The meeting was opened by Joyce, standing in as Chairperson, for Bob who was absent. Joyce kindly welcomed Laura who had not been for a while and Lynn a new member.
Joyce asked who had readings to share with the group to gain constructive criticism.
First Joyce read out her really bad poem which was in fact really good. This idea was brought about from a previous group writing exercise.
Then we began the first writing exercise of the year. The group was given (by me) a cartoon image depicting a deep dark fear with words on it such as:
’When I was a little kid, my aunt told me that if I stepped on a needle it would follow my veins straight to my heart.’
The group had to write a short poem or prose and depict the emotion felt by the fear but also adding a made-up swear word into their creations. I was amazed by the groups very creative talents. Well done everyone. We had some whacky creations about space; ice; teeth; the stars; cut fingers; death, the London underground and flying just to name a few.
We then listened to Debbie who read out her first draft of the start of her new book which will be book number 3 of a series involving an exceptionally interesting character: Lenny who has a rich criminal background. What will Lenny get up to? What critical choices will he make next? Why not give Debbies earlier books a read here:
You won’t be disappointed. The group is really looking forward to seeing the final book Debbie. A fabulous start.
Next up was Nick who read out a first draft of a beautiful poem that he was working on about his observations of the tragedies that can occur in a city – ‘bleeding’ as he quotes. Well done Nick, we’d love to hear that again when it is finished. It was suggested that Nick may prefer to have his work read by someone else sometimes.
Fourth up was Joan Carter who detailed a short piece of writing from a previous writing exercise about a Mr and a Mrs, each with their own list of traits woven into a scene. The effect was quite dramatic indeed. Great characterisation Joan.
Tom was next with an excerpt of the first draft of his 6th book of the Malinding series. Tom’s books can be purchased here:
The new story focuses on the widow of the Lord Protector of England and she is on the run. A very thought provoking beginning, where will it lead us Tom? We can’t wait to find out; and what about this dangerous dog of hers?
At 8.30pm we worked our way around the table to find out our group member news. With it being Xmas, many of our writers had a well-deserved rest and just reflected on the past years efforts. We listened to our new member Lynn telling us about her previous writing endeavours. We listened to Nick who had managed to get poems published 36 times. We found out that Tom had managed to help the GOES charity http://gambiagoes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/latest-malinding-book-on-sale.html with the writing group’s Wordfest raffle money successfully by buying antiseptic gel. Joyce fed back on her and Tom’s trip together in the Gambia, she’d kept a journal whilst there. Debbie had spent Christmas editing her latest e-book, received the stock books and had written 3 thousand words into her next book. Bill spoke about the completion of his 2014 NaNoWriMo draft. Joan Carter had published a short story in our group Anthology and was considering publishing a set of short stories together at some point. Matthew has been busy working on 2 new sitcoms called Sparrow Hawk and Rebels of Uncle Rufus. Both sounded totally entertaining; also he has built an amazing character Alexander Scott which he has given us an insight into.
At 9.00pm Tonia was thanked for her organisation of the December Wordfest. A discussion took place as to what could be done differently next time to make it just as wonderful.
Debbie spoke up about providing the group with an e-publishing workshop. It was suggested by Debbie that we should try and put the group anthology onto Kindle and in doing so everyone to learn how this could be done. Possibly at the next group meeting. Debbie will also follow up with Liz to see about another Jan Needle workshop for the group. The last one was fantastic.
Joyce said that £5 deposits for the 16th May Gladstone’s Library workshops should be paid from next month.
It was mentioned by Bill that subscription details will be decided for 2015/16 at the January/February committee meeting. The very minimal writing group fees were explained to Lynn.
Nick kindly volunteered to provide next month’s writing exercise.
Before we wrapped up for the evening Tom read out his really bad poem which in fairness was a Shakespearean sonnet in 13 lines which is what made it bad although everyone again thought it was really good.
Les read his first verse of a novelty rhyme about swearing.
Tonia explained that the Dead Good poet society at Blackburn House, Hope Street, Liverpool have a meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 January all welcome to bring along and read out their dead bad poems for a change containing purple prose, swearing, archaisms etc and that wrapped up this months meeting.