Wednesday, 4 January 2012

4th January 2012

 We were twenty one this week.  John McGregor took the chair.

Two things from last week’s blog.  Blogger apologises for not identifying the two Jerry’s, Please let me have your surnames and I will try and remember in future.  The website about wordcount was not, but – thank you Rob.

John introduced Eunice a new member who has lived in Spain since 2004.  Welcome Eunice.

John Edwards kicked us off. He circulated copies of his poem entitled ‘Eleven’ a war poem.

 Comments – some ‘the’.  words could be eliminated.  Lots of comments about line length and punctuation creating some discussion about the way poetry can be presented and meaning changed.  It was agreed that it was a personal choice when writing poetry.   The use of the word ‘stroll’ again raised the issue of personal views.  What the reader brings to the poem.  John ended the discussion by referring to an article in this month’s “Writers” Magazine which had an article on line length and urged the group to read it.

Alan read a piece about a holiday spent in Gambia in 1988. Airport official welcome was basic.  The people were friendly.  Lots of excursions on the river and overland.  Alan described the cultural shocks of circumcision and living conditions.  His favourite part was escaping from the headmasters lecture and visiting the children to distribute the little learning gifts he had taken for them.  It wasn’t all travel and visiting.  The New Year celebrations brought a Scottish theme and the New Year was piped in and ended with a brandy nightcap

 Comments – More details about the locals and the living conditions would have added interest and when Alan’s feelings about the events and local life were included, these enhanced the piece.

Rosemary Told us that she writes a monthly blog of events and activities that have taken place in her life then sends this to family and friends.  She uses it as a writing exercise and asked the group if it could be improved.  It sounded all singing and dancing to me, except when she overstayed her welcome to watch her favourite T.V. programme.  Rosemary moulded the piece to fit the theme this week ‘I wish I had said’.

Comments – were varied, some thought that if it was a retelling of events then it was OK, but that personal information and making out that life is wonderful may not be received well by those being sent the information.  There seemed to be optimists and pessimists amongst us who had different views.  After all we don’t write much to people these days and it’s good to keep communicating, it may be emailed instead of being posted, but how good is it to receive a letter from someone.  No crowing and not too long though!   

Avril Read an account of her experience of returning to hospital after a gall bladder operation.  It was an hilarious account of a real situation when she overheard a conversation between a doctor and patient.  We must remember when asked any questions at the hospital to say ‘I was unconscious’ and refuse to give your name – Why?  Because they already have it written down.

 Comments – very funny indeed.

Darren was expanding on his previous reading of the novel he has started writing.  He was attempting conversation in this piece and asked for us to comment.  The conversation was taking place in a pub and one character evolved who will be a very interesting revolutionary perhaps. 

Comments - Everyone enjoyed the section read, but suggested there might be a break between the conversation in some way as there was a lot of material to take in.

Brenda – Brenda read a futuristic piece set in 2079.  Earth’s death and destruction by man until Marine biologists discover krill developing a survival mechanism, perhaps,
Comments – Look carefully at whose point of view is being put forward, timeframe and how realistically life is depicted when the earth is being destroyed.  We’re looking forward to next week’s instalment Brenda.

Phil – read a piece called ‘The Oriental Rope Trick’ An  evocative account of looking at the items in a father’s shed and the memories recalled by the ‘wood handled awl’  and other items. 

 Comments – agreed it was beautiful crafted prose described in such detail that we could all visualise it.  It was suggested that smells could also be included.  Phil informed the group that it was a 500 words that had been selected as the first runner up in a short story competition.

Heather – wrote on the theme ‘I wish I had said’ about socially circulating at a Christmas party.  Some very practical observations and good descriptions of character and events.
Comments – Thoroughly enjoyable and a hint of Victoria Wood.

Douglas – wrote on the theme, but the physical ability to write and what it means to people. He suggests at the end that when he’s unable to write ‘shoot me’.  I don’t think so Douglas, what a loss to the group of writers.

Next week the theme is ‘After Xmas’

Margaret Rowland    

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