Our first meeting at our new location, the ‘Cuppa Char’ tea room behind the High Street went well. The owner, Gwen has let us use the shop for free but I suspect she is hoping to make significant profit from tea and cake sales.
Michael’s last two books detailed the dramas of some of the areas most well known local families and included some gory and scandalous events in their histories. Lord Peter has been known to cross the road to avoid Michael whilst allegedly muttering bad words under his breath. He very publicly threatened the author with a court case for libel but withdrew it when offered evidence of his great, great grandfather’s misdemeanors in the form of a long lost series of letters uncovered by Michael.
Michael turned up late at this months meeting with a black eye and cut lower lip. He has been researching local businesses for his new book and discovered some exciting facts regarding a possible royal link. However rushing into the butcher’s shop and asking Big Al if he knew who his father was didn’t go quite as he planned.
Lord Peter, who was in the shop at the time, is still grinning from ear to ear.
Arthur, the landlord of The Anglers Rest has terminated our booking for the back room. He said it was because he was planning some refurbishment work but I suspect he’s just fed up with the constant ranting and posturing of some of our more vocal members. The Colonel didn’t help the situation by enquiring exactly when Arthur had last cleaned the pipes and if the story in the local paper about the rat problem had affected business much. Without an alternate venue we have been forced to cancel meetings indefinitely. The group generously decided that finding another room should be my responsibility as I am a teacher and therefore have lots of holidays.
I may well delay searching too seriously for a month or two. I need a break.
After struggling to find a suitable alternative venue we are once more meeting back at the Angler’s Rest. Madeline, ‘just call me Mad’ has missed the last few sessions and it was good to have one of our long term contributors back. Admittedly she’s not one of my favourite members as her tendency to call me ‘Rog’ and talk like a toddler does grate more than a little. Madeline is struggling with ‘an ickle problem’ with her story books for under fives as she has had a ‘teensy weensy’ argument with Frank, who was going to illustrate them. Apparently, his artistic portrayal of ‘Weggie the Wabbit’ didn’t meet with her approval. She explained to me that Weggie should be ‘cuddly wuddly’ rather than looking like he’d been overdosing on steroids at the rabbit gym. Chris said that he used to draw a bit at school and would be happy to give it a go as he currently has writer’s block with ‘Fry Me To The Moon’, his chick lit. novel. I saw the cover of his notepad recently and if his doodling is anything to go by I suspect another ‘silly billy row’ is on the horizon.
A really good turn out for the first meeting of 2019. It seems that just about everyone has had a productive time over the Christmas holiday. If the numbers keep rising we’ll have to look for a bigger venue.
Tom was in particularly good form as he has added another fifty or so jokes to his ‘Side-splitters’ collection. He also sold one of his own last year which was translated into three different languages and inserted into crackers across Europe and America. We have added him to our list of ‘successful published authors’ despite a few raised eyebrows amongst the more established writers. Thankfully his buoyant mood meant I only had to rate one of his new jokes on a ‘hilarity scale’ of one to ten.
We came together for the reading of Kat’s poem, which she read with huge emotion and energy. Of course, nobody knew the Colonel had a dodgy ticker at the time but I’m pleased to say he has been in touch to let me know he made a full recovery. This may well be our final meeting at The Angler’s Rest Hotel lounge as the landlord appears resistant to the idea of installing a defibrillator.
Kat is a poet and joined the group in the summer. Yesterday she sent me an email asking for some advice. Kat wants to know if it’s ok to read her latest poem to the group before she enters it into a competition in a monthly magazine.
Being honest my first reaction was relief that she wasn’t asking me for my personal feedback on her poem. I wrote back confirming that everyone is welcome to offer their work for honest feedback and criticism. I didn’t dare mention that a poem with so many expletives (I counted eight in the first verse) may not be suitable for a magazine that is based predominantly on providing patterns for knitting your own cardigan.
The last meeting before Christmas was eventful. As the group has grown meetings seem to have become more prone to histrionics and conflict. The purpose of the group is to welcome aspiring and successful writers, whatever genre they prefer and to share experiences. Criticism of each other’s work is supposed to be honest and provide positive opportunities to improve. Someone should explain this to Gary and Chris who had a heated argument about whose hero is the most believable. The fact that they are both middle-aged men attempting to write chick-lit made the argument somewhat surreal.
Gary: My Emily has known true suffering.
Chris: True suffering? She works in an advertising agency in Knightsbridge! My Sarah works in a chip shop – that’s suffering!
As usual the Colonel (writing his memoirs) calmed things down but managed to offend them both by insinuating that as 50 year old men they may not be the best judges of how the modern twenty something young woman might suffer.
The Colonel may have a point.
This is the first post on the new site. I’m Roger and I’m an aspiring writer or more accurately an unpublished writer – I know I can write, I just don’t yet know whether it’s any good! As a full-time SEN teacher I have never devoted much time to my writing but I’m doing my best to change that. I have started a novel – the first couple of chapters are written and the plot is plotted.