Monday, 29 November 2010

New Blog!

It has been suggested that I should try to get my poems "out there" somehow. As I doubt that I will ever get published for mone or, for that matter, at all, I have decided to take the matter into my own hands and create another blog for myself dedicated purely to my poems. Howzatt!!!

Anyone interested can Google "Costa Chris´s Poetry Blog" and see if they can find me.

Chris J

LATEST NEWS!! Googling the above doesn´t get you anywhere and even the URL Blogger accepted for the blogsite is not recognised by Google.
What I have done, however, is to add the new blog to our list on the right and the link works(!). Now why should that be that the URL works as a link but not if you type it in at Google start page? Anyone wiser than me at computers able to advise???

Friday, 26 November 2010

Goodbye, My Love.

Apologies from various members for non-attendance and welcome back to Geoff and to Ian, looking remarkably unscathed after 6 weeks Down Under and still with Scottish accent intact.

Today´s theme was "Goodbye, My Love".

Five members had written on this.

Jenny´s was a flash fiction "Dear John" letter ending the relationship and finishing, hilariously, with the words:"I wish you luck for the future as I know it can´t be easy on Death Row:"

Mary Kilduff´s Poem was a much sadder goodbye poem.

Ian read a poem "Thoughts of You" based on a Jack Vettriano picture.

Gerry´s poem was based on a sad story of the note left by a man committing suicide

Chris´s poem,  reproduced below, was a cry of joy at the end of a miserable relationship.

The other members offerered a variety of things.

Glyn continued his novella "Flight Home From Kandahar."

Margaret Rowland continued her reminiscence of a visit to friends in Spain.

Heinke described a 69th birthday party with people "Blinged up to the nines." This brought on a lively discussion as to the origin of the phrase. I Googled it and found numerous suggestions but nothing definitely sure. In other words, if you want to know, look it up yourself!!

Alan Gillespie´s Spike made a welcome return, still lusting after Mandy and determined to wrest her away from Ted. Unfortunately, Spike is scooped up by the town´s dog catcher and taken to the pound.

John McGregor gave a description of interviewing Junior Salesmen.

Geoff Lowe´s piece described a weird tutor advising a student on how to write a poem.

Mary Morris´s was about Nora, the village gossip and a sensational turn of events in the reading of a will.

Nik gave us his latest Western story.

Chris J´s Poem. ( Well, I´m writing the blog, aren´t I?)

Goodbye, My Love.

Hip, Hip, Hooray!
You´ve gone away!
A sudden shove
Goodbye, my love!

In the Parking Lot
The Council forgot
The manhole cover.
Adieu, my lover!

Hip,Hip Hooray!
Just one quick glance
I took a chance.
I made a lunge
And saw you plunge
Far down the hole.
God rest your soul!

Hip,Hip Hooray!
You´ve been swept away
To some far bay.
You were a shit
And quite unfit
To be my lover!
Allelujah, manhole cover!

Hip, Hip Hooray!
 O, wondrous day!
You were a swine
Now life´s divine.
Hip, Hip Hooray!
That´s what I say!!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

New Date For Benidorm!!!

Further to info in this week´s blog:

Due to mutterings that people who wanted to go on the Benidorm trip but couldn´t as they would be in the UK by then, the new  date is 10 DECEMBER.

As previously, contact Jenny for more details. See contact list for her number.

Two members of TWC, Rob Innis and John Major have work published in the WA anthology:

Writers Abroad NSSW Anthology
Online writing group, Writers Abroad, are publishing an anthology of creative writing themed on Expat Life with a preface by Lorraine Mace to coincide with the National Short Story Week (22nd-29th November 2010).
Following an appeal for submissions, 29 fictional short stories were selected to make up the anthology, which is available free from  in eBook format to be read on either on computers or eReaders.
Writers Abroad is especially for Expat writers to exchange ideas, views and news on writing and to offer support and constructive feedback on each others work.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Dogs, Bad Languge and Benidorm.

Before getting down to the business of the day, for anyone who still hasn´t seen/read Jenny´s or Nik´s mail about the Benidorm night out, here follows repeat info.

