Wednesday, 7 September 2011

7th Septmeber 2011

Good to be back.  I know this is quick and apols for any mistakes.  I have visitors from tomorrow so needed to do this today.

John Edwards chaired the group’s meeting today and started us off with a reminder of the theme for this week,  ‘Games’.

He also asked for agreement or suggestions about doing a critique from the ‘Writers’ Magazine for next week that he had emailed to us all. It was agreed during the meeting that the magazine piece should be looked at first and if anyone wanted to bring their own piece of writing and offer it for a group critique then that could happen too.  There should be at least a copy to share if not one for each attendee, to make notes from.  Members were asked to email any writing they wanted to be put forward for a critique to the group.

Ian has completed the subscription to the ‘Writing’ Magazine and this month’s should be with us soon for the groups to peruse.

TJ gave us an account of his ‘Quiet Man’ exhibition in Ireland.  The event drew a huge crowd and his exhibition was held in the local pub used in the filming of “The Quiet Man”  Lots of interesting events, including a John Wayne look alike, which TJ didn’t win, but he said that he was glad he took prints of his artwork with him, as they proved to be very popular.

Margaret. I told you all about my three ‘Open Mic’ sessions, which interesting me because it was continuity in that it was good to hear such diverse and entertaining music stories and poetry of other people. The venues were also amazing, usually listeners and performers crammed in small rooms, but this did not detract from the quality of the pieces performed.

It was agreed that those who had written on the theme should read first. 

Jane recounted her experience of playing games when she and her husband Archie had recently relocated to France.  Her experience was very revealing to say the least.  We were shocked, or pretended to be.  We eventually got a feel for the situation and  understood Jane’s eagerness to leave.  The whole group agreed that it was time for Jane to publish her ‘French’ experience.  Many offers were made to Jane and we all seem determined that it should happen at last.  I do hope so Jane.

Ann reminded us of our school days when we had to play games.  There was no escape then.  There were two schools of thought, you either liked games or you didn’t.  Ann described vividly those goose-pimple moments and the pressure we endured.

Avril stayed with the theme of Games, First with a very short story about children in the Park. The mother seen as a sister rather than mother. Her second piece was a rhymed poem about games with the boys despite mum’s warning.  A humorous piece.  The group recommended slipping some words to make the poem scan easier and perhaps looking at half rhyme. 

Kathy read us a piece as part of her group of stories with the same characters running throughout.  The game being a school football match, where an own goal ruined the chances of one school team. This piece raised some questions about the number of characters mentioned in one short story and also about more action using concise accounts rather than gathering momentum through character interaction outside the scene of the real activity.  Does that make sense Kathy.  I hope so.

Douglas delivered an anecdote about an encounter in an hotel.  He called it the odd couple about a short sighted greedy Mediterranean looking man with a very large bosomed partner who ate like an anorexic. They were an enigmatic couple who drew attention to themselves unconsciously it seemed.  Douglas caught the mystery in the story and gave us a haunting visual image of the man in the piece.  It raised lots of questions. That was its appeal. We were left wondering why they should be selling coins in the foyer, but that’s all part of the mystery. 

Jenny read two short character study pieces. One about a homeless person and another about Karaoke Kev.  The group agreed that Jenny’s writing is so concise, you are left with  a complete written piece, but the writing is so thought provoking, you want to read more.

Rosemary’s  written piece was in preparation for a competition.  The first 150 words of a novel.  The story began with a domestic scene, where the use of utensils and the tone of the piece were key factors. Suggestions were; change mushroom to carrot, more phallic and the dramatic effect that cutting a vegetable could have.  Rosemary went away with some good ideas for change.

I read my ‘commended’ poem.  Me and the Deity. (I promise to not get too carried away, but I was excited at the time!)  The end was the surprise as it often is.  The other poem was supposed to be humorous, again for competition.  Based on the old dance number ‘Agadoo’ It was suggested that it would be more surprising if the title was changed. A good idea.

Some discussion took place about the format of the meeting. Jane thanked John for giving everyone individually the opportunity to contribute their thoughts about each piece.  John did say that he was very keen that feed back should be received as it was always helpful. 


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