Anne took the chair this week and brought us to order. John Edwards gave some feedback from the Open Mic night on Tuesday 10th May. There was an open reading at the beginning, competition readings on the theme of “Summer’s Here” in the middle of the session and finally other pieces that attendees wanted to read. It was the most successful yet and clearly is going to continue. Jenny won the competition with a very moving piece, a well deserved winner. Margaret was runner up, (that’s me) with another excellent poem as unbiased as I am.
Ann asked Cheryl to read her piece this week as we ran out of time last week. This was a mid section chapter of a novel. It was agreed that it was an intriguing section that the immediate use of dialogue was a good run in. We left wanted to know more about the relationships and future of this bride to be. Hope you will supply this Cheryl.
Ann gave us her poem about Writers Circle, a short poem about writing for fun and that the group was the highlight of the week. We all share Ann’s fondness for our large circle of writers. This was followed by a longer poem on this week’s theme of “The Street” All agreed that this was an unsentimental, recollection of post war Britain when a sense of community was most strongly felt as everyone shared the same experience on a day to day basis.
John read his poem, inspired by the last word in Jenny’s winning poem, the word being reminiscing. Moving remembrances of his father carefully tending the land.
Rosemary gave us an excerpt from her crime novel centered around a Haunted House, in the Cathedral city of Ely Is the building telling the story? Is Caroline influenced by her surroundings, both people and places? Is Mark dying somewhere else? Comments were, there were lots of characters. The description was good. Some repetition noted. Rosemary explained that this excerpt was a quarter way through the book and that Caroline’s Character was in keeping with what had happened previously, relationships she has made with the other characters and her behaviour previously in the novel.
Margaret read a piece of prose about a classroom experience in the 1980’s with a group of teenage boys. Hamlet was much maligned, but somehow it seemed a fitting description. She changed her mind about the teenage boy who described as “infantile and moronic” was suddenly “a genius.” This piece raised some laughter.
Heather stuck with the theme of Street. Coronation - and - car named desire. Caverns apart with loads of other streets between, but for Heather all returned to a book! Empathy all around
Jenny also read her poem about this week’s theme of The Street. A very thought provoking piece about people who live work and survive on the street.
Geoff stayed with the street. He has lots of snippets of quiet people in quiet streets. The one he read was shadow art by waiting Sid. Not is usual style, but left us wanting to hear more. Some discussion about the use of “shiver” and “shimmer”
Brenda read the beginning of her new novel Dead Tree. Ivy the protagonist suffers humiliation at the children’s home by the housemother. Our protective instincts kicked in straight away and we want to hear about revenge please Brenda. Comments were that it was a really good beginning and we definitely want to know more,. Perhaps the novel could start with Ivy’s humiliation and how she came to be at the home could come later in the chapter. Brenda will consider our comments.
John read us his story about Landing in hot water. Would this be a pile of haemorrhoids. Not so. We were entertained by has slavish dedication to following doctor’s instructions. Another fine mess you’ve told us about John.
Avril gave us a detailed account of her experience when being interviewed by police after an attempted assault and rape that happened when she was a young woman with a young son. Treatment by police was quite disturbing and it was suggested that the story could be refocused on the attitude of police in those days. Some shortening of the piece by sectioning it off into sections on how it affected her personal life and the attitude of others about the incident.
Chris read us an account of her thoughts after returning to the UK after 15years. She was reminded of how green the UK is at this time of year particularly, how multi-cultural it has become, how consumer motivated life is. Chris left us with the image of her walking past the rubbish bin in her host’s home and the lid raising itself ready to eat up something, anything, perhaps some of those consumer items. It makes you think doesn’t it?
Jane gave us another of her French stories. This time about the village school. Her Tuesday and Thursday English class experience, where she encouraged Stephan to have more confidence and Marie Claire to break her silence and allow a new Marie Claire to emerge. Comments were that although it was a different style to some of her stories, it was a more thoughtful and moving piece. It’s good when you make a difference to someone’s life and Jane did.
Margaret Rowland (apols for 18th May meeting)