Daves´s coaches are doing a night out in Benidorm on 
 17 December. Cost 12 euros. Pick up time, depending on where you live, between 18.30 and 19.30. Return from Benidorm 1a.m. Anyone interested should contact Jenny for further details - (see contacts list).
Today´s theme was "Man´s Best Friend"
Nobody actually wrote on the theme, but I like dogs and since I´m doing the blog .........
Nik started the meeting reading something from Agents´ Blogs about the overuse of certain words (glance, blink, stare, hiss and sigh were mentioned). Uncomfortable shufflings in the group were followed by surreptitious crossings out.

We then proceeded to the day´s readings:

Margaret wrote a reminiscence of a day out in the wine district to visit a former Spanish student who had lodged with her years ago. Very good descriptions of almond harvesting and an amusing observation of the wife in the family learning her English from a boxed set of "Friends". A vigorous use of the word "cute" was noticed.

John Major gave us another of Joe´s adventures, this time working in the Middle East.

Heather gave us the back story of one of five school friends. The poor girl had suffered from a Cruella-type landlady when doing her university practical year abroad as a French Language student.

Brenda continued Minerva´s story. Poor old Min ends up pregnant after allowing Samuel, her boss, to have his way with her.Doom is sure to follow!!!!

John McGregor wrote a piece about an F-word fixated rock star who, full of himself, gets thrown out of the band.

Jenny read out a 50-word piece which she´d written a while ago but happened to have with her, on the same subject.

Mary Kilduff´s poem was about trying to write a limerick.

Chris read an observation on expats who nervously leave their urbanisations to visit Spain.

Jane had another French story, this time connected to the death of Princess Diana.

There was quite a lot of chat about the pieces read out and several people will have to read their stuff next time.


* Night out in Benidorm  17 Dec
* Christmas lunch at the Olympia 22 Dec


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Kennedy, Gagarin, Elvis remembered.

14 November 2010

There were 15 members and the head honcho, Nik, on Wednesday. Subject of the day was Where were you when.....?
Hence the piccies, as these three gentlemen tend to be amongst the top memories for people of our generation.

Before cutting to the chase, a piece of major information.
An executive decision was made that our Christmas lunch will be on December 22 after that day´s meeting at the Olympia Restaurant. Details as to guests, cost, menu etc are still to be decided. Just look in your diaries and make sure that the date is OK for you. We have preliminarily booked for 20.

Wednesday´s Meeting.

Mary S´s piece centred round where she was when Elvis, Kennedy, Gagarin and other people were in the news, bringing up memories from most of us.

Anne G´s recollection was of 1966 when she moved into a new home and was watching the world cup.

John E read a moving poem about the 7/7 London bombings and the memorial to the victims which was placed in Hyde Park.

Cynthia´s memory was of being in a car leaving hospital and hearing about the 9/11 collapse of the Twin Towers. Her own problems and irritations were brought into perspective with a vengeance.

The other members gave a variety of pieces not linked to the day´s theme.

John Major
read a further episode about Joe who, we learned, liked "pleasuring himself in the bathroom". A few coffees went down the wrong way until it was made clear that he was addicted to the (for him) joy of blackhead squeezing.

John McGregor read a short story about the people on a cruise ship, centering primarily on Arthur , described as a one-eyed randy bugger. The story needed a bit of lopping and tightening but had good moments and was deemed worthy of tinkering with.

Chris cannot think of anything but hips at the moment and doled out another episode on husband´s fracture.

Mary K, in a forward planning mode, gave us a poem on Christmas and all it entails in organising.

Glynn read the synopsis of his story "Flight From Kandahar". He has upped it from a short story of 1500 words to novella length of 32,000 words.

Brenda, departing from her novel read a piece about a rescue dog called Rex.

See you next week. Don´t forget 22 December!!!!!

Chris J

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Fire, pulp and fridges

Meeting of 3 November. Sixteen attended, with apologies from Heinke, Maureen, Ann, Chris and Glyn.

We got off to a good start with Rob reading chapter 2 of his ‘autobiographical’ book. It was all about leaving school and finding work and nostalgically reminded many of us of British Telecom’s Buzby, careers fairs and strange hair styles.

