in 1966. Really interesting , even for somebody as glazed over about footie as I am.

John McGregor´s piece Chequemate/Checkmate(?) related his experience from 1977 when he thought he´d been robbed but wasn´t.

Glyn continued his army tale with a very chilling description of the bullying of a young cadet. Very well written.

Mary K´s poem, Minus One, was a piece of advice to somebody who has recently lost their partner.

Anne B had begun a poem on the matches of the World Cup, which is a work in progress.The lines she has already written bode well:

Come on England! Don´t be plonkers!
Green´s missed goal has sent us bonkers!

Michael (newbie) wrote a very gripping piece which he needed (and got) feedback on. It was about extra terrestrial stones which could help the World´s energy problem. He´d written it as a short story but had had a feeling that it could be developed into something longer. The members agreed and suggestions as to how this could be done were given.

Finally, Alan read a piece about a trainee sales rep and his rise in his company. Could be altered and developed, it was thought.

Chris´s comfort eating sop to herself on yet another birthday were offerred to the assembled Writers at breaktime in the form of biccies from Aldi and helped everyone to get over the day´s weather shock.

Another pleasant meeting was had by all.

Chris J

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Language, Lads, Love and Life

17 Members attended this weeks meeting And Robb performed the role of chairman.

Attention was drawn to the link to Mslexia which is a competition for women poets. Why not look and have a go all you lady poets in the group?

This week's themes were "Traffic" and "Just Looking".

Lisa started the ball rolling with a piece entitled "Voip" which dealt with how people meet using new technology and how it has introduced new words into our language. The piece was part fiction/part true.

Maureen, unusual for her, had written a poem called "Inspiration". This was her second attempt at writing poetry and was very good. Perhaps she will be inspired to write more. Have a look at the Mslexia site !!

Alan told a tale of "Tuesday Evenings Entertainment" for four lads whose interests were cars, music and girls. Not necessarily in that order. This took the members back to the swinging 60's and recollections came thick and fast. We are still waiting to find out which one of the lads was Alan.

Brenda gave us a rewritten piece from her "Diaries" novel in which she introduced a new character who will play a significant role in the life of Belle.

Mary K's contribution was called "It's Unbearable". This was a version of "Love Story" meets "Toy Story" with the hero and heroine named Fred Bear and Fairy Nuff.

Ann's effort was an extract from her diary following her recent visit to the UK.The culmination of the event was her return journey seated beside an apparently demonic, manic young woman who frightened the life out of Ann. It's a true saying- you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your fellow passengers.

Chris gave us two offerings of poems on this week's themes. The first, "Traffic", members found rather sad while the second, "Just Looking", members could relate to as to the attitude of shop assistants.

Gerry contiued his western story of the shot cowboy being found and cared for by Indians. Several anomalies were pointed out to him as being illogical and alternatives suggested.

Christina's poem related her experiences of an all ladies outing to "The Derby" and how she never saw a live race yet. It was suggested that with the amount of alcohol on the coach perhaps the ladies were lucky to see anything.

Mary M's piece was extremely well received as it told the tale of a road. What was unusual about this was the fact that the narrative was done by the road itself.

Nan gave us a look at her life in her poem "The Things I Love To Do". Again this was a well written piece and could possibly be submitted to a competition. Have a look at Mslexia!!

Stan kept up with his nostalgic theme and took us back to the days when goods were delivered by horse and cart, women used Oxydol to do their washing and children played with spinning tops and skipping ropes.
Ahhhh- Those were the days my friends!!!

Ian C

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Life's Ups and Downs

This week 19 Members were in attendance.

Nick advised that he had been successful in having his manuscript about his vigilante hero accepted for publication. He also apologised for his absence for th next two weeks.

John was the first to read and gave us a story of experience on a Human Relations Course and the competition between the participants. This was very interesting with a good flow. It was pointed out that it required editing and a number of techniques were suggested.

Douglas gave us a family story about attendance at a wrong funeral. Well I suppose that's life !!
Members thought that the concept was good but that it required more description and logic.

Chris's poem was entitled "Disappointment". This was well received with good use of words and rhyme. Most members could empathise? or sympathise? with the sentiments expressed.

Mary S had written a story about a family day out to the beach. This was a well told tale of casual observations on peoples' conduct on the beach. There was not a member there who could not say that they had had a similar experience.

Mary K's offering was of "Temptarion". Not literally!! This was a piece about cream cakes and diets. Remember the season everyone. Swim trunks and Bikinis !!

Glyn provided another insight to army life with an episode of his apprentice soldier story. This dealt with the "recreational" side of sailing and the conduct of several of the participants could only be described as "sailing close to the wind".

Stan gave us a nostalgic recollection of a trip he made to Moscow with his son many years ago. This was a highly descriptive piece of the city and its citizens and after editing and polishing should be submitted gor publication.

Brenda has done some editing of her novel and re-read the first chapter. This was considered to be an improvement. It was suggested that the use of swearing could be toned down not in the speech as this gave it authenticity but in the general narrative.

Ian C

Monday, 7 June 2010

Mslexia - For Women who Write

Lisa sent me the link to Mslexia and their poetry workshops for those that are interested go here

they also have competitions and free workshops.