Meeting Reports Sept to Dec 2015

Alan’s report on the meeting on December 5th 2015

(edited for the website by Rosemary, website manager)

Hi Everyone,

The group had a good meeting at the Library on Saturday 5th December: Lots of Mince Pies and cakes and biscuits and Christmas Spirit… well, not the alcoholic kind unfortunately. That had to wait until I got back home.

So it was a shame Monica and Karen couldn’t make it as this was the last meeting before Christmas. Not to worry; we hope you are both well and wish you a very Happy Christmas and hope to see you in January… more about that in a minute.

The assignment for December was about Neighbours and both Don and I concocted rather depressing stories that involved terrorists and extremists. Nevertheless, they seemed to go down well and hit the spot!

Rosemary’s and Joy’s offerings were much more upbeat and Joy took the Trophy for the clever twist at the end of her story. This will be published on the website when it has been transcribed for computer. Joy likes to write in longhand, as many great writers do.

January 2016

The scheduled meeting was for the 2nd, but this is not suitable, as it’s a bit too close to the season’s festivities. So we thought the following Saturday, the 9th, would be better for everybody.

So for the January meeting Shirley and I would like to invite you all to our new home in Seaton and hold the meeting here. Same time 14:00 to 16:00. It’ll save us the Library Fee and Shirley can join in and meet you all together.

If anyone reading this wishes to join us please email at our group email address or phone Alan on 07786 027602. Please come if you can and we can have a little New Year’s Party… well, some tea and biscuits at least.

The assignment theme was not fixed at the last meeting so it’s up to me to set a subject, so here goes. If you do not want to do any of these, please bring along something of your choice to share. We find it a good exercise to have a challenge but it is not compulsory.

Choose any one or more of the following (Fiction or fact, story or poems, dramatic or funny.):

1                     Write anything about a New Year celebration or a change in circumstances during the New Year festivities.

2                     Write a short story that includes a famous landmark but describe this rather than spelling it out. The rest of the group then have to guess the location from the clues you leave. Include a twist if you can.

3                     Write a fictitious review about a show you have seen or a restaurant that you have used or a holiday you have taken.

Alan’s Report on the meeting on 

November 7th 2015

It was great to have everyone present on Saturday afternoon: Alan, Rosemary, Don, Joy, Jo, Karen and Monica.

Everybody had a go at writing a Time based short story as suggested in October. Rosemary a short poem; Joy a recycled poem (which was excellent and a ‘joy’ to hear once again); Karen’s offer was a dark story of murder; Don’s a short story that followed the Time theme precisely with a few clever surprises. Monica presented us with a true story that was slightly weird and my own offering was a bit of a cheat as it included a dream sequence! Tut, tut…

Anyway, Don’s was voted the best in category, so he was duly awarded the Trophy.

Later, Joy read out her ‘jottings’ on Time – her earlier comment was that this wasn’t really a comprehensive story, just a series of notes, thoughts and jottings! She made out it wasn’t worth listening to!

Well, it was very, very good and had us all listening intently. I apologise for suggesting Joy read her ‘jottings’ at the end of the session, time permitting (sorry about the pun!) because if she had read it out earlier, she may well have been awarded the Trophy, although I can’t be sure of that. So next time she has written a story – not jottings or notes – she must read it out and ignore what I say!

Thanks to Monica for biscuits and Don’s wife, Jacqueline for the cake.

Assignment for December 5th is to write a short story or poem around the theme of Neighbours.

You can interpret the word neighbours anyway you wish; it could mean business neighbours for example, not necessarily domestic, or neighbours in the allotment, in the flat above or the summer-time beach hut or the badgers set next door to the hedgehog nest or the wolfman’s lair adjacent to the vampire’s castle or swans with five signets next to the ugly duckling with a dozen chicks or maybe even something about the famous Australian Soap Opera and so on and so forth… Let your minds take flight and come up with something really imaginative, but mainly enjoy your writing!

The next meeting is on December 5th at the usual place.

October 3rd 2015

We had a really good meeting today with six members present, including a surprise visit from Monica whose move has been delayed. We are sorry about the delay for her sake but hope that she shall be able to join us in the future, especially as she is not going that far. It was such a pleasure to see her. Unfortunately, Alan was unable to be with us because of family matters but we managed! Hopefully, he will be back with us next month.
The homework of The Longest Journey was interpreted in different ways. All the stories were interesting and imaginative, resulting in the vote for the trophy being a tie between Karen and Don. This meant a tie-breaker vote and Karen was chosen to take the trophy, for a second month, for her story about a long journey through dementia seen from two perspectives: of the person with the disease and of the family watching their loved one suffer. It was very poignant and moving. Well done Karen! The rest of us will have to pull our socks up! 
When I have Karen’s story, I will post it on the website.
The theme for the next meeting on November 7th is about Time and the challenge is to begin or end the story or poem with the words, “Is that the time?” 

N.B The fees for the library have gone up to £6, so we are asking that everyone contributes at least £1.25 each. It is still good value and a comfortable venue. We do not have subs as such and all we have to do is cover expenses.

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September 5th 2015

We had a really good meeting this week even if it did get off to a shaky start when, on opening the key safe, we found no key! Rosemary had been held up and, with Joy, got held up in traffic, so a quick phone call was made to Jo who went down to the library with the code but the group couldn’t get in. Joy and Rosemary arrived about ten minutes late and after a brief discussion about what to do, Jo kindly offered her nearby flat. This proved to be very satisfactory. Many thanks to Jo for opening her home to us.

The subject of the homework had been interpreted very differently by everyone. Don and Karen had written imaginative stories which included things that irritated. Rosemary wrote about some classic irritations that the others all agreed with and enlarged on, to the extent that we had quite a discussion on life’s little irritations. Joy had forgotten about the subject but wrote a very interesting and entertaining account of a family holiday on tour in France. This recalled some memories for everyone. Jo, who is an artist and reads but does not write, acted as a useful critic and encourager.

Alan, who was on holiday but who had sent his work in, had written what he knew would be a controversial piece. We all agreed that it was, essentially, a bit of a rant, not something you would want in a book. However, it did cause some amusement and agreement about some of the subjects he raised, some of which most members would not dare write about. Rosemary read it out as best she could but its long sentences and repeated words were a challenge. It was certainly a talking point, if not one that we would want too often but thanks, anyway, Alan. It was interesting. We are still not sure if they were really the views of the author!

The Triceratops trophy was awarded with a unanimous vote (except her own, of course) to Karen, a well-deserved prize. Everyone agreed that her descriptions were brilliant. Congratulations, Karen! She will email it to me and I will put it on the website.

A brief discussion took place about punctuation, inspired by “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” by Lynne Truss, which Rosemary is reading at the moment.

As it was Don’s birthday last Monday, he brought us some cake, which we much enjoyed and we sang Happy birthday to him. Thanks, Don.
Monica is moving out of the area soon and we wish her all the best. We have missed her and hope that she might be able to drop in on one of our meeting is she is visiting sometime. 
Monica, may you have a good move and a happy time in your new home.

Homework for next month suggested by Don:
The Longest Journey.
This can be either physical, figurative, fiction or real.

The homework is not obligatory but can be a helpful spur to anyone who is stuck for an idea.

On their way back to the car, Rosemary and Joy noticed the library door was open, went in and spoke to Hazel who had seen the note left on the doorstep for any latecomers note who might turn up. She was full of apologies and explained the mistake but it is a long story, which nobody else needs know. These things happen. The apology was accepted and we parted amicably.

Next meeting is on October 3rd.