Alan read a poem about Halloween, hoodwinking the hoodies trick-or-treating.

Brenda gave us another chapter in Belle’s fraught life, throwing over Richard and starting up with Matthew.

Jane’s piece was an amusing item about a couple who bought her house but kept pestering her about the most basic of things, such as how to get the fridge to work… Er, plug it in?

Mary K’s poem was about the fatal attraction of a man she was warned against, the gainsayers hinting that she was playing with fire. She’d rather get burnt than bored, it seems.

John McG read out another piece for his OU writing course, about the wife of an habitual jailbird and how she coped. He stepped into her shoes with ease. Particularly liked the description ‘her bruised battered heart lurched.’

Heather read out a letter from her Mum to her Dad, when they were engaged. It was in February 1942 and he was in Egypt. We can see where Heather gets her writing style from; this was an interesting epistle, evoking the privations and the feelings of that time. If the rest of the found letters are of this caliber, they deserve to be in a book, accompanied by photos from her father.

Gerry tackled the theme, playing with fire, relating a rugby player’s attempt at getting into the first team in the pursuit of a neat ending that played with words.

Cynthia was reluctant to read out her poem about ‘playing with fire’, but in fact it got a lot of laughs.

John M read out a piece about Joe, the novice writer of the TWC – see below.

Finally, Nik read out his story ‘Spend it Now, Pay Later’ from the recently published paperback anthology, Beat to a Pulp (see cover). In the foreword, prolific and admired author Bill Crider remarked that this story was ‘a chilling near-future tale that makes the “arm and a leg” interest rate all too real.’ The book contains 27 short stories – crime, horror, sci-fi, romance, western – they’re all in 380pp. ISBN 9780615388243. Available from at $15.95.

About Joe, by John
To writers groups everywhere:

Joe woke up and thought, hey it’s Wednesday. No, stroke that out, you were told last week you can’t start like that.

The weary, bleary, bloodshot eyes, that stared back at him in the bathroom mirror, told of another gin sodden evening with him falling asleep on the couch again, snoring and dribbling, while his wife Susan crept off to her lonely bed!

And there lay the problem.

Joe was part of The Torrevieja Writers’ Circle that meets every Wednesday morning in the Olympic Restaurant, Mil Palmeras, just South of Torrevieja in Spain, see Blog. That sentence is there in case an editor somewhere sees this, spots the raw talent, and wishes to commission a full length feature film or, better still, send money.

Members are encouraged to read out pieces they have written and are rewarded by the critical acclaim and constructive criticism of their colleagues, or sometimes not.

He’d been reading out a series of short stories and he’d noticed some members of the group were looking at him in a slightly odd way. How much was story and how much was him? He was sure that’s what they were asking. Fact and fiction were becoming blurred.

At the coffee break they’d say things like, “Excuse me, I’ve just remembered I have to go to the toilet urgently,” and disappear or, “Excuse me, I see Nik is free and I’ve something really important I must ask him,” and then they wouldn’t go near him, just go and fetch their drink.

He longed to get a chance to set the story straight.

He’d never ever punched his boss on the nose.

He’d never been up for drunk driving or lost his licence or been fired.

He’d never closed Dublin Airport because of a bomb scare, and he’d never been strip searched. Though the image of that tall Garda officer, with the blond hair, blue eyes and that green latex rubber glove came to his mind more regularly than he would have liked.

And he’d never made Susan stand on that roundabout. Open brackets – delete for international e-mails – confusing – they wouldn’t understand the link between ladies of the night and roundabouts – close brackets.

So this week he had decided he would definitely not read out the pedophile story.

No. This week he was going to keep his mouth shut.

He wasn’t going to give them a chance to batter him with his inconsistent points of view, his willy nilly use of tenses, his factual impossibilities or his incorrect use of the comma. They could stick their comma.

Next week he’d tell ’em but this week, no. Mum’s the word, no cliché intended.

He’d keep quiet and, come the coffee break, he’d just have his drink and keep his head down, and they could all go to hell. They wouldn’t get him this week.

That's all for this week, then.