Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Flash, freedom and frozen genitals

Eighteen members this week. Apologies from Maureen, Glyn, Anne Flynn, Kelle. Stan & Nan, Ian are abroad. Alan and Dorothy send their best wishes. Geoff (from UK) visited again; good to have him back.

Nik read out a note from Maureen: She’s looking for sponsors for the APANEE children’s charity 5km walk by the Lion’s Club on Sunday 31 October. Please call or email her. Any amount per km would be welcome. Or if anyone prefers to walk a donation of 5euros to enter would help too. Just turn up before 4pm on the day.

Nik read out a piece from the Nathan Bransford blog (guest blogger Bryan Russell) which emphasized the need for the writer to uses his senses to convey the created world for the reader. If the reader isn’t given these cues, he or she can’t get immersed in the story.

We began with the reading from Rob. His fiction is improving every week; his rendering of a 500-word piece of suspense was intriguing and is now being polished for a flash fiction competition. Best of luck, Rob.

Heather read her start of (one of) her novels. It’s about Penny leaving the marital home due to an adulterous husband, which posed lots of interesting questions. As ever, the writing was excellent. It was felt that too much was conveyed in too short a space of words; with a novel, you can afford to dwell on scenes and emotions, as long as the story moves forward. We all want to know more about Penny’s bid for freedom.

Anne offered an amusing poem about the twilight years, when retirement seems so busy yet there’s the temptation to do nothing; also, it’s nice to be alone sometimes.

Mary K gave us the reverse of the coin, the narrator’s twilight years to be filled with dance and romance, love and laughter – a yearning to share life and not be alone.

Chris told us in her inimitable way about her husband’s travails within the health service, broken legs and frozen genitals notwithstanding. As she stated, life is bearable even when dire if gems of humour are allowed to shine from time to time.

Geoff introduced us to two male youths who sought the meaning of life in the local library. Quotations of dubious provenance were found, advocating drink and sex for the meaning of life.

John read out the end of his Airport Attack novel. It was a fast-paced, bullet-riddled denouement, which shows great potential for a thriller, though it would benefit from some rewriting. Nik felt that the ending (as is often the case with first novels) was rushed. POV needs to be reviewed also.

Rob mentioned the formation of a Culture Group, meeting each Thursday at 5pm at Los Arcos. All welcome.

A straw poll was taken about the Hot Pen. Eleven wanted it to be scheduled, as now. None present wanted to see the end of it. As it happens, due to the fact that there were so many good suggestions for themes, there are some months when there are no scheduled Hot Pen sessions. If during some sessions there are not enough readings to fill in the time, the option of an instant Hot Pen will be considered.


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