Saturday, 7 May 2011


Nik attended the TWC even though he was busy with his work with Solstice editing manuscripts. He was thinking of doing a session on writing a novel. He will sell his novel to the group for 5 Euros (a Western called Bethesda Falls) and 2 weeks after people have read it they will comment on how the novel was written. There will be notes and handouts. It was decided that he will distribute the book on 14 September and the session will be on 21st. Nik read out his synopsis for the book to be used for the session. The group agreed with Nik that there were too many characters in it and a shorter one could have worked. This is one of the first synopses he wrote. He has since decided that there should be 6 characters as a maximum.

Jane read out one of her stories about France. Gaston a French workman had been employed to install a septic tank. There was a lot of good description of him and his character. He didn’t measure the gate where the loader needed to go through and the hole dug for the septic tank wasn’t big enough either. ‘Laissez faire comes to mind.’ The group thought Jane’s stories about living in France would make a wonderful radio series.

Jenny had written a poem called ‘From within.’ ‘I sat and stared at the world outside’. The narrator thought about her life, running up the hill to school, Sunday going to pray, travelling to foreign climes. She makes plans for the future. ‘But life has not been kind to me; I sit and stare from the window in my wheelchair.’ It was very moving and thought provoking.

Mary is taking computer lessons!! She wrote a letter to asking for an explanation of computer terms, which are completely foreign to her. It finishes ‘If you cannot help me I will just adopt a child.’

Ann wrote about the imminent arrival of her first grandchild who is going to be a boy. The waiting is driving her wild, her bag is packed already, and it will be a wonderful day.

Ann Flynn gave us more of her dementia diary. ‘It’s very lonely being a political activist’. The rant included Amnesty International, Wikileaks, low settees, computer hacking, computer cup holders and much more. The group thought it was hilarious, better than ‘ladies of letters’. Lisa will look into the possibility of getting it on the radio.

John had a piece of prose and a poem about writing wrongs. The content concerned the worst thing he did in his life, i.e. split up with his wife. They had a 7 and 5 year old and he was a weekend father. On the way back to her mother’s house his daughter put her arms round his neck and asked ‘When are you coming home?’ He tried to let her down lightly. Writing the piece was cathartic for him as he confronted his demons. He also wrote a poem about it, ‘You cannot turn back the years. Wounds are like fossils to be dug up later.’ As usual very well written.

Geoff was either going to write a long novel or a short poem. He wrote a synopsis about the novel and it ended up as long as the novel. He went to his neighbour and said ‘I have been up all night and I have got this synopsis’ and she said ‘Oh that sounds nasty.’ He decided on a short poem instead. It was called ‘Welsh cheddar thong.’ We waited with baited breath and with nostrils akimbo to hear more about this, but it turned out to be an anagram of ‘The world has changed’, the theme for this week. Amusing as ever.

Avril wrote a poem about the summer night train, with the clickity clack of the sounds of the train on the track. Evocative.

Brenda read out her synopsis again after makings some changes. Glyn had given her the email of a lady who is a synopsis doctor, and she sent her last week’s one. She is waiting for the lady to come back to her. Nik said that some agents won’t read a 4 page synopsis. He thought that she should mention that the brother has drug problems and she should not over explain.

Brenda also wrote a poem, the world is changing, turning, shifting, coughing and sputtering, the world is changing, rotating out of control, wake up and smell the roses. The repetition and the twist at the end were effective.

Maureen contributed a piece - ‘One second is all that it takes, one blip, death comes suddenly.’ She had come tumbling down. When you fall people think you are drunk, if you end up with marks on your face people think you have been beaten up. ‘I am not another victim nor a vagrant, just careless.’ We could all relate to that.

Margaret had written a poem – ‘The Question is do women have souls?’ This was considered by the Council of Macon in 585 AD. A woman was thought to be a defective male. In the 18th century the Calvinists and Catholics discussed how to resolve this question which was later revisited by the Lutherans. ‘I am still around. I am not equal to a man, I know I am superior and they can kiss my can can’. Margaret was worried the poem didn’t scan but the group thought it didn’t matter in a meaningful poem.

Mary gave us some thoughts about the Royal Wedding of William and Cate. She felt emotional when William and Harry appeared, remembering them walking together at the time of their mother’s funeral. She loved the atmosphere, the composure of the Queen, Kate’s figure and that dress. She thought the British people really needed this. Some of the ladies thought that princesses Beatrice and Eugenie looked like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

Next week the theme is ‘The street’ or ‘Inventing.’


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