Friday, 18 March 2011

Blog from our gathering on 16th March 2011

Ian is still keeping us on the straight and narrow. Thanks Ian.

It was good to see Nick return for his critical fix.

Ian welcomed two new members;

Pamela - has been writing for many years and keeps hitting that motivation wall we all know and love. She hopes that the group will “prompt her”. I hope so too Pamela

Graeme - hopes that the group will be “inspirational” and I’m sure he’ll be an asset to the group with his historian background.

Sarah started off with the synopsis of her children’s story, kindly read by Christina about magical gnomes.

We were introduced to Mr Hoppypop and the Berts. Suggestions were; there was too much detailed information. The reader needs a flavour of the story, introduction to characters and the ending. Ian will provide a tried and tested handout for Sarah to look at.

Heather read her poem about a ‘writer wannabe’ Sighs of sympathy and recognition were heard. Comments were, repetition worked very well. You are a writer Heather.

Stan read a short piece about how proud he is to be a Lancashire lad. He gave a detailed historical background to the Town of Wigan and the surrounding villages. How the area has been transformed. Slag heaps turned into recreation areas. Fabulous facts about the canal system, historical workshops and mills. An evocative piece. It was agreed that the the emotional attachment came across well and that it could be a tourist board piece.

Douglas wrote on the Theme this week of Schooldays. Douglas reminded us that school is where we learn lessons for life. His particular recollection was not owning up to a misdemeanor initially, but was eventually brought to task. Detail of the school being attached to a Tithe barn raised some discussion within the group.

Alan read the first part of “Threads” a recollection of life in his 5th Form when he was introduced to the classics. He gave us some good quotes from Homer and Pope. Comments were, Alan’s enthusiasm for the classics came across well but It would be good to hear the whole piece. Alan promised to bring it in a few week’s time.

Glyn told us “The tart’s dead” and continued his harrowing tale for competition. The soldier’s plan is revealed, he’s covering his tracks and has a regimented plan although he’s still ranting aloud which is disturbing. ‘The darkest hour is before the dawn’ and it certainly is in this piece. Comments were that the first person narrative enabled detail to be given which made the character so believable.

John MacGregor continued his story about Steve the policeman who’s life is crumbling around him although he seems oblivious to the fact. We are left with a sad picture around the theme of suicide. It was a well written story and the group thought that it was ready for submission. Give us some more John.

Iarla handed out copies of his poem ‘Plant’ so we could follow the wording closely as he read it. All agreed that we needed to know that he was talking to the plant, but that the layout of the poem determined the way it was read and this was helpful for the reader. That the poem raised questions only enhanced its appeal. This is the longest discussion the groups had about a poem. Thank you Iarla.

Ann read us a piece about another biblical epic this time in the form of the ‘weather forecast’. Ann thought freak weather, plague and devastation didn’t lend itself to a ‘letter to mother’ The group were eager for it to be another classic letter so suggested that it could be a daughter writing to mother after she’d heard the weather forecast. Let’s have it then Ann.

Ann told us about her schoolday experience of travelling to and dressing for school. How the girls loved to adapt the uniform to the style of the day Ann transformed the biology prop – the skeleton – by dressing it in her school cardigan,socks and shoes. There’s a whole story about ‘playing the typewriter Ann. An enjoyable piece.

Mary gave us some interesting details about her hobby as geneology expert. She did say it was costly, but what price is heritage. It was suggested that the article should be sent to magazines for a fee of course to offset the expense of researching ancestry.

Mary - ‘That is the question’ this week’s poem. The question was “Does my bum look big in this” The answer left us laughing . How about a follow up. Is that my posers pouch or middle aged spread?

Jenny read a Flash Fiction. A professional thief selected an easy target, or so he thought. The ending was heart piercing. All agreed that it was a very good piece and would be acceptable as a flash fiction submission. Just a couple of tweaks, two ’looks’ close together at the end. Thank you Jenny.

Ian will not be at next week’s meeting. Ann will take the chair.

Ann had made a note of the people who had items to read as we ran out of time and they will begin first at the meeting next week.

Apologies for any errors in the above. It is my first attempt, but no excuses peeps. Let me know of any schoolgirl errors. And I’ll find the schoolgirl and tell her.

Margaret Rowland (My apologies for 23rd March)


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